Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | CURRENT – SERIES PREMIERE
4th and Forever
– The documentary series covers Long Beach Polytechnic High School, named by Sports Illustrated as the Sports School of the Century in 2005, and the high school that’s sent more players to the NFL than any other high school in the country (Marcedes Lewis and DeSean Jackson among them). However, in 2009, the school had its worst season in 15 years and lost to its local rival for the first time in more than two decades. The series, then, covers the school’s football players as they struggle with the pressure to succeed not just for the school and the community, but also for themselves, since playing well and earning a scholarship is the only way many of them can get out of that community and a future that may be filled with drugs, gangs and violent crime. PS – Among the other alumni from Long Beach Poly: Tony Gwynn, Billie Jean King, John Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Cameron Diaz and Carl Weathers.

8PM | HBO
How to Die in Oregon
– Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the documentary focuses on Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, which has allowed legal physician-assisted suicide since 1994.

8PM | FOX – 8TH SEASON PREMIERE
So You Think You Can Dance
– Another season kicks off with two rounds of auditions.

9PM | CNBC
Code Wars: America’s Cyber Threat
– The special includes an investigation of the nasty computer virus Stuxnet, hackers who’ve tried to break into U.S. government computers and the uber-secret National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

9PM | MTV
Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside
– Gaga sits down for an hour-long chat about her childhood, her new album and her favorite city, NYC.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
24 Hour Restaurant Battle
– Among the contestants’ projects: a gastropub and a German beer hall.

10PM | MTV
America’s Best Dance Crew
Kanye West issues challenges to the last three crews, and then one of them is eliminated and the top two is revealed.

10PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New York City
– A fortune teller and a snake charmer factor into a birthday party the women attend while in Morocco, but neither one causes as much trouble as the mere fact that the women are together in Morocco.

10:30PM | SHOWTIME – SERIES FINALE
Secret Diary of a Call Girl
– Ben asks Belle to give up her business and become a one-man girl.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Naked Science (8PM, NGC), a biochemist tries to collect venom from some of the deadliest snakes in the world to see if it can be used to save lives;
Andy Cohen dishes about tonight’s RHoNYC on Watch What Happens (11PM, Bravo).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Dana Carvey;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jon Ronson (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Alison Klayman (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ray Romano;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Piers Morgan and Scott Weiland;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Randy Jackson;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Mike Tyson and Christina Aguilera;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): James McAvoy and Gilbert Gottfried;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Seth Green;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | FOX – 10TH SEASON FINALE
American Idol
– Will it be Scotty or Lauren? All will be revealed in tonight’s two-hour finale, which includes a reunion of the top 13 and performances by Bono and The Edge with the cast of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Jack Black and Steven Tyler.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL – SERIES FINALE
Oprah
– Farewell to The Big O.

8PM | ABC – 2ND SEASON FINALE
The Middle
– Frankie thinks she can safely close the door on another school year, until she finds out Brick has to write a journal (a whole year’s worth of journals, actually) before moving on to the next grade, while Sue has to prove she never took a sick day to get an attendance award.

9PM | TRAVEL CHANNEL – SERIES PREMIERE
Man v. Food Nation
– Host Adam Richman previews his M v. F spin-off series, which finds viewers taking on food challenges in their local restaurants.

9PM | ABC – 2ND SEASON FINALE
Modern Family
– Jay insists he just wants to go fishing for his birthday, and when his family ignores his wishes, they get into some sticky situations.

9:30PM | ABC – 2ND SEASON FINALE
Cougar Town
– Travis’ surprise move to Hawaii gives Jules and her pals an excuse for a vacation, and Grayson has a surprise of his own: he wants children.

9:30PM | TLC
Extreme Couponing
– A super coupon clipper in Arizona shows how she feeds her family of six for just $50 a week.

10PM | CBS – SERIES FINALE
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
– A serial killer is going after his victims by shooting them in public places, and Beth (Janeane Garofalo) is in danger. And yes, you read that correctly … it’s the show’s series finale. Here’s hoping Oscar winner Forest Whitaker finds another, more engaging, series.

