Season Premiere. Host and executive producer Ira Glass returns for a second season of true-life stories about interesting people around the country, the same subject matter that he explores in his weekly public radio show of the same name. Tonight’s season premiere features stories about teenagers “escaping” from home without going very far away.
MONDAY, MAY 5
Social Brew (revision3.com)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC, 8 p.m. ET)
Premiere. This new series features news about and reviews of online social networks, plus how-to advice on navigating them for all they are worth. Media activist and pundit Irene McGee is the host. New installments of Social Brew are available on Mondays at 3 p.m. ET.
Live. Five couples remain. Tomorrow night Dancing celebrates its 100th show!
Gossip Girl (The CW, 8 p.m. ET)
Nasty Georgina (Michelle Tractenberg) threatens to reveal damaging information from Serena’s past. (What now?) Also, Blair and Jenny spread scandalous rumors about each other through Gossip Girl; Dan sees Jenny’s new boyfriend cheat on her and tries to tell her about it, but she won’t listen; Rufus turns to Lily for advice on how to handle Jenny; and one of the guys reveals that he’s gay. Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, Penn Badgley, Matthew Settle and Kelly Rutherford star.
House (Fox, 9 p.m. ET)
House becomes convinced that one of the hunky young actors on his favorite soap opera has a serious medical condition in real life. Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) plays the object of the good doc’s mounting concerns. Hugh Laurie stars.
Two and a Half Men (CBS, 9 p.m. ET)
In one of the oddest publicity stunts ever, writers from Two and a Half Men and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation recently penned scripts for each other’s shows. This week you’ll see the results on both. The influence of the CSI writers on tonight’s episode of Men will be glaringly apparent: The story finds a CSI team investigating a mysterious death at Charlie’s house, and CSI co-star George Eads makes a cameo appearance. Robert Wagner and Jenny McCarthy return as Evelyn’s new husband and his devious daughter, respectively. Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Holland Taylor and Conchata Ferrell star.
Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman (Sundance Channel, 9 p.m. ET)
Premiere. First of Three Parts. This six-hour documentary series follows the lives of forty-something filmmaker Jennifer Fox and her female friends around the world during a three-year period, examining the choices they make in their lives during that time. Fox’s intent is to examine what it means to be a woman in today’s world and the consequences of individual choices made in the interest of living life on one’s own terms while dealing with cultural expectations. Chapter 1 (tonight at 9 p.m.) introduces Fox and her female friends and establishes the challenges each woman is facing, especially the filmmaker, who has always put romantic freedom first and rejected traditional female roles. Chapter 2 (at 10 p.m.) finds Jennifer examining her ambivalence about motherhood after suffering a miscarriage and realizing that she is nowhere near being ready to commit to a man. She also visits women in Berlin, Paris and South Africa to see how they are coping with the issues in their lives. Flying will continue on May 12 and 19.
South Park: Technology Attacks Week (Comedy Central, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Comedy Central at 9:30 every night this week will showcase an episode from past seasons of South Park that revolves around on the “evil forces” of technology and computer gadgetry.
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC, 12:05 a.m. ET)
This is the week when Jimmy Kimmel and his team will begin including live advertisements in their nightly talk show, with Pontiac as the first of many sponsors that have signed up to participate. Kimmel and his on-camera cohorts Guillermo, Uncle Frank and Veatrice will all be involved.
TUESDAY, MAY 6
If you’re a fan of television from yesteryear, why not indulge in the comedy series Bewitched, one of the many classic comedy series featured on Hulu? You’ll find all 36 episodes from Season 1 (yes, 36 -- sitcom producers, writers and actors used to really work for their annual salaries), and each one is a comic gem. Our pick: Driving is the Only Way to Fly, featuring the first appearance on the series of Paul Lynde – and he does not play Uncle Arthur! Rather, he’s the easily unnerved Harold Harold, a driving instructor driven to distraction by new client Samantha Stevens (Elizabeth Montgomery).
