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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 23, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

11PM | VH1 CLASSIC
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount
– Sept. 24 is the 20th anniversary of Nirvana‘s seminal Nevermind album, and VH1 Classic marks the occasion tonight with this 1991 Seattle concert, which has never been aired on TV before.

1PM | ABC – TV SERIES FINALE
All My Children
– Say farewell to Erica Kane (daytime diva Susan Lucci) and her fellow Pine Valleyans, who bid adieu, at least to TV land, after 41 years. The show is scheduled to live on as a Web series, but it’s still incredibly sad that, beginning next week, there will be just five daytime soaps left on the air. And when One Life to Live ends in January, just four. Sigh.

8PM | CBS – SERIES PREMIERE
A Gifted Man
Patrick Wilson is top NYC neurosurgeon Michael Holt, who becomes a more compassionate dude when his kind ex-wife begins visiting him … as a ghost. The best part of the cast is newbie Emmy winner Margo Martindale (Justified), who has little to do in the pilot. Hopefully show producers will remedy that right away.

8PM | FOX – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Kitchen Nightmares
Chef Gordo visits a restaurant in Plainfield, New Jersey, and, just guessing, is mean to its owners. And then tries to help them.

8PM | THE CW – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Nikita
– Nikita and Michael plan to use the black box to take down Division and Oversight, but new boss Amanda has other ideas.

9PM | CBS – 8TH SEASON PREMIERE
CSI: NY
– Mac and his squad flash back to the events of 9/11 on the day’s 10th anniversary.

9PM | FOX – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Fringe
– And we pick up with the Fringe team one week after Peter disappeared, with the two worlds maintaining an alliance. Reluctantly.

9PM | THE CW – 7TH SEASON PREMIERE
Supernatural
– Castiel warns Sam and Dean not to get in the way of him and his new God role, but Dean tries to convince Death to tangle with Castiel anyway.

10PM | CBS – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Blue Bloods
– Jamie gets his first undercover assignment, the new mayor asks Frank to spin a story to cover up the truth about a murder and Carrie Underwood and Tony Bennett are guest performers.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Lester Holt takes over as the new host of Dateline NBC (9PM, NBC);
– A cool headphone-cord holder is among the handy inventions on Quirky (10PM, Sundance);
Michael Moore is among the guests on Real Time with Bill Maher (10PM, HBO);
– Will Joel McHale poke fun at himself, as an Emmytone, on tonight’s ep of The Soup (10PM, E!)?

And the late-night line-up:
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Nathan Fillion and Larry Miller;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Hugh Jackman and Tony Bennett;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Ty Burrell (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Beyonce, Taylor Lautner and Florence Henderson;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Gerard Butler;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Melanie Pullen.

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

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Roast of Charlie Sheen
– Never has there been a celeb more roastable, or who provided more roasting fodder. Now, if we can all just figure out what the frick roaster Mike Tyson is saying …

8PM | ABC – 13TH SEASON PREMIERE
Dancing With the Stars
– To those DWTS fans upset about Chaz Bono‘s participation this season, eh, get over it … you’re watching a show about D-list celebrities performing dances that haven’t been hip since The Lawrence Welk Show. Bono, along with Ricki Lake, the always unpredictable David Arquette and the chance that Nancy Grace will make an even bigger ass of herself, almost makes this thing worth watching this season. Almost.

8PM | CBS – 7TH SEASON PREMIERE
How I Met Your Mother
– Back-to-back episodes open the new season, and include Robin fretting over whether or not to tell Barney she still has feelings for him.

8PM | NBC – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
The Sing-off
– Pop star Sara Bareilles joins the judging panel as eight of the 16 a cappella groups competing this season perform in the opener.

9PM | CBS – 9TH SEASON PREMIERE
Two and a Half Men
– Before he gets killed by snarky to downright mean comments during his Comedy Central roast, Charlie Sheen‘s character, Charlie Harper, officially bites the dust on Men, as Ashton Kutcher joins the cast as brokenhearted rich dude Walden Schmidt.

9:30PM | CBS – SERIES PREMIERE
2 Broke Girls
– It’s a comedy, from co-creators Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedienne Whitney Cummings, and it revolves around two broke girls, Max (Kat Dennings) and formerly rich chick Caroline (Beth Behrs), who work as Brooklyn waitresses and become roommates so they can save money to open their own cupcake shop. Because that’s such a novel idea, in New York City, these days. Anyway, is it funny? I’ve seen only the pilot, and, well, no, not yet.

10PM | LOGO
The A-List: New York
– Oh, Austin. He and Jake and trying to finalize plans for their wedding, but one of Austin’s frienemies is claiming Jake cheated on Austin, and Austin, always, is ticking off those around him.

