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Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – August 27-28, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, SUN | NGC
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview
– Previously unseen video footage and other exclusive materials from the George W. Bush Presidential Library are included in this rare chat with the former President – in fact, the only interview he granted to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 – as he talks about his personal experiences on 9/11 and the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

11:30AM, SAT | FOOD NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
The Pioneer Woman
Ree Drummond, the city girl-turned-country wife and Pioneer Woman blogger, comes to TV. In the first ep, she whips up some hearty comfort food, including country fried steak and mashed potatoes.

9PM, SAT | BBCA
Doctor Who
– The show’s back with new episodes, starting with “Let’s Kill Hitler,” in which The Doctor meets up with Adolf Hitler in 1930s Berlin.

9PM, SUN | MTV
MTV Video Music Awards
Lady Gaga opens the 28th annual VMAs, where Britney Spears is getting a special honor and Adele, Beyonce and Bruno Mars are scheduled to perform. There’s also no host this year, which could be fun, or could be a disaster. Either way, the VMAs feel underwhelming as a pop culture event this year, no? Here’s hoping Gaga does something entertaining, meaning more interesting than a meat dress and more compelling than yet another copycat of something Madonna did in the ’80s.

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– In the final scene of Sunday’s fantastic episode (yeah, I know, they’re always fantastic), you’ll see why Dean Norris, as Walt’s bro-in-law Hank, MUST be a contender for the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy next year. Must. Be.

10PM, SUN | HBO
Curb Your Enthusiasm
– In “Car Periscope,” Larry and Jeff consider a new investment opportunity. Yep … this was a Kramer idea.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
– The opening of Lauren‘s cosmetic shop brings Jacqueline and the ever-bratty Ashley together, while Teresa gets a surprise when her brother comes to her book signing.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Gail counsels Laura, an 18-year-old who’s already racked up credit card debt on Princess (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– The Ronnie/Situation throwdown continues on Jersey Shore (Sun., 7PM, MTV);
– Eviction nominees are revealed on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– The bakers whip up surfing-themed goodies on Cupcake Wars (Sun., 8PM, Food Network);
– On Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE), one ‘zilla thinks her bridesmaid is trying to steal the groom, while another fights with her fam and then smashes her groom’s video game system;
– Patti Stanger guest stars as Teri’s high school enemy on Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime);
– Tony and Lisa spread the ashes of a deceased fellow driver along the Dalton on Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
– Sterling asks Nate and the gang to swipe a nuclear reactor from a skyscraper in Dubai on Leverage (Sun., 9PM, TNT);
– On True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO), Sookie has to rescue Bill, leading Marnie to rethink her big plan;
– An ex of Callie’s arrives with a big surprise on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– Ari gets some unsettling news from his divorce attorney on Entourage (Sun., 10:30PM, HBO).

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – August 20-21, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– Jesse helps Mike out in a big way, but it definitely isn’t going to make you feel like our guy Jesse is a bit safer. In fact, quite the opposite. Meanwhile, Walt does something nice for Walt Jr. that’s going to put Skyler in a bad place, and re: that Walt and Skyler reunion … oh, Walt.

11:30AM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
Sandwich King
Jeff Mauro, the winner of the recently-concluded 7th season of Food Network Star, stars in this new series, in which he says he can make a meal out of any sandwich and any sandwich into a meal. It would be Joey Tribbiani’s favorite show.

8PM, SUN | DISCOVERY CHANNEL
Curiosity
Maggie Gyllenhaal host this naughty special that explores why, as George Michael sang, sex is natural and sex is fun, for women. Why Maggie Gyllenhaal as hostess of this particular special, you might ask … have you seen the trailer for her new movie, Hysteria? You should.

9PM, SUN | NGC
The Liquid Bomb Plot
– The producers of Locked Up Abroad created this fascinating a frightening special about the summer 2006 thwarted terrorist attack that involved more than a dozen people who planned to blow up 10 airplanes bound for North America, using liquid explosives carried in soda bottles. Undercover agents’ surveillance footage and interviews with the officials involved in stopping the plot are included. And warning: You are going to hate going to the airport even more after watching.

10PM, SUN | HBO
Curb Your Enthusiasm
– Larry meets a woman he likes; the problem: his old nemesis, Rosie O’Donnell, likes her, too.

