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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 9, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | BRAVO
It’s a Brad, Brad World
– Didn’t wanna like this show … thought Brad Goreski was way annoying on The Rachel Zoe Project. Turn out, it was just her who was annoying … he’s actually pretty charming on this new reality series, in which he tries to build his own career as a stylist.

8PM | ABC
The Bachelor
– Craziest season yet.

8PM | SUNDANCE
The Mortified Sessions
– On tonight’s installment of this delightful series in which celebs dig into mementos from their pasts and share stories from their childhood and beyond: Ricky/Rick/Ricky Schroder, who talks about Silver Spoons and how his wife, in her teenage diary, fantasized about meeting him.

8PM | ABC FAMILY
Pretty Little Liars
– Aria and Ezra face the fallout of making their romance public.

8:30PM | ESPN
Allstate BCS National Championship Game
– #1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama.

9PM | OWN  – SERIES PREMIERE
America’s Money Class With Suze Orman
– The six-episode series finds Suze Orman giving classroom-style lectures on various financial issues, followed by a “final exam” at the end. First up: how to buy a home, how to erase debt and what to do in the face of a foreclosure.

9PM | DISCOVERY – SERIES PREMIERE
First Week In
– Following inmates through their first week in prison, including, tonight, three first-time inmates.

9PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Kyle and Kim have yet another confrontation about Kim’s wacky behavior, which, since we know now that she’s in rehab, probably shouldn’t seem like such a mystery.

10PM | ABC
Castle
– A womanizer falls to his death after his latest bout of womanizing.

10PM | NBC
Rock Center With Brian Williams
– Guest George Clooney makes his Oscar predictions.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Who’s Still Standing (8PM, NBC) … who’s still watching? Me. Not proud, but it’s addictive;
– Are a woman’s best friend and best friend’s boyfriend involved in her disappearance? Gotta watch Disappeared (9PM, ID) to find out;
– On the Fear Factor (9PM, NBC) menu tonight: a stunt that requires contestants to eat cockroaches, grasshoppers, rat hair and maggots;
Hoarders (9PM, TLC) includes a man who can’t stop buying clearance sale items;
– During tonight’s marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM, Comedy Central): “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System,” “The Gang Wrestles for the Troops,” “Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens” and “Mac and Dennis Break Up,” all gems;
– The new series Mobster Confessions (10PM, Discovery) is just what it sounds like, documenting the stories of mobsters who’ve turned into informants;
– On Pawn Stars (10 and 10:30PM, History), Rick and the gang are presented a first edition of Thoreau’s Walden.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): David Cross, Gavin DeGraw and Seth Green;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): George Lucas;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Melissa Harris-Perry;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Mark Wahlberg;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Janet Jackson;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Channing Tatum;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Mark Wahlberg;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Howie Mandel;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Mike White (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – January 7-8, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – SERIES PREMIERE
House of Lies
– Is it great to see Don Cheadle as a series lead? Absolutely. But I wish it were in a more likable series, playing a more likable character. House of Lies has its funny moments, and the topic is an interesting one … Cheadle is Marty Kahn, a legendary management consultant. He and his team, including Kristen Bell as his colleague Jeannie, open the series trying to help a company capitalizing on its part in the subprime scandal justify the obscenely large bonuses they’re getting.

Again, interesting stuff, but it involves a lot of sleazy behavior, from Marty, his cohorts, the companies he works with, his addict ex-wife (who’s also his biggest professional rival) and the stripper who pretends to be Marty’s wife (and then has sex in a bathroom with the actual wife of his client). Did I mention all this unpleasant behavior happens in just the first episode?

Still, House of Lies has its moments, and enough of them to keep watching — Cheadle is flawless as fast-talkin’, cocky Marty, in a Jeremy Piven-as-Ari Gold way, and in episode two, there’s a funny subplot involving guest star Cat Deeley.

11:29PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live
Charles Barkley hosts the first new SNL of the year, with musical guest Kelly Clarkson.

8PM, SUN | VH1
Mob Wives
– Yeah, yeah, yeah, the brawl at Renee‘s party continues, but let’s be honest, we really all just want to know more about Big Ang, right?.

