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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – February 1, 2012


American Idol
– Preliminary auditions move to Portland, Oregon. Five things about Portland: 1) The city’s nickname is The City of Roses; 2) The Simpsons papa Matt Groening is from Portland; 3) Also from Portland: Beverly Cleary, the author of the beloved Ramona Quimby and Henry and Ribsy books; 4) Home of Powell’s Books = 68,000 square feet of books; and 5) And, of course, it is the home of and inspiration for Portlandia.

Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials
Boomer Esiason and Jillian Michaels co-host this look back at the all-time best SB commercials, and a look ahead at the best ones we’ll see this Sunday.

10PM | ID
Dark Minds
– Are the 2006 murders of Atlantic City prostitutes the evil handiwork of the same person who later killed prostitutes in Long Island?

10PM | MTV
Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Exes
Wes is pining for Mandi, while one contestant gets wicked drunk and causes serious issues.

10PM | USA
Royal Pains
– Hank’s back probs lead Dr. Van Dyke to fill in for him.

Top Chef: Texas
Pee-wee Herman‘s the guest, and the chefs have to create “imaginative” pancakes he’ll love. Love so much that he wants to marry them.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Julian has a big case of the guilts on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW);
– On Hot in Cleveland (10PM, TV Land), Elka talks about basketball with Baron Davis, while Susan Lucci visits Victoria.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ringo Starr;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Brad Pitt;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ameena Matthews;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Howard Stern;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Daniel Radcliffe;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): John Krasinski;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Tim Tebow;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): William Shatner;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Glenn Howerton.

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – January 28-29, 2012


David Milch (Deadwood) + Dustin Hoffman + Dennis Farina + Nick Nolte + Michael Mann = a slowly developing, horse-racing track-set drama about Chester “Ace” Bernstein (Hoffman), who did a prison stint – in the name of protecting some friends of his? – and is now out and looking to get payback for those actions. Hoffman in a regular TV role should be enough to prove the show is at least worth checking out, and the other impressive names should be enough to make you give it at least a few episodes to pull you in, even if it doesn’t grab you – pun intended – right out of the gate.

The Pregnancy Project
– Based on a true tale (and book), the movie unfolds the story of a top student who pretends to be pregnant to test how teen moms are really treated.

– The documentary follows the career of “Broadway Joe” Namath as NFL superstar and celebrity, including his Super Bowl III upset win and his 1985 induction into the NFL Hall of Fame … and that drunken 2003 incident with ESPN’s Suzy Kolber, who talks about the Namath come-on in the doc.

John Mulaney: New in Town
– The Saturday Night Live writer and producer (and co-creator of Stefon) talks about his days as a big drinker, his new girlfriend and his ongoing love of all things Law & Order.

8PM, SUN | TBS and TNT
18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Mary Tyler Moore gets the Lifetime Achievement Award from her old TV hubby Dick Van Dyke, and the usual TV and movie suspects are up for top honors from their peers. Wish list of winners: Melissa McCarthy (for anything she’s ever nominated for, by the way), Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston and Betty White.

Cupcake Wars
– What does an I Love Lucy cupcake look like? We will find out with tonight’s installment, in which the competitors try to win the chance to supply goodies for an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the classic TV comedy.

8PM, SUN | VH1
Mob Wives
– While Drita continues to pursue her divorce, her BFF Carla continues to make a major enemy of Ramona. Meanwhile, VH1 follows the episode with the premiere of Mob Wives: The Sit Down, a new aftershow series, at 9.

The Simpsons
– Bart is one sorry Simpson when he and Milhouse get into a fight and he has to beg his BFF for forgiveness.

Downton Abbey
– Vera wreaks havoc on Bates and Anna, while Matthew and William are in a dangerous battle on the war front.

The Good Wife
– Will and Alicia’s relationship is a mystery no more.

Real Housewives of Atlanta
– The women arrive in Cape Town and, of course, the trip of a lifetime takes a back seat to the petty drama they could have (and will again) address back in the ATL.

9:30PM, SUN | VH1
The TRL Decade
Carson Daly, of course, is among those interviewed for this look back at the decade-long reign of TRL, the daily MTV series that was hugely influential not just in the music biz, but in its general pop culture impact. Remember Mariah Carey‘s crazy ice cream cart meltdown, for instance?

Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off
– The two finalists in this cook-off series, one of the pleasant surprises among the network’s recent offerings, have to open their own restaurants to see who’ll win cash for charity.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– A 24-hour marathon of the classic detective series Mannix (Sat., 6AM, Cloo) includes an early-career guest appearance by Diane Keaton;
Cesar helps former gang members rehab their doggies’ bad behaviors on Dog Whisperer (Sat., 8PM, Nat Geo Wild);
– The U.S. Figure Skating Championships (Sat., 9PM, NBC) air live from San Jose;
– On Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry (Sat., 9 and 9:30PM, ID), back-to-back episodes of one of the best-titled shows ever;
– On Til Debt Do Us Part (Sat., 10PM, CNBC), a woman who has taught her kids to lie about her spending is confronted by her partner;
Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart guest on The Graham Norton Show (Sat., 10:15PM, BBCA);
– King Leopold is granted three wishes on Once Upon a Time (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– Napoleon gets a job on a liger farm on the ‘toon series version of Napoleon Dynamite (Sun., 8:30PM, Fox);
– On Family Guy (Sun., 9PM, Fox), Stewie’s new pal has cancer, but his parents object to medical treatment because of their religious beliefs;
– A man is murdered and the investigation reveals that 1) he has 100 kids and 2) all of them are suspects, on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Marty takes Roscoe on a business trip to San Francisco on House of Lies (Sun., 10PM, Showtime).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 6, 2012


– Last week’s episode was so sweet and awesome, in a season two or three kinda way, that it almost redeemed this disappointing final season of Chuck. Here’s hoping tonight’s episode continues that vibe, as Casey meets up with Vebanski (guest star Carrie-Anne Moss) again, and the newly not-baked Jeff starts to make some connections about the odd happenings at the Buy More.

2012 Cotton Bowl
– Arkansas vs. Kansas State battle each other (for the first time since 1967) in Arlington, Texas.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
– This two-hour tear jerker sees the team build a new home for a legally blind widow raising six kids in an Iowa farmhouse.

A Gifted Man
– The doctor becomes the patient as Michael’s colleagues have to perform emergency surgery on him.

– Nikita runs into Alex when she tries to steal Semak’s black box, while Michael tries to scope out Percy’s secret plot and Alex returns to her childhood home.

– Is a stalker the culprit when a cage fighter is murdered? The CSIs are on the case.

– Dean dukes it out with Dick Roman, while Sam tries to help a teenage girl find her MIA papa, who’s also a supernatural hunter.

10PM | CBS
Blue Bloods
– When Erin’s informant is murdered, she teams up with Danny to find the killer.

Andy Samberg guests in the opener, as a mixologist who catches the eye of Carrie.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret
– The title of the season premiere says it all: “Todd’s Terrible Day Ends and His Next Terrible Day Begins.”

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– New America’s Most Wanted on Lifetime (9PM);
– On Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys (9PM, Sundance), Brent’s behavior leads Olivia to a major decision, while Peter has a talk with his daughter about whether or not she’s being bullied at school;
Infested! (9PM, Animal Planet) … totally must-watch-TV, but totally skeevy at the same time with all the creepy-crawlies;
Deadly Women (10PM, ID) is also about vengeance-motivated murders;
– It’s the fourth season premiere of Merlin (10PM, Syfy).

And the late-night line-up:
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Kristen Bell;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Glenn Close;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Don Cheadle, Boyz II Men and David Cross;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Judah Friedlander and David Duchovny;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Michael Clarke Duncan;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Michelle Monaghan (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 12, 2011


The X Factor
– You know, that little TV show where Simon Cowell‘s going to give away $5 million? It’s getting some sort of preview during tonight’s MLB All-Star game, so stay tuned, or DVR the game.

Major League Baseball All-Star Game
– Last year’s game was the least watched All-Star Game telecast ever, so … nowhere to go but up, as the American League tries to take back the title after the National League broke the AL’s seven-game winning streak in 2010.

Pretty Little Liars
– Aria and Ezra try to deal with going public with their fling, while Emily worries that she and her buds are still in danger, Hanna gets to know Caleb better when his foster mom arrives and Spencer gets support from the most unexpected source: her ‘rents.

White Collar
– Neal’s torn: should he help the very talented teen con artist who’s making his mark throughout Manhattan, or should he stop the Neal-in-training in his tracks?

– Tonight’s cheftestants: Four British foodies, who have to work with, among other ingredients, British biscuits, a Japanese snack food and a staple of American cooking.

