Avery‘s back on tonight’s 30 Rock and she’s not the only one to come from North Korea.
Fox started picking up series for its upcoming season, starting with three new comedies, ordering It’s Messy (formerly Mindy), Ben & Kate (formerly Ben Fox is My Manny) and The Goodwin Games. Mindy is the Mindy Kaling comedy where the (now former) Office writer plays a doctor with a Bridget Jones-personality, while Ben Fox follows a single mother whose brother helps her raise a child. Finally, Goodwin Games comes from the creators of How I Met Your Mother and stars Becki Newton and Scott Foley as siblings who reunite after their father dies.
Fox also ordered The Following, the Kevin Williamson drama with James Purefoy as a serial killer with a literal cult following and Kevin Bacon as the FBI agent who took him down. It also ordered The Mob Doctor, about a surgeon whose debts to the mob leads to her moonlighting for them.
Meanwhile, NBC made a few more programming moves. On the drama side, it ordered a 14th season of Law & Order: SVU and ordered Chicago Fire, a drama pilot from Law & Order producer Dick Wolf. Fire is described as “ER in a fire station” and stars Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer.
The network also ordered Guys with Kids, a comedy about three thirtysomething guys dealing with fatherhood. The series stars Jesse Bradford, Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe with a guest appearance by Sara Rue (who is waiting to see if her first pilot, ABC’s Malibu Country, gets picked up). That raises an interesting debate at NBC. Guys With Kids is the only multi-camera comedy expected to appear on NBC’s fall schedule so far — which increases the chance that Whitney might get a second season.
E! News reported that Britney Spears will join The X-Factor as a judge and will get $15 million for just one season, which Andy Dehnart points out, is how much Ryan Seacrest is getting for three seasons on American Idol.
ABC calmed a lot of uncertainty over the future of Grey’s Anatomy by getting series stars Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson to agree to appear in two more seasons of TV’s most popular scripted drama.
AMC handed out renewals to two of its non-scripted shows, Talking Dead and Comic Book Men. I hope there are plans to revamp Comic Book Men, which felt as exclusionary as a bad comic shop.
Finally, Vulture takes a look at the state of Fox, which is still TV’s top network, but will need to deal with American Idol falling from unbeatable megahit to just a very popular show. One possible move would be to hold Glee until winter which would give the series an uninterrupted run.
With the upfront news out of the way, there’s some Glee updates to check on. First, Amber Riley sent out a tweet that left many wondering if she were exiting the series at the end of the season. Meanwhile, TV Line has the scoop on who will be switching bodies.
Are characters like Modern Family‘s Mitch and Cam helping people get to know gays, or are they too inoffensive to make a dent in the huge majority that voted for North Carolina’s Amendment One.
Cougar Town hunk Josh Hopkins just booked another guest-role on a cable show, he’ll appear in an episode of the upcoming TBS sitcom Men at Work. Hopkins might have to get used to appearing on TBS, considering the rumors that TBS might pick up Cougar Town if ABC cancels it.
TV Land debuted a new logo, along with a new motto, “Laugh More” and an additional night of original programming.
The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Today’s show has Wendy chatting with Andy Cohen. If this doesn’t generate a clip for The Soup…
The View (ABC) Check local listings
New America’s Got Talent judge and gay ally Howard Stern visits the View couch today.
Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
I’m not sure if Will will appear in today’s episode, but with all of Salem still in mourning chances seem pretty good.
Community (NBC) 8:00 PM ET
As the Greendale Seven deals with their expulsion, Abed sees a conspiracy, leading to them taking him to therapy (with a therapist played by John Hodgman, which gives me an excuse to think this is the reason he grew that hilarious mustache).
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
For the season finale, Howard and Bernadette rush down the aisle, thanks to his launch being rescheduled, but someone has second thoughts…
The Vampire Diaries (CW) 8:00 PM ET
With Klaus finally out of the picture, I’m hoping tonight’s season finale can set up some promising new storylines that can recapture my attention. It does have Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline and Tyler all making major decisions and there’s the question of how Alaric is planning on manipulating the council.
30 Rock (NBC) 8:30 PM ET
Jack has been dealing with Avery‘s absence all season and tonight she finally returns to New York… and viewers find out how Tina Fey deals with the death of Kim Jong-Il.
The Secret Circle (CW) 9:00 PM ET
Back in the fall, The Secret Circle looked like a sure thing. A promising pilot, a creative mix that worked well in the past and a powerful lead-in. After a handful of episodes that lead to a shocking and audacious twist, it suddenly stalled and tonight’s episode looks like it’ll be the series finale. For the few remaining viewers (just under 3 million viewers watched the premiere, last week 1.23 million people tuned in) I hope there’s something resembling closure as the Circle uses the Crystal Skull while Dawn and Charles take a big risk to get their power back.
The Office (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
For the season finale, Andy stages a takeover of the office, thanks to his mysterious meeting with David Wallace. I spotted Jack Coleman in the previews so we should see more of Senator Lipton.
Parks & Recreation (NBC) 9:30 PM ET
Election night finally arrives in the season finale which means its time for something that gets Rachel Maddow cheering: watching election results. I hope the Pawnee stations have their own election night graphics.
Awake (NBC) 10:00 PM ET
Michael starts to ponder about his two realities as he suddenly finds himself unable to switch between the two.
Scandal (ABC) 10:00 PM ET
I guess it’s flashbacks-at-10PM week at ABC since after Revenge‘s secret origins episode last night, we’re going to spend tonight looking at Fitz‘s primary campaign and his first meeting with Olivia. Dan Bucatinsky guests.
Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
It’s time for Andy to reciprocate and have Wendy on his show as a guest.
What will you be watching tonight? Please share in the comments!
Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
There’s more family drama for Will tomorrow as he gets involve in EJ and Sami’s relationship.
Degrassi (TeenNick) 9:00 PM ET
It looks like the long-running teen soap will take on homophobic bullying this week.