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Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – February 5-6, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

3PM, SUN | ANIMAL PLANET
Puppy Bowl VII – The commercials may not be as memorable, but the starting lineup is infinitely more adorable than in today’s other big game. Animal Planet’s annual puppy football game is back with even more squeal-inducing cuteness, as the precious puppies on the field are joined by chicken cheerleaders, kittens at halftime, hamsters in the stadium flyover blimp and the all-new Puppy Cam, which provides a true dog’s-eye-view of the action on the field. The fun atmosphere of the festivities (which will be repeated until 3AM) aside, the event also serves as a reminder of the great pets that are available for adoption, as all the puppies participating, as well as the kittens and chicken cheerleaders, are from animal shelters.

11AM, SAT | OXYGEN
Gleekend Marathon – From 11AM to 11PM, Oxygen unspools Glee episodes, including “The Power of Madonna” (noon), “Britney/Brittany” (3PM) and “The Rocky Horror” (6PM).

10PM, SAT | PLANET GREEN
Boomtown – In back-to-back new episodes, the townsfolk are still finding new ways to profit from the oil supply, but they also begin to find out how the influx of oil drillers is going to be a drain on their other resources.

10PM, SAT | CMT
CMT CrossroadsThe Pretenders and Faith Hill are the latest rock/country pairing to get together for a performance, with this one talking place live in Dallas, as part of the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam.

10PM, SAT | CNBC
Til Debt Do Us Part – As cool as it would be to have host Gail Vaz-Oxlade visit some American couples and perform her financial makeover magic, I’d miss hearing the Canadians talk about their “hydro” bills.

11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live – Cast alum Dana Carvey returns to host at his old Studio 8H stomping grounds, with Linkin Park as musical guest and, just guessing, the Church Chat lady on tap.

6PM, SUN | FOX
Super Bowl XLV – Game kick-off is at 6:30, but tune in for the pre-game hubbub, as Christina Aguilera sings the national anthem, Glee star Lea Michele belts out America the Beautiful, and Keith Urban, Maroon 5 and the Blue Man Group also get in on the pre-game action. The Black Eyed Peas, meanwhile, perform at halftime (with “surprise” guests Slash and Usher … surprise), and there’s also that little matter of a football game between the Steelers and Packers

9PM, SUN | NBC
Dateline NBCTom Brokaw interviews Aron Ralston, whose 2003 hiking adventure was depicted by James Franco in the Oscar-nominated flick 127 Hours. Ralston not only talks about his harrowing self-amputation, but updates Brokaw on his life now, as a husband and father.

9PM, SAT | FOOD NETWORK
Food Network Challenge – How Valentine-y: Four chocolatiers create cocoa backdrops that will serve as the locale for a grand proposal at the end of the hour.

AFTER THE SUPER BOWL, SUN | FOX
Glee – The Glee gang puts a New Directions spin on Michael Jackson‘s Thriller.

Super Bowl alternatives:
– The Style Network airs the “Jersey Bowl,” an all-day marathon of Jerseylicious episodes (Sun., 6AM-10PM, Style);
– The entire first season of My Life as Liz unfolds in an MTV marathon (Sun., 6AM-11AM);
Ghost Hunters marathon (Sun., 9AM-9PM, Syfy);
Law & Order: SVU marathon (Sun., 10AM-midnight, USA);
Basketball Wives marathon (Sun., noon-7PM, VH1);
– A Degrassi marathon! (Sun., noon-11PM, TeenNick);
– The Jersey Shore marathon (Sun., noon-6PM, MTV);
1000 Ways to Die marathon (Sun., 1PM-midnight, Spike);
– A marathon of Brick City (Sun., 4PM-midnight, Sundance);
My Fair Wedding with David Tutera marathon (Sun., 4-11PM, WE);
Worst Cooks in America marathon, ending with a new episode (Sun., 5-11PM, Food Network);
– Four episodes of ESPN’s fantastic 30 for 30 documentary series (Sun, 5:30-10PM, ESPN);
Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon (Sun., 6PM-midnight, Chiller Network);
– MTV airs a Teen Mom 2 marathon (Sun, 6-10PM);
– And TV Land is running a clever marathon of holiday-themed Roseanne episodes (Sun., 7-10:30PM).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

