(ALL TIMES ET)
10PM, SUN | NGC
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview – Previously unseen video footage and other exclusive materials from the George W. Bush Presidential Library are included in this rare chat with the former President – in fact, the only interview he granted to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 – as he talks about his personal experiences on 9/11 and the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.
11:30AM, SAT | FOOD NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond, the city girl-turned-country wife and Pioneer Woman blogger, comes to TV. In the first ep, she whips up some hearty comfort food, including country fried steak and mashed potatoes.
9PM, SAT | BBCA
Doctor Who – The show’s back with new episodes, starting with “Let’s Kill Hitler,” in which The Doctor meets up with Adolf Hitler in 1930s Berlin.
9PM, SUN | MTV
MTV Video Music Awards – Lady Gaga opens the 28th annual VMAs, where Britney Spears is getting a special honor and Adele, Beyonce and Bruno Mars are scheduled to perform. There’s also no host this year, which could be fun, or could be a disaster. Either way, the VMAs feel underwhelming as a pop culture event this year, no? Here’s hoping Gaga does something entertaining, meaning more interesting than a meat dress and more compelling than yet another copycat of something Madonna did in the ’80s.
10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad – In the final scene of Sunday’s fantastic episode (yeah, I know, they’re always fantastic), you’ll see why Dean Norris, as Walt’s bro-in-law Hank, MUST be a contender for the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy next year. Must. Be.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey – The opening of Lauren‘s cosmetic shop brings Jacqueline and the ever-bratty Ashley together, while Teresa gets a surprise when her brother comes to her book signing.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Gail counsels Laura, an 18-year-old who’s already racked up credit card debt on Princess (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– The Ronnie/Situation throwdown continues on Jersey Shore (Sun., 7PM, MTV);
– Eviction nominees are revealed on Big Brother (Sun., 8PM, CBS);
– The bakers whip up surfing-themed goodies on Cupcake Wars (Sun., 8PM, Food Network);
– On Bridezillas (Sun., 9PM, WE), one ‘zilla thinks her bridesmaid is trying to steal the groom, while another fights with her fam and then smashes her groom’s video game system;
– Patti Stanger guest stars as Teri’s high school enemy on Drop Dead Diva (Sun., 9PM, Lifetime);
– Tony and Lisa spread the ashes of a deceased fellow driver along the Dalton on Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History);
– Sterling asks Nate and the gang to swipe a nuclear reactor from a skyscraper in Dubai on Leverage (Sun., 9PM, TNT);
– On True Blood (Sun., 9PM, HBO), Sookie has to rescue Bill, leading Marnie to rethink her big plan;
– An ex of Callie’s arrives with a big surprise on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– Ari gets some unsettling news from his divorce attorney on Entourage (Sun., 10:30PM, HBO).
(ALL TIMES ET)
8PM, SUN | CBS
65th Annual Tony Awards – Three things to know about tonight’s Tonys: The always fabulous Neil Patrick Harris is hosting; there are going to be lots of jokes about controversial musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; and it’s likely that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to snag some awards, since their musical The Book of Mormon leads all nominees with 14 Tony nods.
NOON, SAT | ENCORE WESTERNS
Gunsmoke Marathon – In honor of the late James Arness, the network is airing 24 hours of classic Gunsmoke episodes.
9PM, SAT | BBCA
Doctor Who – In case you haven’t seen the spoilers, I’ll just say that River Song has a biiiig surprise for The Doctor.
9PM, SAT | SYFY
Ice Road Terror – Ice Road Truckers + prehistoric creatures = tonight’s Syfy Saturday night movie.
10PM, SAT | HBO
McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice – The sports doc examines the rivalry between hot-tempered tennis star John McEnroe and fellow champ Bjorn Borg throughout the ’70s and ’80s, as well as a look at what they’ve been up to post-tennis.
