(ALL TIMES ET)
9PM, SAT | HBO – ORIGINAL MOVIE PREMIERE
Cinema Verite – James Gandolfini plays filmmaker Craig Gilbert, the man behind the groundbreaking 1973 documentary An American Family, considered to be the first reality show. The PBS series followed the Loud family, led by dad Bill (Tim Robbins) and mom Pat (Diane Lane), a suburban duo was whose marriage disintegrated on camera. Pat Loud was widely criticized for making the decision to divorce Bill, and for her support of openly gay son Lance (Thomas Dekker), one of the first gay “characters” seen on TV. Verite is a compelling story itself – no one, least of all the Loud family – knew exactly how this new TV format would be received, and putting it into the context of the early ’70s, it still seems a bit shocking that the Louds laid their family life so open for the TV cameras. PS: NYC’s PBS station is airing the original American Family series this weekend, and if you’ve never seen it, it’s also must-see TV; the station’s Website has preview clips of each episode.
9PM, SAT | BBC AMERICA – SEASON 6 PREMIERE
Doctor Who – In part one of the season opener, “The Impossible Astronaut,” The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy, Rory and River Song travel to Utah and the Oval Office, 1969-era, after receiving some TARDIS-colored envelopes with directions. Coolest part: It’s the first time Doctor Who‘s cast has ever shot principal photography in the United States.
10PM, SAT | A&E
Parking Wars – Back-to-back new episodes find a mother and son stirring up a ruckus in Philly, while another driver tries to take off with a boot on his car.
8PM, SUN | CBS
The Amazing Race – The teams hit Switzerland, where they face a double u-turn.
8PM, SUN | VH1
Mob Wives – Is there a guiltier pleasure on TV right now? Nope. So just go ahead and watch, as Karen and Renee continue their meltdown at Carla‘s birthday party, prompting some of the other women to jump in.
9PM, SUN | NBC
The Apprentice – Now that drama magnet Gary Busey‘s gone, methinks this is the week when we finally find out how Star Jones and NeNe Leakes became such bitter enemies, as the two butt heads while working on an ad campaign for a hotel chain.
9PM, SUN | CBS
Beyond the Blackboard – It’s a fact-based story, and yes, you’re going to need a tissue for the inspiring tale, about a teacher who’s challenged to make a school in the basement of a homeless shelter, with few resources. Everwood stars Emily VanCamp and Treat Williams are reunited in the movie, based on the experiences of a woman named Stacey Bess in Salt Lake City.
9PM, SUN | HBO
Game of Thrones – Ned, accompanied by his daughters, heads off to take his place in King Robert’s court, but Catelynn stays behind with Bran.
10PM, SUN | A&E
Breakout Kings – The team has to track two inmates who got the bright idea to escape by poisoning another inmate and sneaking out in the dude’s coffin.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
The Real Housewives of Orange County – Former castmate Lynne returns and drops a supposedly “shocking” secret, while Slade and Gretchen celebrate her birthday with takeout food and a major gift.
10PM, SUN | HBO – SEASON 2 PREMIERE
Treme – The new season opens on Nov. 1, 2006, with the city still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, especially the police department, which is overwhelmed with the increase in crime.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
– During back-to-back new Til Debt Do Us Part episodes (Sat., 10PM, CNBC), Gail helps a couple who may have to file bankruptcy for a third time;
– The final four head to Las Vegas, where they have to prove their eatery ideas work with a clientele outside Los Angeles on America’s Next Great Restaurant (Sun., 8PM, NBC);
– Challenge: Sugar and Candy Fashion (Sun., 8PM, Food Network) finds chefs whipping up wearable works of sugar art;
– A woman who raised more than 35 foster kids, two biological kids and adopted six more gets a new home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– Carlos forbids Gaby to be friends with Bree after the revelation about Andrew, but Gaby, of course, goes against him on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– On The Borgias (Sun., 10PM, Showtime), Lucrezia’s solution to her unhappy marriage? A hot young stable boy;
– Sarah and Holder get new evidence from one of Rosie’s teachers on The Killing (Sun., 10PM, AMC);
– Pies, and where to find the yummiest ones, are the subject of the series premiere of Unique Sweets (Sun., 10:30PM, Cooking Channel).
(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.
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) […]