10PM | ABC – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Castle
– Beckett fights for her life after being shot, and who’s her new precinct captain? Wily Sherry Palmer, a.k.a. 24 alum Penny Johnson Jerald (who so should have won an Emmy for her 24 gig).

10PM | CBS – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Hawaii Five-O
– After last season’s disastrous ending, McGarrett opens the season in prison for the governor’s murder, but Danny has a friend who might be able to help, and that friend looks an awful lot like Lost star Terry O’Quinn. Because he is.

10PM | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
The Playboy Club
Eddie Cibrian, he of the LeAnn Rimes love triangle scandal, stars as a 1960s Chicago attorney and Playboy Club key holder who helps a new Club Bunny when she’s assaulted by a mobster and accidentally kills him. Must see? Mmm, no, nor is it as scandalous as the pre-season hubbub might suggest, but it’s worth a look.

11:59PM | HBO
The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
– Documentarians Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato directed this special on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which airs just as the ban is repealed, effective on Sept. 20.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– If you’re one of those people who have yet to dive into the wacky world of Liz Lemon and company on 30 Rock, catch it from the beginning, every weeknight from 7-8PM, on Comedy Central;
– Carter and Jo have to deal with an attack on the presidential convoy on the fourth season finale of Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– On Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox), a winner is chosen in the ninth season finale;
– On Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9PM, Bravo), Kim‘s behavior brings up those discussions about her alleged alcoholism again;
– There’s a zombie-ish breakout in New York on Warehouse 13 (9PM, Syfy);
– History Channel has back-to-back new episodes of Pawn Stars (10PM);
– The team checks out a werewolf attack at a porn shoot on Death Valley (10:30PM, MTV).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ryan Gosling and Nicole Scherzinger;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ted Danson;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Simon Cowell;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Dr. Phil;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Bruce Springsteen (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Keith Olbermann;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Author Sarah Vowell (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 7, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | FX
Wilfred
– Remember when Wilfred dropped Ryan’s wallet at the bully’s house in the series premiere? Ryan gets it back tonight, but only because the guy, Spencer (the awesome Ethan Suplee), comes looking for him, with revenge on his mind. And once Ryan diffuses the situation, he gets a new, porn-addicted pal who, well, makes him wish he still had an enemy.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME | PBS
An American Family Anniversary Edition
– It was the original reality series, and now the 1973 documentary about the Loud family has been edited down to a two-hour special of the most compelling moments from the original 12-hour run.

9PM | CBS – 13TH SEASON PREMIERE
Big Brother
– This summer’s hamsters include eight newbies and three “notorious” duos from past seasons, who’ll be revealed in tonight’s premiere. Fingers crossed that Dr. Will and Evel Dick are among them …

9PM | USA
Burn Notice
– Michael’s bro, Nate, comes to Miami looking for Michael’s help with a case involving a widow who’s being harassed by a loan shark. That Nate … never comes for a visit without trouble in tow.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Extreme Chef
– Three chefs have to climb a mountain – carrying their cooking equipment – and then have to jump into a cold lake to catch their main ingredient.

10PM | NGC
Jurassic C.S.I.: In Living Color
– Gotta love the title of this special, which delves into the history of dinosaur pigmentation.

10PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New York City
– Not sure what Jill is up to in this episode, but it’s probably going to annoy you.

11:59PM | ADULT SWIM
Childrens Hospital
– Glenn (Ken Marino) returns from Vietnam.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Two of the top 14 are eliminated on So You Think You Can Dance (8PM, Fox);
– Tonight’s Wipeout obstacles include the Towering Flume of Doom (8PM, ABC);
– Fry quits his job and joins the police department on Futurama (10PM, Comedy Central);
Psych star James Roday guest stars on the anthology series Love Bites (10PM, NBC);
– Rebellious teens are sent away to reform school on True Life (10PM, MTV);
– The former Mrs. Rudy Giuliani, Donna Hanover, plays Louie’s real estate agent on Louie (10:30PM, FX).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jane Lynch (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Tom Hanks (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Gary Sinise (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Jim Carrey, Todd Rundgren and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kevin James and Javier Colon;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Anne Hathaway (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Eva Mendes (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Thomas Lennon, Weird Al Yankovic and Morgan Freeman (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Thomas Lennon;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Nate Corddry (REPEAT).

 

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – April 16-17, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | USA
Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe
– It’s the backstory of Bruce Campbell‘s Sam Ash, the beloved, wisecracking former Burn Notice spy guy. The movie, directed by series star Jeffrey Donovan, takes place in Colombia, where Sam becomes privy to some military corruption that leads him to reconsider his career choice.