9PM, SUN | LIFETIME – 5TH SEASON FINALE
Army Wives – Joan has trouble bonding with David, Dennis tries to help Tanya deal with life without Jeremy and Claudia Joy doesn’t like the way she and Michael are being treated.
9PM, SUN | WE – 8TH SEASON PREMIERE
Bridezillas – And they’re back! First up in season 8, one bully of a bride threatens to withhold payment from her church, and another gets into a fight at her bachelorette party after drinking too much. Before the season premiere: Bridezillas: Where Are They Now? 2.0 (8PM, WE), an update of some of the more outrageous bridezillas of recent seasons.
9PM, SUN | OXYGEN – SERIES PREMIERE
The Glee Project – The new talent search series will reward one person with a guest-starring role on Glee.
9PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion – Andy Cohen tries to keep the women from killing each other in the first part of the season 6 reunion, as the O.C. ladies revisit their most tension-filled moments, including an apparently intensified feud between former friends Alexis and Peggy. Also, Vicki‘s long-suffering soon-to-be ex-hubby Donn chats about their split.
10PM, SUN | LIFETIME – SERIES PREMIERE
The Protector – Ally Walker stars as Gloria Sheppard, a divorced murder detective who has to juggle her stressful job with her stressful home life as a single mom.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New Jersey – The Joisey girls move to Sunday nights, and on their first night in the new timeslot, Teresa sees her brother for the first time since the christening blowout, Melissa pursues her pop star ambitions and Caroline shares her mama-ing advice on the radio.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Adventure-lovin’ Shane Reynolds travels the globe on the hunt for unusual species and experiences on the new series Shane Untamed (Sat., 9PM, Nat Geo Wild);
– Detroit citizens are extra unhappy about their cars being booted on the coldest day of the year on Parking Wars (Sat., 10PM, A&E);
– A couple’s passion for cars has led them to Gail on a new Til Debt Do Us Part (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– Food Network Challenge (Sun., 8PM, Food Network) finds chef making cakes inspired by romance novels;
– Filly holds a fitness boot camp for the Gatsby girls on Jerseylicious (Sun., 8PM, Style);
– Karen’s having writer’s block and Carla’s getting ready for her ex’s release from prison on Mob Wives (Sun., 8PM, VH1);
– On the new reality series Finding Sarah (Sun., 9PM, OWN), former Royal Sarah Ferguson tries to get her life in order with help from Oprah minions Dr. Phil and Suze Orman;
– On Ice Road Truckers (Sun., 9PM, History), someone takes a wrong turn and ends up 100 miles away from where he needs to be … yes, of course it’s Rick;
– The new reality series Amsale Girls (Sun., 10PM, WE) follows the employees of a fancy schmancy bridal salon in New York City;
– Callie wigs when Jim’s former partner (an attractive female) arrives from Chicago and needs his help to catch a serial killer on The Glades (Sun., 10PM, A&E);
– On In Plain Sight (Sun., 10PM, USA), Mary protects an Amish witness who’s trying to deal with culture shock and the fact that there are people who want to do her harm;
– On The Killing (Sun., 10PM, AMC), Mitch learns some secrets about her murdered daughter;
– Sofia falls in with the wrong crowd on Treme (Sun., 10PM, HBO);
– You’ve seen the photos, now see Ice-T and his wife Coco in action, so to speak, on their new reality series Ice Loves Coco! (Sun., 10:30PM, E!).
(ALL TIMES ET)
9PM, SUN | NBC
The Celebrity Apprentice – We’ve been seeing the preview for months, and tonight, we finally see the NeNe Leakes/Star Jones blowout that has led to a bitter feud between the two divas. The challenge for the teams tonight involves putting on a live hair show, where you’d assume the women’s team would have the upper hand. But with the team’s two strongest personalities going for each other’s jugulars, John Rich, Lil Jon and Meatloaf just may be able to sneak in for another victory.
9PM, SAT | BBC America
Doctor Who – The Doctor is thrown in the hoosegow, while the FBI is hot on the trail of Amy, Rory and River Song in the conclusion of last week’s season opener.