10PM, SUN | TLC
My Collection Obsession
– Hey, they put Kate Plus 8 and LA Ink out of their misery, so there’s that. So now, TLC seemed to be fully embracing their obsession TV genre with shows like this latest entry, which includes a 16-year-old who collects vacuum cleaners.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Teresa and Melissa behave badly (surprise) at Kathy‘s party, while Teresa’s financial problems escalate and Jacqueline tells her bratty daughter, Ashley, she’s finally had enough.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Talihina Sky
– This documentary on Kings of Leon details their religious upbringing and wild rock star lives now, which is particularly timely given that recent meltdown in Dallas by lead singer Caleb Followill.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Eviction nominees are revealed on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– On Food Network Challenge (Sun., 8PM, Food Network), the bakers make extreme dinosaur cakes that roar and move;
– A bride gets upset with a four-year-old wedding party member for wearing a tiara on Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE);
– The patients graduate on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (Sun., 9PM, VH1);
– On Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime), Jane represents a woman who lost her life savings at a casino and wants to sue to recover her funds;
Alex surprises Hugh with a Christmas present on Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
– Nate and the team have to recover a stolen heart, meant for a sick teenager, on Leverage (Sun., 9PM, TNT);
– R&B diva Jill Scott performs in France on the hour-long special Live in Paris: Jill Scott (Sun., 9PM, Centric);
– Marnie plans another attack against the vampires on True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– The new reality series Big Easy Brides (Sun., 10, WE) follows the nuptials that take place at a New Orleans quickie wedding chapel;
– On The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E), a man is found dead at a bar at beach, with a giant diamond ring in his pocket;
– Drama tries to get Dice to come back to Johnny’s Bananas, and Vince tries to do damage control with a Vanity Fair interview on Entourage (Sun., 10:30PM, HBO).

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – August 13-14, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– Tonight’s tension-filled episode is Breaking Bad, writers and cast, at its best. When Jesse (Aaron Paul) goes MIA, Walt (Bryan Cranston) fears the worst has happened, and acts accordingly where Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) is concerned. The situation also leads Walt to make an emotional phone call that results in a surprising family affair. And speaking of families, Walt’s ego gets the better of him during a dinner with Marie (Betsy Brandt) and Hank (Dean Norris), and that, more than Gus or Mike (Jonathan Banks), may be Walt’s undoing …

9PM, SAT | BBCA
Doctor Who: Best of the Doctor
– The hour-long special celebrates all things Matt Smith from seasons 5 and 6.

8PM, SUN | ABC
CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock
Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts are among the country stars scheduled to perform.

9PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK – 7TH SEASON FINALE
Next Food Network Star
– One of the three finalists is eliminated, and then the final two film pilots for what would be their Food Network series upon winning.

10PM, SUN | HBO
Curb Your Enthusiasm
– Jeff tries to land Ricky Gervais – who guest stars – as a client, and Larry takes a time out from being a social assassin to play hero.

10PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
The Great Food Truck Race
– Eight new gourmet food trucks begin the race cross-country – and for the $100,000 prize – in Malibu, before heading off to Vegas, baby, Vegas.

10PM, SUN | TLC
High Stakes Sweepers
– Remember the crazy couponers? Sooooo two months ago. The new obsessives on TLC are people who spend 60 hours a week – for reals – entering contests.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Teresa‘s kids have a playdate with Melissa‘s kids, and guess who – the kids or the adults – behave more maturely. And, Ashley gets a surprise visit from her father, which, perhaps, will finally shed some light on why she’s such a spoiled, nasty brat.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Gail tries to perform a financial makeover on a make-up artist who’s in credit card debt and personal debt to the tune of $20K on Princess (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– Potential evictees for the week ahead are named on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– It’s hard to choose the bridezilla-iest bride ever on Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE), but Suzy, the tantrum-tossing bride in tonight’s ep? She’s mean;
Dr. Drew discusses post-rehab plans with his patients on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (Sun., 9PM, VH1);
Kathy Griffin drops in on Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime);
Lisa loses two wheels and still manages to make it into town on Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
– Back-to-back new episodes of Leverage (Sun., 9 and 10PM, TNT) find the team taking on a scamming funeral director and a con artist with a family history of conning;
– Jessica has a housing problem on True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– Jim and Callie get romantic again on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– Ari tries to get under Mrs. Ari’s skin by taking a date to Bobby Flay‘s restaurant on Entourage (sun., 10:30PM, HBO).

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – August 6-7, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– I would say that things are heating up for Walt and Jesse, but really, when aren’t they? Jesse’s behavior does bring some unwanted attention to he and Walt, while the Cartel makes a serious move (again, not that they’re ever not serious) and Walt and Skyler practice their card skills as they prepare to tell the “truth” about where their sudden financial uptick originated.

