Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – October 15-16, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | AMC – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
The Walking Dead
– So. Good. We’ve waited quite a while for the follow up to those first six episodes, and the show doesn’t lose a step with the season two premiere, full of tension, drama, thrills, gore, the continuing love triangle and one of the grossest, by which I mean cool, scenes you will ever see on TV (you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it). Also not to be missed: the premiere of Talking Dead (11:59 p.m.), the new Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow that will air each week after the new Walking Dead eps, and Walking Dead A to Z, the alphabetical guide to all things Dead I wrote this week at TheWrap.com.

11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live
What’s Your Number? star Anna Faris hosts, and Degrassi alum/rapper Drake makes his first appearance as musical guest.

8PM, SUN | DISCOVERY
iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World
MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman host this special that pays homage to the many innovations of the late Apple co-founder and how they have impacted the world.

9PM, SUN | ABC
Desperate Housewives
– Lynette thinks Tom may be dating, and Bree thinks Danielle’s new business may not be as wholesome as she’s hoped.

9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Dexter
– Dexter comes face to face with someone he idolized as a teen. Just think about the kind of person Dexter would idolize as a young, aspiring serial killer …

9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife
– Alicia volunteers for a case, but one of her witnesses turns out to be the prime suspect.

9PM, SUN | TV GUIDE
TV Guide: 100 Moments That Changed TV,
Part 4 The Real World and The Simpsons episodes are among the shows that provided seminal TV moments in this penultimate installment of the TV Guide miniseries.

10PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– A special Halloween-themed episode finds candy, chicken feet and some, ahem, unusual meats, in the mystery baskets.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME
Homeland
– Carrie and her team investigate a potential Al Qaeda attach on American soil.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Reunion, Part 1 – Finally. After three seasons of watching Teresa act like a creep, the women call her on her nonsense. The Teresa vs. Caroline showdown: not to be missed.

10:30PM, SUN | E!
Dirty Soap
Galen and Jenna argue about having another baby, while Nadia and Brandon attend Fashion Week in New York, where he walks in one of the shows.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Puppies vs. Babies: Cutest of the Cute (Sat., 10PM, Animal Planet): Perhaps the most brilliant idea for a reality show ever, right?;
– On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the teams compete in underwater and rock-climbing;
– The gang re-does the home of a family whose child with dwarfism will be able to use everything in the new home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
Gayle considers selling the Gatsby on the season finale of Jerseylicious (Sun., 8PM, Style);
– The remaining contestants visit their mentors’ homes on The X-Factor (Sun., 8PM, Fox);
– On Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– A fistfight breaks out during a bachelorette party on Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE);
Tim takes his first trip on the Death Road on IRT: Deadliest Roads (Sun., 9PM, History);
24 alum Carlos Bernard (Tony!) guest stars as Horatio’s new nemesis on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Ray worries his new client may be his old student on Hung (Sun., 10PM, HBO).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – October 13, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | NBC
The Office
Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace guest star as Andy’s ‘rents, while Josh Groban guests as his brother, and their family reunion provides so much insight into why Andy is so … Andy.

8PM | CBS
Big Bang Theory
Wil Wheaton guest stars when Leonard and Shelton attend a soiree at his house.

8PM | NBC
Community
– New roomies Troy and Abed host a housewarming, er, apartment warming, party.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– It’s dueling camping trips when Ron takes the Pawnee Rangers boys into the wild, while Leslie does the same with her all-girls troop of Pawnee Goddesses.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
Zoe Saldana is the guest judge as we get close to the season finale and the remaining designers are challenged to create a mini collection.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– It’s a family reunion when Frank’s brother shows up and reveals some family secrets, including the woman who came between the Reynolds brothers.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane thinks a dude at a political rally is about to commit a murder. And considering said dude has a gun, he might be onto something.

10:30PM | FX
The League
– Ruxin tries to get Geoffrey into a Jewish preschool.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW), Damon tries to get Jeremy to help take out the dangerous Klaus;
– The contestants pay home visits to the judges/mentors on The X Factor (8PM, Fox);
Debbie Allen guests as Jackson’s mommy on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– A young doctor is on the guys’ list on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
The Situation takes his pot stirring too far and the whole house turns against him on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– A woman with no uterus wants to have a baby on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Sarah Michelle Gellar;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Bill O’Reilly (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ken Burns (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Bill O’Reilly;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Zachary Levi;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): John Goodman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Julianne Hough;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kathy Bates;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris  Hayes.

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

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | USA – 6TH SEASON PREMIERE
Psych
– Shawn and Gus take $500 from a kid to recover his stolen Star Wars figure, but while retrieving the collectible, Shawn stumbles upon a dead body and has to fake a psychic vision to lead police to the crime scene. Lassie, of course, isn’t buying Shawn’s ruse, which leads him to hook Mr. Spencer up to a lie detector machine … how will Shawn get out of this one?

8PM | ABC
The Middle
– Sue decides to try out for cheerleading, while Brick’s school days are spent trying to defend himself against his class bullies.

8PM | NBC
Up All Night
– Chris is very popular at Amy’s playgroup, but Reagan worries she’s not being a good mom because of her hectic schedule.

