Hugh Jackman Hugh Jackman

Barbara Walters Special
7 pm/ET ABC
Red carpet? Barbara Walters don't need no stinkin' red carpet to snag A-listers for her Oscar preshow. Tonight's lineup includes two of the most talked-about nominees: first-timers Anne Hathaway and Mickey Rourke. Guest Hugh Jackman wasn't nominated, but he is tonight's Oscar host. Besides, he won an Emmy in 2005 — for hosting the Tonys. (Jackman also won a Tony in 2004.) Then there are the Jonas Brothers. They may not have any ties to the Oscars, but does that really matter? —Paul Droesch

81st Academy Awards
8:30 pm/ET ABC
Nate Silver, founder of the political blog, became a sensation for correctly predicting just about everything in last year's elections. So when the statistician turns his attention to the Academy Awards, well, you might want to rethink your Oscar pools (a sample: Taraji P. Henson for Best Supporting Actress). Of course, film-industry voters can be notoriously fickle, perhaps more so than the U.S. public, so let's forget about all the speculation and simply enjoy Hollywood's biggest night. —Joe Friedrich

Flight of the Conchords
10 pm/ET HBO
Tonight's episode is proof that this show has gone to the dogs, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when Bret and Jemaine vie for the affection of a woman (Kristen Wiig) whose missing pet has canine epilepsy. The rivalry takes its toll on their friendship and the band's chemistry, but it also produces some hilarious identity crises, a charity concert and an operatic, glam-rock duel. —Joe Friedrich

Eastbound & Down
10:30 pm/ET HBO
In this day and age, if a guy like Will Ferrell is an executive producer of your show, it's probably a wise move to get him on camera as soon as possible. So tonight Ferrell will likely add to his long list of memorable characters when he appears as Ashley Schaeffer, the shifty, leonine-locked owner of a local luxury-car dealership who considers Kenny's plea for an endorsement deal. But Ashley also proves he may be the loosest cannon of all with his wild pitch for the ad campaign. —Joe Friedrich

United States of Tara
10 pm/ET Showtime
In this episode, character-actor staples Pamela Reed and Fred Ward pop in as Tara's buttinsky parents. They are supposed to be in town to celebrate Charmaine's birthday, but Max discovers their real intentions: They think that Tara is an unfit parent and that Kate and Marshall should come live with them while their mother attempts to get a handle on her mental-health issues. So ever-vigilant and sensitive Max takes it upon himself to keep his wife from finding out the real reason for her mother and father's visit. —Ray Stackhouse