5AM, SAT | HALLMARK CHANNEL
I Love Lucy Marathon
– August 6 would have been Lucille Ball‘s 100th birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate than by tuning in to Hallmark’s weekend-long marathon of I Love Lucy, her classic 1951-57 sitcom.
Must-see episodes:

– “L.A. at Last!” (Sat., 8AM), in which Lucy has to don a fake nose (which catches on fire) to meet William Holden (the episode has been cited as Lucille Ball’s personal favorite);
– “Lucy in Palm Springs” (Sat., noon), in which Lucy and Ethel meet Rock Hudson in Palm Springs;
– “Harpo Marx” (Sat., 1PM), in which the beloved Marx Brother guest stars and recreates the famous Duck Soup mirror scene with Lucy;
– “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (Sat., 9:30PM), featuring the classic grape-stomping scene.

11PM, SAT | COMEDY CENTRAL
Michael Ian Black: Very Famous
– Skydiving and his kids’ lame trick-or-treating gear are among the topics the funny guy discusses in this performance, filmed at the Trocadero Theatre in Philly.

8PM, SUN | FOX
Teen Choice Awards
Kaley Cuoco hosts, One Republic and Jason Derulo perform and celeb presenters and attendees include Jason Bateman, Cameron Diaz, The Biebs, Robert Pattinson, Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tyra Banks.

9PM, SUN | WE
Bridezillas
– Where does a frustrated (read: crazy) bride turn when her hair trial goes badly? She takes it out on the one person who so clearly deserves her ire: the person who dares to offer her water on her wedding day (read: super crazy).

9PM, SUN | TNT – 1ST SEASON FINALE
Falling Skies
– Tom stays at camp to protect the civilians when the resistance fighter launch a major attack against the aliens, who might finally reveal their motives.

9PM, SUN | CBS
Same Name
Mike Tyson, boxer, swaps lives with Mike Tyson … male nurse.

10PM, SUN | VH1
Behind the Music: Adam Lambert
– Friends, family and the American Idol runner-up himself are interviewed for this BTM.

10PM, SUN | HBO
Curb Your Enthusiasm
– The social assassin – that’s who Larry would be if he were a superhero! – is back in action, as Larry thwarts a buffet line-cutter. But not everything goes so well for him, as his excuse for getting out of volunteer work has very, ahem, moving consequences.

10PM, SUN | ANIMAL PLANET – SERIES PREMIERE
Hillbilly Handfishin’
– People swim (ha!) to Oklahoma to experience noodling, a.k.a. handfishing, a.k.a. that really stupid thing of sticking your paw inside a hole to catch a fish, without knowing for certain what’s inside that hole. Hmmm, if only there were some sort of catching device they could use to go fishing …

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
– It’s New Year’s Eve, and everyone’s resolutions seem to involve ticking off their relatives.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
James McAvoy and Liza Minnelli visit the Graham Norton Show (Sat., 10PM, BBCA);
– Eviction nominees are revealed on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– On Food Network Challenge: Renaissance Festival Cakes (Sun., 8PM, Food Network), chefs make cakes, uh, inspired by renaissance festivals;
– On Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime), Jane’s mom gets arrested when she uses the emergency exit on an airplane;
Hugh has to rescue Rick when his truck breaks down. Again. On Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
Next Food Network Star (Sun., 9PM, Food Network) cheftestants compete in Iron Chef battles;
– Andy has a date with Holly on True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– Jim investigates when a high school teacher and coach (who was also a mentor to Jeff) is murdered on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– The fourth season finale of In Plain Sight (Sun., 10PM, USA) finds Mary’s work yet again interfering with her life, and, this time, Brandi’s wedding;
Kim Coates, a.k.a. Sons of Anarchy‘s Tig, guest stars as Vince’s old nemesis Carl Ertz on Entourage (Sun., 10:30PM, HBO).

 

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 1, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10-11:30PM | THE HUB
Jump the Shark Night
– Here it is, the three-part Happy Days episode that launched a pop culture phenomenon. In the “Hollywood” episodes, The Fonz (Henry Winkler) heads to California to become a big star, but he’s nearly tripped up by that iconic water ski jump over a shark. Kudos to The Hub for scheduling the perfect mini-event to coincide with sister network Discovery Channel’s Shark Week!

Five quick facts about the “Hollywood” episodes:
1 – They kicked off Happy Days‘ fifth season;
2 – Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica star Lorne Greene (the original Commander Adama!) makes a cameo appearance in “Hollywood”;
3 – Part 1 of the “Hollywood” storyline introduces Scott Baio as The Fonz’s cousin, Chachi Arcola (Wa wa wa!);
4 – Fonzie’s obnoxious foe, the one who challenges him to jump the shark: The California Kid, played by actor James Daughton, who would go on to play obnoxious Omega House president Gregory Marmalard in Animal House;
5 – Good sport Henry Winkler, while guest-starring on Happy Days pal Ron Howard‘s Arrested Development, poked fun at his “jumping the shark” moment by actually jumping over a dead shark.