10 and 10:30PM, SAT | A&E
Parking Wars – Back-to-back episodes include a wild Friday night, and an even wilder crowd, for the ticket officers in Philadelphia.
8PM, SUN | NBC – 1ST SEASON FINALE
America’s Next Great Restaurant – A winner is chosen in the season one finale – meatballs, soul food or modern Indian cuisine are the choices – and gets restaurant openings in New York, Hollywood and Minneapolis as a reward.
8PM, SUN | FOX
The Simpsons – In “The Real Housewives of Fat Tony,” Fat Tony woos and marries Selma, and invites Marge and Homer to accompany them to the Jersey shore.
9PM, SUN | LIFETIME
Army Wives – Pamela worries that Whit is spending too much time with Roxy and the boys, and when she voices her opinion, Roxy reacts badly.
9PM, SUN | USA – 10TH SEASON PREMIERE
Law & Order: Criminal Intent – They’re dropping like flies, ya’ll. This will be the latest L&O to leave the airwaves after an eight-episode season, which kicks off tonight with Eames and Goren investigating the death of a hooker. Also in tonight’s ep: Jay Mohr guest stars as a hard-partying fashion designer who, in “ripped from today’s headlines” L&O tradition, was reportedly inspired by Charlie Sheen and his recent antics.
10PM, SUN | A&E
Breakout Kings – When a jewel thief escapes, the team decides they have to figure out what he’s planning to steal in order to catch him.
10PM, SUN | USA – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
In Plain Sight – Mary tries to track down a witness to help clear Brandi on grand theft auto charges.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
The Real Housewives of Orange County – Vicki and Alexis stir up trouble at Peggy‘s big dinner party, though it’s tough to take seriously Peggy’s intentions when she seemed to care more about hiring a famous chef than about how the food tasted.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
– True Blood and Oprah are among those honored at the 25th annual Genesis Awards (Sat., 7PM, Animal Planet), which recognize those who’ve raised awareness of animal issues every year;
– John Leguizamo, Trace Adkins and Lisa Ling are among the celebs who show off their casas in the new series Hollywood at Home (Sat., 8PM, HGTV);
– Doctor Who in America (Sat., 10PM, BBCA) runs down America’s fandom of the quintessential British sci-fi show;
– Gail counsels a couple who may lose their home on back-to-back Til Debt Do Us Part episodes (Sat., 10PM, CNBC);
– The Amazing Race (Sun., 8PM, CBS) heads to Switzerland;
– 100 Marines help Ty and the gang rebuild a home for the family of a fellow deployed Marine on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– On Mob Wives (Sun., 8PM, VH1), Renee, Karen and Drita are affected when a major mob bust goes down;
– Ruby delves into her childhood in an intense session with the therapist (Sun., 8PM, Style);
– Lynn and Casey battle again when they accompany Audrina to NY on Audrina (Sun., 9PM, VH1);
– Susan finds out Felicia is out of jail, while Lynette and Tom tangle when she redecorates his office on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– Ned finds out the kingdom is in major financial trouble on Game of Thrones (Sun., 9PM, HBO);
– A California college counselor goes undercover in the season two finale of Undercover Boss (Sun., 9PM, CBS);
– Ursula finds out who’s responsible for the death of her hubs on The Borgias (Sun., 10PM, Showtime);
– The West Wing star Josh Malina guest stars on CSI: Miami (Sun., 10PM, CBS);
– Stan steps up his own investigation of his daughter’s murder on The Killing (Sun., 10PM, AMC);
– Toni helps a Massachusetts man trying to find out what happened to his son after Katrina on Treme (Sun., 10PM, HBO).
