TV on Tap: Lucy Liu is “Elementary”‘s Watson, James Spader is Quitting “The Office” and Alan Ball is Leaving “True Blood”

How far will Neal go to ensure his commutation on tonight’s White Collar finale?


Here’s some great news to start your day, Trevor Donovan will be returning to 90210 and may be sticking around if the series gets a fifth season. Actually, when I think about it, my emotions are mixed since I’m not sure that 90210 will do a better job of giving Teddy screen time, but at least there’s the possibility of another three minutes.

Alan Ball will be stepping down as showrunner of True Blood if the show gets a sixth season, though he will remain as a producer and consultant. Ball will be keeping busy with his Cinemax series Banshee and a medical drama he’s developing for HBO. Since it’ll take a creative and ratings meltdown for True Blood to get cancelled, this should the beginning of 15 month of speculation about the direction of the supernatural drama.

Deadline asks, “Where are the renewals?” noting that this time last year, 9 shows already got an order for their next season. This year, the only shows whose future is certain are ones who got multi-year renewals last year.

It’s been a rocky season of The Office as the comedy tried to go on without series star Steve Carell. It doesn’t look like things are going to get any easier, in addition to possibly losing Mindy Kaling if her pilot gets picked up, the series is also losing new boss James Spader.

When news came out that Lucy Punch joined the Fox pilot Ben Fox is My Manny, that left Powers fans worried if that meant the FX adaptation of the comic was dead. Powers co-creator Brian Michael Bendis commented that while Punch has moved on, the pilot is still being rewritten and FX is still considering turning the superhero comic into a series.

Can we get Brenda Strong and Ricardo Chavira to write the Desperate Housewives finale? Please, their ideas sound more fun than anything the show has done recently.

I usually feel encouraged about Revenge whenever series creator Mike Kelley talks about his plans for the series. He sounds like he’s got a solid idea of where he wants to take the plot, especially when he hints at his plans for the second season.

Watching Lucy Liu on Southland this season had been a good reminder that she’s capable of playing more than the fairly similar characters she’s asked to play again and again. Thus, I’m more than a little intrigued by the news that she’s going to play Watson in CBS’ Sherlock Holmes update, Elementary.

In what strikes me as a big failure of scheduling and marketing, the Titanic mini-series from Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes will debut on Saturday April 14 and conclude on April 15, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The mini-series has four parts, so why not spread it out over four nights? Are they trying to burn it off quickly?

In case you need nine words to invoke a strong feeling of despair, how about: Maury Spin-Off Talk Show Clears 80% of Country.


Live! with Kelly (syndicated) Check local listings
Kristin Chenoweth will be visiting the show today and, in a bit of lucky timing, Lucy Liu will be sitting in the guest-host’s seat. I’m hoping Liu will get to say something about playing Watson, but I’m not sure if I want to see Chenoweth reacting to her eyelash implants again.

The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Nate meets with a woman who had a dramatic weight loss. He also welcomes the owners of the Meatball Shop in New York. From what I’ve seen of the Meatball Shop’s recipes, this might feel like a rather incongruous mix of topics.

The Talk (CBS) Check local listings
In what sounds to me like an amazing guest list, today’s show has Penny Marshall and Tabatha Coffey.

Switched at Birth (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
One part of Switched at Birth I often find myself missing the Vasquez family’s old life in a bad neighborhood. Thankfully, it hasn’t been completely forgotten, especially as news of a deadly crash in Afghanistan has Bay worrying about Ty, Daphne‘s friend who enlisted early in the series. Bay’s concern put some tension in her relationship with Emmet as he learns she’s been keeping in contact with him.

Cougar Town (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
It turns out the only thing that can drag Jules out of AWATT (All Wedding All The Time) mode is Travis being hospitalized after an accident. Looking at the promotional pictures, I’m guessing everyone goes into protective headgear solidarity mode, because that’s how these people roll.

Ringer (CW) 9:00 PM ET
I’ve been behind on so many shows, including Ringer but I have a feeling tonight’s episode, where Andrew proposes to Bridget (presumably still thinking that she’s Siobhan) will once again have me comparing Ringer unfavorably to The Lying Game.

Justified (FX) 10:00 PM ET
Wow, so after a series of tech failures, I fell over a month behind on Justified, which was a bit of a blessing since it turns out this season is amazing in a four-hour block (and with the captions on). I’m loving that Quarles‘ big weakness is that he doesn’t understand how everyone is so tightly connected in a world as small as the one where Rayland inhabits. I’m curious to see if he learns his lesson as Quarles decides to take action against Rayland.

Tabatha Takes Over (Bravo) 10:00 PM ET
Tabatha tries to help a Minneapolis salon where the security broker owner who has already alienated one set of staff to the point of walking out and may lose even more staff. Yeah, I’m bracing myself to want to smack something.

Southland (TNT) 10:00 PM ET
As if an injured patrol partner weren’t bad enough, Tang has to deal with legal troubles and a shooting. Worse, if the episode doesn’t quickly tell me that Cooper is going to be fine, everyone’s going to have to get used to moving in fast forward.

White Collar (USA) 10:00 PM ET
If there’s one episode where it becomes really clear that White Collar has the best handle on the USA drama formula, its in the season finales where a really big story brings the current arc to a peak, while also pushing Neal and Peter‘s relationship a big step forward. Since tonight sees Neal try to fix a past mistake for the sake of securing his commutation, I’m especially excited to see where this finale ends.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy‘s guests tonight are Jackie Collins and Ali Wentworth.

The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) 11:35 PM ET
Nathan Lane will be visiting Dave tonight.


What will you be watching tonight? Please share in the comments!

Tomorrow’s Preview

Live! with Kelly (syndicated) Check local listings
Alec Baldwin will be joining Kelly to host the show

The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Nate‘s wrapping up February with a visit from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
After making everything about herself, Sami tries to apologize to Will.