News & Notes
Over on cable, ABC Family has the third winter season premiere of Greek, Animal Planet has an Animal Planet Investigates: Dog Fighting Exposed special, BBC America has the 13th season premiere of Top Gear and the series premiere of The Inbetweeners, FX has the third season premiere of Damages, Planet Green has the first season finale of Blood, Sweat & Takeaways, and Showtime has a Secret Diary of a Call Girl special and the third season premiere of Tracy Ullman’s State of the Union.
In late night, Showtime has the series premiere of La La Land.
Next week is the actually third season premiere of Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime, as this week is a special episode with star Billie Piper, who plays Belle in the series, interviewing the real Belle de Jour.
Today, USA Network has a live webcast chat for Psych fans. Watch James Roday and Dule Hill answer questions submitted by fans live at psych.usanetwork.com at 3:00 p.m. ET and then later you can watch them host WWE Monday Night Raw. Psych is back with new episodes this week on its new night, Wednesday, January 27th.
Chuck (NBC): New. Shaw sends Chuck out on his first solo mission, even though Sarah doesn’t think he is ready. On a trip to Paris he flashes on a Ring operative on the plane. Meanwhile, Casey is helping Morgan regain control of the Buy More from Jeff and Lester. I’ve thought the whole third season has been great so far, but tonight’s episode is my favorite thus far and one of the most fun. Much of that fun is had watching Chuck deal with problems that arise in his plane trip to Paris. Some solid fight sequences and we also get to meet guest star Kristin Kreuk (Smallville for the first time, as she will be in a few episodes going forward. WWE wrestler Steve Austin also guest stars tonight. I may enjoy the Buy More stuff more than some, but watching how Casey deals with Morgan’s problem is also a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see where things go next week.
Life Unexpected (The CW): New. A social worker is evaluating Baze and Kate. Meanwhile, the radio station wants Kate to deny that she has a daughter to maintain the format of the show. We get to meet Lux’s friends for the first time. Plays again Wednesday night. I loved the last week’s premiere, so much so that I’ve now seen it three times. The introduction of the main characters and story arc of the episode was so great that I was worried about what would come next. Where would the show go from here, well after seeing tonight’s episode I was no longer worried about that. Tonight’s episode is just as great. And, after seeing next week’s episode where we meet the extended families, I can say that things don’t fall off at all. This did quite well last week for The CW, but not nearly as good as I think it should, and hopefully will, do going forward.
Castle (ABC): New. Beckett and Castle investigate after a family finds a dead man in their house. Meanwhile, Castle gets featured as one of New York’s most eligible bachelors.
House (FOX): New. The men on the team seem to have a different reaction to a female patient complaining of random bouts of pain. House attempts to fix things with a former colleague.
24 (FOX): New. Jack and Renee are pursuing a dangerous lead. Dana is dealing with her problem. The president finds out that the threat to peace may be even bigger than they thought.
Greek (ABC Family): Winter Premiere. The ZBZs are still worried about the Gamma Psi house burning down, so they attend a Fairytale Ball fundraiser for them. Rusty takes over as pledge educator at his house, but has a few problems. Cappie is trying to deal with the loss of his former KT brothers that were expelled. Plays again late night Wednesday. This episode is really good, except for having to deal with the fire problem they unleashed at the end of the first half of the season. It was the first misstep of what has been an absolutely great season otherwise, but it was a pretty big misstep. I just don’t see how they work out of this one, it’s too big to go away and the resolution will have to match it. Other than that I really liked this episode, but really hope they have some really good idea up their sleeve to get out of this one, cause the easiest solution to the problem is not the path they took in this episode.
- Damages (FX): Season Premiere. Patty Hewes has been put in charge of trying to recoup the money for investors that lost everything in a Bernie Madoff-type investment scandal. Ellen is working in the District Attorney’s Office. Plays twice and replays multiple times throughout the week. All the regular players are back, Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, and Tate Donovan. But, much like previous seasons, the rest of the cast is pretty phenomenal with Campbell Scott, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine, Reiko Aylesworth and many other recognizable faces. The first episode opens just the way you’d expect with its twisty time bending storytelling style, but as usual you are not quite sure where it is going and how the episode will end. Once again they kick things off with an extremely compelling and well-executed premiere episode. While it bounces around a lot, they do a good job of keeping the viewer knowing when something is taking place. Once again, I’ll be onboard for the rest of the season. Look for a season two DVD giveaway later today.
- Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives (Food Network): New. Guy does some tailgaiting. A repeat episode follows. Both play again later.
- Good Eats (Food Network): New. Alton is making Margaritas and other drinks. A repeat episode follows. Both play again later.
- The Inbetweeners (BBC America): Series Premiere. A teen dealing with the split of his parents has to move and make friends at a new school. This comedy series follows a group of four friends that are really cool, yet are really nerds. Runs 30 minutes. The first two new episodes play tonight and then it moves to Wednesday nights later this week. I’ve heard that it did very well over in Britain and is going into its third season. Thanks for the tip @tomwilson23.
- Make It or Break It (ABC Family): New. Emily reads a blog that shakes her confidence, which affects her performance. Payson is having trouble with a girl at school. Plays again later.
- Men of a Certain Age (TNT): New. Joe takes his kids to visit their grandfather. Terry wants to be a Big Brother. Problems arise at the dealership after their new commercial airs. Plays again later. I actually liked this episode. It wasn’t as great as the episode from two week’s ago, but it didn’t make me want to smack my head into a wall like the first few of the season did. Overall, I’m lukewarm on this show, but that’s a huge improvement over where I was two episodes ago.
- One Tree Hill (The CW): New. Haley and Quinn’s sister Taylor shows up with Quinn’s ex, her new boyfriend. Clay attempts to show Quinn that he is serious about them.
- Tracy Ullman’s State of the Union (Showtime): Season Premiere. Tracy plays many different characters and tries to be funny, but I found this episode to lack much humor at all. What little bit was there, didn’t even come close to making me laugh. I haven’t watched much of this show in the past and this episode reminded me of why I don’t.
- ESPN has doubleheader college basketball action.
- ESPN2 has women’s college basketball and coverage of the Australian Open tennis tournament.
- NBA TV has the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat.
- Versus has NHL action.
- La La Land (Showtime): Series Premiere. This is a pseudo-reality comedy series starring British comedian Marc Wooton. He plays three different characters that have all come to make it in Hollywood, a documentary filmmaker, an actor, and a psychic. The conceit of the show is that they put him in these characters dealing with real people in real situations. If only they were real funny situations. They weren’t even pseudo-funny. I usually give a new show three episodes before I completely make up my mind, but the first episode has to show at least a tiny little bit of potential, has to have something that I like, however small, to get those next two episodes. This show didn’t have that, so it won’t be watched again. For me this show falls in the category of not even understanding how it got made, let alone put on TV.
Discovery Channel has six episodes of Overhaulin’.
Oxygen has 12 episodes of America’s Next Top Model.
Spike has nine hours of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episodes.
Syfy has eight episodes of Joan of Arcadia.
USA has 10 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent early.
WE has five episodes of My Fair Wedding With David Tutera early and 14 episodes of The Golden Girls later on.