8PM, SUN | FOX
The Simpsons
– Homer lands a talk radio show and then endorses Ted Nugent for President.

9PM, SUN | FOX
Family Guy
– Meg and … Quagmire?! Ewwwwwwwww.

9PM, SUN | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
The Firm
– The book became a movie, and now it becomes a TV show, with Josh Lucas taking over for Tom Cruise as Mitchell McDeere. We pick up with the attorney and his wife a decade after the events of the movie, and, despite the fact that the series starts off slowly, there’s still much drama in the McDeeres’ lives.

9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife
– A couple whose divorce was handled by Lockhart/Gardner sues the firm, claiming their breakup was egged on so the lawyers could benefit financially from the case.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL, SUN | PBS – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Downton Abbey
– It’s back for another season, and it’s not too late to jump into this Emmy-winning … make that Emmy-sweeping … British drama. Check out my quick catch-up guide at TheWrap.com for those who still don’t know what all the fuss is about.

9PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK
Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off
– Each team has to make four desserts, including one with a secret savory ingredient.

9PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of Atlanta
– Kandi wants to be a country singer now? Whuuuuut?

9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Shameless
– Fiona gets a job at a local bar after her breakup with Steve, while Frank uses Liam as collateral for a gambling debt.

10PM, SUN | BBC AMERICA AND LOGO
Absolutely Fabulous
– Edina and Patsy return (yay!) for a trio of new episodes that kicks off with “Identity,” in which Saffy comes home from prison with her cellmate: Patsy’s drug dealer, who wants Patsy to cough up the huge sum of cash she owes.

10 and 10:30PM, SUN | HISTORY – SERIES PREMIERE
Cajun Pawn Stars
– The Pawn Stars spin-off is set in a Louisiana pawn shop, run by a man named Big Daddy, who trades in things like jewelry. And donkeys. Really.

10PM, SUN | OWN – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Oprah Presents Master Class
– The Big O chats with Jane Fonda, who talks about her celebrity-filled childhood, her activism and her own Hollywood and entrepreneurial careers.

11PM, SUN | BRAVO
Watch What Happens: Live!
Andy Cohen stars hosting his aftershow five nights a week, and adds in a bigger variety of pop culture guests (i.e., not just stars from Bravo reality series).

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On a new Cops (Sat., 8PM, Fox), Spokane police have to shoo away a couple getting frisky in a stranger’s yard;
– Back-to-back episodes open the 8th season of Dog Whisperer (Sat., 8 and 9PM, Nat Geo Wild);
The Graham Norton Show (Sat., 10PM, BBC America) guests include Gerard Butler, Noel Gallagher and Doctor Who buddy Karen Gillian;
Matt Lauer interviews Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais on Dateline NBC (Sun., 7PM, NBC);
– Emma runs for public office on Once Up a Time (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– On Baseball Wives (Sun., 9PM, VH1), Jordana tries to form an alliance with Anna;
– Bree plans to kill herself, Susan prepares to go to New York and Tom prepares to stay in town after Lynette ‘fesses up about what she’s been involved with on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
Gator Boys (Sun., 9PM, Animal Planet) is a new reality series that follows a Florida duo who remove alligators and other scary animals from residential areas … yes, very Billy the Exterminator-ish;
– The team has to fake a hostage crisis to get out of a tight spot when a heist at a government office goes bad on Leverage (Sun., 9PM, TNT);
– New My Fair Wedding With David Tutera on WE (Sun., 9PM);
– A genius is murdered with an unusual weapon on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Cullen and Lily are thrown together by a railroad deadline on Hell on Wheels (Sun., 10PM, AMC);
Pan Am (Sun., 10PM, ABC): yep, it’s still on the air;
– On Californication (Sun., 10:30PM, Showtime), it’s season five and a few years have passed as Hank is in NYC, but hoping to return to L.A. He gets the opportunity to move back to the other coast, where he finds his daughter is dating a guy who’s a lot like him.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – October 31, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

1AM (TUESDAY) | TV LAND
Roseanne
Halloween – It’s a marathon of every Roseanne Halloween episodes, kicking off with the 1991 episode that included a guest appearance by George Clooney‘s Booker.