How the States Got Their Shapes
– The finale considers the influence of words and people’s accents on how states like New York and California.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
– Tonight’s theme: cohabitation, as Gary and Amber move in together (again), Maci considers asking Kyle to move in with her and Bentley for financial reasons and Tyler‘s mom is unhappy about his decision to live with Catelynn.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Four past champs compete with each other to make treats for the Tony Awards on Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network);
– A Philly crepes truck is featured on the 1st season finale of Eat St. (8PM, Cooking Channel);
– Daffy’s skint on The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network);
Jeff gets a new client who’s married to Styx rocker Tommy Shaw on Flipping Out (9PM, Bravo);
– Dwight heads to New Orleans (with his mom along for the ride) to talk to his dad’s killer on Memphis Beat (9PM, TNT);
– On Covert Affairs (10PM, USA), Annie and Reva are captured by Belarusian police while trying to install security cameras;
– Tom and Christina hang out with Miles’ kids on HawthoRNe (10PM, TNT);
– It’s about all things paranormal-y on tonight’s Love/Lust (10PM, Sundance);
– Tonight’s Web Redemption on Tosh.0 (10PM, Comedy Central): the boxer who got knocked out by his friend.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Tracy Morgan (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Kid Rock;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Dan Savage;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Roseanne Barr, Blake Shelton and Tom Felton;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Seth Meyers;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Norm Macdonald and Jerry Springer (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Shia LaBeouf (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Seth Green and Chris Evans;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Julie Chen;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Gale Anne Hurd (REPEAT).


Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV


Sports Show With Norm McDonald
Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds and the Masters tournament are among Norm‘s opening night topics in this new series in which, as the title suggests, the funny guy gives his unique take on the world of sports.

Check Local Listings for Time | PBS
Independent Lens
– Graffiti artist-turned-toast of the art world Jean-Michel Basquiat is the topic of this Frontline edition, which follows the Brooklyn-born artist’s life from his early days of SAMO graffiti through his friendships with Vincent Gallo and Andy Warhol, his major successes in the art world and, tragically, his heroin overdose at age 27.

Eat Street
– The new series will spotlight street food throughout North America, beginning with a grilled cheese sandwich truck in Los Angeles and the yummy Schnitzel & Things truck in NYC.

– The murder, and the murderer, of a Navy lieutenant was caught on tape, but Gibbs and company still have to identify the face of the killer, who happens to be a petty officer.

Braxton Family Values
– R&B diva Toni Braxton and her sister are the subjects of this new reality series, which, from the premiere, looks to include a looooot of sibling discord (read: catfighting).

Conspirator: The Plot to Kill Lincoln
– Another NGC special marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Conspirator tells the story of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the U.S. government, after she was convicted of being involved in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. The story also unfolds on the big screen this week in The Conspirator, the Robert Redford-directed flick starring Robin Wright as Surratt.

Deadliest Catch
– New season, two new captains.

9:30PM | FOX
Traffic Light
– Still feeling guilty about ruining Mike’s bachelor party years earlier, Adam throws him a do-over soiree, which gets predictably out of hand.

10PM | CBS
The Good Wife
– The election results are in …

Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen
– On the menu for a luau-themed celebration: short ribs and tabletop volcanoes that dispense pineapple dipping sauce.

Sinbad: It’s Just Family
– The comedian’s trying to spark a career, and marital, comeback in this reality show, which finds him moving back in with his wife, who he recently remarried.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Biggest Loser: Couples (8PM, NBC), the teams go to New Zealand, where they go skydiving and have to climb 51 flights of stairs;
– The British chef tries to makeover the food program in Los Angeles schools on the season two premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (8PM, ABC);
– Will Kirstie Alley‘s shoe fumble cost her on tonight’s Dancing With the Stars results show (9PM, ABC)?;
Frontline (9PM, PBS) takes a look at “Football High,” the very competitive – and lucrative – world of high school football;
– Techie Eric goes undercover for the first time on NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS);
– A med student gets makeover help on What Not to Wear (9PM, TLC);
– Lifetime’s new reality series Playdates (9:30PM) follows a group of NYC preschoolers in their first days at school;
– The team has to reassemble the victim when they find severed body parts on Body of Proof (10PM, ABC);
– On Fabulous Beekman Boys (10PM, Planet Green), Brent and Josh are launching new products and interacting with fans at a book signing;
I (Almost) Got Away With It (10PM, ID) profiles a quirky thief who liked to steal things like Crystal Gayle‘s tour bus;
– Amber quits her job and heads down a bad path on Parenthood (10PM, NBC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Gordon Ramsay and Hayden Panettiere;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Gov. Deval Patrick;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ray Kurzweil;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Foo Fighters and Ricky Gervais;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kristen Bell and Austin “Chumlee” Russell from Pawn Stars;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Christian Slater;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Morgan Spurlock and Emma Roberts;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ted Danson and Kenny Rogers (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Wynonna Judd;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Amanda Palmer (REPEAT).

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