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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.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | FOX
Glee
– It’s prom night! Which means the over-the-top competition for prom queen and king comes to a conclusion, Rachel gets a surprise visitor and Principal Figgins asks the glee club to perform at the soiree, despite objections from party pooper Sue.

8PM | CBS
NCIS
– The NCIS teams go into overdrive to catch the Port-to-Port Killer when they realize he has infiltrated the agency.

9PM | MTV
16 & Pregnant
– Like mother, like daughter? Pregnant teen Danielle hopes not, as she plans to do things differently than her own mother, who also got pregnant as a teen, did.

9PM | OWN
Becoming Chaz
– The compelling documentary follows Chaz Bono through his decision to have, and the process of, gender reassignment surgery.

9PM | FOX
Raising Hope
My Name Is Earl alums Ethan Suplee and Jaime Pressly guest star as a neighbor couple whose marriage is in trouble, according to Burt and Virginia, after they hear the couple arguing on Hope’s baby monitor. By the way, if you haven’t seen the always fantastic Suplee lately, prepare to be surprised: he’s looking much slimmer these days.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– Frozen meat and cheese in a can are among the mystery basket ingredients.

10PM | CBS
The Good Wife
– Kalinda considers leaving the firm after Alicia has it out with her regarding the affair with Peter. Meanwhile, the firm defends the owner of an adultery Web site, who’s the prime suspect in the murder of one of the Website’s customers.

10PM | NBC
The Voice
– Love, love, love this show! In the first week of head-to-head battles, the coaches pit two of their own team members against each other in a duet sing-off, with one of the voices being sent home.

10:30PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Sports Show With Norm McDonald
Norm chats about sports gambling, including a bet he placed on Manny Pacquiao.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On The Biggest Loser (8PM, NBC), the contestants play a Biggest Loser videogame and compete in a stair climbing challenge while weighted down with sandbags;
– A Los Angeles restaurant in a double decker bus is featured on Eat Street (8PM, Cooking Channel);
– Daffy worms his way into an exclusive club on The Looney Tunes Show (8PM, Cartoon Network);
– The women had to Puerto Rico for a vacay on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW);
– Another one bites the dust on the Dancing With the Stars (9PM, ABC) results show, which includes performances by Adele and Michael Bolton;
– The death of a Navy SEAL imposter leads the NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS) team to MIA bomb canisters;
– The guys (try to) plan their annual getaway on Traffic Light (9:30PM, Fox);
– On Fabulous Beekman Boys (10PM, Planet Green), Brent plans a Victorian festival to attract customers to the village during the long winter;
How the States Got Their Shapes (10PM, History) explores how transportation factored into how the states got their shapes;
Worst.Prom.Ever. is MTV’s original movie comedy about three seniors who decide to have some anti-prom fun after getting dumped by their prom dates right before the big night (10PM, MTV).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Zach Braff and Judd Apatow;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Will Ferrell;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Geoffrey Rush;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Mark Harmon;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Def Leppard and Ginnifer Goodwin;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Chris Hemsworth and Ice Cube;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Nathan Fillion;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Keira Knightley, Chris Cornell and John McEnroe;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kenneth Branagh;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Frenchie Davis.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | NBC
The Voice
– If you missed last week’s premiere, it’s not too late to get in on the fun of this latest reality singing competition, as round two of the blind auditions kick off and the mentors – Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera – continue to battle it out to entice the most talented singers onto their teams.

8PM | FOX
Glee
– Sue teaches everyone about the power of the press when she takes over the school newspaper and prints some veeeery interesting stories.

8PM | CARTOON NETWORK – SERIES PREMIERE
The Looney Tunes Show
– Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are back in this Looney revamp, which finds the two living in the suburbs as neighbors with other Looney Tunes cohorts, like Marvin the Martian and Yosemite Sam. PS – Check out my list of the top 10 best classic Looney Tunes ‘toons ever, at TV Squad.

8PM | CBS
NCIS
– Flashback time! When Tony’s former partner is murdered, he remembers his early time in Baltimore, including his first meeting with Gibbs.

9PM | FOX
Raising Hope
– Anytime the episode is Burt-centric, meaning we get a bigger than usual dose of star Garret Dillahunt‘s comedic skills, it’s a good thing. Tonight, we find out that Burt is quite skilled at flirting.

10PM | MTV
16 & Pregnant
Jamie is a straight-A student who not only finds herself pregnant, but who is also stuck with a babydaddy she’s trying to mold into being the kind of dad she never had.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– In the mystery basket: beef and chocolate frosting … that’s in the entree basket.