8PM | VH1
Basketball Wives
– The ladies all head to Hawaii for some rest and relaxation, but it all hits the fan when they start talking and realizing the reason they’re always fighting is because Jackie is always stirring the pot.

8PM | CBS
How I Met Your Mother
– Ted finally reunites with The Slutty Pumpkin, who looks a lot like Katie Holmes. Because she is.

9PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
– Yep, they’re showing the late Russell Armstrong, as he threatens to sue one of his castmates. Is this the episode that makes you stop watching?

10PM | CBS
Hawaii Five-0
– A drifter who puts a curse on Danny looks a lot like Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund. Because he is.

10PM | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
Rock Center with Brian Williams
– Ted Koppel and Harry Smith are among Williams’ cohorts in this new newsmagazine, the network’s first in 20 years. One of the first reports is on a U.S. town that has a negative unemployment rate.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s a Halloween-themed dance night on Dancing With the Stars (8:30PM, ABC);
– A CEO becomes sick just after deciding to move his company to China on House (9PM, Fox);
– Trick? Nah, it’s definitely a treat when Comedy Central airs “The Nightman Cometh” as part of its four-episode marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM);
– On Enlightened (9:30PM, HBO), Amy convinces Levi to go away with her for the weekend, but she’s disappointed when neither of them can leave the past behind;
– On Castle (10PM, ABC), Beckett has to rescue Castle and his mommy after they’re taken hostage in a bank robbery.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jimmy Fallon;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Mindy Kaling;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Neil MacGregor;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Jesse Eisenberg;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Justin Bieber;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Pee-wee  Herman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Heidi Klum;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Zooey Deschanel;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Thievery Corporation (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – October 21-23, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, FRI | STARZ – SERIES PREMIERE
Boss
Kelsey Grammer‘s recent campaign of nastiness towards nearly equally unsympathetic ex-wife Camille has overshadowed some of the buzz for Boss, which is a shame, because, well, Grammer is really fantastic in it. He plays Tom Kane, mayor of Chicago, who finds out he has a neurological disease that will eventually debilitate and kill him. He keeps it a secret and goes on about his ruthless business of running the city and maneuvering relationships with his cold wife and estranged daughter. As Starz’ best original series since Party Down, it’s definitely worth checking out.

9PM, FRI | PBS
American Masters: Pearl Jam Twenty
Cameron Crowe, who made one of the best movies ever – Singles – and included the members of Pearl Jam in the cast, is behind this documentary, which celebrates the Seattle band’s 20th anniversary with fresh video footage (including Eddie Vedder dancing with Kurt Cobain), concert clips and interviews with the band.

9PM, FRI | THE CW
Supernatural
– Clever Buffy reunion alert: Charisma Carpenter guests as a witch who unleashes her anger, and powers, on a small town when she finds out her husband (guest star James Marsters) is cheating on her.

10PM, FRI | CBS
Blue Bloods
– While Danny tries not to let work interfere with a romantic weekend he and Linda have planned, Jamie goes deep undercover in a crime family.

8PM, SUN | ABC – SERIES PREMIERE
Once Upon a Time
House alum Jennifer Morrison plays a woman who gave up a child for adoption years earlier and is later found by the boy and asked to accompany him to Storybrooke, a town where fairytale characters like Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) live. The effects and characters are whimsical, I guess, but pilot episode is a mess that never makes clear what the show is really going to be about. Still, worth a look and judging for yourself.

9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Dexter
– Deb holds her first official press briefing, while Homicide begins to uncover the reasons behind Travis and Professor Gellar’s sick plot.

9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife
– When a key witness commits suicide, Alicia has to go to killer Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) for help.

