Way to squander a Voice lead-in, NBC. Turns out America wasn't ready to waste another night of the broadcast week on a ridiculously padded dating show, so after this week, Ready for Love (Tuesday, 9:01/8:01c) goes into reality limbo — and honestly, if scripted duds can get yanked without notice, why should lousy competition-reality shows be exempt when shunned like this one was? On the plus side, with The Voice about to end its enjoyable "battle" rounds and move next week into the "knockout" phase, the expanded Tuesday edition will be joined April 30 by the clever supernatural thriller Grimm, given a well-deserved reprieve from the Friday trenches for the rest of the season. (Part of me wishes NBC would invest more heavily in Hannibal and give it a shot in this wide-open Tuesday time period, but Grimm is probably a better fit.)
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Things get awfully bloody on Friday with the explosive first-season finale of Cinemax's violent noir Banshee (10/9c), in which shootouts and long-simmering feuds leave such a gory trail that it almost puts to shame a new episode of Starz' reliably visceral Spartacus: War of the Damned (9/8c).
"I must admit, you have an admirable knack for survival," understates the lethal ...
Long before the cases of Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds and Marion Jones engendered public indifference about performance-enhancing drugs, steroids were a dirty little secret of the sports world. Suspicions were prevalent in Olympic circles, but rarely discussed above a whisper. That changed in 1988 when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was busted for the anabolic steroid stanozolol days after winning the gold medal and setting a world record in the 100-meter dash at the Seoul Olympics. His spectacular rise to the top of his sport and his cataclysmic fall are chronicled in 9.79*, this week's entry in ESPN's Emmy-nominated documentary series 30 for 30 (Tuesdays, 8/7c).
Dancing with the Stars
Many had predicted that high-scoring Audrina Patridge would make it all the way to the elite Final 3 this season. However, last week one of this show's "shocking exits" occurred, leaving the judges stunned and Audrina out in the cold. Will this week's eliminated star be another early favorite following in her footsteps? But before anyone exits, Taylor Swift and Rod Stewart both make return appearances to the show's stage, and the cast of Broadway's Mary Poppins does a tap-dance number. — Jennifer Sankowski
Read on for previews of Biggest Loser, 30 for 30, Mysteries at the Museum, America's Election Headquarters: The 2010 Midterms, Kathy Griffin: Whores on Crutches and Running Russell Simmons.
America loves a comeback story and few can compete with the tumultuous rise, fall and return of Marion Jones. Once a media darling, the disgraced Olympic sprinter lost the five medals she won at the 2000 Summer Games after admitting she used performance-enhancing drugs. When Jones had previously lied about that to federal investigators (as well as her role in a check-fraud case), she was sentenced to six months in prison. After a difficult incarceration that included a demoralizing seven-week stint in solitary confinement, she was ...