10PM, SAT | A&E – 5TH SEASON PREMIERE
Parking Wars
Garfield! The whole PW crew is back, in Philly and Detroit, in back-to-back new episodes, beginning with an installment in which one of the Philly ticketers is stalked by a very angry ticket recipient.

5PM, SUN | A&E
Storage Wars
Marathon – A five-hour marathon of A&E’s most addictive series includes a new ep at 8:30PM.

7PM, SUN | HALLMARK
Martha’s Eggscellent Easter
– The domestic doyenne makes brunch and chocolate goodies and, of course, decorates eggs on her annual Easter special.

8PM, SUN | VH1 – SERIES PREMIERE
Mob Wives
– Real-life mobster wives and family members star in this new reality series, including the daughter of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, who returns to her Staten Island for the first time in a decade and faces people who are still angry about her gangster daddy’s decision to turn FBI informant.

9PM, SUN | NBC
The Celebrity Apprentice
– The teams have to whip up cooking demonstrations for a meat company, but, as is becoming the norm with these D-listers, tiffs amongst the team members overshadows the task at hand.

9PM, SUN | HBO – SERIES PREMIERE
Game of Thrones
– HBO’s $60 million adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Fire and Ice books kicks off the first of 10 season one episodes. The series, which has been in development at the cable network since January 2007, takes place in the fictional world of Westeros, where the continent’s noble families fight violently for control of the Iron Throne, hence the series’ nickname, “The Sopranos of Middle-earth.” Among the series stars: Peter Dinklage, Aidan Gillen, Mark Addy, Sean Bean and Lena Headey.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
The Borgias
– Lucrezia is bummed that her real mother has been banned from her wedding, but her brothers certainly make sure the family’s presence is known during the wedding reception.

10PM, SUN | TV LAND
TV Land Awards
– The ninth annual awards take place in New York City for the first time, and the Big Apple drew arguably the best gathering of TV and stars ever, including the cast of Family Ties, which received the Fan Favorite Award; the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, which was honored for its 35th anniversary; the cast of The Cosby Show, which received the Impact Award; the cast of The Facts of Life, which receives the Pop Culture Award; Hall and Oates, who receive the Music Icon Award; and Regis Philbin, who rightly is honored with the Legend Award. There are even more stars in attendance, including Liza Minnelli, who opens to show with a spirited version of – what else? – “New York, New York.”

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The new series Filthy Cities (Sat., 8PM, Discovery) unfolds the more unkempt past of major cities like, in back-to-back premiere episodes, London and New York;
– Adam visits various sources of Easter candy treats on Kid in a Candy Store (Sat., 8:30PM, Food Network);
– Danielle Panabaker plays a young Amish woman who questions her future on the eve of her wedding in The Shunning (Sat., 9PM, Hallmark);
– A new Unwrapped episode also breaks down Easter basket goodies, including Peeps (Sat., 9PM, Food Network);
– Gail counsels a couple whose debt is affecting their plans to have a baby on back-to-back new Til Debt Do Us Part installments (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– “I Cannot Deal With Your Psycho Behavior” is the title of tonight’s The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– The contestants have to make their version of a Happy Meal, which will be judged by actual kids, including Bobby Flay’s daughter, on America’s Next Great Restaurant (Sun., 8PM, NBC);
Derek Jeter guest stars on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– Chefs make sugar sculptures inspired by Rube Goldberg on the Food Network Challenge (Sun., 8PM, Food Network);
– The arctic, grasslands and jungles are the topics of back-to-back Human Planet installments (Sun., 8PM, Discovery);
– Claudia Joy helps a fellow Army wife who’s facing deportation on Army Wives (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime);
– The new reality series Audrina (Sun., 9PM, VH1) follows The Hills star as she deals with her large (crazy) family and her (allegedly) budding career;
– Susan’s got gambling issues and Lynette becomes a shopping addict on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– Mayor West may become Peter’s brother-in-law on Family Guy (Sun., 9PM, Fox);
– The wives invite their non-polygamist friends to dinner on Sister Wives (Sun., 9PM, TLC);
– Hollywood wannabes work at the Sunset Strip restaurant Saddle Ranch (Sun., 9:30PM, VH1) in this new reality series;
– The team’s tracking a Bonnie-and-Clyde-ish killer duo on Breakout Kings (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– Roommate drama is at the center of a murder in which a college student who found dead in a hot tub on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Rosie’s ex, Jasper, comes under suspicion on The Killing (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
Police POV (Sun., 10PM, TruTV) shows police work from the cops’ perspective thanks to special camerawork;
– On The Real Housewives of Orange County (Sun., 10PM, Bravo), everyone’s gossiping about how Alexis and Jim are in the middle of a foreclosure drama.

