The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The Weekly TV Roundup: 4-28-08

Written by: Ron Bricker

Image Now that all our favorite shows are back to finish out their seasons with style, the nonstop breaking news of last week is slowing down as everyone instead sits hunched over their television, wondering how Ben managed to summon the Smoke Monster after that Freighter freak killed Alex.  Or whether Anthony Anderson will gel with the rest of the Law & Order cast.  Or why According to Jim is still on the air.

On the top of the list of news stories that did break, it's been confirmed via Fox News of all places that Jimmy Fallon will inherit Conan O'Brien's Late Night chair after O'Brien takes over for Leno in 2009.  Fallon's long been rumored for the job, and I personally think it'll be great – he's personable, good-looking, and can do lots of really good impressions.  I'm all too aware that a lot of people don't like the guy, and to that I say (A) his tendency to crack up during every sketch he was in on SNL actually might help him as a late night host, and (B) the alternative was Carson Daly.  Case closed.

Recently Oscar-nominated actress Amy Ryan, who's actually quite lovely when not playing the worst white trash mother you've ever laid eyes on, will guest star in The Office's season finale.  It's unknown what kind of person she'll be playing, but according to those snoops at TV Guide, two Office regulars will be getting engaged.  Yeah, we're meant to think it'll be Jim and Pam, so will they pull the ol' switcheroo and have it be Andy and Angela?  I might vomit at that very thought, but at least it means they wouldn't be rushing the whole Jim/Pam relationship to a bizarre degree.

And finally in this week's "No Duh" news, 30 Rock and Scrubs switched time slots.  Scrubs is now paired with My Name is Earl, while 30 Rock is now paired with The Office.  How come no one thought of this earlier?  Why did they ever put Earl and 30 Rock in the same hour?  Let's see, single career woman in New York City…and rednecks.  So much crossover viewership potential!


Virtually every new episode of scripted TV this week

Monday 4/28:

In the "surprisingly entertaining" department, Bones and House reunite tonight, and "maternally challenged" Bones has to temporarily take care of a baby boy whose mother was murdered.  Awkward hijinks interspersed with procedural drama should ensue.  I would tell you all about Gossip Girl, but I forgot to catch last week's episode and can't watch it online because of the CW's brilliant plan to get more viewers.  So let's talk instead mention The Hills (10pm, MTV).  Yes, I know it's "reality," but c'mon, there's nothing real about it.  Everything we see is a staged recreation of something that happened…inside the show's writers' heads.  I hear even Lauren Conrad is a robot.  True story.


Bones, 8:00, Fox

Gossip Girl, 8:00, CW

Cold Case, 9:00, CBS

House, 9:00, Fox

One Tree Hill, 9:00, CW

Samantha Who, 9:30, ABC

Medium, 10:00, NBC


Tuesday 4/29:

After a decent lineup of television on Monday, tonight's pickings could be put into the "Shows I'm Not At All Interested In" pile.  Women's Murder Club?  Shark?  Let's face it, even Reaper didn't nearly live up to the potential of its pilot.  The one spot of interest is Law & Order: SVU, notable because it's the show's 200th episode – and because it features Robin Williams.  I usually don't like it when they pull in the famous guest stars – Chevy Chase playing Mel Gibson last year just wasn't very good – but I usually tune in anyway just to see how big of a creep they're playing.


According to Jim, 8:00, ABC

NCIS, 8:00, CBS

Reaper, 9:00, CW

Shark, 9:00, CBS

Women's Murder Club, 10:00, ABC

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 10:00, NBC

The Riches, 10:00, FX


Wednesday 4/30:

More of a snoozefest, I hate to say.  Although I haven't caught Criminal Minds since Inigo Montoya left the show – is there anybody out there under 70 who actually watches it and can tell me whether it's any good?  Even the reality shows on tonight are bottom-of-the-barrel, even by reality show standards: Wife Swap and Supernanny on ABC and Farmer Wants a Wife on the CW.  I don't even have to comment: just look at the names of those shows, I mean really look at them.  You're better off just watching a Price is Right special on at 8:00 and calling it a night.


'Til Death, 8:00, Fox

Back to You, 8:30, Fox

Criminal Minds, 9:00, CBS

Boston Legal, 10:00, ABC

CSI: New York, 10:00, CBS

Law & Order, 10:00, NBC

Thursday 5/1:

Miraculously, every single minute of primetime tonight is new on every single network.  So your choices are finally varied, although I'll be sticking to the NBC-comedies-lead-into-Lost plan I formed last week, even though I must admit I've finally cooled off on Scrubs a little bit.  Watching it on Comedy Central fifteen times a week can do that to you.  Lost is better than ever, but hey, I'm no elitist, if you want to watch ER, it's cool, that's a good show too.  If you want to watch Without a Trace, though, you need to re-evaluate your idea of must-see television. 


Ugly Betty, 8:00, ABC

Smallville, 8:00, CW
My Name is Earl, 8:00, NBC

Scrubs, 8:30, NBC

Grey's Anatomy, 9:00, ABC

CSI, 9:00, CBS

Supernatural, 9:00, CW

The Office, 9:00, NBC

30 Rock, 9:30, NBC

Lost, 10:00, ABC

ER, 10:00, NBC

Without a Trace, 10:00, CBS


Friday 5/2:

And…after Thursday's burst of excitement we're back to slim pickings.  For those of you who haven't gotten into Battlestar Galactica, your best bet is The Soup at 10:00, because that Joel McHale is just a funny guy, man.  Or you could watch the reality game show Duel on ABC at 9:00, which intrigues me because I've somehow never heard of it.  I just YouTubed it and watched two promos, one of which attempted to explain the rules, and I still have no idea what it's about.


Ghost Whisperer, 8:00, CBS

The Sarah Jane Adventures, 8:00, Sci-Fi

Dr. Who, 9:00, Sci-Fi

Moonlight, 9:00, CBS

Numb3rs, 10:00, CBS

Battlestar Galactica, 10:00, Sci-Fi


Saturday 5/3:

Once again, your only scripted offering is Robin Hood.  SNL is rerunning the Jonah Hill episode ("The walls in your condo are thinner than Shelly Duvall! I'm joking! I don't even know who that is, I'm six!") before returning with a new episode next week featuring Shia LaBeouf's second time as host, presumably plugging that little summer movie of his.

Robin Hood, 9:00, BBC America


Sunday 5/4:

Sunday's always a mixed bag.  For those of you who like stupid humor from past-their-prime shows, head over to Fox; the soap opera fans will have to choose between Desperate Housewives and The Tudors; if you choose the latter, and you want to feel particularly intellectual, you could always stick around at 10:00 to watch the documentary series This American Life.  It's surprisingly absorbing.


Cold Case, 8:00, CBS

Everybody Hates Chris, 8:00, CW

The Simpsons, 8:00, Fox

Aliens in America, 8:30, CW

King of the Hill, 8:30, Fox

Desperate Housewives, 9:00, ABC

The Game, 9:00, CW

The Tudors, 9:00, Showtime

Family Guy, 9:00, Fox

American Dad, 9:30, Fox

Brothers & Sisters, 10:00, CBS