TV on Tap: Remembering the Dan Harmon Era of “Community,” James Van Der Beek Won’t Scandalize “Apartment 23″ and Vanessa Williams’ Spooky “666 Park Avenue”


Cogar Town says goodbye to ABC and hello to a network willing to promote it with tonight’s season finale.

News

Is the economy and a tense political climate why this season’s upcoming shows are so dark? The networks seem to be channeling audience’s real-world anxiety into drama with new shows like 666 Park Avenue, the Jekyll and Hyde-inspired Do No Harm and serial killer shows like Cult, The Following and Hannibal.

Speaking of 666 Park Avenue, series star Vanessa Williams said there was a spooky moment when the script called for Williams’ character to talk about her daughter’s death, a scene that called for a photo of the departed child. The show ended up using a picture of Williams’ real-life daughter, giving the scene a “strange” air in filming.

Meanwhile, as Community heads towards what fans expect will be the darkest of the timelines — the show without creator Dan Harmon, critic Alan Sepinwall says goodbye to the Harmon era, including a list of ten episodes that defined Harmon’s creative style.

Vulture talked with the female show runners of New Girl, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and The Middle among others and asked about the role of their stars’ public personas. Apartment 23 creator Nahnatchka Khan said she keeps trying to push James Van Der Beek into the tabloids, “I encourage him to get out and try to hook up with girls. But he’s married with two kids, so he won’t. I wish he would. I’m always trying to trick him to come out with me to bars and stuff like that, but he won’t do it.” On the other hand, those guys from Gossip Girl certainly got a lot of attention for all their homoerotic antics, maybe JVDB should start hanging out with Eric Andre.

What was 30 Rock‘s inspiration to do two episodes about the reality show Queen of Jordan? It turns out the fake-reality format is cheaper to film, even when you do it with scripts and talented actors.

Finally, since this is a slow news day, I thought I’d throw out a little trivia challenge. Can you identify these three TV characters and figure out what they have in common?

Listings

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Kyan Douglas is showing up to give a makeover to two teens from I Used to Be Fat… then Rach leads by example by making a deviled ham croque madame — which is exactly the kind of thing that would be on the diet of someone who lost a lot of weight.

The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Wendy has Corbin Bleu visiting to discuss his role on Godspell on Broadway. Also, the faboo Kathy Najimy discusses her latest project.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Sami finally catches up with Will to tell him she accepts him today. But can she keep from setting Will off by making it all about her… again? (There is fanfic where Will compares notes with Luke Snyder, right?) Join us as snicks follows it with a liveblog starting at 1PM Eastern!

Cougar Town (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
As the big day nears, the gang learns that Jules doesn’t know what Groundhog Day is. A good thing, too, since it starts out with Grayson complaining that life with the gang is as repetitive as Bill Murray trying to get out of Punxsutawney. So why not turn that into a bridal shower theme? That seems like a conflict-free path.

The L.A. Complex (CW) 9:00 PM ET
Kal and Tariq recover from Kal’s awful treatment of Abby, just in time for a new hurdle to come up. Maybe it’s time Tariq tried being awkward and cringe-inducing like Nick and his romantic life will get better.

America’s Got Talent (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
My least favorite kind of act are the death-defying ones, the ones that play up the danger. I don’t find that kind of performance exciting or entertaining so — even though I’m sure if something terrible happened, it would have made the news and the footage wouldn’t be aired — I expect I’ll be fast-forwarding my way through the escape artist that’s being hyped so heavily in the promos for tonight’s episode.

Tosh.0 (Comedy Central) 10:00 PM ET
Daniel Tosh is back with more web videos and more crazy stunts starting with Tosh unveiling his summer wardrobe and a web redemption for the “Smell Yo D***” singer. (Uh. There are clearly areas of the internet I’m happier not knowing.) It’s good to see Tosh classing up the place again after all that Daily Show crudeness.

Chopped (Food Network) 10:00 PM ET
Since grilling season is here, Chopped is challenging its chefs to show their ability to improvise on the grill. That’s going to have to provide the challenge since the ingredients mentioned — wagyu beef, marshmallow spread and stout beet — don’t sound particularly challenging.

Workaholics (Comedy Central) 10:30 PM ET
Comedy Central’s trio of role models kick off their third season by displaying their usual sense of judgement: tonight they combine a business trip with their first time dropping acid.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy isback in the WWHL chair to talk with Margaret Cho and Rosie Pope.

Savage U (MTV) Midnight ET
Dan‘s heading to UC Irvine this week where he’ll help one student whose insecurity about her body gets in the way during sex.

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

Tomorrow’s Preview

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Rach is getting another visit from HGTV hottie John Gidding… and for you Smash fans who don’t bail, Megan Hilty will perform.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Check local listings)
The faboo Vanessa Williams will be visiting Ellen to discuss her new book.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Will‘s getting some devastating news on tomorrow’s show, snicks is excited about this one, so you can be sure to plan on a liveblog!

 

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