TV on Tap: Pat Buchanan is Gone from MSNBC, “The Voice” Gets a Fall Season and Jean Smart is Portia de Rossi’s Mom

20/20’s coverage of Whitney Houston’s death will include
a look back at her interview with Diane Sawyer.



NBC is offering an early preview of its upcoming drama Awake, which has two out performers with Cherry Jones and B.D. Wong. You can watch it at NBC’s website, Hulu and some cable system’s OnDemand offerings.

Portia de Rossi’s comedy pilot The Smart One just managed to get even more faboo with Jean Smart cast to play Portia’s mother.

Since The Voice is NBC’s only hit series, it’s thinking of airing the third season in the fall, instead of keeping the reality show a once-a-year event. The Wrap is reporting that Cee-Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have agreed to appear in a fall season of the hit series.

Reports have been coming in on why production on The Colbert Report has been suspended and it sounds like Stephen Colbert is taking time off to deal with a family emergency. Our best wishes to Colbert in this difficult time.

Community has grabbed another guest-star to make the hiatus feel longer as Giancarlo Esposito will appear in an episode dealing with Pierce.

Raising Hope will be having an encounter with a Jackass star when Jimmy finds himself in the hospital and realizes the guy in the next bed is Chris Pontius.

The Young and the Restless alum Lauralee Bell is making a return to TV, appearing on an episode of Castle as a Paula Abdul-inspired reality show judge. This should answer if Bell was responsible for Cricket being a bottomless pit of annoying or if it was the Mary Sue writing the character got.

In what has to be the worst end result for a fan petition, Degrassi fans who started a Facebook group aiming to bring Neil Hope back to the franchise (he played Wheels on the classic Degrassi) were told that the actor died five years ago by his family.

Eureka hunk Colin Ferguson has found his first role after Eureka He’ll star in Like Father, the comedy from Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence that’s inspired by Lawrence’s relationship with his father when he was 19. Ferguson will play the dad. It’ll be interesting to see Ferguson in another sitcom after the disaster that was Coupling (A.K.A. Whitney 2003).

Chloe Sevigny will appear in an episode of Law & Order: SVU as a stay-at-home mom who is kidnapped while video chatting with her husband.

MSNBC has confirmed that Pat Buchanan will not be appearing on the network in the future. Buchanan was suspended after groups complained about racist and anti-semitic language in his book Suicide of a Superpower.

Wednesday night’s Survivor was the reality series’ least-watched season premiere, which probably means the next season will have a ridiculous ’please notice we still exist’ twist.

Friday’s Listings

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Ellen’s getting a visit from Nathan Lane, who will be discussing his Snow White movie Mirror Mirror.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
I’m not sure if there will be reason for the WilSon fans to tune in, last night Will was mentioned in the spoilers and now there’s no mention of him. At least, we’re past the month-long debate about opening an envelope.

Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook (PBS) Check local listings
Michael looks at the songwriter’s “trunk,” where songs that are good but don’t get a chance to find an audience get stored. Along the way, he looks into a manuscript said to have been written by Irving Berlin and asks Jerry Herman to teach one of his “trunk songs.”

Nikita (CW) 8:00 PM ET
Michael and Nikita decide that revisiting the past is the secret to taking down The Division, leading them to try to jog Carla’s memories about how the shadowy group was created. This is going to be the episode that ruins my  O.C./Nikita crossover fanfic about how Julie Cooper became a cold-hearted interrogator, isn’t it? Meanwhile, Alex makes a big move.

The 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards (NBC) 8:00 PM ET
Celebrating the achievements of people of color, this year’s nominees include Vanessa Williams, Damon Wayans, Jr., Sofia Vergara, Amber Riley, The Good Wife, Nelsan Ellis, Archie Punjabi and Modern Family.

Supernatural (CW) 9:00 PM ET
I was definitely surprised last week when the previouslies took us all the way back to the second season. There’s more history to remember this week as Sam and Dean realize a demon they stopped four years ago is back to cause trouble. That’s not the only flashback since there’s also an appearance by Mark Pellegrino. I was surprised to look back and be reminded of how babyfaced Jared Padalecki was at the start of this series. I wonder if I’ll make a similar discovery with Jensen Ackles.

20/20 (ABC) 9:00 PM ET
ABC News pays tribute to Whitney Houston with a special 20/20 that will look at her artistic accomplishments, her difficult personal life and by revisiting Diane Sawyer’s interview from ten years ago.

A Gifted Man (CBS) 9:00 PM ET
CBS’ medical drama moves to a new time with Christina Milan appearing as a pop star with mysterious symptoms that mirror a patient at the Clinic. I’m starting to think that if I’m ever going to get around to checking this show our, I’d better get around to it soon.

Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz) 10:00 PM ET
Crixus finds himself on his own when he gets lost in a trip through the woods and wanders to a spot where he faces painful memories. That’s right, we’ve got a spotlight episode!

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Morgana quickly finds her alliance with the wizard Alator paying off as she learns Merlin’s secret and moves towards revealing it.

Portlandia (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
It’s time to take on another scourge of living in the city, the scrutiny you experience when you try to sell your old clothes to the consignment store. I’ve never tried to sell any clothes, myself but I think every friend who did has let out a rant about the attitude of the buyer. Those rants are the reason I know about how they’ve changed the washing instruction tags at The Gap.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS) 12:35 AM ET
Margaret Cho will be visiting Craig tonight, I’m keeping my fingers crossed there will be news of more 30 Rock appearances.

MSNBC expands its weekends with a new line-up including Melissa Harris-Perry.

Saturday’s Listings

Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC) 10:00 AM ET
The popular Rachel Maddow Show guest-host, Nation writer and Tulane professor debuts in her own weekend show. I’ve been impressed with Chris Hughes’ show for having a very diverse mix of panelists, including queer guests, who get to discuss issues that don’t connect to their minority identity, and I’ve got high hopes Perry will continue that with her show.

The Ride (Showtime) 8:00 PM ET
This documentary captures the action when Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan and his father go on a cross-country bicycle journey to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Color Splash (HGTV) 9:00 PM ET
David looks to the Coconut Grove’s garden to turn a bedroom into a zen retreat. Didn’t he look to the Coconut Grove a few weeks ago?

The Fades (BBC America) 9:00 PM ET
The first season finale brings a big showdown between the Angelics and the Fades.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC America) 10:15 PM ET
Graham’s guests this week include Daniel Radcliffe, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Sinead O’Connor. Oh, there are so many possibilities for Graham and his trademark honesty, but I’ll settle for a discussion on O’Connor’s romantic pursuits.

Would You Rather? with Graham Norton (BBC America) 11:00 PM ET
Michael Ian Black makes his debut on the panel along with Judah Friedlander, Janey Varney and Leo Allen.

Saturday Night Live (NBC) 11:30 PM ET
Maya Rudolph graduates from former SNL castmember to host, and the rumor mill says we can hope for an appearance by Amy Poehler.

I’ll be in this corner listening to clips of George Takei saying “Oh, my.” until the crying stops.

Sunday’s Listings

Masterpiece Classic (PBS) Check local listings
For the second-season finale we check in on Downton at Christmas time where there’s a certain trial to create plenty of tension.

Prom Night in Mississippi (OWN) 3:00 PM ET
In 2008, Charleston High School in Mississippi finally held its first integrated prom. Let me repeat that, 2008. The school even refused an offer Morgan Freeman made in 1997 to pay for the event if they integrated. This documentary follows the preparations and the prom itself. It sounds fascinating but I’m going to stock up on lozenges before I watch this one since I expect to find myself yelling “What the @#$% is wrong with people?” at the TV several times.

Bubble Guppies (Nick) 8:00 PM ET
Wanda Sykes adds her voice to a special hour-long episode as a mean witch. I’m not sure if this falls under the heading of “making a show unexpectedly edgy” or “celebrity parent seeking to have their name

Once Upon a Time (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
The love triangle between Mary Margaret, Prince Charming and the third wheel (does anyone expect to get anything for learning her name?) takes another step as Prince Charming decides to end his marriage. Also, it looks like someone found one of the gowns the daedra godesses wear in Skyrim.

