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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 26, 2011


– The season lost a little steam towards the end, but here’s hoping for a last-minute rebound as Nancy deals with the fact that one son, Silas, is not on her side, while the other, Shane, is trying to protect her from Detective Ouellette. And then there’s Doug, who’s desperately trying to keep his hedge fund scam going.

Sesame Street
– Science and technology are the themes for the new season, which will also include spoofs on Glee and The Deadliest Catch and guest stars like Robin Williams, Seth Rogen, Mila Kunis, John Krasinski, Joel McHale and Andy Samberg.

The Chew
Mario Batali, Top Chef alum Carla Hall, What Not to Wear co-host Clinton Kelly and Food Network chef Michael Symon host this daily foodie show that replaces All My Children.

Gossip Girl
– Serena makes a big boo-boo at her Hollywood job, and, while visiting her in Los Angeles, Nate meets an older woman (Elizabeth Hurley).

How I Met Your Mother
– Ted tries to make nice with a girl he once cheated on, while Barney makes a bet with Marshall and Lily that may mean Marshall has to wear Barney’s ducky tie.

Terra Nova
– The sci-fi drama finds colonists (including Life on Mars star Jason O’Mara) travelling back to prehistoric times to create a new civilization because, well, their present one has become so miserable. Of course, they’re going to have to deal with dinosaurs that want to eat them, and a military-minded leader (Avatar‘s Stephen Lang) who wants them to fit neatly into his agenda. Yeah, I know, I can’t help but think Land of the Lost myself, but at least the special effects are less cheesy, as they should be considering Steven Spielberg is among the show’s producers. Bottom line: to watch or not to watch … yes, definitely worth checking out, but don’t set that season pass just yet.

Hart of Dixie
Rachel Bilson plays a heart surgeon who moves to a small town in Alabama to share a practice when she’s told she needs to work on her bedside manner. Lost you at “Rachel Bilson plays a heart surgeon,” didn’t I? The O.C. alum has her charms, but this show might not be the best use of them. Still, I’ll probably watch a couple more episodes, especially since equally charming Friday Night Lights alums Scott Porter and Cress Williams are in the cast.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
– It’s been all about Taylor so far this season, but the new chick enters the fray tonight when Kyle hosts a charity event and Brandi Glanville, the ex-Mrs. Eddie Cibrian, attends and immediately ruffles some feathers.

The A-List: New York
Derek and the gang head to Atlantic City for Austin‘s bachelor party and Nyasha‘s concert.

10PM | ABC
– Castle and Beckett are chasing a vigilante who may be responsible for murder and who also may be wearing a superhero costume while out doing his vigilante work.

10PM | CBS
Hawaii Five-O
– So … that happened last week. Tonight, the action continues as McGarrett’s back in action, but the Governor assigns a new officer to keep an eye on McGarrett and the Five-0 team.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The jive and the quickstep are on tap for the contestants on tonight’s Dancing With the Stars (8PM, ABC);
– Eight more groups perform in the second part of the season premiere of The Sing-Off (8PM, NBC);
The Bling Ring (9PM, Lifetime) is the Lifetime flick, starring Jennifer Grey, based on the true story of the group of teens who burglarized celebs’ homes in Hollywood in 2008 and 2009;
– The weekly four-ep It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon on Comedy Central (9PM) includes the gang’s Lethal Weapon 5 flick;
– Season two of Mike & Molly (9:30PM, CBS) opens with Molly (awesome first time Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy) starting to plan her wedding to Mike;
– On Alphas (10PM, Syfy), season one wraps with Red Flag stepping up its war on the Department of Defense;
– On Cake Boss (10PM, TLC), Buddy bakes an edible chandelier cake that has to hang upside down;
– A Civil War drum is among the goodies brought into the store on back-to-back Pawn Star$ (10PM, History);
– On the season two finale of The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime), Cathy decides to do something special to ring in the New Year after Lee’s death;
– John-John finds out that one of his relatives is a zombie on Death Valley (10:30PM, MTV).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Kevin Hart, Neal Brennan and Taylor Lautner;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Ron Paul;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Radiohead;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Seth Rogen;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Ryan Gosling;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Dana Delany;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Elmo and Andy Samberg;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Jonah Hill;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): The Decemberists and David Guetta.


Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 6-12, 2011


TVScreener’s on a little break this week, so here’s a list of the must-not-miss programming you should, uh, not miss, through next Monday:

Sons of Anarchy
– The 90-minute season premiere picks up with the SAMCRO dudes getting out of jail and returning to Charming, where a new sheriff (Prison Break‘s Rockmond Dunbar) is considerably less friendly than the old regime, Opie and Lyla are getting hitched, a new federal agent (Deadwood‘s Ray McKinnon) is hot on the club’s trail and Jax returns home to his new son and Tara, with a radical change in his priorities. I’ve seen the first three episodes of season four, and they set up what promises to be a great (another great) season, with a lot of the tensions that have been building throughout the series inevitably bubbling up to the forefront. Still bummed SoA creator Kurt Sutter quit Twitter though …

Rescue Me
Denis Leary‘s NYPD fireman dramedy that was sparked by 9/11 comes to an end just in time for the day’s 10th anniversary, and, though the show has been hit and miss throughout its run (I maintain that the season five finale, in which Tommy was shot by his crazy Uncle Teddy, would have been the perfect series finale), but this fairly satisfying series ender wraps with a tragedy, some over-the-top (but still pretty funny) shenanigans and a glimpse at the guys’ futures.

Burn Notice
– Michael’s old frienemy Larry (guest star Tim Matheson) returns, which always means trouble. And since Michael is right in the middle of trying to prove he didn’t kill Max, Larry’s reappearance is particularly ill-timed.

– There are some truly delightful and ornery moments in tonight’s finale (many of them tied to Wilfred’s love of bubbles), but the ending? Will blow your mind.

– Louie … New Jersey … bad.

Torchwood: Miracle Day
– This is either the first season finale or the fourth, depending on whether you see this as a whole new series or just a continuation of the original. Either way, the Torchwoodies make a final effort against the Three Families, but it may take a huge sacrifice for them to have any hope of defeating the Fams.

True Blood
– It’s called “And When I Die.” Hints: Debbie has it out with Tara and Sookie, Alcide gets romantic and Terry has a surprise visitor.

Breaking Bad
– Gus takes on his rivals, while Jesse asks Walt for help.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
– This has officially been my all-time favorite season of Curb, as Larry, sans the wet blanket that was Cheryl, fully embraced his inner “social assassin. But tonight, he tangles with the one guy who could have us all rooting against Larry: Michael J. Fox.

– If not for Jeremy Piven as Ari, this season would have been unwatchable. But since we’ve come this far, may as well see how it all ends, as Vince makes a surprising move after this first date with Sophia, Ari and Mrs. Ari go for one more therapy session and the guys try to talk the pregnant Sloan into reuniting with E, even as her dad threatens to kill him.

Anderson Anderson Cooper begins his stint as a daytime talk show host. Can’t wait; as well as being a serious newsie, he loves pop culture and guilty pleasure TV, so it should prove to be a fun mix.

– Nancy, Andy and Doug head to the Hamptons for the weekend, while Shane goes on a drug bust with Det. Ouellette.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Todd‘s son from a previous marriage visits and wreaks havoc in the house on Downsized (9PM, WE);
– Dough, breakfast food and fancy fish are among the mystery basket ingredients on this installment of Chopped: Champions (10PM, Food Network);
– The 4th season premiere of The Rachel Zoe Project (10PM, Bravo) finds the spaz stylist preparing for the imminent arrival of baby Skyler;
Amber spends a night in jail and Catelynn and Tyler have a fight on Teen Mom (10PM, MTV);
– On Awkward (11PM, MTV), Jenna’s wild party ends with a kiss, but she can’t remember the details of it (the party or the kiss).

