Here’s what Willis, and everyone else in TV land, will be talking about in the week ahead …
1. Justified Returns!
And it’s still one of the best dramas on TV. When we meet up with Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (the Emmy-worthy Timothy Olyphant) in season two (Wednesday, 10PM, FX), he’s trying to juggle a new relationship with his ex-wife (Natalie Zea), while taking on a family of moonshiners led by plotting mama Mags Bennett (Dexter and The Riches‘ Margo Martindale) and also trying to keep tabs on his frienemy Boyd Crowder (Walt Goggins, ditto the Emmy-worthiness), who’s in a dark place after the death of his daddy in last season’s finale.
2. Another Friends-ly Return to Primetime
The good news: Two of our most favorite primetime fellas, Friends star Matthew Perry and Lost alum Jorge Garcia, return to the tube this week with the premiere of Perry’s ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine (Wednesday, 9:30PM). The bad news: Though both actors have considerable comedy skills, the show, at least the pilot, offers few laughs. Perry plays the manager of a Los Angeles sports arena (The Sunshine Center), who begins to realize he has made very few personal connections as he hits his forties. The series could have been a more straight-comedy version of Men of a Certain Age, but it doesn’t match that show’s humor or heart. Here’s hoping it gets better in subsequent episodes, because otherwise, viewers are just going to be thinking how much they’re missing that other Friends alum, Courteney Cox in Cougar Town, whose show is being temporarily pre-empted for Sunshine.
3. Parks and Recreation, Ron and Tammy
Also back for a second round this week: Megan Mullally, as the on-screen ex-wife of Parks and Recreation‘s Ron Swanson, played by Mullally’s real-life hubby, Nick Offerman. In “Ron & Tammy: Part Two” (Thursday, 9:30PM, NBC), Tom (Aziz Ansari) takes revenge on Ron for dating Tom’s ex-wife by setting up his own date with Tammy (Mullally). Let the fur, or rather bits of Ron’s trademark moustache, fly.
4. 53rd Annual Grammy Awards
Sure, no one really cares much about who wins these things anymore, except for the record companies who can slap “Grammy Winner” on the CD cases (not that anyone’s really buying CDs anymore …), but the Grammys (Sunday, 8PM ET, CBS) are still worth a drive-by viewing, just on the off chance that something interesting happens. Eminem leads all nominees with 10, Bruno Mars is runner-up with seven, and Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Lady Antebellum each have six nods, and both Eminem and Gaga are amongst the performers on the show. Cee Lo Green will also perform (a fam-friendly version, of course) of “Forget You”; The Biebs, Usher and the Karate Kid, er, Jaden Smith, perform together; so do Mick Jagger and Raphael Saadiq; and so do Rihanna and Drake. And speaking of Rihanna, not only will she and ex-BF Chris Brown both be in attendance, but they’re competing against each other for the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration award.
5. Pop Art
Behold what’s sure to be the next occureality (that’s reality shows focusing on a specific occupation, of course) trend: balloon art. Monday’s premiere of TLC’s The Unpoppables (8PM) kicks it off, as viewers meet the team from New Balloon Art, a company that fashions thousands of balloons into wearable dresses, sit-on-able couches and fantastic sculptures of everything from real humans to the Eiffel Tower.
6. Turn Off the Friday Night Lights
Sad, but true: after five seasons, it’s game over for Friday Night Lights, which airs its series finale on DirecTV’s 101 Network on Wednesday (9PM). Expect to shed plenty of tears, as the finale, set at Christmas, brings back old faces to Dillon and is said to include at least one major plot twist. For those of us non-DirecTV-ers, NBC will begin airing the show’s final season on April 15.
7. The Jersey Shore BREAK Up
As in, during Ronnie and Sammi‘s latest Jersey Shore split, coming on this week’s episode (Thursday, 10PM, MTV), Ron Ron gets so angry that he trashes some of her stuff. The preview also includes a shot of Sammi getting into a town car and supposedly leaving Seaside Heights, which would be for the best, since this tempestuous two has become as tiresome as that couple we all knew in college, the one that broke up at least once a week.
8. Saturday Night Live … with a Censor Button?
Comedian Russell Brand makes his first appearance as Saturday Night Live host this week (Saturday, 11:30PM, NBC), which should make NBC censors nervous. And, it’s a double bill of bad boys: Chris Brown is the musical guest.
9. NeNe vs. Kim, Round (I’ve Lost Count)
The Real Housewives of Atlanta season three reunion (part one) airs Sunday (10PM, Bravo), and the main event is yet again a smackdown between NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak. Thank goodness NeNe is bouncing back with Celebrity Apprentice next month … a chance to get her NeNe mojo back.
In TVScreener.com’s new week-in-preview column, here’s what Willis, and everyone else in TV land, will be talking about in the week ahead …
1. Super Bowl XLV
Steelers vs. Packers (Feb. 6, kick-off at 6:25PM ET, Fox), plus halftime performance by the Black Eyed Peas, the national anthem performed by Christina Aguilera, Glee star Lea Michele singing America the Beautiful and a whole sea of Terrible Towels.
