Cher loves her mom. No reason to think Rihanna doesn't, but for now, the career comes first. Two of pop's highest-profile divas take the spotlight in new docu-specials, with Lifetime's Dear Mom, Love Cher (Monday, 10/9c) going for the heart-strings as Cher pays tribute to her 86-year-old mom, Georgia Holt, who uprooted her family from Arkansas to Hollywood to pursue stardom that would take another generation to achieve. Cher performs a duet with Georgia and introduces recordings her mom taped more than 30 years ago that Cher is preparing to release commercially. Think of this as a helpful reminder if you haven't done your own Mother's Day shopping yet. Rihanna's love-fest in Fox's self-promotional vanity production Rihanna 777 (8/7c) is with the fans who follow her on a world concert tour, packing a 777 airliner along with journalists and a film crew capturing her every move.
Could the next Rihanna be lurking among the Top 16 still vying for top honors in NBC's The Voice? The field will be narrowed to 12 by Wednesday, as the show goes live for its "Playoff" Rounds (8/7c) with a two-hour episode, continuing Tuesday, and a live reveal on Wednesday that will go head-to-head with Fox's American Idol. It's one thing to steal all the buzz, but for The Voice to encroach on Idol's turf with a live results show, that's playing TV hardball. ... And with only six couples left on ABC's Dancing With the Stars (8/7c), each team will dance twice: a ballroom routine in a style they haven't tried yet; and then as part of a trio that will include an eliminated pro or troupe member in addition to their partner.
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MUST-SEE DRAMA: Best news of the last week: Sundance Channel's decision to renew the tremendously affecting Rectify for a second season of 10 episodes. Believe me, these first six hours are not nearly enough to do justice to this story of newly released death-row convict Daniel Holden (the remarkable Aden Young), whose adjustment to life in a world he thought he would never see again is poignant to the point of heartbreaking. In episode four (10/9c), Daniel's decision to leave the house and go shopping with his mom has unforeseen consequences. He finds zen in the company of his sister-in-law Tawney (Adelaide Clemens, wonderful) who the poetic Daniel considers his "Beatrice" and who might just turn out to be his salvation, as she urges her very deep faith onto him. One of the distinctive qualities of Rectify is its respect for Tawney's religious devotion, which she says "fills me up with indescribable joy." Looking at this strange, silent man who has come back into her family's life, she says Daniel is "above things, like you're pure." He's not so sure, but Daniel's soliloquy about what it's like to be touched in a positive way is one of the most moving moments yet in this wonderful series.
THE MONDAY GUIDE: It's the Bert and Ernie episode we only dreamed of seeing, or maybe it's Avenue Q meets Dr. Ruth. Logo's new series Felt (12:30 am/11:30c) makes the peculiar decision of taping couple's therapy sessions, both gay and straight, and then re-enacting their conversations using puppets. ... The syndicated Katie (check tvguide.com listings) spends a week on the West Coast for "Katie's Hollywood Takeover," starting with a makeover of Jimmy Kimmel's studio. Other scheduled guests: Tori Spelling and Eric Stonestreet. ... Bravo spends an entire year following four newly married couples with apparently no boundary issues regarding privacy in the new docu-series Newlyweds: The First Year (10/9c). Is "cameras wrecked my marriage" a legitimate basis for divorce, and if so, who gets custody of dignity?