TV on Tap: Thomas Lennon Joins Sean Hayes’ Pilot, CBS Quits “The Job” and Why You’ll Have to Keep Avoiding “Downton Abbey” Spoilers

The CW hopes Cult won’t just be a cult hit.


Thomas Lennon has joined the cast of Sean Hayes‘ comedy pilot. He’ll play Hayes’ temperamental boss. The script is written by Victor Fresco, who created Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Better Off Ted, so this only raises my high hopes for this one.

Joss Whedon says we should expect S.H.I.E.L.D. to be a “hopeful” show, telling TVLine, ” It’s about people who are trying to help each other, and that’s one of the things I loved about comic books. They had costumes and the villains were cool [but] they stood for something, and I like doing a show that does that.” If he can avoid the cynicism of today’s superhero comics, I’ll be interested.

The Following has gotten a lot of attention for its violent content, but is it really that different from other shows? The AV Club argues that it’s not the violence that’s the problem but the way The Following uses violence for quick shocks, as opposed to The Walking Dead, where violence is more successfully used. It doesn’t help that shows that focus on relationships like Parenthood or Downton Abbey are often dismissed as soap operas that just aren’t as significant as more violent shows.

Meanwhile, The Following star James Purefoy thinks all this concern of the show’s violence is a little overblown, telling Vulture, “One woman asked, ‘How do you come up with all those ways of killing people?’ Has she never seen King Lear, where a man has his eyes pulled out in front of the audience? She never had seen Titus Andronicus, where a woman is made to eat a pie with her own sick children in it? The very idea, it’s just preposterous, to tell you the truth.” Who told Purefoy that Titus Andronicus references were one of the many ways to my heart?

Sure, avoiding spoilers (or getting spoiled) is a pain, but Vulture explains why it’s unlikely PBS will air Downton Abbey at the same time as it airs in the UK. Overall, it would introduce a lot of additional complexity in bringing Downton stateside and, since viewers don’t seem that frustrated by the spoilers, there wouldn’t be enough reward for all that effort.

Sunday’s debut of The Amazing Race was the series least watched premiere yet. Maybe they should keep stunt casting Chippendale dancers?

After a disastrous performance in the ratings, CBS has pulled its reality show with a cringe-inspiring premise, The Job.


Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Anderson chatting with Monday Morning‘s Jennifer Finnigan and psychic Char Margolis.

Frontline (PBS) Check local listings
After Newtown: Guns in America (PBS) Check local listings
PBS tackles the still-sensitive issue of the Newtown massacre from two angles (with one more coming tomorrow). For Frontline that means a look at the life of the alleged shooter, hopefully with the kind of care that’s informative enough to make up for giving a monster the kind of attention he desired. Meanwhile, After Newtown: Guns in America looks at the political battles over gun control.

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
The Liars start to close in on Detective Wilden. He’s starting to reach that boiling point that reminds you that we’re only a few episodes away from the finale, and someone‘s going to have to be ready to commit a lot of violence in the finale. Let’s just hope he gets to show up in someone’s kitchen wearing just a towel one more time before he’s the doomed bad guy in this season’s Hitchcock homage.

Raising Hope (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
It’s Arbor Day in Natesville and in that town, Arbor Day is a holiday that gets more than a largely-forgotten Charlie Brown special, it’s a big enough deal to get Luke Perry to show up as the Ghost of Arbor Day Past, Present and Future and compel Sabrina to get in touch with the spirit of Arbor Day.

Cult (CW) 9:00 PM ET
This season’s trend has been twisty horror dramas. This one gets twisty just with the concept: a hit TV show that has a dedicated fanbase who are willing to recreate the show’s crimes. (Thankfully, Supernatural fans were never that dedicated.) The concept certainly intrigues me, especially since I have a weakness for shows about shows. Plus, Cult has Matt Davis, who rarely got enough screen time on The Vampire Diaries to satisfy me. That said, at this point, with Hannibal debuting in a few weeks, a part of me looks at all these new horror dramas with the side-eye, worried that they’ll leave audiences burned out on a show like Hannibal before it can debut.

New Girl (Fox) 9:00 PM ET
For a culture that’s heavily focused on cars, owning a car can be as big a hassle as not owning a car in LA and finding a place to keep your car can be a huge hassle. That’s why the discovery of a previously-unknown parking spot in their building prompts a battle royale between the roommates since all’s fair in love and not wanting to have to leave your car out on the street overnight.

Go On (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
Ryan walks out on his job when he refuses to do a live commercial for one of those drugs that throw around the euphemisms about enhancing men.

The New Normal (NBC) 9:30 PM ET
Shania‘s latest step in becoming beyond-her-years fabulous is an obsession with Maggie Smith, which only makes me want to see what would happen if someone gave her a castle and a “What is a weekend?” lifestyle.

White Collar (USA) 10:00 PM ET
You know where things start to go very wrong for the Bonnie and Clyde wannabes in tonight’s episode? It’s when they need a hostage or two and then they run into Peter and Elizabeth.

Justified (FX) 10:00 PM ET
It’s looking like another bad week for Raylan. An old nemesis is back in the picture just as he’s getting unwelcome attention from a seductive grifter.

Smash (NBC) 10:00 PM ET
Eileen tries to get Tom and Julia to start working with someone new. Meanwhile, Smash viewers look for clues that this is a meta storyline about the change in showrunner.

The Daily show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) 11:00 PM ET
Nikki & Sarah Live (MTV) 11:00 PM ET
Alison Brie‘s doing double duty tonight chatting with both Jon Stewart and the hosts of MTV’s new late night chatfest.

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

Tomorrow’s Preview

Anderson Live
Tomorrow’s show sounds amah-zing with co-host Yvette Nicole Brown and a chat with Melissa Rauch.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Wanda Sykes is visiting Ellen tomorrow.


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