It's another ridiculously busy night of TV, with premieres and finales jousting for attention amid other distractions. It's just as well that CBS' top-rated lineup is taking a breather with repeats.
First, the farewells, going head to head. Once again, NBC sends away its reliably tear-jerking Parenthood (10/9c) earlier in the TV year than we'd like, but a limited run of 15 episodes beats the alternative. Shows like this don't tend to repeat well, and if a shorter run makes business sense — while freeing up the time period in the back half of the season for something else (in this case, a retooled Smash in two weeks) — then so be it. This fourth season has been Parenthood's strongest and most emotionally charged to date, especially in the storyline involving Kristina's breast cancer ordeal, providing Monica Potter and Peter Krause (as husband Adam) with their strongest dramatic material to date. Emmy voters, wake up and take note.
The bitch is back! Joan Collins plays an even more diva-fied version of herself in three episodes of TV Land's Happily Divorced, beginning November 28.
"She's a strong, glamorous woman with a very good sense of humor who is quite independent, quite rich and likes to get her own way," Collins, 79, says of herself.
Dynasty creators Richard and Esther Shapiro are putting the finishing touches on a film script that would be a prequel to their 1980s oil drama, focusing on the 1960s love story between twentysomething Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) and teen Alexis Morrell (Joan Collins).
"It seems to be the right time, with Sex and the City and some of the other TV shows having jumped to the big screen," says Richard, adding that "everyone has always wanted to know the beginnings of Blake and Alexis, who was in love with him throughout the series."
The film opens with Blake battling his half siblings upon discovering he's a Carrington ...
The guest stars and events that the networks have planned for the second week of November sweeps:
Sunday, Nov. 7
The Simpsons (FOX)
Lisa Simpson has a crush on the sparkly new teen vampire in town (Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe); during Marge and Homer's second honeymoon at sea, they meet a castaway who sounds an awful lot like Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie).
DOCTOR WHO (Saturday, BBC America, 9/8c)
Matt Smith's crackerjack first season as the newest Timelord nears an end with the first of a two-part finale that once again confronts the Doctor and Amy with that pesky crack in the universe. Look for the return of the enigmatic River Song and several favorite guest villains as the Doctor grapples with the mysterious Pandorica, which legend says contains the most feared being in the cosmos. Hang on...