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Caitlin Blackwood
The Big Idea: In Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour, the baton is passed from David Tennant to Matt Smith as the latest incarnation of the enigmatic Doctor, who crash lands in a tiny English village after his violent regeneration lays waste to the controls and interior of his TARDIS. “The Eleventh Hour” is a British expression meaning “a time which is nearly too late,” and showrunner Steven Moffat returns to this theme throughout the premiere … the eleventh Doctor scrambles with seconds to spare to save his beloved TARDIS from imminent destruction; he races against a worldwide countdown to zero to save the Earth; and he finds himself nearly deprived of his newest companion not once, but twice, after committing the sin of arriving late (Tsk tsk, Time Lord. You’d think in 903 years you’d learn not to keep a woman waiting. Someone just might show up with a better offer … ).
To Watch or Not to Watch: Let’s start with the actors. I had my doubts about Matt Smith when he was announced – he’s appallingly young and light on experience, with his main qualification being the ridiculous hair seemingly required of all Doctor Whos. But I’m happy to admit I was dead wrong. Smith was born to play this role, with a performance that is somewhat reminiscent of Tennant’s frenetic energy, but which already has more nuance, more hint of the alien behind the face, than the 10th Doctor ever conveyed.
Karen Gillan is likewise a real find as his fiery Scottish companion – and she’s a ginger (Britspeak for redhead, which is funny because the Doctor’s one, oft-expressed regret about his varied regenerations is that he’s never been a ginger). While she’s not yet as comfortable in her role as Smith is, she goes from good to even better as the premiere progresses, and there’s a palpable sense that the circumstance of their meeting may make her the ideal companion to our interventionist hero. And from the male perspective, it doesn’t hurt that this ex-model is very, very easy on the eyes.
Finally, but definitely not least, Caitlin Blackwood plays a seven-year-old Scottish girl, home alone for the evening, whose backyard is demolished by the run-amuck TARDIS and similarly out of control, “not yet fully cooked” Doctor. It would be too big a spoiler to elaborate about the character, so suffice it to say she’s unafraid as she engages with this magical stranger and feeds him “Fish Custard” (you read that right) in a hilarious, not-to-be-missed comic sequence. Blackwood (the real-life cousin of Karen Gillan) is adorable and nearly steals the scenes right out from under Smith. Memo to Hollywood: This, not the endless parade of Dakota Fanning clones, is how child actors should present.
Meanwhile, the premiere’s plot is engaging, and bears up well under the burden of introducing so many different characters and backstories, while still maintaining continuity with Who happenings of the past. Old Tennant catchphrases such as “timey whimey” and “wibblely wobbly” get affectionate nods, the sonic screwdriver gets worked to (literal) exhaustion, and we find out that the TARDIS has a library in the swimming pool (or vice versa) after the crash.
The only misstep: the music. It’s jarring, usually at the most inappropriate points. Music should be counterpoint to a scene, secondary to the writing, not an overly loud insurance policy to alert the viewer that a character is in danger.
TV Screener Tidbit: Smith says he prepared himself for his Who gig by writing Doctor Who-themed short stories before he stepped into the role.
Doctor Who, season five, premieres Saturday, April 17 at 9PM ET on BBC America
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
– Great news: Mad Men will return for its third season on A&E in August.
– Bad news: Dennis Rodman‘s goin’ to rehab. The good news: Since he’s obviously not averse to making a boob of himself on TV, now he can sign up for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky.
– Old Christine may get a new home. If CBS dumps the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, ABC says it’ll take the leftovers.
– The CW has decided to pull the plug on its Sunday night programming.
– Cap’n Jack (John Barrowman) is making an appearance in David Tennant‘s final Doctor Who ep.
– Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar, and now another American Idol alum could win a Tony, as Constantine Maroulis snags a nod for his role in the musical Rock of Ages.
– More Idol news: Paula Abdul‘s singing on tonight’s “Rock Week” episode.
– And still more Idol news, news that should make the aforementioned Ms. Abdul quite happy: TVGuide.com readers have spoken, and nearly 60 percent of them think newbie judge Kara DioGuardi should turn in her Coke cup after this season.
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) […]