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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 2, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | CURRENT  – SERIES PREMIERE
50 Documentaries To See Before You Die
Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock hosts this five-part series spotlighting the best documentaries made in the last 25 years, including, of course, Hoop Dreams, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Bowling for Columbine, The War Room and, kicking things off in tonight’s premiere, Seth Gordon‘s King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters.

9 and 9:30PM | A&E – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Billy the Exterminator
Billy hits the road this season, stopping first in Texas to track down an alligator hiding in a family’s yard, then heading off to Phoenix, where a family is being tormented by javelinas.

9PM | DISCOVERY – SHARK WEEK PREMIERE
Killer Sharks
– The special examines how a series of shark attacks off the beaches of South Africa in 1957 helped shape how humans view our water-dwelling friends. Frienemies? Enemies? OK, those scary, sharp-toothed devils that scare the bejesus out of us.

9PM | USA
White Collar
Eliza Dushku guest stars as an Egyptologist who goes undercover with Neal to investigate Matthew Keller, who ends up revealing his true motive for being in New York to Neal.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Chard and an “eight-armed ingredient” haunt the mystery baskets.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
Catelynn and Tyler come to the realization that their new freedom from their ‘rents is going to require them to get jobs. Maci and Ryan, meanwhile, fight about who gets Bentley for his birthday, while Amber melts down about being separated from Leah.

11PM | MTV
Awkward
– Jenna assumes Matt wants to take their relationship public when he invites her to a party. Uh, wrong. But that’s okay … the soiree turns out to be a good opportunity for her to bond with Jake.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The bakers on Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network) compete to whip up treats for a Miss USA celebration;
– The top 12 compete on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– Capt. Ahab (William Hurt) meets up with the whale on the conclusion of Moby Dick (8PM, Encore);
– Emily’s so stressed she ends up in the hospital on Pretty Little Liars (8PM, ABC Family);
– A retired rocker and a poker player are among the competitors on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– On Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick), both Anya and Fiona flirt with some dangerous drugs;
– On Memphis Beat (9PM, TNT), Dwight and Whitehead try to calm down a man who has taken hostages at a local bank because he claims he’s the victim of a scam;
– Annie has to tell the wife of one of her college professors (and a secret CIA agent) that the man was killed on Covert Affairs (10PM, USA);
– Interior designers Tanya McQueen and Tracy Hutson (wife of Samantha Who? and 7th Heaven star Barry Watson) star in the new reality series Picker Sisters (10PM, Lifetime), in which they travel around the country and scope out unique home furnishings.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Shaquille O’Neal and Brian Posehn;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jason Bateman;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Al Hunt;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ricky Gervais and Cat Deely;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Katie Holmes;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Kathy Griffin;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Hank Azaria;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Danny McBride;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kristen Bell;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Dan Harmon (REPEAT).

 

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 26, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
Catelynn tries to fix her relationship with her crazy mother, while Maci decides to back to her mama’s house with Bentley and Gary and Amber find out just how much trouble mom Amber is in with Child Protective Services.

8PM | ABC FAMILY
Pretty Little Liars
– Aria finds herself the object of a romantic tug of war between Ezra and Jason.

9PM | TNT
Memphis Beat
– When a body goes missing – the body of a local man known for helping at-risk children – Dwight (Jason Lee) and Whitehead rush to find it, but soon begin to learn some unflattering things about the “do-gooder.”

9PM | USA
White Collar
– Sarah tries to find out more about the treasure Neal is hiding, while Neal and Peter try to find out more about the world (the very dangerous world) of international security.

10PM | BIO
Aftermath with William Shatner
The Shat chats with Jeff Hart, one of the rescuers who helped free the Chilean miners last October.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Lamb hearts (yeeech!) are among the ingredients in the mystery baskets when four past cheftestants return for another shot at the $10,000 prize.