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m. ET)
Live. We can see it all now: Jason Castro will once again be painful to listen to today, and the under-rated Syesha Mercado will be sent home tomorrow.
Dancing With the Stars (ABC, 9 p.m. ET)
Live. The second most popular reality competition series on television marks its 100th episode tonight with performances by country artists Rascal Flatts and the return of Season 4 champions Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough and Season 5 runners-up Mel B. and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Dancing veterans Mario Lopez, Sabrina Bryan, Joey Fatone, Master P., Jerry Rice, Jane Seymour, Wayne Newton and Jerry Springer are also scheduled to return. Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris host.
Here’s an online treat that should appeal to fans of G4’s Attack of the Show, in that its chatty hosts, Matt and Nat, cover much of the same territory: movies, TV shows, comic books and other media that appeal to proud geeks. And they really obsess over Battlestar Galactica, which earns them extra points. (They produce invaluable weekly podcasts that focus on individual BSG episodes.) At present, Matt is really worked up over the arrival in theaters of Iron Man, and Nat is crushing on its star, Robert Downey, Jr. Just to be clear: Nat is a chick. BTW, YGN stands for YourGeekNews. You can also check out Matt and Nat at YourGeekNews.com.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7
American Idol (Fox, 9 p.m. ET)
Live. One of the final four will be sent home tonight. Please, God, let it be Jason Castro!
Audition: Barbara Walters’ Journey (ABC, 10 p.m. ET)
Premiere. Timed to support the publication of her new autobiography Audition, this ABC News special looks at the life and career of television icon Barbara Walters, including her turbulent childhood, her three marriages, her tenure as co-host of NBC’s Today, her brief turn as the first female nightly news anchor and her ascension to superstardom as a primetime celebrity interviewer and the co-host of 20/20. Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Downs, Sam Donaldson and Walters’ daughter, Jackie Danforth, are interviewed.
With Disney sweetheart Miley Cyrus currently in the middle of a media shit-storm thanks to the wholly inappropriate pictures of her in the current issue of Vanity Fair, it might be worthwhile to take another look at one of this season’s most insightful South Park episodes, Britney’s New Look, in which the crazed pop tart has the top of her head shot off but remains a media magnet wherever she goes. At the end of the episode the media literally kills Spears and must then find another pretty young target to suck the life out of – and guess who is in their sights?
THURSDAY, MAY 8
Ugly Betty (ABC, 8 p.m. ET)
ABC’s go-to hunk Eddie Cibrian begins a multi-episode arc as Justin’s gym teacher, who catches the eye of his mom, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), even though he is flunking her beloved Justin. Meanwhile, Betty tries to befriend Charlie by throwing her a baby shower, Daniel unravels after his latest romantic failure, and Christina learns who fathered the baby she’s carrying for Wilhelmina.
Smallville (The CW, 8 p.m. ET)
We recently learned the Oliver Queen’s parents, Dr. Virgil Swann (played in seasons past by the late Christopher Reeve), Lionel Luthor and Edward Teague once formed a secret organization known as Veritas that was focused on the eventual arrival on Earth of an extra-terrestrial traveler (that turned out to be Kal-El of Krypton, aka Clark Kent). We were also informed that all of them are now deceased, Lionel being the last member of the group to die when Lex pushed him out a window. But in tonight’s episode, a bizarre attack on Lex sends Clark and Chloe off on an investigation – and they learn that one member of Veritas is still alive and hiding in a church – and holds the key to Clark’s survival. Tom Welling stars.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 9 p.m. ET)
Continuing with this week’s odd crossover event involving a switcheroo by the writers of Two and a Half Men and CSI, this episode finds Grissom and his team investigating the death of a diva sitcom star who was filming her show in Las Vegas at the time of her untimely demise. Katey Sagal and Diedrich Bader guest star.
Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m. ET)
The nurses’ ongoing objections to Mark’s many trysts lead to the instating of a date and tell policy at Seattle Grace. Also, news of Burke’s latest career achievements force Cristina to confront her feelings for her former fiancé, and Callie turns to tryst-master Mark in her time of need. Ellen Pompeo stars. Amy Madigan and Loretta Devine guest star.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m. ET)
Jim tries his best to land his biggest client ever, while Michael sets up a booth at a local job fair to find candidates for summer internships at Dunder-Mifflin. Steve Carell, John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson star.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m. ET)
The Winchester boys head to Eerie, Pennsylvania, to investigate a possible zombie case, but instead discover a real-life doctor who in 1816 abandoned his medical practice to follow his obsession with finding the key to eternal life – by drugging people and stealing their vital organs. Meanwhile, Bobby discovers where Bela is hiding, leading to a deadly confrontation between Beal and Dean. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star.
30 Rock (NBC, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Season Finale. As Season 2 comes to a close, unhappy Jack (Alec Baldwin) assumes a new political role in Washington, D.C., and later partners with another government employee (Matthew Broderick) to scheme on how to get fired. The plan he settles on involves his former girlfriend C.C. (Edie Falco). Meanwhile Liz (Tina Fey) is adjusting to life without Jack; Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) must deal with jealous head page Donny as he readies his application to be a page at the Summer Olympics in Beijing; and Tracy (Tracy Morgan) continues to work on the invention that will be his legacy to his children. Dean Winters returns as Liz’ ex Dennis, the former Subway Hero.
Lost (ABC, 10 p.m. ET)
Locke learns the whereabouts of Jacob’s cabin – but does that mean he (and we) will learn more about Jacob? Also, life aboard the freighter becomes increasingly more dangerous. Nestor Carbonell returns as Richard Alpert.
Tougher in Alaska (History, 10 p.m. ET)
Series Premiere. Logger, firefighter, medic and commercial fisherman Geo Beach, who has lived in Alaska for more than 25 years, is the host of this new reality series that explores the challenges faced by citizens of that giant state as they make lives for themselves in extreme environments. Tonight, Geo hunts for gold in the Alaskan wilderness.
FRIDAY, MAY 9
30 Days of Night: Blood Trials (Hulu)
Here’s an interesting offering on Hulu: A seven-part Web miniseries that is a prequel to last year’s violent vampire flick 30 Days of Night. It takes place two days before the events in the movie and centers on a young addict who makes his living acquiring undercover information for a New Orleans vampire hunter. You can also find this on the totally creepy Web site FEARnet.com.
Can You Duet (CMT, 8 p.m. ET)
By the end of this episode only eight duos will remain. Rossi Morreale is the host. Naomi Judd, vocal coach Brett Manning and songwriter Aimee Mayo are the judges.
Moonlight (CBS, 9 p.m. ET)
The grandson of Mick’s World War II buddy is kidnapped, forcing Mick to face disturbing secrets from his past. Alex O’Loughlin and Sophia Myles star. Eric Winter returns as ADA Benjamin Talbot.
Doctor Who (Sci Fi Channel, 9 p.m. ET)
Remember the Ood, the largely low-key, subservient alien race of humanoids with squid-like faces first seen a few seasons back? They return in this episode, with dramatically different temperaments, in a tale that finds The Doctor and Donna visiting the Ood Sphere. David Tennant and Catherine Tate star.
CMT Crossroads: Maroon 5 and Sara Evans (CMT, 9 p.m. ET)
Premiere. Grammy-winning pop band Maroon 5 and 2006 Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year Sara Evans perform several of Evans’ hits, including I Could Not Ask for More and Some Things Never Change, and Maroon 5’s This Love, She Will Be Loved and Won’t Go Home Without You. They also pay homage to Don Henley with a rendition of Leather and Lace. Taped before an invitation-only audience in Nashville.
Battlestar Galactica (Sci Fi Channel, 10 p.m. ET)
Struggling with the recurrence of her cancer, President Roslin tries to accept the realities of the new relationship between the humans and the Cylons. Aggressive viper pilot Kara Thrace is similarly trying to come to terms with the new dynamic.