TV on Tap: “Catfish” Returns to Find More Fake People and Paul Giamatti Heads to “Downton Abbey”


We’re only starting to watch them on Teen Wolf but Charlie and Max Carver have joined the cast of HBO’s pilot The Leftovers, according to Deadline. Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, the drama follows people left on earth after the Rapture with the Carvers playing a pair of happy-go-lucky identical twins.

Max and charlie Carver in Teen WolfSince it’s HBO, we can feel safe this won’t be going to waste.

In a surprising turn, TVLine broke the news that Paul Giamatti will appear in the fourth season of Downton Abbey as Cora’s brother.

For a while there was a lot of worry about how TV networks and cable channels would deal with loss of ad revenue driven by declining viewership and DVR use (advertisers don’t usually pay for people who watch shows on their DVR) but Vulture breaks down the new ways networks pay for programming, using Under the Dome as an example. Thanks to streaming rights, international sales and state tax incentives, CBS managed to pay for the cost of filming Dome before it sold any ads (or product placement).

Under the Dome

I haven’t really discussed the furor over Paula Deen admitting to some racist views in a deposition, but I’m enjoying the Tumblr blog White People Mad at Food Network which collects angry Facebook comments from people upset that the Food Network didn’t renew Deen’s contract. Much like the guy who defended the defendants in the Steubenville rape trial by declaring on Twitter, “they did what most people in their situation would have done,” I am amused and appalled by the things people will admit online. (And then there’s the revelation that Anne Rice is terrible at considering the context of the phrases she uses.)

In ratings news, Bristol Palin’s Wife Swap hit a series low (can we stop offering this family TV shows now?) giving Whodunnit? a disappointing debut. Meanwhile, the return of Drop Dead Diva was even with last season but the debut of Devious Maids was a disappointment for a new show.

Peggy Olson making the Mad Men silhouetteThis was worth tying the ratings record all by itself.

Discovery and AMC got good ratings news news: the Mad Men finale tied with last year’s finale, which was the drama’s most watched while 12.8 million viewers checked out Nik Wallenda crossing a Grand Canyon area gorge, making Naked and Afraid the year’s biggest premiere for Discovery.


The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Kathy Griffin and Wendy Williams chatting? That makes me wish I could figure out the odd Wendy Williams Show schedule in my area.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Did Gabi compare her new living arrangement to Three’s Company? Wrong sitcom — unless she plans on futilely hitting on Will and Sonny. Still it’s move-in day, which makes today’s show the pilot episode of NBC’s new sitcom about a gay man living with his boyfriend, his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend and their daughter. I think it’s called The Newer Normal.

Pretty Little Liars, "Cat's Cradle"

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
Hanna digs up her original Carrie Diaries audition monologue and asks her mother, “Why were your Monolos mud-stained?” or, at least, tries her best to keep anyone else from thinking about asking such a thing. There’s also a creepy mask maker since incriminating designer shoes are not enough camp for this show.

Minute to Win It (GSN) 8:00 PM ET
NBC’s irritating revamp of Beat the Clock moves from broadcast to cable, replacing Guy Fieri with Apolo Anton Ohno. I’m not sure if that makes the show more tolerable or just stains Ohno.

Apolo Ohno hosing Minute to Win ItThat gesture isn’t giving me hope for an improvement on Minute to Win It’s host.

The Haves and Have Nots (OWN) 9:00 PM ET
Scheming Candace steps up her troublemaking game. Considering how retro this show can be, I’m starting to expect the season to end with a pregnant Candace getting pushed down the stairs in the middle of a fancy gala.

Twisted (ABC Family) 9:00 PM ET
Jo decides she’s tired of her grumpy loner look and tries to get to know Lacey’s mean girl pals. I didn’t expect this show to give me reason to hope for a makeover montage.

Catfish: The TV Show's Nev and BenThe thing is they already got a room. They get a room every week.

Catfish: The TV Show (MTV) 10:00 PM ET
Last year, MTV had a big hit with its reality show about two guys who use other people’s love lives as an excuse to travel around country and share tiny motel rooms. Okay, there were ridiculously-compelling stories about people who let their hearts totally overcome all sense and fall in love with strangers they meet online, but that was just a case-of-the-week to fill time until the next time Nev and Max sit on a bed together to Skype. (It’s like when Rizzoli and Ilses drink wine in bed together.) This season starts with a woman who proposed to a rapper she never met.

Chopped (Food Network) 10:00 PM ET
The competition begins with a “gyro-themed” appetizer round, leading into an entree basket featuring steak and donuts. That gives me a flashback to the time a satirical website claimed President Bush’s 2005 inaugural dinner would be the first one to feature brand-sponsored recipes like a Coca-Cola brined turkey and Dunkin’ Donut Stuffing. Wait, why are you running to the bathroom with your hand over your mouth?

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


Tomorrow’s Preview

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Adrienne shows up tomorrow to play The Newer Normal’s disapproving (but not bigoted) Nana.

Big Brother (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
It’s an early start to my annual ranting about how Big Brother could be great reality TV but fails.

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