2. Super Bowl Commercials
Among the advertisers rolling out big-budget ads (a 30-second spot reportedly costs $2.9 million) during the Super Bowl in Dallas: Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, GoDaddy.com, BMW, Chevy and Doritos, as well as clips for movies like Kung Fu Panda 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Captain America, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Thor, Super 8, Rango and Cowboys and Aliens. And, as in years past, odd celebrity pairings will be among the most buzzed about Super Bowl ads, as Roseanne and Richard Lewis star in a Snickers spot that’s a continuation of last year’s Betty White/Abe Vigoda clips, while Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne (for reals) co-star in a commercial for Best Buy.
3. Puppy Bowl VII
Puppies, kittens, chicken cheerleaders, hamsters on the flyover blimp, the Kitten Halftime Show and the debut of the Puppy Cam, with a puppy-eye-view of the action on the field, make up the most adorable special of the year, the Puppy Bowl (Feb. 6, 3PM, Animal Planet). And be sure to stick around for the post-game awarding of the MVP – Most Valuable Puppy – award.
4. A Glee-ful Super Bowl Aftershow
The Glee gang landed the cushy post-Super Bowl spot on Fox with an episodes titled “The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle.” The installment, the most expensive in the show’s history with a budget between $3-5 million, promises to deliver, with a New Directions spin on Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, a guest appearance by Katie Couric and an homage to Katy Perry‘s California Gurls video.
5. A Wayne’s World Reunion?
Hey, if Saturday Night Live can wrangle the real Mark Zuckerberg to meet up with the movie (The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg) and TV (SNL Zuckerberg impressionist Andy Samberg) versions of Zuckerberg, it’s possible that Mike Myers might pop in this Saturday night (11:30PM, NBC) when his fellow SNL alum, and Wayne’s World co-star, Dana Carvey hosts the show for the first time since 2000, right? Sure, the two aren’t actually pals in real life (as detailed in that 2008 Entertainment Weekly article that shed some unflattering light on Myers’ personal relationships with his business cohorts), but it’s not like they couldn’t both use the buzz such a reunion would stir. At the very least, we’re almost certain to see the return of the Church Chat lady.
6. Charlie’s Angels II
It’s never too early to look at next TV season, and already, one of the most anticipated series is ABC’s remake of Charlie’s Angels. Robert Wagner (awesome) has already signed on as the voice of Charlie, Dexter/Veronica Mars/Vampire Diaries director Marcos Siega will direct the pilot, Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are writing and producing the redo and Friday Night Lights alum Minka Kelly just joined Rachael Taylor (who debuts as Callie’s obstetrician in the Feb. 3 episode of Grey’s Anatomy) and General Hospital‘s Annie Ilonzeh as the new Angels.
7. This Charlie’s No Angel
A porn-watching marathon with a porn star, a briefcase full of cocaine, a trip to the hospital, another trip to rehab and a hiatus for Two and a Half Men … that’s Charlie Sheen‘s latest mess, but the headline on this Hollywood Reporter story puts it in a far better perspective: “Charlie Sheen’s Top 5 Scandals of the Past 5 Months.” The fact that his most recent skanky shenanigans have to be narrowed down to a top 5 truly does say it all.
8. Cousin Jeri?
Facts of Life and Deadwood star Geri Jewell reveals in her upcoming autobiography I’m Walking as Straight as I Can that she is gay. The actress and stand-up comedienne, who was born with cerebral palsy, became the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a primetime TV series with her performance as Blair’s cousin Jeri on Facts. Her book will be released on April 1 from ECW Press.
9. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion, Part II
They’ve obviously saved the biggest dramas for Tuesday night’s conclusion (10PM, Bravo), during which we find out exactly what happened between Lisa, hubby Ken and their former houseguest/friend Cedric, as well as the alleged Kim Richards drinking problem that most of the cast members – including Kim’s sister Kyle – have been rudely alluding to every chance they get.
10. Jersey Shore Stars: The Butts of Their Own Jokes
Last week, it was about Deena and the rumor her Ronnie-alike hook-up started about her alleged fondness for a sexual act that no amount of Ron Ron Juice could make appealing. This week, it’s all about the butt again, as Ronnie, the real one, asks Sammi to accompany him to the doctor after sharing with her that he’s got anal bleeding issues. See the clip below, which is uncomfortable to watch, not only because of poor Ronnie’s exam, but also because of the – is it glee? – with which Sammi discusses boyfriend Ronnie’s sitch. On another note, how do you know that it might be time to consider the possibility that your career has taken an unfortunate turn somewhere along the way? When it becomes necessary to use the phrase “anal bleeding” to describe a reality TV show.
In TVScreener.com‘s new week-in-preview column, here’s what Willis, and everyone else in TV land, will be talking about in the week ahead …
1. The Big O’s Big Secret
Does she really have a child? Is the guy she thinks is her father not really her father? Oprah Winfrey has promised to reveal a big family secret – one she says she herself learned only recently – on her daytime talk show on Monday (check local listings for time and channel). In what she has called the “miracle of miracles,” a teaser for the episode finds Oprah telling viewers, “I was given some news that literally shook me to my core. This time, I’m the one being reunited.” Winfrey has confirmed she had a baby as a teen, but that the child died; meanwhile infamous biographer Kitty Kelley claimed in her 2010 bio of Oprah that Vernon Winfrey, the man the media queen has known as her father her whole life, isn’t actually her dad. Of course, the Twitterverse thinks there could be something far more salacious afoot.
