Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv
Fringe (Friday, 9/8c, Fox)
With time-tripping future shock and head-spinning "what world is this" chaos, the literally fantastic third season of Fringe wraps with what should be a spectacular finish. Having put himself in the doomsday device and glimpsing an apocalyptic future, Peter is about to realize his destiny as the warring parallel worlds continue to collide. As in past seasons, the grand finale promises to be a true game-changer, and how happy are we that Fox looked beyond the dismal Friday ratings — what did they expect — to ensure the show a fourth season to keep blowing our minds.
Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour (Saturday, 9/8c, HBO)
Who else but HBO could truly do justice to an unexpurgated concert special showcasing the Madonna of the new millennium: the protean and prolific and perversely unpredictable Lady Gaga. Culled from two February performances at Madison Square Garden, the special features baroque costume changes and energetic dance routines set to a playlist that includes such instant pop standards as "Poker Face," "Paparazzi," "Bad Romance," "Telephone," "Alejandro" and the new (and derivative) "Born This Way" — the latter the centerpiece of a new album to be released May 23. Among the producers of the special: American Idol "mentor" Jimmy Iovine.
Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, NBC)
Third time could be a charm — though her first two return visits weren't all that shabby — as Tina Fey, the former SNL head writer and Weekend Update anchor, now Emmy-winning TV star/producer (30 Rock) and best-selling author (of the hilarious memoir Bossypants), returns to Studio 8H to reunite with her old crew. Lots has happened in the world lately, from the death of Osama to Obama trumping Trump, so this could be one of the more notable episodes of the season. British singing star Ellie Goulding will be the musical guest.
The Amazing Race (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS)
This "Unfinished Business" season hasn't been my favorite: Many of the challenges were curiously underwhelming, especially given that repeat racers were involved. And watching players give answers to rival teams (most notably the Globetrotters, as if they wouldn't be an athletically capable threat at other times) has also been aggravating. And selfishly, I'm sorry the cowboys didn't make it to the final four. But the final legs do tend to be among the more exciting, so as the two-hour finale takes the teams through Brazil to the Florida Keys, let's hope for more tension and suspense than we've seen up to this point. Can underdogs Zev and Justin, who've placed first a surprising number of times, make it to the finish line ahead of the Globetrotters, sisters Kisha and Jen, and father-daughter Gary and Mallory? I'm rooting for the best buds. In other season finale news, ABC's Brothers & Sisters sends Sarah and Luc down the matrimonial aisle, but not without complications, naturally. The question lingers whether this is a season or series finale.
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