11PM | MTV
Awkward
– Mean girls … sigh. When nasty Sadie and Lissa take a nude photo of Jenna when she’s in the locker room, they’re the ones who get surprised by the reactions of their fellow students.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The contestants create baseball-themed cupcakes for a VIP party at Dodgers Stadium (a divorce party?) on Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network);
– The contestant pool will be down to 13 after tonight’s Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– When Daffy faces his nemesis in a bowling match, he turns to Bugs Bunny for help on The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network);
– It’s the 7th season finale of Deadliest Catch (9PM, Discovery);
– There’s fallout for Dave after his politically incorrect comments on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Annie and Joan pose as reporters while undercover to rescue a CIA op on Covert Affairs (10PM, USA);
– New Tosh.O on Comedy Central (10PM);
– The True Grime: Crime Scene Clean Up (10PM, ID) is busy cleaning up the scene involving a body found in a hoarder’s house.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Tom Felton;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Juan Williams;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Brooke Gladstone;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Julianne Moore;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Train and Olivia Wilde;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Tim Gunn;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Daniel Craig;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Steve Carell;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): William H. Macy;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Emmy Rossum (REPEAT).

 

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 19, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

11PM | MTV – SERIES PREMIERE
Awkward
– It’s one of the best teen dramedies since Freaks and Geeks. What more do you need to know?

9PM | SUNDANCE – SERIES PREMIERE
Ludo Bites America
– Chef Ludo Lefebvre and his wife travel around the country helping other chefs and opening pop-up restaurants. In the opener, they whip up tasty Southwestern dishes in Santa Fe.

9PM | USA
White Collar
– Peter and Neal help Jones search for his MIA Naval Academy classmate.

10PM | BIO
Aftermath with William Shatner
The Shat chats with Daniel Ellsberg, who talks about releasing the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War, and the aftermath of their release.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Pre-made dough, canned veggies and liquor are among the ingredients the cheftestants in this all-female episode have to use.

10PM | USA
Covert Affairs
– It’s the Auggie (Christopher Gorham) backstory episode we’ve all been waiting for, as Annie finds out the story of how Auggie lost his sight, and Auggie runs into the guy who caused him to go blind.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
Ryan demands that Maci let him meet Kyle, and we see Amber‘s downward spiral from the beginning, as she finds out she may lose custody of Leah when the police investigate her for abusing Gary.

10PM | ID – SERIES PREMIERE
True Grime: Crime Scene Clean Up
– The reality series follows a crew of crime scene cleaners … i.e., the people who come in after the CSIs do their thang. First up, the cleaners face the aftermath of a gory road rage murder.

11PM | SHOWTIME – SERIES PREMIERE
Web Therapy
– The Web comedy series comes to TV (with extra scenes), as we meet therapist Fiona Wallace (Lisa Kudrow) whose idea to revolutionize therapy is to cut sessions to three-minutes long and, maybe less intentionally, make them all about her. And expect celeb guest stars, including Meryl Streep, Courteney Cox, Jane Lynch, Molly Shannon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The top 16 from last night’s premiere compete on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– Daffy’s in the mood for love on The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network);
– Alison’s mom comes back to town and asks the girls to participate in a charity fashion show on Pretty Little Liars (8PM, ABC Family);
– Clare broke up with Eli, but she’s upset that he’s not upset enough on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– On Memphis Beat (9PM, TNT), Dwight investigates the robbery of a party boat, which leads to a reunion with his ex-girlfriend and one of his former bandmates;
– The new reality series Monster Kitchen (9PM, Food Network) finds chefs Eric Greenspan and Michael Fiorelli competing against each other to make the most creative treats each week. First up: monster doughnuts.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Seth Green;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Pervez Musharraf;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): David Carr;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Steve Carell;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Cloris Leachman, 3 Doors Down and Jenna Fischer;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Noah Wyle and Los Lonely Boys;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Kyra Sedgwick;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Justin Timberlake;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Eddie Izzard;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Brian Williams (REPEAT).

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

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | FOX
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.

8PM | FOX
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.

8PM | ABC FAMILY
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.

9PM | USA
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?

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– 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.