10PM | MTV
The Real World
Nany‘s got her hands full with the bad boys, as she finds out the truth about her father and gets a visit from former castmate/hookup Adam.

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
South Park
– If there’s anyone who could possibly come up with a way to help babies born addicted to drugs, it would be Cartman, right? Right?

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Kevin Nealon and Ben Harper;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Will Ferrell (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Lupe Fiasco (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Kevin Bacon;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Chaz Bono;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Ken Jeong;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Jesse Tyler Ferguson;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Lucy Liu;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Norm Macdonald;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Todd Phillips.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | FOX – 2ND SEASON FINALE
Glee
– The New Direction kids head to the Big Apple, where they compete at Nationals and do and few song-and-dance numbers in NYC landmarks like Times Square and Central Park.

8PM | FOX
American Idol
– It’s down to Scotty and Lauren in season 10’s final performance show, with the winner announced in tomorrow night’s two-hour, celeb-packed finale.

8PM | NBC – 11TH SEASON FINALE
The Biggest Loser
– The $250,000 winner, i.e. biggest loser, is revealed, while the eliminated players return to see who nabs the $100,000 at home prize.

9PM | ABC – 12TH SEASON FINALE
Dancing With the Stars
The Go-Gos and the Black Eyed Peas perform (yes, I know, there are like two shows in all of primetime the Peas haven’t performed on at this point) as the winner of the mirrorball trophy is revealed.

10PM | MTV
16 & Pregnant
Kayla, a pregnant teen who’s battled anorexia, starts to panic when she gains pregnancy weight.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– The episode’s called “Have a Heart,” which refers to the duck tickers the contestants have to use in their appetizers.

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Tosh.0
– Tonight’s topics: “stuff girls shouldn’t say,” Daniel’s new invention and a Web Redemption for Brian Collins, the “Boom Goes the Dynamite” dude.

10PM | NBC
The Voice
– It’s part three (of four) of the head-to-head battle round, and Monica and Reba McEntire return to help advise the coaches.

10:30PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Sports Show With Norm McDonald
Norm chats about Korean golfers and the lack of openly gay athletes in professional sports.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
The vittles of the Biryani Cart in NYC are among the tasty street foods featured on Eat St. (8PM, Cooking Channel);
The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network);
– A new How the States Got Their Shapes (10PM, History) focuses on how states’ rebellion, including Texas, Montana and the Carolinas, led to their shapes;
– Rosie puts a new father through daddy boot camp on the season 1 finale of Pregnant in Heels (10PM, Bravo).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Melissa McCarthy and Topher Grace;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Keira Knightley (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): John Bradshaw (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Brad Paisley and Ewan McGregor;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Demetri Martin, Ben Harper and Meredith Vieira;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Jack Black and The Script;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Britney Spears and Taylor Lautner;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ed Helms and The Cars;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Courteney Cox;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Mike Mills and Foster the People.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | HBO
Too Big to Fail
Curtis Hanson (8 Mile) directs and Peter Gould (Breaking Bad) wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin‘s bestselling book about the 2008 financial crisis. The flick revolves around the efforts of government officials and Wall Streeters to control the disaster, and the all-star cast includes Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke, Billy Crudup as Timothy Geithner, William Hurt as Henry Paulson, Ed Asner as Warren Buffet, Dan Hedaya as Barney Frank, James Woods as Dick Fuld and Bill Pullman as Jamie Dimon. And stay tuned after the movie for Too Big to Fail: Opening the Vault to the Financial Crisis (10:45PM), in which Sorkin, financial experts and journalists discuss the events portrayed in the movie.

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL
Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular
– In part one of the two-episode celebration leading up to The Big O’s series finale, Will Smith, Tom Hanks and Madonna are among the celebs who pop in to pay homage to Oprah.

8PM | FOX – 7TH SEASON FINALE
House
– House goes completely over the top (even by House standards), and it may mean the end of his relationships with both Wilson and Cuddy. Especially since Cuddy, a.k.a. Lisa Edelstein, is leaving the series …

8:30PM | FOOD NETWORK – 2ND SEASON FINALE
Kid in a Candy Store
– Among the treats Adam samples on factory tours: Moon Pies and the yummy candy bars of the Zingermans company, including the Zzang and Wowza bars.