11:59PM | CARTOON NETWORK’S ADULT SWIM
Eagleheart – The show runs a mere 15-minutes long, but fans who’ve been tickled by Chris Elliott‘s uber-goofy sensibilities since the all-too-short-lived class Get a Life will appreciate his newest goofy comedy. Elliott stars as U.S. marshal Chris Monsanto, he of the ridiculous blond wig and addiction to vengeance. Vengeance against who? Vargas, the man who has killed every one of Monstanto’s partners. Monsanto puts the big baddie in his place in tonight’s opener, and then, in a development that tells you all you need to know about the silliness that’s to come, he nurses Vargas back to health … so he kill him the right way later on.

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory – When Sheldon gets some negative feedback from his students via the Twitterverse, he turns to Penny for acting lessons to make him a better teacher.

8PM | NBC
Community – Abed and Jeff try to include a loner student in their fun when they plan a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but it’s another loner – Pierce – they should really be worried about.

8PM | THE CW
Vampire Diaries – Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) daddy issue in tonight’s episode: Her father, John Gilbert, returns to town.

9PM | FOX
Bones – When a man is murdered, disguised as a scarecrow and left in a remote field, Booth and Brennan have to work quickly to solve the crime, before an impending storm disturbs the evidence. And their suspects in the creepy crime: his wives, all three of them; turns out dude was a polygamist, married to three sisters.

9PM | CBS
CSI Are the rumors true? Could William Petersen be making a brief return tonight as Grissom? He certainly factors into the mama drama (and mama-in-law drama) in tonight’s episode: Marlee Matlin guests as Grissom’s ex-girlfriend, a deaf professor who works at the college where Grissom’s mom also teaches, and where Grissom’s wife, Sara, has to investigate the murder of a faculty member.

9PM | NBC
The Office – Michael goes MIA after he makes Jim stop at a gas station bathroom, where Mr. Halpert leaves him when he gets an emergency phone call from Pam’s mom.

9:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation – On a show full of scene stealers, Chris Pratt, as resident shoeshine stand owner Andy, is one of the best, and most subtle. Tonight, Andy turns to newbie Chris (Rob Lowe) for advice on how to win April back, while Leslie gets advice on her time capsule project from guest star Will Forte.

10PM | FX
Archer – Has our favorite animated spy group been Madoff-ed? Malory decides to sell ISIS after she’s wiped out in a Ponzi scheme.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore – Will Sammi and Ronnie make it through this episode without another crying/screaming breakup/meltdown? Probably not, but Ronnie has bigger issues to deal with.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s the sixth audition episode for this season of American Idol (8PM, Fox);
– It’s a safe bet that there’s nothing sweet about the gingerbread house obstacle on tonight’s Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– Ed (William Shatner) gets jealous when a wealthy guy (guest star Lee Majors) wants to date Rosemary on $#*! My Dad Says (8:30PM, CBS);
– The Chief is unimpressed with Bailey’s efforts to integrate social media into the OR when she Tweets live from the operating room on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Season four kicks off on Million Dollar Listing (9PM, Bravo);
– Alex asks for Nikita’s help when she’s asked to kill a prince at a party, but when Division finds out Nikita’s present, Michael is ordered to kill her on a new Nikita (9PM, The CW);
– On Police Women of Cincinnati (9PM, TLC), Colleen brings down a drug dealer who’s operating in a public park, while Mandy helps a single mom whose ex-boyfriend is threatening her with a gun;
Duran Duran, Kid Rock and Jason Derulo perform at the Super Bowl Fan Jam 2011 (9PM, VH1);
Duff and the crew make cakes for the New York Rangers and Medieval Times on Ace of Cakes (10PM, Food Network);
– Six teens are put into tiny cells in a South Carolina prison in hopes of deterring them from continuing their wicked ways on Beyond Scared Straight (10PM, A&E);
– Jane is taken hostage by a murder suspect who wants t prove his innocence – by replacing the murder rap with a kidnapping charge? – on The Mentalist (10PM, CBS);
– Season four of Ultimate Factories premieres with visits to the factories that make the Dodge Challenger (10PM, NGC);
Howard Stern is Dave‘s guest on The Late Show With David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS);
– And Episodes star Matt LeBlanc chats with Craiggers on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson (12:37PM, CBS).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Restaurant: Impossible – Sure, it’s already been done, and is still being done on Fox’s Friday nights, in fact, by Gordon Ramsay, but don’t write this Food Network version of Kitchen Nightmares off. Gordo’s antics have worn thin, especially since many of his makeovers seem to revolve more around his own ego than around helping out struggling restaurant owners. But Restaurant: Impossible host Chef Robert Irvine not only appears to be invested in helping his clients first and foremost, but he performs some pretty impressive menu, decor and attitude makeovers on a tight $10,000 budget for each episode. Tonight, Robert heads off to Rascal’s BBQ & Crab House in New Castle, Delaware, where he’s dismayed to find a filthy kitchen, mounds of garbage and very few customers. Let’s just say the Rascal’s folks will test his budget and his patience.