Mike and Lonnie choose a partner in the season finale of Famous Food (8PM, VH1);
– Boorman offers Patty classified info on Howard Erickson (for a price, of course) on Damages (10PM, DirecTV);
Chef Robert travels to Pennsylvania to help the owner of a place that’s part eatery, part vineyard and part zoo on Restaurant: Impossible (10PM, Food Network);
– Back-to-back new eps of Storage Wars (10 and 10:30PM, A&E);
– On Top Chef: Just Desserts (10PM, Bravo), the chefs have to whip up desserts for a party thrown by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump.

– The designers have to create a signature fabric, and they also have to work in teams again on Project Runway (9PM, Lifetime);
Futurama (10PM, Comedy Central) wraps its sixth season;
Ronnie and Sammi try to make up (again), but will probably end up in a psycho drama instead (again) on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– Trevor creates a problem when he shows up on Mike’s doorstep in the first season finale of Suits (10PM, USA).

– Taped in Beverly Hills in December, Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett: Together Again (9PM, HBO) finds the two showbiz legends and fantastic storytellers swapping anecdotes in front of a live audience, which includes fellow legend Carl Reiner.

Cops (8PM, Fox): Bad boys, bad boys, back for their 24th season premiere;
– The Doctor and Rory have to rescue Amy, who’s been quarantined inside an alien hospital on Doctor Who (9PM, BBCA).

– It’ll be hard to top (go lower than?) the spectacle that was last week’s attempt to get Amy Fisher to meet up with Mary Jo Buttafuoco, but Dr. Drew and his team make the effort during updates on the other rehabbers during the fifth season finale of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (10PM, VH1);
Teresa makes a gaudy spectacle of herself and her family with a kiddie birthday party on Real Housewives of New Jersey (10PM, Bravo).

– The 42nd season premiere of Monday Night Football (7PM, ESPN) pits the Patriots against the Dolphins;
– There are wieners and winners in the second season finale of Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC);
Andy Cohen co-hosts the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant (9PM, NBC);
– On the seventh season summer finale of The Closer (9PM, TNT), the judge makes a crucial ruling in Brenda’s case;
Kate Plus 8 (9PM, TLC) … series finale, finale-ally;
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9PM, Bravo) … yep, it’s creepy, and that only continues as Taylor delves into her marital woes;
– On The A-List (10PM, Logo), Austin tries to make up with Derek, and Reichen introduces his new cologne;
– The season two premiere of Extreme Couponing (10PM, TLC) features a woman who’s using coupons in the hopes of saving enough cash to move out of her dangerous neighborhood;
– On the second season summer finale of Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT), a young guy is killed in a jail bathroom, just as he was about to be sprung from the hoosegow;
– Adam searches for his MIA uncle on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Charlie Day and Foo Fighters (Thursday);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Wednesday);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Tom Brokaw (Thursday);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Michael J. Fox (Thursday);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Nick Swardson (Tuesday); Wull Arnett (Thursday); Glen Campbell and Christina Applegate (Monday);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Elijah Wood (Wednesday); Nathan Fillion (Monday);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Denis Leary (Tuesday); Tom Selleck (Thursday); Lauren Graham (Friday); Sarah Michelle Gellar (Monday);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Lisa Kudrow (Tuesday).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 29, 2011


10:30PM | MTV
Death Valley
– The New York Times described this new action/zombie/cop comedy as Reno 911! with zombies, and while I think nothing will ever live up to Lt. Dangle and the gang, Valley is laugh-out-loud funny, with a fun cast that includes comedian and Fat Actress alum Bryan Callen, Lost‘s Tania Raymond, The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Texas Battle and underrated Popular alum Bryce Johnson.

Basketball Wives: LA
Kimsha Artest and sisters Laura and Gloria Govan are among the stars of this spin-off of the original Basketball Wives reality series. Will this batch of women prove to be as interesting as the Miami Wives? Eh …

The Closer
– Brenda asks Raydor for help with a case, as the squad members are deposed in the lawsuit against Brenda.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– This week’s four-ep marathon includes “Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens” (10:30PM), or kitten “mittons” as Charlie spells it, and “The Waitress Is Getting Married” (9PM), in which Charlie (Charlie Day), in his own weird, but still sweet, Charlie way, shows his love for The Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, the real-life Mrs. Charlie Day).