9PM, SUN | AMC
The Walking Dead
– Rick continues to try to help save Carl, which leaves it in Shane’s hands to try to get past the walkers and retrieve some desperately needed medical supplies.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Homeland
– The powers that be want to push Brody as a national hero, but his flaky behavior may tarnish their plans.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Reunion, Part 2 Teresa and Caroline continue to trash their friendship in the final part of the season three reunion.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Michael invites a new doc (guest star Eriq La Salle) to join the practice on A Gifted Man (Fri., 8PM, CBS);
– Michael arouses Nikita’s suspicions when he tries to help an ex-girlfriend who’s in danger on Nikita (Fri., 8PM, The CW);
– The CSIs are on the case when a paroled man, the brother of a young basketball whiz, is suspected of murder on CSI: NY (Fri., 9PM, CBS);
– Writer Toure is among the guests on Real Time with Bill Maher (Fri., 10PM, HBO);
– On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the competition continues in Thailand;
– Ghost stories inspire cool, elaborate cakes on Challenge (Sun., 8PM, Food Network);
– Nucky thinks he may be about to leave his opposition behind on Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE) takes its craziest turn yet, as a bride tries to feed her groom drugged brownies, which accidentally fall into the hands (and bellies) of her family, too;
– Lynette hits a singles bar on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– On CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS), Horatio protects a Mexican police woman whose husband has been murdered;
– Ray and Tanya whip up a plan to get rid of a difficult client on Hung (Sun., 10PM, HBO);
Kathy Griffin and Kelly Ripa are among the judges on Iron Chef America (Sun., 10PM, HBO);
– On Dirty Soap (Sun., 10:30PM, E!), Kelly returns home to the Poconos and has a dramatic run-in with her ex-fiancée.

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – October 15-16, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | AMC – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
The Walking Dead
– So. Good. We’ve waited quite a while for the follow up to those first six episodes, and the show doesn’t lose a step with the season two premiere, full of tension, drama, thrills, gore, the continuing love triangle and one of the grossest, by which I mean cool, scenes you will ever see on TV (you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it). Also not to be missed: the premiere of Talking Dead (11:59 p.m.), the new Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow that will air each week after the new Walking Dead eps, and Walking Dead A to Z, the alphabetical guide to all things Dead I wrote this week at TheWrap.com.

11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live
What’s Your Number? star Anna Faris hosts, and Degrassi alum/rapper Drake makes his first appearance as musical guest.

8PM, SUN | DISCOVERY
iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World
MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman host this special that pays homage to the many innovations of the late Apple co-founder and how they have impacted the world.

9PM, SUN | ABC
Desperate Housewives
– Lynette thinks Tom may be dating, and Bree thinks Danielle’s new business may not be as wholesome as she’s hoped.

9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Dexter
– Dexter comes face to face with someone he idolized as a teen. Just think about the kind of person Dexter would idolize as a young, aspiring serial killer …

9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife
– Alicia volunteers for a case, but one of her witnesses turns out to be the prime suspect.

9PM, SUN | TV GUIDE
TV Guide: 100 Moments That Changed TV,
Part 4 The Real World and The Simpsons episodes are among the shows that provided seminal TV moments in this penultimate installment of the TV Guide miniseries.

10PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– A special Halloween-themed episode finds candy, chicken feet and some, ahem, unusual meats, in the mystery baskets.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Homeland
– Carrie and her team investigate a potential Al Qaeda attach on American soil.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Reunion, Part 1 – Finally. After three seasons of watching Teresa act like a creep, the women call her on her nonsense. The Teresa vs. Caroline showdown: not to be missed.

10:30PM, SUN | E!
Dirty Soap
Galen and Jenna argue about having another baby, while Nadia and Brandon attend Fashion Week in New York, where he walks in one of the shows.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Puppies vs. Babies: Cutest of the Cute (Sat., 10PM, Animal Planet): Perhaps the most brilliant idea for a reality show ever, right?;
– On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the teams compete in underwater and rock-climbing;
– The gang re-does the home of a family whose child with dwarfism will be able to use everything in the new home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
Gayle considers selling the Gatsby on the season finale of Jerseylicious (Sun., 8PM, Style);
– The remaining contestants visit their mentors’ homes on The X-Factor (Sun., 8PM, Fox);
– On Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– A fistfight breaks out during a bachelorette party on Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE);
Tim takes his first trip on the Death Road on IRT: Deadliest Roads (Sun., 9PM, History);
24 alum Carlos Bernard (Tony!) guest stars as Horatio’s new nemesis on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Ray worries his new client may be his old student on Hung (Sun., 10PM, HBO).

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