TV on Tap: “Shameless” Wants More Mickey, Jennifer Saunders Goes to Prison and the School’s Out Forever at “Blue Mountain State”

MTV and Logo put a spotlight on the It Gets Better project with a special tonight.


I meant to include this in yesterday’s column but lost track of the link over the weekend . Shameless has signed up Noel Fisher (Mickey) and Emma Greenwell (Mandy) as regulars for the series’ third season. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that also means that this Mickey has a hot older brother Jamie getting out of prison next season.

The last original scripted show on Spike TV, Blue Mountain State won’t return for a fourth season. We’ll definitely miss the gratuitous beefcake (particularly Alan Ritchson), the locker room scenes and the graceful way it avoided homophobia.

While you might find the source a bit suspect, a study by Comedy Central says that comedy is a key way to how young people express themselves, with 88% saying humor is vital to their identity and 58% saying they will use a funny video to make a “special impression.” I hear Bravo is  getting ready to release a rival study that says young people express themselves through Bravolebrity quotes.

Another fave is coming back to Days of Our Lives, as Charles Shaughnessy is getting ready to return to Salem.

Jennifer Saunders will appear in a new BBC Three sitcom, Dead Boss, about a woman who is wrongly imprisoned for the murder of her boss. Saunders will play the governor (I’m guessing that’s the equivalent of our wardens?) of the prison, a “sexual Margaret Thatcher” who may be crazier than any of the inmates. This sounds just too amah-zing to miss.

As if the BBC miniseries Top of the Lake weren’t faboo enough with Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter, it just added Lucy Lawless to the cast.

If you’re a Doctor Who fan, I highly recommend this account of the difficulties the sci-fi serial faced in its early days. In addition to BBC brass rooting against the series (not only was this a science fiction series, it challenged the idea of what children’s TV could include), the series’ original producer and director had to deal with sexism and racism from all sides, including the actor who played the first Doctor.

I am enough of a TV nerd that this list of TV shows that were filmed but never broadcast was a trip down memory lane. Actually, I wish I could see about a third of those shows. Maybe NBC could make up for killing The IT Crowd by getting Richard Ayoade to appear on Community.

Did The Sopranos do more to hurt TV than it did to improve it? I disagree, when a show like The Sopranos opens new doors to how one can use TV to tell a story some people made good use of the possibilities and others struggled. It’s ridiculous to point to the shows that failed at using those storytelling tools as a sign that the tools were bad. A bad episodic show is merely a bad TV show, not an argument against episodic TV. Why can’t we look at shows with a mythology that way?

Do we really have to wait a year for more Downton Abbey? At least Vanity Fair has created Downton Abbey trading cards to keep us occupied until Game of Thrones makes us forget that obsession.

Also from Vanity Fair is this portrait of Hollywood’s Best Character Actors. I’d say its full of familiar faces but, for some reason, the premise of the portrait is that they’re all playing characters originally written for Danny Trejo.


The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Nate talks with Dr. Laura Berman about having great sex at any age, then, totally unrelated, a dermatologist arrives to explain how to prevent dry winter skin.

Live! with Kelly (syndicated) Check local listings
Jorge Garcia is visiting the Live! set today as Matthew Morrison guest-hosts.

The View (ABC) Check local listings
Jesse Tyler Ferguson will guest-hosting as Abby Lee Miller and Tyler Perry will be visiting for a discussion.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
While I’m not sure if we can expect to see Will on today’s episode, it will include Marlena talking about Will, which pushes his storyline forward another inch.

Glee (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
It’s time for the… er, second winter finale(?) as New Directions faces The Warblers at Regionals — but Sebastian has a dirty trick planned to try to ensure a Warblers win. According to the rumor mill, we should brace ourselves for a big cliffhanger before Glee goes on hiatus.

Switched at Birth (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
As thrilling as Regina‘s first art show may be, Emmet‘s parents manage to ruin things by making it another opportunity for them to fight. I remember her playing some amusing rogues in the past, but Marlee Matlin‘s character is downright awful here, which is surprisingly fun to watch.