The A-List: New York
Austin and Reichen become closer when everyone else washes their hands of Austin, but that creates new drama for Mr. Armacost, when Jake starts to feel left out.

– Nancy, Andy and Silas plot revenge against Emma (guest star Michelle Trachtenberg), while Doug deals with a financial situation that means he really needs to make his hedge fund work and Shane gets a little more involved with the law than he intended.

10:30PM | THE HUB
Happy Days
– It’s the classic “Potsie Quits School” episode of Days, with Potsie’s “Pumps Your Blood” gem.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Place your Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC) bets: Is it Jake or Kasey who leaves?;
– Carter and Allison wear memory-reading devices as a means of appealing the ruling on their relationship on Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– New episodes of American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (9PM, Discovery) kick off with the lawsuit between the Pauls getting settled;
– Fiona hopes Charlie will go to the prom with her on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Pete and Claudia try to find Stukowski’s partner when Stukowski is interrogated by Warehouse agents on Warehouse 13 (9PM, Syfy);
– On Alphas (10PM, Syfy), Hicks and Nina hook up with a dangerous Alpha cult leader;
CIA Confidential: 9/11 Mastermind (10PM, NGC) chronicles the CIA’s decade-long hunt for 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed;
– On Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT), a man dies during what appears to be a mugging;
– Sean is annoyed by new neighbors and Adam goes to Poppy’s high school reunion on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Reese Witherspoon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Ali Velshi (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): The Cars (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Jason Sudeikis;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): David Koechner;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Aziz Ansari (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Robert Duvall;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): William Shatner;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Walt Goggins (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 22, 2011


– Her fellow housewives, drug lords and federal agents haven’t been able to keep up with Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her clever ways, but she might have finally met her match in Zoya (Olga Sosnovska), her prison pal, whose surprise arrival in New York is going to throw everyone’s world into chaos. In tonight’s episode, Nancy and Andy (Justin Kirk) try to figure out how to keep Zoya from taking over the bike shop, while Silas (Hunter Parrish) is dealing with takeover attempts of his own and Doug (Kevin Nealon) tries to fend off the SEC.

8PM | VH1
Basketball Wives,
Reunion Part 2 John Salley continues to nudge to women into dishing some dirt on the recently-concluded third season, which, of course, leads to more squabbles, most of them involving Royce.

– Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Allison (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) are the subject of a relationship audit by the Department of Defense.

The Closer
– As Capt. Raydor (Mary McDonnell) pushes forward with her investigation of Brenda’s (Kyra Sedgwick) squad, her focus narrows in on Sanchez (Raymond Cruz).

Warehouse 13
– When Myka (Joanne Kelly) hunts for the man who killed her old partner, her fellow Warehouse 13 agents think there may be a link between the murderer and the Secret Service.

The A-List: New York
Ryan‘s runway show turns into another opportunity for a drama involving Austin, who has even bigger problems when most of his NYC pals turn against him.

The Best Thing I Ever Ate
– Food Network personalities share their favorite childhood foods, including cotton candy, homemade pasta and Frito Pie.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Jake finds out he has more allies than Kasey and the nasty Vienna on Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC);
– Back-to-back new eps of Hell’s Kitchen (8 and 9PM, Fox) result in the elimination of two more contestants;
– Amy is awaiting a marriage proposal from Ricky, who has other plans on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– Alli plans to take things to a new level with Dave before summer break on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– The weekly four-ep marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM, Comedy Central) includes “The Gang Hits the Road,” in which the Paddy’s crew tries to go to the Grand Canyon;
– The new reality series LaLa’s Full Court Life (9PM, VH1) revolves around La La Vazquez and NBA hubby Carmelo Anthony;
– The third season premiere of The T.O. Show (9:30PM, VH1) finds T.O. facing ACL surgery;
– The Alphas (10PM, Syfy) have to protect an inventor whose concoctions could be dangerous if the wrong people get their hands on them;
– The new reality series Bear Swamp Recovery (10PM, TruTV) follows a New Jersey family who operate a repo business;
– Rich people hiring hitmen is the subject of tonight’s Behind Mansion Walls (10PM, ID);
– Frankie’s ex returns to town with a big surprise on Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT);
– On The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime), Rebecca’s miscarriage leads to a reunion for Cathy.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer and Soundgarden (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Matt Long (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Elliott Ackerman (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Denis Leary;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Emma Stone and Adam Carolla (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Aaron Paul and Roseanne Barr (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Lou Dobbs and Cory Monteith (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Hugh Laurie;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Blackstone.


Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 15, 2011


The Lying Game
– Another series based on novels by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepherd, The Lying Game revolves around twins Emma and Sutton (As the World Turns alum Alexandra Chando). The twins meet for the first time, and foster teen Emma agrees to swap lives with rich kid Sutton, who wants to research the twins’ mother. But when Sutton goes MIA, Emma has to decide whether or not to continue the ruse (duh … there’d be no show if she didn’t). PS – Other stars of the series include Heroes alum Adrian Pasdar and The Office alum Andy “David Wallace” Buckley as Sutton’s dad, Ted.

8PM | VH1
Basketball Wives
Reunion Part 1 – You know how the other women hated on Meeka Claxton most of the season? It continues at the reunion.

The Closer
– Brenda considers hiring an attorney, but it’s Fritz who will have to make the financial sacrifices a high-priced lawyer will necessitate.

Gloria: In Her Own Words
– Another fine entry in HBO’s summer documentary series, this profile of Gloria Steinem includes interviews with her, as she discusses her career as a journalist, her childhood and her role as an icon of the women’s lib movement of the ’70s.

Top 100 Number Ones
Nick Cannon host this 10-part(!) countdown of hit songs of the 2000s. Hey man, Mariah’s blinged out Ring Pops don’t pay for themselves.

Warehouse 13
– Fargo gets trapped inside a video game that was inspired by Warehouse 13. What a great idea for an actual videogame.

Most Eligible Dallas
– The network would have us believe this is the best thing to hit Bravo since Real Housewives. Let’s hope they mean Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and not the Miami or D.C. bunches.

Teen Wolf
– Scott has to rely on friends and enemies to try and stop the killings (and reunite with Allison).

– While Shane thrives in his new internship, Andy and Silas clash over how to run the bike shop/pot store and Nancy’s relationship with her supplier is, um, complicated by the arrival of her old cellmate.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Paint-soaked balls are thrown to see who gets eliminated from the Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC), and guess who Vienna and Kasey target? Yes, of course, Jake;
– Carter talks to Allison about her mental condition on Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– The top nine complete on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– A voicemail stirs up drama between Amy and Ricky on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– A stressed-out Drew becomes obsessed with his ultimate-fighting workouts on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Tonight’s four-ep marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9PM, Comedy Central) includes the classic “The Nightman Cometh” at 9:30PM;
Patti Stanger returns for a 5th season of trying to kook up the lovelorn on Millionaire Matchmaker (9PM, Bravo);
– Oh, Austin … he and Derek seem destined to be enemies now (again) on The A-List: New York (10PM, Logo);
– Bill and Gary test their powers with a case outside the team on Alphas (10PM, Syfy);
– On Pawn Star$ (10 and 10:30PM, History), the big get is a pilot license signed by Orville Wright;
– Maura’s mama (guest star Jacqueline Bisset) visits on Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT);
– Thanksgiving family dinner at Cathy’s house turns into a family drama on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime) when Cathy reveals a big secret.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Kathy Griffin;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Ali Velshi;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Susan Rice;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Harrison Ford (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Train and Olivia Wilde (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Betty White;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Mila Kunis (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Betty White and Patton Oswalt (REPEAT);
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Shane Smith (REPEAT).


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