TV on Tap: Steve Carrell Won’t Return to “The Office,” Brooke Shields Joins “Army Wives” and “American Horror Story” Loses Viewers

The CGI blood splatter makes one final run as Spartacus: War of the Damned begins.


NBC’s adaptation of The Gates, based on a British comedy about parents dropping their kids off after school has added Ken Marino and Aasif Mandvi to its cast.

Steve Carrell confirmed he won’t be returning to The Office for the finale, Carrell told Access Hollywood, “I just didn’t think it was right for the character, because that character had had an arch within the story and kind of grew and sort of evolved past the idea of the documentary.”

As the revamping of Army Wives continues, we learn that Brooke Shields is joining the drama.

Steve Howey will appear in an upcoming episode of New Girl as a professional football player who catches Jess’ eye, according to TVLine.

There’s a part me that would like to give Beauty and the Beast another chance. If it wasn’t trying to follow in the footsteps of the incredible 1987 series, I probably would be able to give it a fair shot, but its too far from the original for me, and not even making a pile of smoldering hotness like Sendhil Ramamurthy a series regular can win me over.

Oh, joy. We’re stuck with Dr. Phil until 2017.

Before there was The Big Bang Theory, Head of the Class mixed nerds and punchlines without making the nerds the joke. Too bad the Individual Honors Program class has been mostly forgotten since then.

The ratings for American Horror Story’s finale was a bit of a mixed bag. 2.3 million viewers tuned in for the finale. While that’s a pretty good number, 40% of the viewers who watched the beginning of “Asylum” didn’t stick around for the finale and a million fewer viewers than the first season finale.

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Anderson’s latest indulgence into reality TV is a chat with the Gator Boys from the Animal Planet series.

Shakespeare Uncovered (PBS) Check local listings
PBS indulges the theatre nerds with this look at the stories behind the plays of William Shakespeare. First, Ethan Hawke researches the historical figure who inspired MacBeth. That’s followed by a second episode where Joley Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave examine the cross-dressing in Twelfth Night and As You Like It.

Nikita (CW) 8:00 PM ET
Michael is going through the stages of loss with his hand and he’s firmly in the “anger” phase. Hopefully, it doesn’t take long for him to get to the “realizing that The Division gives him access to choosing a wicked cool replacement hand” phase.

Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz) 9:00 PM ET
Get ready to say goodbye to the sight of sweaty, muscled gladiators as Starz’s Roman Empire drama begins its final season, and the empire decides its time to become serious about putting down Spartacus’ rebellion.

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
It’s too bad Admiral Akbar isn’t one of Camelot’s knights, because when a Princess from another land comes asking for help, Arthur could really use someone that will warn “It’s a trap!”

Portlandia (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
It’s time for a Sleater-Kinney mini-reunion as the Battle of the Gentle Bands brings Janet Weiss to town, along with Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and the Dirty Projectors. There’s also a search for a new mayor, thanks to a scandal (I’m hoping it involves damn fine pie) that takes the current mayor out of office. I think that means it’s time for Roseanne’s appearance.

If that look is all that Adam Levine brings to Saturday Night Live, I’ll be fine.

Saturday’s Listings

Abominable Snowman (Syfy) 9:00 PM ET
After the Sharktopi, (insert adjective) spiders and Mega-whatsits, a Syfy original movie featuring a classic monster like the Abominable Snowman seems a little quaint but at least it gets Highlander Adrian Paul and Stargate technician Chuck Campbell back to TV.

Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual (WE) 9:00 PM ET
Cyndi films a PSA for the True Colors Foundation but it’s the kind of experience that leaves her muttering to herself about professionalism and how she’s run a tighter ship.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC America) 10:15 PM ET
This week, Graham’s guests are Denzel Washington, Nicholas Hoult, comedian Bill Bailey (wait, would that count as a Skins reunion?)and Connor Maynard.

Saturday Night Live (NBC) 11:30 PM ET
Following on his American Horror Story acting debut, Adam Levine hosts SNL with musical guest Kendrick Lamar.

Sunday’s Listings

Masterpiece Classic (PBS) Check local listings
I’m all for Downton having a major story arc for the season, but I’m not sure if “Free Bates” is compelling enough to keep going on like this. On the other hand, this week sees Edith take up writing a newspaper column.

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
Homer’s half-brother Herb Powell (Danny DeVito) is back in the picture once Marge and Homer start contemplating their mortality and start to think about who should be the Simpson kids’ guardian if tragedy were to happen. However, the kids are campaigning for a cool couple, Mav and Portia (voiced by Rashida Jones).

Girls (HBO) 9:00 PM ET
Unsurprisingly, it turns out Elijah is one of those people who can be tricked into letting out a secret if you keep him distracted … or, rather, he’s just like anyone. I get the impression he’s going to get named a “bad friend” for it, though. So someone does, it’s the title of the episode.

The Good Wife (CBS) 9:00 PM ET
Louis Canning’s latest move against Lockhart Gardner comes in the form of a big offer to steal Alicia away from the firm. Okay, so he’s been trying that for a while but this time she’s taking the offer seriously.

Doctor Who (BBC America) 9:00 PM ET
To prepare for the 50th anniversary, BBC America is airing a series of specials highlighting the different Doctor that fans have watched before Matt Smith took over the role. Naturally, they’re starting at the beginning with the first Doctor (William Hartnell, with a special about the era and an airing of “The Aztecs,” the serial. I’ll admit, I’m feeling a mix of excitement and wariness to this, as someone who has only watched the new Who, can the lower production values draw me in? (Thanks, Carlos and peculiar!)

Family Guy (Fox) 9:00 PM ET
Oh boy, so a trip to Harvard leads to Quagmire marrying a prostitute and no choice but to pretend to be married to Peter to get out of it. That sounds typically awful but at least this one has the voices of Sofia Vergara, Mae Whitman and Megan Hilty.

Shameless (Showtime) 9:00 PM ET
With a tough economy, Fiona learns that its much tougher to get a job as a grocery store cashier. On the bright side, that leaves things open for Fiona and Veronica to put together a revenge caper.

The Shahs of Sunset (Bravo) 9:00 PM ET
Now that GG has become so isolated she’s practically in her own spin-off, the gang has another debate if they’re going to try to repair their relationship of just walk away.

Enlightened (HBO) 9:30 PM ET
Some of Amy worst moments took place with Levi around… so should I be bracing myself for this week’s episode that starts with Amy getting a letter from Levi?

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy’s week begins with a chat with Jeff Lewis and Asa Rahmati.

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

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