TV on Tap: “The New Normal” Books Matt Bomer, Ken Burns Defends PBS and “Mockingbird Lane” Might Air as a Halloween Special

Let’s see if The Vampire Diaries can get the crazy train back on track.

Tonight’s schedule is a little off-kilter thanks to the Vice-Presidential debate, so be sure to double-check your local listings, especially if you don’t live in the eastern time zone. Personally, I’ve made sure to hoard this week’s comedies on the DVR just in case I need some major stress release.


We’re going to meet Bryan‘s ex on The New Normal and he’ll be played by…. (wait for it) Matt Bomer. Too bad it’s not likely that  that Bryan dated Cooper Anderson.

Miley Cyrus is no longer in the running to star in that mini-series about Bonnie & Clyde.

Paul Scheer will appear in an episode of Modern Family as a Costco manager who encounters Claire and Gloria. I guess that means Mitchell‘s happy with the diaper shed he got at Costco back in the first season.

Johnny Depp is teaming up with producer Tom Fontana (who gave us Oz and Copper, among others) for a series based on the works of Shakespeare. I think that means “Once Upon a Time with Hamlet and Juliet instead of Snow White and Red Riding Hood.” If that impression is right, I’m setting my DVR right now.

We may get to see Mockingbird Lane after all. The Hollywood Reporter says that NBC is thinking of airing the pilot as a Halloween special (one that could still become a series if it does well). An earlier THR article detailed the highly-buzzed pilot’s troubles, a mix of mismatched visions and busy schedules. Either way, that probably explains this tweet from Bryan Fuller:

Speaking of Bryan Fuller shows, Molly Shannon has signed up for an appearance on Hannibal. I love that Hannibal is going to give a bunch of funny actors a chance to show off their dramatic side (unless they forgot to tell us that this is a funny take on Hannibal, which would also be amazing under Fuller’s pen).

After scaring the bejeebus out of viewers on Supernatural and Pretty Little Liars, Mary Page Keller has joined the ABC Family adaption of Terminales, based on a telenovela about a 23-year-old who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Keller will play the mother of the dying heroine.

Ken Burns responds to the talk about defunding PBS and manages to pinpoint why the issue matters: “Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households — 236 million people — tune into their PBS-member station. Federal funding accounts for about 15% of the money necessary to make public broadcasting possible. For every dollar in federal funding invested in local stations, they raise an additional $6 on their own, including contributions from millions of people who voluntarily support their community-based work. It’s such a tiny, tiny part of the federal budget, approximately 1/100th of 1%, that you have to question, why pick on that? The return on investment is something a good businessman should see as spectacular. Romney knows the price of things, but he clearly doesn’t know their value.”

Grimm‘s Halloween episode (guest starring the faboo Kate del Castillo) will appear across the NBC Universal empire with the episode getting broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo and in English on Mun2 and inspiring a haunted house at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Willie Giest will co-host the third hour of Today, giving up his MSNBC show, Way Too Early, which will find a new host. Geist will continue to appear on Morning Joe.

Neve Campbell will appear in multiple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.

The cast for the next season of American Horror Story continues to get better, this time adding Ian McShane as a character who will “tussle” with Jessica Lange.

This has been a good fall for NBC, the network was at the top of the ratings for three nights in a row, the first time its accomplished a triple victory in nine years. Even perennially ratings-challenged Parenthood won its time slot.


Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Today’s show has Alexa Chung as Anderson‘s guest-host as Kenny Rogers visits to discuss his new memoir and that “human lie detector” makes a return visit.

The Ellen Degeneres Show (syndicated) Check local listings
So far, Ellen‘s had a pretty gay week and today she’s getting topical, chatting with Ryan Andresen, the Boy Scout who was set to receive Eagle Scout honors until he came out as gay. (Thanks again, roni1133!)

Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show (Current) 7:00 PM ET
It’s another debate night, which means Steph and the gang are getting to spend an hour in the nice studio.

30 Rock (NBC) 8:00 PM ET
This week’s 30 Rock has so much to offer I don’t know what has me the most excited. There’s the return of Criss, the role that has James Marsden to channeling his cutest and sweetest qualities. Also there’s Cooter Burger (Matthew Broderick) who almost slipped my memory. Add to that guest appearances by Catherine O’Hara and Bryan Cranston (who I’m thrilled to see doing comedy again). All are in service of storylines where Jack and Liz clash over political content in TGS and Jenna frets over her singing career. WHY IS TIME MOVING SO SLOWLY?

Last Resort (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
If last week’s episode had you wondering how they forgot about those missing crew members… it turns out they were waiting until tonight’s episode to get back to that storyline. That’s the thing they don’t tell you about power, not only does it corrupt, it also divides your attention.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
It’s a story we (and, probably, Amy) never expected — Sheldon‘s new assistant leaves Amy feeling a little bit threatened.

The Vampire Diaries (CW)
I resisted TVD a long as I could, but when I gave in I was quickly addicted to the unpredictable plotting and fast-paced twists. Then came last season, which was suddenly guilty of the kind of wheel-spinning TVD deflty avoided for a long time. However, that wheel-spinning led to a season finale that recapture the magic of the first two seasons, managing to find ways to surprise me again. Picking up from there, can the series keep it up or will this season only find new wheels to spin?

Beauty and the Beast (CW) 9:00 PM ET
Oh. Boy. When news came out that the CW was remaking the beloved CBS drama, a lot of people were left scratching their heads. Can you imagine a CW series where the leading man’s face remains covered up the way Ron Perlman was? It turns out that the CW couldn’t imagine that show either, so we’re getting this one where a hot guy has a few scars and anger management issues. That’s too bad, since I was really excited over the idea of Kristin Kreuk stepping into the shoes of Linda Hamilton.

Project Runway (Lifetime) 9:00 PM ET
Whew. We’re at the finale or, rather, the first part of the finale where we get to see Tim Gunn visiting the designers at home. Hey, it’s a week off from gnashing your teeth as the judges speak.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) 10:00 PM ET
Dennis and Dee face their grandfather again (remember him? the one who literally turned out to be a Nazi?) but this time they have to figure out what to do when he’s really sick. Afterwards, we can debate who they treated worse — an ailing senior or that baby they found a few seasons ago.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy has an amazing ability to make me feel glee and revulsion with his guest lists and that’s definitely the case tonight as he talks with Morgan Fairchild and Kate Gosselin.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) 11:35 PM ET
Grizzly Bear is performing on tonight’s show.

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

Tomorrow’s Preview

Anderson Live  (syndicated) Check local listings
Nancy O’Dell joins Anderson to talk with the cast of Argo.

The Wendy Williams Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Wendy‘s got a double-feature of faboo with Joy Behar and Kylie Minogue.


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