PS – That Fonzie jumping-the-shark toy in the photo? You can get it here.

6AM | TCM
Summer Under the Stars
– TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars month-long event (in which a different star’s films are highlighted each day) starts this year with the movies of Marlon Brando.

8PM | ABC – 7TH SEASON FINALE
The Bachelorette
– Fair warning: three hours (two-hour finale plus the After the Final Rose wrap-up) straight of this sniveling Bachelorette and her dudes is gonna take out more than a few brain cells. But if you’ve been watching this far, you kinda have to see it through to the end, right?

8PM | AMC
Mob Week
– Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who knows a thing or two about taking on the mafia, hosts this week-long marathon of great mob-themed movies, starting with the greatest one of all, hands down, The Godfather, and continuing with The Godfather II (Aug. 2, 8PM); The Untouchables (Aug. 3, 8PM); and GoodFellas (Aug. 6, 8PM).

8PM | ENCORE – MINISERIES PREMIERE
Moby Dick
– This two-night miniseries (it concludes tomorrow night at 8PM), premieres on what would have been author Herman Melville‘s 192nd birthday … so, Happy Birthday, dude. The stellar cast in this adaptation of Melville’s 1851 classic includes William Hurt as captain Ahab, Ethan Hawke as Starbuck, Gillian Anderson as Mrs. Ahab and Donald Sutherland as Father Mapple.

9PM | TNT
The Closer
– Capt. Raydor (guest star Mary McDonnell) continues her audit, which leads to a recommendation Brenda is not going to like.

9PM | DISCOVERY – SHARK WEEK PREMIERE
Rogue Sharks
– A rundown of historic shark attacks provides a look at whether or not sharks deliberately stalk humans as their snacks.

9PM | SYFY
Warehouse 13
– Pete’s (Eddie McClintock) ex-wife (who may or may not looks exactly like Jeri Ryan) shows up with plans to get remarried (not to him, no worries Pete and Myka fans), but an artifact may put a dent in her nuptial plans.

10PM | LOGO
The A-List
Austin tries to prove he’s not an embarrassing lush by, of course, throwing a cocktail party. I love this show so, so much, and yes, am completely aware that that thing about the brain cells dying also applies here.

10PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New York City
Reunion, Part 2 – The throwdown continues as Andy Cohen hosts the second half of the season four reunion, in which Jill, Ramona, Alex and the gang continue to snipe at each other about the many ways  they wronged each other in the just-concluded season.

10PM | DISCOVERY – SHARK WEEK PREMIERE
Summer of the Shark
– 2009 was not a good time to be hanging out at the beaches off Australia, unless perhaps you enjoyed the possibility of being attacked by a shark.

10PM | SHOWTIME
Weeds
– When Nancy Met Heylia (again) … it’s not a happy reunion, let’s just say.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Star Jones‘ ex, Al Reynolds, inserts himself into Basketball Wives (8PM, VH1) again, as he sets up Jen on a blind date;
– On Eureka (8PM, Syfy), Carter has to solve a bank robbery, lest the town float away;
– The competition is down to 13 on Hell’s Kitchen (8M, Fox);
– Amy uncovers Adrian’s scheme on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– Season 7 of The Bad Girls Club kicks off in New Orleans (9PM, Oxygen);
Buddy bakes a cow cake on Cake Boss (9PM, TLC);
– On Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick), Anya continues to make bad boy choices;
– It’s the weekly four-episode marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Comedy Central (9PM);
– Rosen and the tea, meet an autistic woman who may help them thwart a terrorist attack on Alphas (10PM, Syfy);
Ronald Reagan‘s high school yearbook is among the goodies on back-to-back Pawn Star$ (10 and 10:30PM, History);
– Awesome 24 alum Annie Wersching guest stars on Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT);
– Adam’s actions jeopardize Cathy’s new gig on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Harrison Ford;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Freida Pinto;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Tony Hsieh;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): James Franco;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Ryan Reynolds, Sheryl Crow and Matt Nathanson;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Aaron Paul, Jon Favreau and Colbie Cailat;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Howie Mandel;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Lou Dobbs and Cory Monteith;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Ferguson is in Paris all week, and tonight, tours the Eiffel Tower;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Paul Feig (REPEAT).

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