TV Hot List


Tonight's TV Hot List: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011

An Idiot Abroad

An Idiot Abroad
9:30/8:30c Science Channel
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office creators, send Karl Pilkington to sites across the world in this offbeat series. What sets this apart from other travelogues? Karl is truly a stranger in a strange land as his cohorts don't tell him where he's going or what to expect while cameras capture his off-the-cuff reactions. In the debut, we get a look at what to expect from the series, which is followed by Karl's trip to China at 10/9c. — Michael Chant

Read on for previews of College Basketball, America's Most Wanted, Backyard Wedding, Pit Bulls and Parolees, Primeval and Green Zone. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Friday, Jan. 21, 2011

Fringe

Fringe
9/8c Fox
With Walter's well-known love for music and drugs, it figures that his Euterpean tastes tilt toward progressive and psychedelic rock. And prominent in his vinyl collection is a band called Violet Sedan Chair, so Walter is in for a treat when he meets Roscoe Joyce (Christopher Lloyd), the group's keyboardist. Also of note is the show's move to Friday, and the episode's title, "The Firefly," is likely a nod to Joss Whedon's sci-fi cult classic "Firefly" that floundered on Friday nights. — Joe Friedrich

Read on for previews of Kitchen Nightmares, Medium, Onion News Network, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Portlandia and Comedy Central Presents. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

Fairly Legal

Fairly Legal
10/9c USA
Sarah Shahi stars in USA's latest series as disenchanted lawyer Kate Reed, who decides to make a career switch. Eager to stop fighting and start actually solving problems, Kate decides to become a mediator. It's a transition that's immediately put to the test when she has to settle a dispute that could spell the end for her recently deceased father's law firm. — Brie Hearn

Read on for previews of Perfect Couples, Bones, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Royal Pains, CSI and Parks and Recreation. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

American Idol

American Idol
8/7c Fox
The chart-topping, star-making talent contest returns for its 10th cycle with Part 1 of the two-part season premiere. The off-season has been a game of musical chairs for the judges: Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres and sharp-tongued vet Simon Cowell are out and new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are in, joining sole returnee Randy Jackson. In another development, music impresario Jimmy Iovine serves as the new in-house mentor. We kick off tonight with the oft-colorful preliminary auditions, which are set in New York and New Jersey. Other audition destinations this season include Austin, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans and San Francisco. — Dean Maurer

Read on for previews of Modern Family, Blue Bloods, Hot in Cleveland, Top Chef, Retired at 35 and PGA Golf. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Life Unexpected

Life Unexpected
8/7c CW
The CW has not officially canceled this show, but they didn't pick up a full season of episodes for Season 2, so things don't look good for the show's fans. In this two-hour season finale, it's somewhat fitting that characters find unexpected things happening. Baze makes big plans for a future with Emma, unaware of the past she shares with his father. Then Lux arranges to enjoy a romantic meal with Eric, but is shocked when her parents arrive to throw a wrench in those plans. — Jennifer Sankowski

Read on for previews of The Biggest Loser, NCIS, No Ordinary Family, Pioneers of Television, White Collar and College Basketball. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Monday, Jan. 17, 2011

Skins

Skins
10/9c MTV
The American adaptation of this provocative teen drama from across the pond makes its highly anticipated U.S. debut, and while the series, known for its frank depictions of teen sex and substance abuse, has been toned down for American audiences, the racy — and occasionally raunchy — premiere tells us that it will no doubt continually push the boundaries of basic cable. — Karen Kelty

Read on for previews of Being Human, Piers Morgan Tonight, Harry's Law, House, Heavy and NBA Basketball. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011

Big Love

Big Love
9/8c HBO
If you thought Bill Henrickson had problems before — before he pronounced his polygamy — wait until you see the trouble that awaits him in the premiere of the fifth and final season. He encounters open revolt at Home Plus, his family is ostracized, even attacked, in public, and his soon-to-be fellow state senators can't bear to be in the same room with him. Sure, he's faced uphill battles in the past, but the ones ahead will test his mettle, and threaten to pull his family apart at the seams. — Joe Friedrich

Read on for previews of the NFL Playoff, the Australian Open, Hannah Montana Forever, the Golden Globe Awards, The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives and Ted Haggard: Scandalous. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011

The 2010 Miss America Pageant

Miss America Pageant
9/8c ABC
As we settle into the new year, it's time to crown a new Miss America. What began as a quaint beauty contest on the beaches of Atlantic City is now a huge pageant that is being hosted by Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino. Brooke Burke and Chris Harrison host, and the judges include Joy Behar, Dancing with the Stars pro Tony Dovolani, Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and country crooner Marc Wills. The lucky young woman who walks off with the title will be the 90th winner. — Jennifer Sankowski

Read on for previews of the NFL Playoff, SNL, Behemoth, Pit Bulls and Parolees, An Education and Valentine's Day. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Friday, Jan. 14, 2011

The Ricky Gervais Show

Ricky Gervais Show
9/8c HBO
Sometimes it's hard to figure out which is funnier: the bizarre ravings and expositions of Karl Pilkington; or the high-pitched cackle of Ricky Gervais in response. Fortunately, there's plenty of both in the second-season premiere, especially in a lengthy bit as Karl describes his pitch to a movie studio about a psychological thriller starring Rebecca De Mornay and...Clive Warren? From there it's on to Karl's diary, which includes entries about Australia, camping and humanitarian pursuits. — Joe Friedrich

Read on for previews of ESPN Town Hall Meeting: Image of the Black Athlete, Suite Life on Deck, the 16th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, Say Yes to the Dress, Real Time with Bill Maher and Gold Rush: Alaska. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Wipeout

Wipeout
8/7c ABC
What's the advantage of an obstacle course that's completely covered in snow? Host John Henson says that it helps to reduce the swelling. Of course, that will be cold comfort for tonight's contestants as they face wintery obstacles that include Mogul Madness and Yule Log Jam. — Fred Mitchell

Read on for previews of Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival, Target: Inside the Bullseye, Swarm Chasers, Beyond Scared Straight and NBA Basketball. read more

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