10PM | CBS
The Good Wife
– Oh, it’s on: Alicia confronts Kalinda about the Peter affair.

10PM | HISTORY – SERIES PREMIERE
How the States Got Their Shapes
– In this fun new series (hosted by my fellow Ohio University alum Brian Unger – go Bobcats!), the title is literal, as in the premiere, where we find out how water played a major role in How the States Got Their Shapes.

11PM | MTV – 2ND SEASON FINALE
My Life as Liz
– Louis has some surprising news for Liz, while Bryson finally has to face up to his feelings for the one he let get away.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Tim Gunn helps the contestants with Cinderella-themed makeovers on The Biggest Loser: Couples (8PM, NBC);
– Nathan, Julian and Clay all coach Jamie’s Little League game on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW);
– Results from last night’s performance show on Dancing With the Stars (9PM, ABC);
– Deeks goes undercover to protect a friend on NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS);
– Lisa decides to use GPS to keep track of Mike on Traffic Light (9:30PM, Fox);
– The NFL draft is among the major topics on The Norm McDonald Show (10:30PM, Comedy Central).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Steve Martin and Atticus Shaffer;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Rachel Maddow;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Rex Ryan;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Caroline Kennedy and Ty Burrell;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Idris Elba;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Anthony Hopkins and Andre Agassi;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Elmo, Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Geoffrey Rush;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Shane Smith.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

10:30PM | COMEDY CENTRAL – SERIES PREMIERE
Sports Show With Norm McDonald
Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds and the Masters tournament are among Norm‘s opening night topics in this new series in which, as the title suggests, the funny guy gives his unique take on the world of sports.

Check Local Listings for Time | PBS
Independent Lens
– Graffiti artist-turned-toast of the art world Jean-Michel Basquiat is the topic of this Frontline edition, which follows the Brooklyn-born artist’s life from his early days of SAMO graffiti through his friendships with Vincent Gallo and Andy Warhol, his major successes in the art world and, tragically, his heroin overdose at age 27.

8PM | COOKING CHANNEL
Eat Street
– The new series will spotlight street food throughout North America, beginning with a grilled cheese sandwich truck in Los Angeles and the yummy Schnitzel & Things truck in NYC.

8PM | CBS
NCIS
– The murder, and the murderer, of a Navy lieutenant was caught on tape, but Gibbs and company still have to identify the face of the killer, who happens to be a petty officer.

9PM | WE – SERIES PREMIERE
Braxton Family Values
– R&B diva Toni Braxton and her sister are the subjects of this new reality series, which, from the premiere, looks to include a looooot of sibling discord (read: catfighting).

9PM | NGC
Conspirator: The Plot to Kill Lincoln
– Another NGC special marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Conspirator tells the story of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the U.S. government, after she was convicted of being involved in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. The story also unfolds on the big screen this week in The Conspirator, the Robert Redford-directed flick starring Robin Wright as Surratt.

9PM | DISCOVERY – 7TH SEASON PREMIERE
Deadliest Catch
– New season, two new captains.

9:30PM | FOX
Traffic Light
– Still feeling guilty about ruining Mike’s bachelor party years earlier, Adam throws him a do-over soiree, which gets predictably out of hand.

10PM | CBS
The Good Wife
– The election results are in …

10PM | SYFY
Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen
– On the menu for a luau-themed celebration: short ribs and tabletop volcanoes that dispense pineapple dipping sauce.

10PM | WE – SERIES PREMIERE
Sinbad: It’s Just Family
– The comedian’s trying to spark a career, and marital, comeback in this reality show, which finds him moving back in with his wife, who he recently remarried.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Biggest Loser: Couples (8PM, NBC), the teams go to New Zealand, where they go skydiving and have to climb 51 flights of stairs;
– The British chef tries to makeover the food program in Los Angeles schools on the season two premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (8PM, ABC);
– Will Kirstie Alley‘s shoe fumble cost her on tonight’s Dancing With the Stars results show (9PM, ABC)?;
Frontline (9PM, PBS) takes a look at “Football High,” the very competitive – and lucrative – world of high school football;
– Techie Eric goes undercover for the first time on NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS);
– A med student gets makeover help on What Not to Wear (9PM, TLC);
– Lifetime’s new reality series Playdates (9:30PM) follows a group of NYC preschoolers in their first days at school;
– The team has to reassemble the victim when they find severed body parts on Body of Proof (10PM, ABC);
– On Fabulous Beekman Boys (10PM, Planet Green), Brent and Josh are launching new products and interacting with fans at a book signing;
I (Almost) Got Away With It (10PM, ID) profiles a quirky thief who liked to steal things like Crystal Gayle‘s tour bus;
– Amber quits her job and heads down a bad path on Parenthood (10PM, NBC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Gordon Ramsay and Hayden Panettiere;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Gov. Deval Patrick;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ray Kurzweil;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Foo Fighters and Ricky Gervais;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kristen Bell and Austin “Chumlee” Russell from Pawn Stars;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Christian Slater;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Morgan Spurlock and Emma Roberts;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ted Danson and Kenny Rogers (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Wynonna Judd;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Amanda Palmer (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | BRAVO – SERIES PREMIERE
The Real Housewives of Miami – It’s the seventh entry in the Real Housewives franchise, and, fair warning, it starts off a bit slowly. But I’m trusting that the Bravo powers that be learned their lesson from the failure that was The Real Housewives of D.C. and wouldn’t unleash another lame (read: soooo boring) group of housewives on the series’ loyal viewers. So, bring on the drama, Bravo, in the form of the Miami sox, who include Scottie Pippen‘s wife Larsa, magazine editor Alexia Echeverria and art gallery owner Adriana Sidi. Wonder which one we’ll all end up loving to hate and hating to love?

