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TV Junkie: NBC and the Corner It's Painted Itself Into; John Oliver Tonight, 'Big Love' & 'Battlestar Galactica' Sunday

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This Sunday FOX celebrates the 450th episode of "The Simpsons"


This Sunday FOX celebrates the 450th episode of "The Simpsons"
Yesterday, did we publish an "unconfirmed" rumor that NBC was canceling "The Jay Leno Show"? Kind of. At the very least, if NBC moves the show from it's 10pm slot back to 11:35pm, and makes it 1/2 hour - that is a very different show than what was originally planned. The biggest problem is that NBC appears to not know what it is doing, what with all the news leaks of conflicting ideas about a drastic change to a broadcast line-up that is about 8 months old. We've been critical of NBC but we're big fans of the network and what it is capable of producing. We know there are a lot of smart people there and have had some great experiences talking with them and appreciate the access they have provided us in the past. We want them to be successful but we feel that in their efforts to please everybody, they are alienating everybody. We don't buy the idea that the affiliates want Jay Leno back at 11:35pm and that Conan O'Brien is the problem. It was to be expected that there would be an initial dip in viewership when Conan took over "The Tonight Show" but this loss in viewers was compounded by Leno's 10pm show which had viewer drop off both at the beginning and at the end of the hour.

Freeing up the 10pm hour for scripted TV is what everyone really wants: 5 more hours a week of content that has syndication and DVD value. What would be a shame is if Conan loses out because NBC couldn't commit to him out of fear of losing Leno's mid-West viewers. We're not saying Leno doesn't deserve to be on TV, he's a solid performer that delivers to a powerful demographis, but doesn't NBC Universal have about a jillion other channels he could go to and do a show he really wants to do? Give him that chance but let the Peacock finally graduate into the 21st century.
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If you're a Tracey Ullman fan, check out the trailer to the new season of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" at the end of this post.
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This weekend is all about John Oliver's new show tonight at 11pm on Comedy Central, Charles Barkley and Alicia Keys on "SNL" tomorrow, and an impressive lineup of premieres for Sunday which put us into a tight spot resolved by watching the "Big Love" premiere on HBO at 9pm and then the "Battlestar Galactica" special 11pm repeat on Syfy.
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The TV Junkie Plan: Tonight - "What Not To Wear", Leno (Brian Williams), "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show", Conan (Michael Cera, Aziz Ansari, OK Go), Ferguson (Jason Segal). Saturday - Graham Norton (Robert Downey Jr.), "SNL" (Charles Barkley, Alicia Keys). Sunday - "Food Network Challenge", "Nature" (hummingbirds), "The Simpsons" (450th episode), "The Simpsons In 3D On Ice", "Big Love", "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" (the 11pm repeat).

Tonight

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8:00pm Ghost Whisperer CBS - Melinda tries to help Ned stop a ghost out for revenge at the Grandview radio station.

9:00pm What Not to Wear TLC - Season Premiere

9:00pm Shark Tank ABC - Things get heated when the sharks ask a husband-and-wife team to clarify the actual value of a childcare business; a chef's salad dressing mix is removed from store shelves

9:00pm Medium CBS - The ghost of a suspected murderer contacts Allison in hopes of clearing his name

9:00pm Dollhouse FOX - Topher tries to reconstruct Echo's original personality and memories; the identity of Rossum Corp.'s leader is revealed.

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10:00pm The Jay Leno Show NBC - Journalist Brian Williams.

10:00pm NUMB3RS CBS - Don and the team investigate the theft of scratch-off lottery tickets.

10:00pm The Best Thing I Ever Ate Food - Season Premiere

11:00pm John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show Comedy Central - Series Premiere

11:00pm The Very Funny Show TBS - John Mulaney and Pete Correale.

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11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actress Teri Hatcher; comic Jake Johannsen; the Dodos perform.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien NBC - Actor Michael Cera; actor Aziz Ansari; OK Go performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Actor Tobey Maguire; actress Shenae Grimes; Colbie Caillat performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Jason Segal; actress Shiri Appleby.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actor Matthew Broderick; actress Ashley Greene; Nick Jonas & the Administration performs.

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Saturday

9:00pm Demons BBC America - Luke must rescue children from the grips of a 1,000-year-old demon masquerading as an angel.

10:00pm The Graham Norton Show BBC America - Robert Downey, Jr.; Ed Byrne; Will Young

11:25pm Saturday Night Live NBC - Host Charles Barkley; Alicia Keys performs.

Sunday

7:00pm Food Network Challenge Food - Season Finale

8:00pm Nature - Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air PBS/KCET - Hummingbirds, the tiniest of birds, qualify as some of the toughest and most energetic creatures in the world

8:00pm The Simpsons 450th Episode FOX - Special Presentation

8:30pm The Simpsons: 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice! FOX - Special Presentation

9:00pm Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Syfy - Special Presentation

9:00pm Ax Men History - Season Premiere

9:00pm Big Love HBO - Season Premiere

9:00pm Chuck NBC - Season Premiere

9:00pm Iron Chef America Food - Season Premiere

9:00pm Masterpiece! PBS - Season Premiere

10:00pm Keeping Up With the Kardashians E! - Kim takes in a sickly stray Chihuahua; Rob gets pressured by Bruce to move out of the house.

Showtime's "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" begins airing at 10:30pm on Monday, January 25th: