TV on Tap: “Smash” Pulls Back the Musical Numbers, Stephen Colbert for South Carolina and “Leverage” Hopes for the Best but Plans to Say Aideu

There better not be any snakes at this Video Game Awards show.


New Smash show runner Josh Safran tells EW that viewers can expect fewer random musical numbers, like the bowling alley performance and the Bollywood dream sequence, though there still could be dream sequences, just ones that aren’t so glaringly out of place.

Silvio Horta and Salma Hayek are teaming up again, six years after the two worked to bring Ugly Betty to ABC. According to Deadline, the two are working on Bastards, a drama about a “colorful” (and I’m guessing wealthy) Cuban-American family who learns that there’s a bastard relative out there, the first revelation of many secrets within the family.

The fifth season of Leverage — currently TNT’s longest-running show airing new episodes — will air its finale on Christmas Day, and with the prospect of a sixth season still uncertain, series producer Dean Devlin wrote an open letter to fans promising that the episode will work as a satisfying series finale, in case the show gets cancelled.

Did you hear that South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is leaving his office? And in a totally unrelated note:

This is going to be good.

Bad news, Fringe fans, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv told TVLine that they plan on taking a break after the cult sci-fi show wraps and take a little time off before finding another series role.

USA is developing its first sci-fi series since The 4400 with the help of The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd. The WWII-era Horizon follows an FBI secretary who uncovers an alien invasion after her husband is killed in a battle with a spaceship.

Treat Williams will play Taylor Kinney’s dad on an episode of Chicago Fire, according to TV Guide.

Suddenly I feel like I have a much greater insight into both Homeland’s Carrie and Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The second season of Call the Midwife will debut on PBS on March 31 with the Christmas special airing on December 30. That’s before the holidays are over, does PBS think they’re dealing with Doctor Who?

Overall, soap opera ratings may have been dropping for the past several years, but in that time, The Young and the Restless has just marked 24 years as the top soap.

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Lisa Rinna guest-hosts today’s show which includes a visit from Glee’s Melissa Benoist.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Not only is Christina Aguilera visiting today (too bad she can’t try to get the audience to vote for her Voice team), it brings the debut of this year’s hunky reindeer.

Nikita (CW) 8:00 PM ET
Nikita decides to use a recently-captured arms dealer (Isaiah Mustafa) as bait to bring Amanda out of hiding. Hopefully, Nikita remembers Isaiah Mustafa doesn’t work as bait unless you get him riding a horse shirtless.

Malibu Country (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
Things take a turn this week when Lillie Mae offers some homemade beer to one of Bobby’s old bandmates (Steven Weber) and while there are other aspects of the story, its all been derailed in my mind by the revelation that Lillie Mae is a homebrewer. Now I want to hang out with Lillie Mae and geek out on the merits of a brown ale versus a wit.

VGA Ten (Spike, MTV2, MTV, TR3S) 9:00 PM ET
Now that G4 has given up on video games in its new focus on “upscale” male viewers who aren’t into technology or video games, I guess there’s just Spike and its annual celebration of the best of video games to fill the void — and on the tenth anniversary of the award show. To celebrate the occasion, past hosts — including Neil Patrick Harris — will appear in addition to Samuel Jackson hosting this year’s ceremonies. Plus, as with every VGA ceremony, look for the big upcoming games to debut the new trailer. Aren’t we due for a big announcement from Bethesda, or is BioShock: Infinite as good as it gets next year?

Back to the Wild (Animal Planet) 10:00 PM ET
I’ve had a variety of reactions to the story of Christopher McCandless, who died from starvation while hiking the Alaskan wilderness, and eventually inspired a movie that got Emile Hirsch to show pickle on the big screen, but I’ve remained somewhat fascinated throughout. Animal Planet takes another look at McCandless’ story, talking with friends and family.

Haven (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
We still have three episodes to go and only a few Haven residents haven’t fallen into a deep sleep. Good thing Audrey.can carry a show.

Billy on the Street (Fuse) 10:00 PM ET
I never gotten around to checking out Fuse’s comedy game show, where comedian Billy Eichner asks people on the streets of New York crazy trivia, but Guy Branum contributed to this season, which gives me a little more motivation to look up where Fuse falls on my cable listings.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an Amazing Race happy ending.

Saturday’s Listings

Holly’s Holiday (Lifetime) 8:00 PM ET
So what has Claire Coffee been up to while Adalind’s been spending time away from the Portland of Grimm? It turns out she’s in this Lifetime movie about a busy professional woman who gets to romance a mannequin who comes to life (Ryan McPartlin), who may have perfectly-sculpted features but not a very interesting personality. I hope he’s gullible enough to believe that those muscles on his stomach indicate how many days a week he’s not allowed to wear a shirt.

12 Disasters of Christmas (Syfy) 9:00 PM ET
If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of apocalyptic prophecies in this year’s crops of holiday-themed telefilms, Syfy has you covered with this movie where Ed Quinn realizes his daughter is the “Chosen One” meant to prevent the end of the world predicted by the Mayan calendar. There’s a “Chosen One”? I guess I can continue putting off trying out that wassail recipe, after all.

A Very Special Christmas: 25 Years of Bringing Joy to the World (GMC) 9:00 PM ET
I don’t usually follow the listings of the former Gospel Music Channel (which, at one point, I mixed up with the channel that wouldn’t let The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd say “bitch”) but GMC’s holiday special is hosted by Vanessa Williams and includes performances by Tracy Chapman, Stevie Wonder and Stevie Nicks, among others. That’s one way to break through with me.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC America) 10:00 PM ET
Graham’s talking with Joan Rivers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Taylor with a performance by Ke(US)$ha. I hear Joan says something unkind about Glee which seems a bit daring for 2010.

Saturday Night Live (NBC) 11:30 PM ET
SNLreturns with host Jamie Foxx.

Sunday’s Listings

The Amazing Race (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
Drat. I was feeling so hopeful last week. Things were looking grim for Team Theivery. My partner was muttering about a non-elimination leg but I would point out that the finale was coming up. Then, I realized the finale was two-hours long, giving CBS a chance to subject us to a full season of brain-unraveling screams of “Go twinneeee!” I am going to be rooting so hard for Team Gay, whether that be the humor and easygoing nature of Team Chippendale or the full-frontal nerdity of Team Beekman (I would be in heaven if the Beekmans are given plenty of mental puzzles to breeze through.)

The Mistle-Tones (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
Hallmark and Lifetime has been finding ways to get our attention with the casting of holiday movies, but ABC Family shows them how its done with Tori Spelling and Tia Mowry in a movie about rival Christmas choirs, the traditional one and the scrappy underdogs. You’ve got Spelling, Mowry and Christmas carol numbers, so the only way this could get more faboo is if Spelling sang “Enter You” at some point. (And for those of you bummed by the cancellation of The L.A. Complex, this one has Jonathan Patrick Moore in a role that probably doesn’t involve hurting himself).

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
Hipsters come to Springfield by way of Portlandia as the Simpson clan starts hanging out with the new family in town (played by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Patton Oswalt). At the least, I hope they find the hottest brunch spot in Springfield.

Help for the Holidays (Hallmark) 8:00 PM ET
Remember how Summer Glau was a deadly warrior on Firefly and a Terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles? Here she’s playing an elf who gets time off from the toy factory to help remind a Los Angeles family about the spirit of Christmas. I hope someone’s inspired to create a mash-up video.

Family Guy (Fox) 9:00 PM ET
Remember when it felt like Fox’s animated comedies were edgier than live action sitcoms because that lack of realism made it easier to accept craziness? This week’s story — where Meg learns her crush is gay, only to use his crush on Chris — sounds like its determined to quash that idea.

Oprah’s Next Chapter (OWN) 9:00 PM ET
It’s a Scandalicious chapter with series creator Shonda Rhimes and star Kerry Washington.

American Dad (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
When Steve’s babysitter breaks a leg, that leaves Stan and Francine desperate enough to leave Hayley in charge. Wait, Steve still needs a babysitter? And Hayley? Why not just sign over the bank accounts to Roger and ask him to keep Steve safe?

The Shahs of Sunset (Bravo) 10:00 PM ET
Okay, one episode into the new season and the guilty pleasure hasn’t become any less fun — except for the addition of Michael Castillo, I hope we get to see more of him than those terrified looks he made while meeting with Asa. This week, sees Reza deal with the idea that he’s getting too old to be partying the way he does. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like that realization doesn’t actually stop him from partying so hard.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Bravo goes from Sunday night’s reality TV lineup to chatting with Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi and Cynthia Bailey.

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

Monday’s Preview

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Monday brings “The Full 60″ which is Anderson’s version of “A Day of Hot Topics” except that Anderson will be joined by Judy Greer so that doesn’t sound awful but just delightful.

The Talk (CBS) Check local listings
Monday’s a newsy show with Anderson Cooper, the CBS This Morning team. Also, Sandra Lee. I hope she’s bringing a Kawanzaa Harvest cake.

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