8PM | FOX
American Idol – First round auditions continue in Austin. Steven Tyler‘s first round creepiness in flirting with 16-year-olds also continues in Austin.

9PM | HISTORY CHANNEL
Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide – Seeking to prove – or disprove – once and for all the existence of Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch.

9PM | FOX
Human TargetTony “Buster Bluth” Hale is back as bumbling P.I. Harry. Here’s hoping that Arrested Development movie happens soon, because we don’t get to see enough of that guy.

9PM | TLC
My Strange Addiction – Tonight’s subjects: A woman addicted to cleaning her house and another woman who’s obsessed with collecting rocks. Nope, both of those things still seem perfectly normal compared to last week’s sex doll guy.

10PM | CBS
Blue Bloods – An undercover counterterrorism agent is shot and Frank (Tom Selleck) assigns the investigation to the only man he knows he can trust: His son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg). But because the agent was trying to infiltrate a sleeper cell and Frank doesn’t want to blow his cover, Danny can’t tell anyone what he’s investigating.

10PM | SYFY
Face Off – For tonight’s challenge on this fun special effects makeup competition series, the contestants have to do full body makeup presentations. And yes, the Face Off host is Sheridan Crane.

10PM | MTV
I Used to Be Fat – So much good TV, way too much of it on at 10PM. Like this inspiring weight loss series, which focuses on teens like Daria, a lonely girl whose attempts to shed extra pounds would get a big boost if only she had her mother’s support.

10PM | BRAVO
Top Chef: All-Stars – Creating a three-course Italian meal is the challenge, and the contestants have some tough guest judges to impress in Isaac Mizrahi and The SopranosLorraine Bracco.

10:30PM | A&E
Storage Wars – What makes this show so compelling? The big personalities, sure, but I think we’re also truly fascinated by stuff … the stuff people will pay good money to store, and the stuff that people will abandon, even though they once paid good money to store it. In tonight’s episode, those aforementioned big personalities head to Las Vegas to scope out new old stuff.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– A fascinating installment on how the brain really works includes Penn and Teller explaining how the brain processes visual info, while Mo Rocca shares what he learns about mind control on Nova scienceNow (8PM, PBS);
– On Man v. Food: The Carnivore Chronicles (9PM, Travel Channel), Adam visits Katz Deli in New York City, a.k.a. the place where Meg Ryan really enjoyed her sandwich in When Harry Met Sally;
– A billionaire (guest star Colm Feore) uses his cash, and his well-paid attorney, to derail a charge against him of sexually abusing a teenage girl on Law & Order: SVU (10PM, NBC);
– Erica tries to get over her breakup with Ethan, while Dr. Tom wants to talk about Claire on Being Erica (11PM, SOAPnet);
Friends alum, and star of the upcoming ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry, visits The Daily Show (11PM, Comedy Central);
– And the always hilarious Jim Gaffigan visits The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | BRAVO
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Reunion, Part 2 – Does Kim Richards really have an alcohol problem? Did her sister Kyle really steal her house from her? Did Kim go to rehab? Will her fellow RHoBH castmates finally stop hinting at her alleged drinking problem and finally talk about it on the conclusion of the reunion? Will Lisa and hubby Ken go into detail about their bitter falling out with former houseguest Cedric? Was Cedric’s heartbreaking story about being abandoned by a prostitute mother when he was a small boy all made up? So many questions still unanswered, so here’s hoping tonight’s Andy Cohen-hosted reunion finally answers them all.