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – March 19-20, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | HBO – SERIES FINALE
Big Love
– It was compelling from the get go, got really great in season three and, well, has limped along with some truly over-the-top soapy storylines in the past two seasons. But as the Henricksons bid TV land adieu Sunday night, I have to admit that I’m dying to see how the writers are going to wrap up so many loose ends in just 70 minutes. Will Bill go to jail? Will Home Plus go under? Will Ben get Heather back, and will he repeat his father’s polygamist ways? Will Barb join a new church and drop her four-way marriage? Will Alby come back to finish off Bill? And who’s the victim of the big death that’s been rumored all season?

10PM, SAT | HBO
The Pee-wee Herman Show
on Broadway – Miss Yvonne, Jambi, Magic Screen, Cowboy Curtis, Chairry and Globey are all in the house in this stage version of the beloved ’80s TV series Pee-wee’s Playhouse (which was based, of course, on the Pee-wee stage show). The hubs and I saw the show on Broadway last fall, and it definitely gave me a case of the warm fuzzies to see the Playhouse gang reunited.

8PM, SUN | NBC
America’s Next Great Restaurant
– The contestants learn that, if they can’t stand the heat in the Chipotle lunch rush, they may have to get out of the kitchen. They also have to come up with a slogan for their eateries, as well as a signature dish.

9PM, SUN | LIFETIME
Army Wives
– Claudia Joy and Chandler battle on her first day on the job, Tanya worries about just how little she knows Jeremy and Roxy thinks she and Pam are going to end their friendship when their kids get into a fight.

9PM, SUN | NBC
The Celebrity Apprentice
– When you hear that one team questions its leader’s mental competency, you already know it involves Gary Busey, right?

9PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped: All-Stars
– In part three of the all-star tournament, famous chefs, including chocolate whiz Jacques Torres, have to whip weird baskets of ingredients into tasty eats.

9PM, SUN | BIO
10PM, SUN | TLC
Dueling Charlie Sheen Specials Charlie Sheen: Bad Boy on the Edge (BIO) and Charlie Sheen: On the Brink (TLC) … take your pick which one to watch, if you really think there’s something you don’t already know about the ongoing Sheen meltdown.

9PM, SUN | FUSE
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Darlene Love and Alice Cooper are among the inductees at the 26th annual ceremony, broadcast from the Waldorf Astoria in NYC.

9PM, SUN | ABC – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Shark Tank
– The show in which real-world business moguls offer financial backing for regular Joe and Jane entrepreneurs returns for another season. Up first: sisters who want to start a children’s dance company and a Southern seafood chef.

10PM, SUN | A&E
Breakout Kings
– In a brilliant little crossover, Prison Break star Robert Knepper reprises his role as baddie T-Bag, who escapes and goes on a spree, challenging the team to catch him before he flees to Canada.

10PM, SUN | ABC – 1ST SEASON FINALE
Detroit 1-8-7
– Fitch freaks out when his NYC nemesis, Albert Stram, hits Detroit.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
The Waltons star Richard Thomas stars in the romantic time-travelling drama Time After Time (Sat., 9PM, Hallmark);
Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper are the guests on the Graham Norton Show (Sat., 10PM, BBCA);
Gail helps two sets of new parents navigate their credit card debt on back-to-back new Til Debt Do Us Part (Sat., 10PM, CNBC) episodes;
The Amazing Race continues in China (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
A.J. Cook and Jennifer Morrison star as sisters who are separated when one goes missing under suspicious circumstances in the fact-based movie Bringing Ashley Home (Sun., 8PM, Lifetime Movie Network);
Ruby continues to look for clues about her childhood with her high school reunion on the horizon (Sun., 8PM, Style);
– Hanks gets a surprising call from Becca and Karen just as he’s about to hit the road on Californication (Sun., 9PM, Showtime);
– Chris and Meg switch roles with their ‘rents for a week on Family Guy (Sun., 9PM, Fox);
David has to tone down the big ideas of a bride who wants her own royal wedding on the season four finale of My Fair Wedding With David Tutera (Sun., 9PM, WE);
– With the police investigation ongoing, Kody decides to take the fam on a trip to visit his relatives in Wyoming on Sister Wives (Sun., 9PM, TLC);
– Horatio and the team are on the case when a delivery driver and a woman on his regular route are murdered on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
Tamra tries to repair her friendship with Vicki on The Real Housewives of Orange County (Sun, 10PM, Bravo);
– It’s the series premiere of Ultimate Cleaners (Sun., 10:30PM, TLC), a show about a cleaning company that tackles major messes, like restoring a home nearly destroyed by Katrina in New Orleans.

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