Cougar Town (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
Wedding plans start moving forward as Jules tries to convince Ellie and Laurie to be her “co-maids” because if there’s one thing Ellie and Laurie enjoy, it’s sharing things with each other.

New Girl (Fox) 9:00 PM ET
I’m not sure if this is an accident of timing or New Girl participating in tonight’s It Gets Better discussion, but this week sees Jess try to stop a case of bullying among her students and find herself the target of an elementary school terror, giving you both evil child humor and Rachel Harris. Meanwhile, Nick can’t figure out what it means when Julia gives him a cactus as a gift. Doesn’t it mean “You make me prickly”? I’d think that’s a good message, considering what we’ve seen of Julia.

Ringer (CW) 9:00 PM ET
Ringer is certainly taking its time to go anywhere with its story (it’s almost enough to miss 90210‘s blink-and-you’ll-miss-them storylines) but the arrival of Misha Collins is supposed to bring answers about how Bridget and Siobhan ended up estranged. I’m hoping for a surprise Supernatural crossover where Castiel came back to re-unleash the Leviathans into the Martin household.

Raising Hope (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
As much as I usually hate the “Jimmy schemes to win Sabrina‘s heart” episodes, last week’s installment worked for me since Jimmy finally admitted his tactics weren’t admirable and the couple at last got together. Now they get to move on to the next phase, getting to know each other better. This leads to the revelation of Sabrina’s unusual phobia. I’d try to mention a funny-sounding phobia here, but I lost the list I made from Face Off‘s phobia challenge.

Southland (TNT) 10:00 PM ET
Huh. Tonight’s episode sees Cooper and Tang working at the set of a documentary film crew. But looking at the promotional pictures, I’d expect an Occupy Southland storyline. Perhaps we’ll get both.

Tabatha Takes Over (Bravo) 10:00 PM ET
Tabatha returns to the salon-fixing business as she takes on a New Jersey salon.

Chopped (Food Network) 10:00 PM ET
This week’s mystery ingredients include canned ham, perch and croissants. I don’t usually hope to see celebrity guest-judges but I hope they can get Ham Rove to make a visit.

Justified (FX) 10:00 PM ET
As the tension between Boyd and Harlan gets worse, Raylan tries to keep things from turning into a full drug war. That probably won’t compare to the fury that will occur if my cable system keeps failing to let me watch that one episode I missed via On Demand so I can start catching up.

White Collar (USA) 10:00 PM ET
For the third season finale (remember how Glee‘s promising a huge cliffhanger? White Collar is making a similar suggestion) Neal joins the Yankees in order to stop an attempt to steal a valuable bit of Yankee memorabilia. Okay, at this point I’m convinced the writers are starting their story pitches by naming a sexy costume they’d like to see Matt Bomer wear. For season four, I’m expecting cases where Neal ends up pretending to be a fireman, a chef and a swimsuit model.

It Gets Better (Logo/MTV) 11:00 PM ET
MTV and Logo highlight the anti-bullying project started by Dan Savage and Terry Miller with a focus on three youths who dealt with bullying. If this special manages to have an eight of the power of that Google Chrome ad, I’d better go stock up on tissues.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy‘s guests tonight are O.C. Housewife Tamra Barney and comedian Billy Eichner.

Chelsea Lately (E!) 11:00 PM ET
Ross Mathews is on tonight’s panel while Chelsea talks with Jennifer Aniston.

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) 12:05 AM ET
Jimmy‘s getting a visit from Eric Stonestreet tonight.

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

Tomorrow’s Preview

Live! with Kelly (syndicated) Check local listings
Last week, Carson Kressley was supposed to visit for a chat but that disappeared from the listings. Instead he’s showing up tomorrow.

The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Nate uses good bedroom design to help a couple who are having trouble with sleeping.