8:30PM | ABC
Suburgatory
– George is a hit with the PTA, which doesn’t make one of his neighbors very happy. Meanwhile, Tessa turns the school newspaper into a tabloid.

9PM | ABC
Modern Family
David Cross continues his guest stint as the obnoxious city councilman who may just inspire Claire to run for officer herself.

9:30PM | ABC
Happy Endings
Megan Mullally guest stars as Penny’s mom, who’s hiding a secret from her daughter.

10PM | CBS
CSI
– When a former Vegas mayor gets shot at the Mob Museum, the CSIs have to take a little lesson in Las Vegas history to find clues.

10PM | BBC AMERICA
Luther
– Luther begins to have deep feelings for Jenny, while pursuing a serial killer who doesn’t seem to have a motive for his handiwork.

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
South Park
– The boys play a game of “Texans vs. Mexicans,” and guess who wants to be the U.S. border patrol agent? Of course, Cartman.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– An unhappy castaway on Redemption Island spills tribal secrets on Survivor (8PM, CBS);
– The remaining contestants go to the judges’ homes for mentoring on The X Factor (8PM, Fox);
LaToya Jackson and the Kardashian sisters guest star on America’s Next Top Model (9PM, The CW);
– Hotch thinks Jack is being bullied on Criminal Minds (9PM, CBS);
– Harry and Oliver defend a teen cyberbully on Harry’s Law (9PM, NBC);
– On MythBusters (9PM, Discovery): is it possible to walk a straight line while blindfolded?;
– On American Horror Story (10PM, FX), Ben sees a patient who has nightmares about being cut in half;
– On Extreme Couponing (10PM, TLC), a Colorado family of five gets by on student loans and extreme couponing while the dad attends engineering school;
Grey’s Anatomy alum T.R. Knight guest stars on Law & Order: SVU (10PM, NBC) as a family suspected of being a serial rapist;
– The whole house throws down after Frank brings someone home and has sex throughout the house on The Real World (10PM, MTV);
– Pastry chef Francois Payard is the guest judge as the dessert artists are challenged to turn carnival food into fancy cuisine on Top Chef: Just Desserts (10PM, Bravo);
– On Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time (10:30PM, Comedy Central), skits include an alien paternity test and a cleaning product for very harsh stains.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Michael C. Hall;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Ron Paul (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): John Lithgow (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Bill Clinton;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): J.R. Martinez, Zooey Deschanel and Fountains of Wayne;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Idris Elba and Rob Lowe;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Michael Phelps and Alan Cumming;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Jim Parsons;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Butch Vig.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – October 11, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

11PM | MTV – SERIES PREMIERE
Chelsea Settles
– 23-year-old Pittsburgh native Chelsea moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of a career in the fashion industry. Her extra challenge: she’s plus-sized, meaning she’s trying to break into an industry that is not so accepting of anyone who doesn’t wear size 6 or smaller. But I dare you not to root for Chelsea to succeed. Double dare you, even!

8PM | ABC – SERIES PREMIERE
Last Man Standing
Tim Allen‘s back in this sitcom which is exactly like Home Improvement, if a) Tim Taylor had daughters instead of sons and b) wasn’t funny.

8PM | CBS
NCIS
– Abby (Pauley Perrette) learns something surprising about her family when she volunteers to be a kidney donor.

9PM | WE
Downsized
Laura and Todd consider going to counseling to work out their financial disagreements, while Bailey worries about paying for her senior photos.

9PM | THE CW
The Ringer
– Gemma asks for a favor that could ruin Bridget’s life, and Henry gets some bad news about his writing career.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Among the mystery basket goodies: edible flowers.

10PM | MTV – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
I Used to Be Fat
– The inspirational show where teens try to get healthy and change their lives before heading off to college returns with Josh, a 310-pound teen who wants to lose weight so he can play sports with his family.

10PM | NBC
Parenthood
– Sarah and Mark fans, turbulence ahead: Seth (John Corbett) returns.

10PM | FX
Sons of Anarchy
– Oh, Juice. That missing package of drugs is causing all kinds of problems for the club, as is the pressure Juice is under from new lawman Roosevelt. Meanwhile, Clay’s plan for Tara is making for some very scary potential storylines in Charming, i.e. the show has gotten soooo good in the last few weeks.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Mike Epps hosts the sixth annual Hip Hop Awards (8PM, BET);
– The players try to win letters from home on The Biggest Loser (8PM, NBC);
– Someone gets kicked to the curb on Dancing With the Stars (8PM, ABC);
– Hetty reveals some details to Callen about his past on NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS);
– On Unforgettable (10PM, CBS), when a crime scene is destroyed by a fire, Carrie’s memory of the scene provides the only clues for a murder investigation.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Merle Haggard and Will Arnett;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Hugh Jackman (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Mark Cuban (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Matthew Broderick;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Julie Bowen;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Don Rickles;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Samuel L. Jackson;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Steven Wright;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Roy Choi.