6AM | TCM
31 Days of Oscar
– The network’s annual month-long celebration of Oscar flicks kicks off with the 1933 drama Eskimo (a Best Film Editing winner) and continues with more great films than any of us possibly have time to watch, meaning this is a really good time to clear those episodes of Rubicon you’re never gonna watch off the DVR and schedule it to catch some of the many gems in TCM’s lineup.

8PM | PBS
Pioneers of Television
– This installment of the TV history series focuses on crime dramas, including The Untouchables, Mannix, Police Woman, Hawaii Five-O (the original, of course) and The Rockford Files, and interviews with Angie “Pepper Anderson” Dickinson and Rockford himself, James Garner.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Catfish s’mores, anyone? What the heck else are the contestants gonna do with an appetizer basket that includes catfish and marshmallows?

10PM | PBS
Independent Lens
– The film festival award-winning documentary For Once in My Life is in the spotlight, following the feel-good story of the Spirit of Goodwill Band,  a group of talented musicians, with various mental and physical disabilities, who get together and make great music.

10PM | FX
Lights Out
– C’mon, people. Remember what happened to Terriers, that other way underrated FX show you kept forgetting to check out? Don’t let that happen to Lights Out.

10PM | LIFETIME
One Born Every Minute
– Yes, it happens every day, but the miracle of birth still makes for compelling, funny and sometimes heartbreaking subject matter in this new documentary series, which follows the action in a maternity ward at a hospital in the C-Bus, Columbus, Ohio.

10PM | TNT
Southland
– So, that happened last week, meaning viewers are now on notice that anything can happen on this gritty L.A. police drama.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom
2 Jo wants to get back together with Kailyn, but, single teen momma or not, she can do better than him or that other doofus she was dating.

10PM | USA
White Collar
– In an episode titled “What Happens in Burma,” Peter and Neal deal with jewel smugglers to help free a diplomat’s son who’s been accused of a crime he didn’t commit. And, Paul Blackthorne is back as Julian Larssen. USA should give that guy his own show, no?

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Melrose Place alum Thomas Calabro guest stars on a new NCIS (8PM, CBS);
– Brooke and Julian are getting married on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW);
– On Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? (9PM, WE), Joan comes up with a solution for her problem with Melissa‘s attractive nanny: she picks out an unflattering uniform for Dominica;
Seriously Funny Kids is the new Heidi Klum-hosted reality series that features, as the title suggests, kids. Who are funny. Seriously (9PM, Lifetime);
– On Detroit 1-8-7 (10PM, ABC), Fitch is a murder suspect while he’s investigating a triple homicide;
– The crafty Wendy Scott-Carr tries to blackmail Peter into dropping out of the race on The Good Wife (10PM, CBS);
– When Chachi sells his soul to the devil’s nephew, the only way to get it back is for Fonzie to abstain from kissing girls for 24 hours. Classic Happy Days (10PM, The Hub);
– On Kill It, Cook It, Eat It (10PM, Current TV), everyone loves chicken nuggets … until they not only find out how they’re made, but have to actually participate in making them;
Parks and Recreation scene stealer Nick Offerman – and, oh yeah, Jennifer Aniston – visit Conan (11PM, TBS);
– And Matthew Perry and funny guy Chris Elliott chat with Dave on The Late Show With David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | NBC
Chuck – This is the episode that would have served as the season finale (and potentially even a series finale) had NBC not picked up 11 more episodes for the fourth season. As such, “Chuck Versus the Push Mix” wraps up several ongoing storylines, as Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) tries to, once and for all, thwart the evildoing Volkoff (guest star Timothy Dalton) and save Mama Bartowski (guest star Linda Hamilton) in the process. Chuck (Zachary Levi), meanwhile, teams up for a mission with Morgan (the scene-stealing Joshua Gomez), Casey (Adam Baldwin) spends quality time with his daughter (and Morgan’s GF) Alex and Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) continues to fret about the impending birth of his baby. Chuck co-creator Josh Schwartz told Hitfix.com that this episode ends with the “best 10 minutes in the show’s history,” which I’m guessing/hoping means a Sarah/Chuck wedding and/or the birth of Baby Awesome.

