TV on Tap: Nancy Pelosi Will Help Say Goodbye to “30 Rock,” “Raising Hope” Gets Mike O’Malley and the Parents Television Council Goes After Kathy Griffin

Merthur kicks off their final season with tonight’s season premiere of Merlin.


Typically, the words “Yes, Dear reunion” wouldn’t get me excited but in this case we’re going to get to see Mike O’Maley (along with Liza Snyder) on Raising Hope, as reported by EW. They’ll play a couple that finds the sex tape Burt and Virginia lost.

IFC’s getting into the animated comedy business. Out There will follow three socially awkward boys living in a small town, with a voice cast that will include Megan Mullally, Linda Cardinelli, Pamela Adlon and Fred Armisen.

In an interview with Vulture, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan says that Casablanca provides the bar for Breaking Bad’s finale, “No one gets everything they wanted. The guy doesn’t get the girl, but he has the satisfaction of knowing she wants him. And he doesn’t get her because he has to save the free world. What better ending is there than that?”

It looks like Scandal’s about to jump into the torture debate, looking at this preview at EW. For a moment, I totally forgot Shonda Rimes was competing with Ryan Murphy for the craziest mix of redonkulous plotting with social issues. (Has anyone whispered the words “Mary Hartman reboot” to either one yet?)

Great. I can avoid two jerks with just one show.

The series finale of 30 Rock will include an appearance by Nancy Pelosi, according to The Washington Post. There are no details on what she’ll do on the show.

Have you been looking for a collection of drinking games for popular, current TV shows? Buzzfeed has collected 14 of them for you.

Kathy Griffin must be thrilled, her New Year’s Eve antics have drawn the ire of the Parents Television Council. This will make great material for the season premiere of Kathy.

Soon after Al Jazeera’s deal to buy the channel was announced, Time Warner Cable worked quickly to take Current TV off its line up, a move that was quickly criticized on social media. The cable company responded to its critics, insisting that the move was a business decision and not political.

I’ve always wanted to see Channel 4’s House reality shows — The 1900 House,The 1940s House and, most intriguingly, Manor House and Andy Dehnart’s right, a Manor House could get another look based on the current Downton Abby mania. I know I still love Frontier House, eleven years later.

Thanks to light competition, Chicago Fire it a series high in the ratings. Now, the show has to hope it can keep a good number of those viewers

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
It’s time for one of those miscellaneous topics episodes as Anderson discusses troubled teens, a baby with a feather growing out of its neck and another Frugal Friday where Anderson talks about how he uses coupons just like us regular folk.

Undercover Boss (CBS) 8:00
I quickly tired of CBS’ reality TV take on Horatio Alger novels, but this week’s CEO transformation involves a man whose perspective is changed by a lesbian employee who has been with her partner for 27 years.

Malibu Country (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
It’s Reba versus the school board principal when she learns that the music program has been dropped. Meanwhile, Lily goes to a protest to preserve her medical marijuana.

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Oh. Yes. The most homoerotic retelling of the King Arthur legend is back for a final season. If Tumblr is a reliable guide, this final season is the most homoerotic yet. Funny, the days when I watched the first season of Merlin and thought the bromance was overstated seem so quaint now.

Over/Under (USA) 10:00 PM ET
In the latest installment of rejected pilot theatre USA giving viewers a peek at this drama about a stockbroker who is fired after a disastrous trade and ends up moving to one of those “transitioning” neighborhoods. This one’s worth taking a look at for its cast which includes WonderfallsCaroline Dhavernas, Steven Pasquale and Giancarlo Esposito. Good thing they’ve all found new projects since then.

Portlandia (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
Yes, Portlandia already depicts a hipster utopia but for its third season premiere, the sketch comedy show establishes its Gen X cred by starting a movement to bring music back to MTV and take it away from those Snooki-obsessed tweens. I suspect there will be a generation gap in my own home when my eyes light up at having Tabitha Soren on my TV again (followed by a shallow wish to have Dave Kendall or John Norris back, too) and my partner remembers the days when he’d wish the VJs would stop talking and get back to the music.

The Brit List (BBC America) 11:00 PM ET
Who has it worse? The U.S. or the UK? Debate it as The Brit List counts down the 20 Most Outrageous Celebrities, comparing our two countries. Look, we may be stuck with the Kardashians but you’ve got Splidi on Celebrity Big Brother. (And then there’s Jordan….)

Saturday’s Listings

To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbé (PBS) Check local listings
I have no idea when this PBS talk show is supposed to air nationally but it’s airing on Saturday in my neck of the woods and thise week’s guest is out Senator Tammy Baldwin.

DC Nation (Cartoon Network) 10:00 PM ET
After being abruptly pulled, the Cartoon Network’s superhero block finally returns and that means the world will finally get to see the greatness of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.

Made in Chelsea Marathon (Style) starting at Noon ET
So, Style has been airing the UK reality show that seems to be determined to prove that the states don’t have a monopoly on awful rich people with more awfulness than sense — or the cringe-inducing “how do people find this entertaining?” production values of The Hills. The Soup has made this one look like a watchable trainwreck, but I was a little wary about playing a (very minor) role in making a trainwreck the next reason for screaming “Why are we taking this trash so seriously?” at the TV. But since Style is burning off the entire second season on a Saturday afternoon, feel free to laugh at the awkward expressions and robotic behavior that we’re supposed to find compelling.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC America) 10:00 PM ET
Graham’s got a packed holiday movie guest list this week with Tom Cruise (I forgot he even had a holiday movie until I typed his name), Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal along with comedian John Bishop, celebrity baker Paul Hollywood and presenter Mary Berry. Finally, for a musical guest there’s Pink.

Only a few more weeks before I can stop worrying about running into Downton Abbey spoilers.

Oh. @#$%. Hey TV scheduling gurus, did you really have to take me from a nearly-empty DVR to a 9PM roadblock where I have to find a way to follow six (and a half) different shows, with two more at the time piquing my interest?

Sunday’s Listings

Masterpiece Classic (PBS) Check local listings
Okay, so the second season of Downton Abbey had more thank its share of weak plots, leaving the cast to carry some of the more ridiculous moments with solid performances, but it’s not like a disability that morphs based on the demands of the plot and imposter relatives are enough to stay away from Thomas, the Dowager Countess and Lady Mary. I’m just hoping this will be the season where Thomas has a potential love interest for more than one episode. Even better, we’re got the arrival of Shirley MacLaine joining the drama as Cora’s mother.

Once Upon a Time (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
There’s a murder in Storybrook and since everybody already hates Regina, she’s the main suspect — especially since the victim is one of the most squishily lovable character in town.

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
The world of Doomsday Preppers is too easy a comedy target for The Simpsons to resist, so this week Homer joins a group of “Springfield Preppers” until Marge starts to think the group’s alarmism goes a little too far.

Chopped (Food Network) 8:00 PM ET
What’s this? Wasn’t Tuesday’s episode the season finale? Is this one of those times when the Chopped season finale is followed by an immediate season premiere? In this case, it’s a “bonus episode” which is really a way to use one of the channel’s biggest hits to make sure people tune in for the new season of Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook Off. This week’s the mystery baskets are all about leftovers, which just may be my favorite kind of food.

An Amish Murder (Lifetime) 9:00 PM ET
Hey, did Lifetime know that cable would be awash in Amish-themed reality shows by this time? If it weren’t airing against the premiere of Downton Abbey I’d say Lifetime has found good timing to air its backdoor pilot where Neve Campbell plays a small town chief of police who left behind the Amish lifestyle only to return to investigate a murder. Christian Campbell also appears in this movie to play his real life sister’s on-screen brother, and to prove that you don’t have to appear on a period drama to sport awkward facial hair that obscures your good looks. (I’m stating to think awkward period facial hair is a theme we need to discuss.)

Making Mr. Right (VH1) 9:00 PM ET
Remember when VH1 had guilty pleasure reality shows like Kept that were much more pleasure than guilt? I’m hoping this new show recalls those days as it follows three women who pretend to be reality TV matchmakers to fourteen guys when they’re really molding them to be their perfect guy.

Revenge (ABC) 9:00 PM ET
Victoria’s latest scheme has a role for Emily, who will be pulling out her best “Why, me? I’ve never participated in any she-nanny-gans in my life! That’s how you pronounce it, right? I’ve only read the word, I’ve never had reason to talk about planning any shenanigans… especially not against you, Victoria.”

The Shahs of Sunset (Bravo) 9:00 PM ET
The gang continues to debate what to do about GG as they plan a trip to Cabo but aren’t sure if she’ll remember all the lines the Cabo tourism board wants to have worked into conversations.

The Good Wife (CBS) 9:00 PM ET
With all that competition, The Good Wife steps things up with T.R. Knight (who seems to have been spending the last few weeks taking cute pills) appearing as a political adviser to Peter’s campaign and the return of Louis Canning.

The Biggest Loser (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook Off (Food Network) 9:00 PM ET
This week, two reality shows I’ve instinctively avoided kick off new seasons with gay inclusive casts. On The Biggest Loser, the series’ first gay competitor (and it only took thirteen seasons of fights about whether appearing on a video named Queer Abs meant someone was gay before we got an out gay man on the show) Utah resident Jackson Carter will see if yelling at fit people can make exhaustion go away. Meanwhile, the second season of Rachael Vs. Guy has Johnny Wier on Team Guy, which I think means we can expect them to lose when Guy Fieri gets weirded out by Wier. The season also has Dean McDermott, Kathy Najimy and Gilbert Gottfried for that touch of subtle, soft-spoken snark.

American Dad (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
How many animated shows do Lent episodes? American Dad does! At least, I’m guessing this is a Lent episode since Roger’s wild Mardi Gras party ruins the family’s plan to give up their vices.

Happy Endings (ABC) 10:00 PM ET
Sure, you could think of ABC giving its edgy Tuesday night comedies a second airing on Sundays as a sign that the network is burning off the low-rated-but-critically-praised comedies. If you’re more optimistic, you could also say that ABC is hoping that these shows might show some life if they’re not both competing against two similar comedies. Let’s hope the return of Alex’s racist parrot is enough to bring back all the viewers who’ve decided they’d rather watch New Girl or Goon Go On.

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (ABC) 10:30 PM ET
Things look great for June. She’s got her dream job, a great apartment and she even has a new office buddy — oh and warnings from Chloe that this new work buddy shouldn’t be trusted any more than a roommate who has a history of scamming people in search of a fabulous New York apartment.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy’s back in the host’s chair on Sunday, though I guess he’s not done with vacation yet since the guests haven’t been announced yet. I’m going to guess it’s someone from one Bravo reality show and someone from a different Bravo reality show. The odds are good there.

What will you be watching this weekend? (And, more importantly, what are you watching Sunday at 9PM?) Please share in the comments!

Monday’s Preview

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Soledad O’Brien is Anderson’s guest-host on Monday, which is one Don Lemon away from being an “All the tolerable people at CNN” theme show.

Vanderpump Rules (Bravo) 10:00 PM ET
If Bravo gave anyone else the first Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin-off, I’d know it’s time to break up with the channel, but apparently they’ve got a better sense of interesting personalities than Most Eligible Dallas would suggest.

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.