UPDATE, MONDAY 1:30PM: If you can’t wait, or don’t care enough to actually tune in, here’s Oprah’s big reveal from today’s show.
2. Regis Definitely Wants to Be a (Multi)Millionaire
It didn’t take long for more details to spill out on Regis Philbin‘s surprise announcement last week that he’s leaving Live with Regis and Kelly (Monday-Friday, 9AM ET, ABC), the morning talk show he hosts with Kelly Ripa. Regis insisted he wasn’t retiring, but was moving on to other ventures, and “sources,” according to TMZ.com, say it’s because Reeg was very unhappy with a pay cut ABC execs wanted him to swallow. Initial reports had Regis staying through September, but in the face of these new details (including allegations that he sorta blindsided co-host Ripa with the news), things might be pretty tension-filled at the ol’ Live studio. Will Regis address the situation, and the new rumors, on the air? Will he really stick around until the fall if things do get ookie? And who should (or can?) replace The Reeg when he bounces? Ryan Seacrest? Neil Patrick Harris? Survivor host Jeff Probst? Ripa’s affable, but kinda boring hubs, Mark Consuelos? My two fave (alleged) contenders: Wayne Brady and Bravo exec/Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen.
UPDATE, MONDAY 9:05AM: Regis is on a previously-scheduled vacay all week, so we’ll have to wait ’til next week to see if he talks about the new money drama on the air.
3. The Final Countdown
MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann is also out at his network, and his departure came even more abruptly than Regis’. We certainly have yet to hear the whole story of how his last show came about so quickly, or where he’s going next.
4. The Housewives of Beverly Hills: Reunited and It Feels So Crazy
Speaking of @BravoAndy, he has his hands full this week with part one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion special (Jan. 27, 9PM ET, Bravo). Last week’s season 1 finale featured the shocking blowout between former child star sisters Kim and Kyle Richards, plus the postscript that Kim had entered (and fled) rehab after filming on the season stopped. That is but one of the contentious relationships that will be dished on the gathering, along with, of course, the tornado of drama that is Camille Grammer.
5. David Brent Visits The Office
Hollywood types (crybaby ones) are still ticked off at Ricky Gervais because of his Golden Globes jokes, but the rest of us will finally get to see his David Brent, from the original Office U.K., meet The Office U.S. boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) on this week’s episode of The Office (Jan. 27, 9PM ET, NBC). Buzz is that the David/Michael meeting comes in the episode’s opening moments, so it may be wise to set your DVRs a few minutes early to make sure you catch it.
6. American Idle?
The “kindler, gentler” American Idol hasn’t wowed viewers yet. Last Wednesday’s season premiere was down 13 percent vs. season nine’s premiere (and a whopping 28 percent among teen viewers), while the second episode of season 10, on Thursday night, continued the drop, down 20 percent from the previous night’s ep, and 23 percent from last season’s second episode. Meanwhile, though newbie judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler did give the show a breezier vibe, Tyler also gave it a bit of a creepier vibe, as he and Randy Jackson turned into Beavis and Butthead when any remotely attractive (or non-conservatively-dressed) female entered the audition room, her age be damned. Ew. Can Idol bounce back as the season rolls along? And, save Caleb Hawley, who may just have the best potential rock star name ever, will the talent start to wow us in week two?
7. The Skinny on Skins
All the hubbub about the naughtiness of MTV’s remake of the British teen drama Skins (Mondays, 10PM ET, MTV) may be the best thing that could happen to the show, even if it has meant advertisers like Taco Bell and General Motors pulling their spots from the show. Skins U.S. lead actor James Newman definitely has potential to be a breakout star, but so far, the most remarkable thing about the show is that it’s been kinda boring, so any publicity is probably good publicity at this point.
8. Oscar Morning
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Christian Bale (The Fighter), Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and The Social Network are probably locks for nominations (and maybe even the statues themselves) as nods for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are announced Tuesday morning (8:30AM ET). The nominations announcement will stream live at Oscar.com.
9. The SAG Awards
There’s nothing people in Hollywood love more than giving awards to each other (which is why you might think they’d have a sense of humor about themselves, though, as Ricky Gervais found out, that isn’t always the case). The Screen Actors Guild Awards (Jan. 30, 8PM ET, TBS and TNT) is yet another of the elaborate events at which they’ll do that, though the national treasure that is Betty White is among the presenters, so there’s that.
10. Betty Love
And speaking of Betty White … a Sunday night CBS made-for-TV movie that doesn’t star Tom Selleck? Pass. Except for next Sunday night, when Betty teams up with Jennifer Love Hewitt (who’s not starring as a hooker mom this time) for The Lost Valentine (Jan. 30, 9PM ET, CBS), a sweet Hallmark movie about a widow who impresses a reporter with her dedication to honoring her MIA pilot husband, more than 60 years after World War II.
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]