9AM | CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR CHANNEL
Live With Regis and Kelly – Why is Live celebrating Twitter Week? Because that’s how long it’s going to take Regis to learn how to use it. Really. But it’ll all be worth it when he can Tweet about himself in the third person.

8PM | ABC
The Bachelor – Three more bachelorettes are kicked to the curb, but hey, at least they get to see the Viva ELVIS show in Vegas first.

8PM | ABC FAMILY
Pretty Little Liars – Ezria tries to go on a date. In public. That can’t end well.

9PM | DISCOVERY
American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior – Nope, it still hasn’t sunk in to the Teutuls that, business-wise at least, they were much better off as a team. In tonight’s escalating family drama, rumors swirl that someone at PJD is about to be fired and that OCC is facing foreclosure.

9PM | TLC
Cake Boss – Is it extra stressful for a chef to make food for another chef? We’ll find out in the season four premiere, as Buddy is tasked with baking a cake for Rachael Ray.

9PM | LIFETIME
Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story – Ripped from today’s headlines! Actually, 2008’s headlines: the fact-based story of a Queens schoolteacher (Taraji P. Henson) who plays super spy to rescue her young son after he’s kidnapped by her ex-husband and taken to South Korea

10PM | THE HUB
Happy Days – It’s such a classic that it later became the soundtrack for an aspirin commercial, and tonight, The Hub airs “Potsie Quits School,” the episode in which Potsie Webber pens the catchy tune “Pumps Your Blood” so he won’t fail his anatomy exam. “Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pumps your blood …”

10PM | TV ONE
Way Black When – Beginning tonight, and throughout Black History Month in February, the nightly series (Monday through Friday) takes a look at black pop culture through the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, from Shaft and The Flip Wilson Show to Ginuwine and Mint Condition, hosted by Sinbad, Niecy Nash and Christopher “Kid” Reid, plus guests like Paul Mooney, Antonio Fargas, Todd Bridges, Johnny Gill, Tatyana Ali, Jody Watley and Bobby Brown.

11PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
The Daily ShowBill Gates in the hizzy.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s the premiere of Martha Bakes on the Hallmark Channel (11AM), Martha Stewart‘s daily TV equivalent of a “Baking 101” class;
– On The View (11AM, ABC), Camille Grammer continues to pretend not to understand why everyone hates her;
– If anyone can make couponing sound fun, it’s Nate Berkus on today’s Nate Berkus Show (check local listings for time and channel);
– Heavy
(10PM, A&E) follows the story of a woman who gained weight after a series of personal tragedies left her turning to food for comfort;
– Rickety Cricket is introduced – and begins his downward spiral – in the “The Gang Exploits a Miracle” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Comedy Central (9:30PM);
– Back-to-back Pawn Stars episodes (10 and 10:30PM, History Channel) find Rick and the gang trying to price life-size Star Wars figures, a 1763 Stradivarius violin and a 450-year-old book that once belonged to Isaac Newton;
– Amy Poehler
visits Conan (11PM, TBS);
– And, be warned, we’re about to be bombarded with The Biebs, beginning with tonight’s Justin Bieber guest spot on The Late Show With David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS).

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