10PM | HISTORY – 1ST SEASON FINALE
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 – June 14, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10:30PM | COMEDY CENTRAL – SERIES PREMIERE
Jon Benjamin Has a Van
– He’s usually known as H. Jon Benjamin, or as the voice of Archer‘s Sterling Archer or the titular burger-slingin’ Bob of Bob’s Burgers, but tonight funny guy Jon Benjamin goes live-action with this funny new mockumentary series in which he drives around in his van and reports on (fake) news. First up: a man who has Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Jon’s joke on his producer, one that ends badly.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL
Live With Regis and Kelly
– Two awesome people being awesome together: Regis‘ guest co-host for the day is national treasure Betty White.

8PM | G4 – SERIES PREMIERE
G4’s Proving Ground
– The fun new series is like a MythBusters for pop culture, where memorable moments from video games, TV shows and movies are repeated (or are attempted, at least). First up: weaponry is attached to go-karts to get a Mario Kart thing going.

8PM | ABC FAMILY – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Pretty Little Liars
– In the return of ABC Family’s best series, the girls’ parents have them talk with a therapist after what happened at the church with Ian, while Caleb visits Hanna and Spencer is warned not to see Toby.

9PM | TNT – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Memphis Beat
– Dwight and the squad investigate the death of a fellow officer, which becomes an unsettling case when they realize the policeman may have been involved with some unlawful activities.

9PM | ABC FAMILY – SERIES PREMIERE
The Nine Lives of Chloe King
– Chloe King turns 16 … and then dies. But it’s a temp death, as her birthday brings her special powers given to her because she’s part of an ancient race of people being pursued by human assassins.

9PM | NBC
The Voice
– It’s the second round of quarterfinals and the performances are live.

9PM | USA
White Collar
– It’s a hidden treasure – actually, an inheritance – which Peter and Neal find by following clues on a map that was hidden inside a will.

10PM | MTV
16 & Pregnant
– Pregnant teen Taylor is considering keeping her baby, though her mom is trying to talk her into putting the child up for adoption.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Tonight’s ickiest ingredient: picked beef tongue.

10PM | A&E – 6TH SEASON PREMIERE
Gene Simmons Family Jewels
– The charm of the show – and okay, it wasn’t a lot of charm – was that the KISS singer’s family seemed surprisingly down to earth. But apparently, he goes and mucks it all up with the many women he loves to brag about, and this season may end up with another celebreality family biting the dust.

10PM | TNT – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
HawthoRNe
– Tom and Christina’s wedding day is at hand, but, of course, nothing goes smoothly. Meanwhile, previous guest star Marc Anthony officially joins the cast as Detective Nick Renata.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
America’s Got Talent auditions continue in Seattle (8PM, NBC);

– On the 3rd season premiere of Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network), contestants compete to have their cupcakes featured at the Kentucky Derby;

– On The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network), Bugs and Daffy go to a spa, but the relaxing stay turns into a competition when they both have their eye on a famous actress;

– The remaining contestants have to master basic skills like chopping apples and cooking a chicken properly on MasterChef (8PM, Fox);

Braxton Family Values wraps its first season on WE at 9PM, followed by a Wendy Williams-hosted reunion special at 10PM;

– The fleet deals with a major arctic storm on Deadliest Catch (9PM, Discovery);

– On Covert Affairs (10PM, USA), Annie competes with a Mossad agent to turn a Syrian secretary into an asset;

– Host Brian Unger investigates how politics helped determine states’ shapes, including Ohio and Missouri, on How the States Got Their Shapes (10PM, History);

– Iconic sex symbols are the topic on Love/Lust (10PM, Sundance);

Daniel gets advice from a sexpert on Tosh.0 (10PM, Comedy Central);

– In a classic, and pivotal, episode of Happy Days (10:30PM, The Hub), The Fonz moves into the Cunninghams’ garage apartment.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jeff Garlin and Curtis Stone;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): J.J. Abrams;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Janny Scott;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ryan Reynolds;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Randy Travis and Josh Turner;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Steve-O and Cheech Marin;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Ice Cube and Sarah Ferguson;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Betty White and Lauryn Hill;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Tina Fey (REPEAT);
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Todd Phillips (REPEAT).

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