9PM | ABC – 7TH SEASON PREMIERE
The Bachelorette
Brad Womack‘s runner-up, dental student Ashley Hebert, meets 25 dudes who vie for her attention, including one who, on the first night, “introduces” her to his mother (via speakerphone … still creepy), one she already knows and one who gets sloppy drunk.

9PM | FOX – SERIES FINALE
The Chicago Code
– Another good show bites the dust. Sigh. In the series ender, Teresa and Jarek lay all their cards on the table in the case against Gibbons, and Jarek vows to make things right at home.

9PM | NBC – SERIES FINALE
The Event
– Simon, Vicky, Sterling and Sean race to stop the spreading of the virus, and the portal begins to open.

9PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey
– More fallout from last week’s season opener: The Brownstone hosts a fashion show, and Teresa‘s cousin Kathy makes the mistake of trying to throw her weight around … with Caroline.

10PM | DISCOVERY FIT & HEALTH – SERIES PREMIERE
World’s Worst Teens
– Take the title literally (or, as Parks and Recreation‘s Chris would say, “lit-rally”) … these are troubled teens, including tonight’s violent, drug-abusing 14-year-old.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– it’s the final performance show of the season for Dancing With the Stars (8PM, ABC);
– It’s time for Adrian’s baby shower, but everyone’s busy fighting on The Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– The OCC crew makes a Deadliest Catch bike on American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (9PM, Discovery);
– It’s a two-hour block of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Comedy Central (9PM);
Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner guest star on the season 2 finale of Make It or Break It (9PM, ABC Family);
– Secret Seattle sights are the topic on Off Limits (9PM, Travel);
Glee star Chris Colfer has a compelling chat with Piers on Piers Morgan Tonight (9PM, CNN);
– RJ tries to get back at Max for ruining his birthday on The Hard Times of RJ Berger (10PM, MTV);
– The detectives deal with a fire in Malibu, and discover a second fire was started to cover up a crime on Law & Order: Los Angeles (10PM, NBC);
– Coop considers starting a family and contacts an old fling via Facebook on Nurse Jackie (10PM, Showtime);
– Food Net stars reveal the restaurants that serve what they consider to be the best fried chicken on Best Thing I Ever Ate (10:30PM, Food Network);
– Tara has an abusive new alter, prompting Dr. Hattaras to introduce her to the co-chair of the psych department on United States of Tara (10:30PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ken Jeong;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Albert Brooks (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Geoffrey Rush (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Eric Stonestreet and Lady Gaga;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Dustin Hoffman and The Script;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Norm Macdonald and Jerry Springer;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Wanda Sykes and Ashley Hebert;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Matthew Bomer and Queen Latifah;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Jack Black;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Carolla.

Potts Picks: The Weekend’s Best TV – May 21-22, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM, SUN | NBC – 11TH SEASON FINALE
Celebrity Apprentice
– Both John Rich and his fellow finalist Marlee Matlin have dramas on their way to the big boardroom showdown, when Donald Trump makes his decision about who will be the next Celeb Apprentice. My money’s on Rich, who’s seemed like a lock from the beginning. And even if he doesn’t win, I’m betting he’s won a slew of new fans during his impressive performance on the show. Ditto Oscar winner Matlin.

10AM, SAT | OXYGEN
Glee
Marathon – Season two episodes, all day long (well, until 11PM, anyway), in honor of next Tuesday’s Glee season finale and Oxygen’s new summer reality series, The Glee Project.

11:30PM, SAT | COMEDY CENTRAL
Ben Bailey: Road Rage
– Yep, the Cash Cab host. But don’t mention that; as he says in this stand-up performance, everyone mentions his other gig all day long.