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – October 1-2, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – 6TH SEASON PREMIERE
Dexter
– The new season gets off to a great start, as Dexter worries about Harrison’s spiritual future while looking for a good preschool for his son, and also goes to his high school reunion, where he’s got a little Dexter-style karma to deliver. He also unexpectedly finds himself as one of the most popular guys among his old classmates, which leads to several delightfully funny moments.

Not so funny: the season’s new baddies, played by Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks. They are up to some gruesome adventures, and as great as EJO is as a heroic space commander, he’s even better as a warped, homicidal religion professor.

CHECK LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL, SAT | PBS – 37TH SEASON PREMIERE
Austin City Limits
Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly kick off the new season which will also include episodes with Raphael Saadiq, Widespread Panic, The Decemberists and Gillian Welch.

9PM, SAT | COMEDY CENTRAL
Weird Al Yankovic Live!: The Apocalypse Tour
– Multiple costume changes and a whole string of familiar hits are the highlights of any Weird Al concert. This one, taped in July, includes classics like “Fat,” “Amish Paradise” and “White & Nerdy,” as well as his latest parody, the Lady Gaga-skewering “Perform This Way.”

9PM, SAT | BBC AMERICA – 6TH SEASON FINALE
Doctor Who
– “The Wedding of River Song” is the name of the season ender and it occurs on the day The Doctor is supposed to die.

11:30PM, SAT | NBC
Saturday Night Live
– The fabulous Gilmore Girls/Bridesmaids/Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy makes her first appearance as SNL host, with musical guest Lady Antebellum.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME, SUN | PBS
Prohibition
Ken Burns‘ latest documentary, this three-part history of Prohibition kicks off with “A Nation of Drunkards,” about the initial movement towards temperance.

8PM, SUN | FOX
The Simpsons
– Superintendent Chalmers’ tales of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders get Bart all fired up, and when Chalmers gets axed from his job, Bart employs Teddy tactics to get Chalmers’ job back.

9PM, SUN | CBS
The Good Wife
– Alicia tries a case against a tough British attorney, played by guest star Eddie Izzard.

9PM, SUN | FOOD NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
Halloween Wars
– The four-part series features five teams, comprised of candy makers, cake designers and pumpkin carvers, who create tricked out Halloween displays for a shot at winning a $50,000 grand prize.

9 and 10PM, SUN | TV GUIDE NETWORK
100 Moments That Changed TV
– Parts one and two of this five-part miniseries counts down TV events like the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger, the Menendez brothers’ trial, the O.J. Simpson car chase and the classic Apple 1984 commercial.

10PM, SUN | HISTORY – SERIES PREMIERE
Around the World in 80 Ways
Survivor alum Boston Rob Mariano and Dennis Anderson attempt to travel around the globe, using any method of transportation they can. In the premiere, that means bus, horse, zipline, motorcycle and water taxi to get to Peru.

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– “End Times” is the penultimate episode of season four, and if you think Walt and Jesse have been painted into a corner so far, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

10PM, SUN | SHOWTIME – SERIES PREMIERE
Homeland
Claire Danes stars in this terrific new thriller from 24 showrunner Howard Gordon. Danes is CIA operative Carrie Anderson, who’s suspicious when long-missing Marine and POW Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) turns up after eight years. He’s got big secrets for sure, but is one of them what Anderson thinks it is, that he’s been flipped by Al Qaeda and is part of some planned terrorist plot against the United States? And, Carrie has a secret of her own … she’s taking medication for some, uh, emotional issues.

10PM, SUN | HBO – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
Hung
– Ray and Tanya look for financing for their business, while Lenore finds a new, ahem, resource, that may make her their biggest competition.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
– The gang’s still in Punta Cana, and they’re all still getting on each other’s nerves. Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, the bratty Ashley considers getting a tattoo.

11PM, SUN | BRAVO
Watch What Happens: Live
– Given all the Real Housewives of New Jersey drama that has unfolded this week, it should make for an interesting evening in the clubhouse when Caroline Manzo stops by to chat with host Andy Cohen.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Gail counsels a 30-year-old woman whose shopping addictions have left her homeless more than once on Princess (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– On The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS), the teams face a double elimination in Indonesia;
– The Gomez family in Utah get an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
Making Monsters (Sun., 8PM, Travel) is the new reality series that follows animatronic monster makers Ed and Marsha Edmunds;
– The third season premiere of Tough Love (Sun., 8PM, VH1) finds matchmaker Steve Ward moving the action to Miami as he tries to help a new crop of women meet potential mates;
– A hurricane hits Stoolbend on The Cleveland Show (Sun., 8:30PM, Fox);
– Jimmy tries to make a deal with Arnold Rothstein on Boardwalk Empire (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– On Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE), one bride’s strict, weird wedding rules includes no chewing gum for anyone;
– Lynette and Tom’s kids take advantage of their parents’ guilt about their separation on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– Brian ingests some powerful pharmaceuticals on Family Guy (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– The creepy cliff roads, a truck on the fritz and the language barrier slow the truckers down on IRT: Deadliest Roads (Sun., 9PM, History);
– The CSIs investigate the murder of a gigolo on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– On Dirty Soap (Sun., 10PM, E!), Nadia‘s mom reveals she’s not too happy about the Nadia/Brandon pairing.

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