8PM | FOX
Glee – Cue the Jamie Foxx music, as several McKinley-ites Blame It on the Alcohol after Principal Figgins warns of its dangers.

8PM | CBS
NCIS – In a particularly gruesome case, the team investigates the murder of a Marine whose teeth and fingernails have been removed.

9PM | FOX
Raising HopeAmy Sedaris guest stars as Virginia’s cousin, who makes a surprise visit to try and snag some of Maw Maw’s cash and reveal that she’s still warm for Burt’s form.

10PM | CBS
The Good WifeAmerica Ferrera guests as the illegal nanny of Wendy, a situation that Eli, of course, finds very interesting. Meanwhile, Diane defends her sometime lover, ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh (guest star Gary Cole), when he’s sued for testimony he gave during a recent trial.

10PM | FX
Lights Out – Johnny worries that his bro isn’t being properly trained for his comeback, especially since he keeps losing weight.

10PM | NBC
Parenthood – Tonight’s episode’s title says it all, hmmm, Crosby: “Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew’s Therapist”?

10PM | TNT
Southland – John and Ben bend the rules to help a kiddie, while Lydia and Josie look after an alcoholic who’s a key witness in an upcoming murder trial.

10PM | MTV
Teen Mom 2Corey proposes, Chelsea tries (sorta) to focus on school and Jenelle, once again, has to find a new place to live.

11PM | MTV
My Life as Liz – Poor Liz. After her romantic trek through New York with Bryson, she finishes her art project, but then receives a crushing text message from her pals in Texas.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Frontline (Check local listings for time and channel, PBS) looks at recent events in Egypt;
– The teams find out two players will be ousted this week on Biggest Loser: Couples (8PM, NBC);
– On Jump City Seattle (8PM, G4), it’s all about freerunning in Fenway Park;
– The adorable Jamie tries out for the baseball team on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW);
– On Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (9PM, Travel), Andrew visits Namibia, where he samples dried worms and, gulp, wildebeest eyeballs;
– On Dirty Jobs (9PM, Discovery), Mike cleans a boat’s fish grinder;
– Mother and daughter still aren’t speaking to each other after last week’s fight on Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? (9PM, WE);
– On NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS), Deeks is shot during a convenience store robbery, but it’s unclear whether he was the target of the attack or just in the wrong place at the wrong time;
– Diana bonds with Lisa and Erica goes to Hong Kong in pursuit of thwarting Anna on V (9PM, ABC);
– A breast cancer survivor who works as a clown but who wants to re-enter the corporate world gets a makeover on What Not to Wear (9PM, TLC);
American Treasures (10PM, Discovery) is a new series that follows an archaeologist and an anthropologist who travel across the country to appraise historical artifacts;
Love/Lust (10PM, Sundance) unfolds the history of high heels;
– An Iraq War veteran gets to witness the birth of his second baby on One Born Every Minute (10PM, Lifetime);
– New Tosh.0 on Comedy Central (10PM);
– Peter and Neal work with U.S. marshals who are trying to nab an FBI agent selling witness info on White Collar (10PM, USA).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Matthew Perry, Jason Aldean and The Situation;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Anderson Cooper;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Bing West;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Amy Poehler and Deerhunter;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Owen Wilson and Rachel Maddow;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Martin Lawrence, Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Cameron Diaz, Henry Winkler and Cake;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Jeremy Irons, the Farrelly Brothers and Destroyer;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): John Waters and Malin Akerman;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): RedOne and Richard King.

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