11:30PM, SAT | NBC – 36TH SEASON FINALE
Saturday Night Live
Lady Gaga is the musical guest, but I’m more excited about returning host Justin Timberlake, one of the best SNL hosts ever. Will he return to Omeletville? Fingers crossed, but rumor has it he and “Dick in a Box” cohort Andy Samberg are making a sequel to their classic digital short.

8PM, SUN | FOX
2011 Billboard Music Awards
– Hilarious Community and The Hangover star Ken Jeong hosts this Vegas awards show, which features performances by Keith Urban, Lil Wayne, Mary J. Blige, Cee Lo Green, Rihanna, Lady Antebellum, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez.

8PM, SUN | FOX – 22ND SEASON FINALE
The Simpsons
– Ned Flanders … and Edna Krabappel? Dating?! Yup, though Ned isn’t so okilly-dokilly when he finds out about Edna’s, ahem, prolific dating history.

8PM, SUN | NGC
When Aliens Attack/Area 51 Declassified
– In Aliens, science experts try to imagine what would happen if earth really was attacked by aliens, while Declassified delves into the secret area where evidence of UFO landings is allegedly kept locked away.

9PM, SUN | FOX – 9TH SEASON FINALE
Family Guy
Rush Limbaugh, Carrie Fisher, Anne Hathaway and Archer star H. Jon Benjamin guest star in “Episode VI: It’s a Trap,” the final entry in FG‘s take on Star Wars.

9PM, SUN | CBS
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost
– Jesse’s (Tom Selleck) friends and colleagues are upset about the arrival of a new police chief, but Mr. Stone is preoccupied with the alleged suicide of a local teen, one Jesse tried to help. Her body is found near his house, and he suspects foul play.

10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of Orange County
Gretchen confronts Slade about his financial woes and how they’re impacting their future, while Vicki ends up in the hospital.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s definitely a goner, but if you want to check out the series finale of Chase, here it is (Sat., 8PM, NBC);
– Food Network has a three-hour marathon of Chopped (Sat., 8PM);
– The Doctor, Amy and Rory take the TARDIS to a futuristic Earth factory where humans are cloned and work dangerous jobs on Doctor Who (Sat., 9PM, BBCA);
– On Parking Wars (Sat., 10PM, A&E), a man tries to get his towed rental car back after using it to take his wife to the hospital;
– On back-to-back Til Debt Do Us Part episodes (Sat., 10PM, CNBC), Gail helps two couples, including an aging duo who owes more than $90,000;
– Steve’s dad (Jeffrey Tambor) pops up in the series finale of Running Wilde (Sat., 11PM, FX);
– On the American Dad season 6 finale (Sun., 7:30PM, Fox), Roger bets Hayley he can write the saddest song ever and become a country music star;
– On 60 Minutes (Sun., 8PM, CBS), Lance Armstrong‘s fellow cyclists accuse him of using performance-enhancing drugs;
Lorenzo applies to beauty school on Jerseylicious (Sun., 8PM, Style);
Karen and Drita‘s fight escalates when all the women get together on Mob Wives (Sun., 8PM, VH1);
– In Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (Sun., 8PM, Disney), High School Musical diva Sharpay moves to New York City to pursue her Broadway dreams;
– Denise realizes she missed being a nurse on Army Wives (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime);
– Ned is reinstated as The Hand but makes a risky decision on Game of Thrones (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– A Wall Street hot shot is murdered, but he has so many enemies that it may be hard to pin down the killer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Sun., 9PM, USA);
– The families pack up to move to Las Vegas on Sister Wives (Sun., 9PM, TLC), the third “Wives”-titled series of the night;
– In the first season finale of The Borgias (Sun., 10PM, Showtime), the Borgia family secures an annulment of Lucrezia’s marriage after she gives birth to a son in a convent;
– On Breakout Kings (Sun., 10PM, A&E), and 18-wheeler crashes through a prison wall, and a group of convicts escape via an armored truck that was hidden inside the semi … clever, you’ve gotta admit;
– On In Plain Sight (Sun., 10PM, USA), Mary works with a teen beauty queen who was unaware she was in witness protection;
– Janette hopes her NY connections will help her land a job on Treme (Sun., 10PM, HBO).

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