The Amazing Race (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
I figure some of you will want to know that there’s a new season debuting this weekend. However, with no gay teams (as far as I’ve been able to find) and CBS giving Big Brother asshats Brenchel a spot on the race, I’m very tempted to completely skip this season (though I am tempted to watch it with my partner so that I can say, “See what CBS made me watch for two seasons?”) I’m constantly appalled by the kind of reality stars CBS sees fit to give a greater spotlight and, worse, the way the network has a history of covering up and excusing their awfulness and this might be enough to get me to forget how much I usually love this show.

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
Remember that Simpsons where there was a passing reference to Proposition 104, a measure to kick Homer out of Springfield? For the comedy’s 500th episode (by the way, nice fake out couch gag people) The Simpsons revisits the idea as the family is forced to move to a town where people live off-the-grid. If The Simpsons were the kind of show that made references to beloved, short-lived TV shows, I’d be watching for a cameo by Blank Reg.

Desperate Housewives (ABC) 9:00 PM ET
Okay, there’s a lot about this season that’s disappointed me but I’m pretty thrilled to see Orson making a return. Unfortunately, we also see Susan getting obsessive over Julie’s pregnancy and no mention of Lynette’s hot, straight-hairdresser boyfriend.

The Apprentice (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
Sigh. This season has plenty of celebrities I’d be happy to never appear on my TV, but it also has Clay Aiken and George Takei. I’m going to remain hopeful that Takei gets off enough one-liners to make up for watching the table-flipping lady and the asshat who used to be on TV with Dr. Drew.

The Good Wife (CBS) 9:00 PM ET
It’s time for a guest-star-palooza with Rita Wilson, Parker Posey, Amy Sedaris, Edward Hermann, John Benjamin Hickey, Jonathan Groff and Denis O’Hare appearing in the same episode as Wendy tries to console herself for failing to indict Will by trying to get him disbarred. That would be why watching her lose prompts such schadenfreude.

Shameless (Showtime) 9:00 PM ET
The romantic lives of Fiona and Lip continue to be the focus as Fiona gets invited to a yacht party and is surprised to learn that Steve is also attending, and Lip helps Karen put together a prenup for Jody to sign. I’m getting a little frustrated by the lack of Ian, but I’d happily accept more scenes of Frank’s mom making him miserable (perhaps we can see her go after Monica, too?) and Joan Cusak just continuing to be freaking wonderful.

The Walking Dead (AMC) 9:00 PM ET
Rick gets confirmation that those two strangers from last week really did have a bunch of friends when he, Glenn and Hershel end up barricading themselves in the bar. I understand why a lot of people found last week’s episode to be slow moving, but I kept letting myself get distracted by Glenn’s cuteness.

American Dad (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
Stan is cursed for his animosity to the elderly by being turned into a frail old man, while Roger and Francine go on a road trip to a dancing competition.

Pan Am (ABC) 10:00 PM ET
For the season finale, Pan Am deals with the assassination of President Kennedy. It may not have found a big audience but I’m going to miss this quirky period drama, which certainly developed a unique charm even if there were some really weak storylines. 

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
For the Southland fans out there, Andy’s starting his week with a visit from Regina King.

Talking Dead (AMC) Midnight ET
Chris will be discussing this week’s episode with Steven Yuen and Padget Brewster. I’m going to have a hard time concentrating on the conversation if Yuen is there.

What will you be watching this weekend? Please share in the comments!


Monday’s Preview

Live! with Kelly (syndicated) Check local listings
Monday sees one of my major crushes, Daniel Dae Kim make what I believe is his debut as a guest-host.

Anderson (syndicated) Check local listings
It’s an hour dedicated to Janet Jackson that will include a discussion of her relationship with her brother, a performance and a dance-off.


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