Law & Order: UK (Friday, 9/8c, BBC America)
The big trend this winter is the Americanization of British series (Showtime's Shameless, Syfy's Being Human, MTV's Skins), so it's rather refreshing to check back in on this British translation of one of America's most successful exports, the Law & Order mothership. Season two of the UK version begins with an adaptation of a chilling 1999 episode that debates the issue of when and whether to put on trial children who kill.
Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, NBC)
She defied nay-sayers this fall by delivering one of the season's best celebrity guest turns on Glee, and she got good notices for her performance at the CMAS (more positive than the reviews for her new movie Country Strong). But can Gwyneth Paltrow top Jim Carrey's performance as guest host last weekend? That will take some doing, but given that we expect her to duet with musical guest Cee Lo Green, we're calling this the must-DVR event of the weekend.
The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, NBC)
Ricky Gervais hosts this party for movie and TV stars for the second consecutive year. (We hope he's more prepared this time.) And should Robert De Niro ask — he's getting this year's Cecil B. DeMille award for career achievement — yes, dude, he's talking to you. While the movie winners and losers get the lion's share of scrutiny, TV fans will be watching to see if Mad Men can win a fourth straight Best Drama trophy. (Challengers include HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, The Good Wife and The Walking Dead.) Last year's comedy winner Glee faces a challenge from should-have-won Modern Family, as well as The Big Bang Theory, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock and The Big C.
Big Love (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO)
As HBO's most twisted domestic drama kicks off its final season, there's nothing but conflict in the polygamist Henrickson household, thanks to newly elected state senator Bill outing his entire family on election night. The votes are in, and no one's happy: not his fellow politicos (including scene-stealer Gregory Itzin), not his disgruntled employees at the family store, and certainly not his three squabbling spouses. Making matters worse, Bill's mad zealot of a nemesis Alby is back on a vengeful mission of purification. All in all, a promising start after last season's rocky excesses.