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TV Junkie: Networks Clean House; Baldwin Hosts 'SNL'

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Alec Baldwin enjoying himself on "SNL" - he will host the show again tomorrow night, 11:25pm @ NBC


Alec Baldwin enjoying himself on "SNL" - he will host the show again tomorrow night, 11:25pm @ NBC
Last night we observed an interesting phenomena as Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) learned of tweets by "Entertainment Weekly" columnist Michael Ausiello (@MichaelAusiello) announcing the cancellation of her show "Romantically Challenged" (@RomChallenged). Officially, ABC has said nothing (as of 11am Pacific today) about canceling "Romantically Challenged" - it would be interesting to know who Ausiello talked to at ABC if the star of the show doesn't know her fate.The networks are doing quite a bit of house cleaning right now, however, with NBC canceling "Law & Order", with ABC cutting "Scrubs" (finally), "Better Off Ted" (it seemed to be killed long ago, unfortunately), and "FlashForward" which really is a shame as that show had a lot of potential with its great performances and depth of plot. "FlashForward" fans are now, understandably, stating that ABC stands for "Another Bad Choice".

Perhaps the "Chuck" flashmob events we reported on earlier were successful as the series has somehow, magically, made the cut and will get another season. We have to remain sanguine about these housecleanings as they mean that more new shows will be ordered with the hope that there are some classics in there. What should bemoaned are interesting shows that are cut without getting a fair shake - of all the shows above, probably "FlashForward" and "Better Off Ted" fall into that category. Of all the pilots that we've seen getting picked up, very few of the concepts, stars, and writing teams behind them don't inspire us with a heck of a lot of confidence but we will reserve judgement on them until we get some screeners in hand.
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This weekend Alec Baldwin hosts "Saturday Night Live" for the 15th time, tying Steve Martin for the "most frequent host" title. The show knows Baldwin, he knows them, and his nights there tend to be well above average so we will be watching. Also, the Amgen Tour of California begins on Sunday, 2pm on Versus, with stage 1 from Nevada City to Sacramento
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Martha highlights for next week: Monday - Chevy Chase ("Community") will be making spicy lentil-walnut burgers. Wednesday - Patricia Arquette ("Medium") demos a feather printing technique.
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The TV Junkie Plan: Tonight - Bill Maher, "Friday Night Lights", "Funny or Die", "Ricky Gervais Show", "The Soup", Letterman, Fallon. Saturday - "Doctor Who", The Hangover, "SNL" (Alec Baldwin, Tom Petty). Sunday - Tour of California, "The Pacific", "Treme", "Breaking Bad"

Tonight

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7:00pm Real Time With Bill Maher HBO -

8:00pm Friday Night Lights NBC - A controversy at West Dillon puts a star player on the Lions' roster; Eric tries to re-energize his demoralized team

8:00pm Smallville The CW - Chloe calls on some old friends to help battle Zod and the Kandorians; Clark and Zod fight for control of Earth.

9:00pm Stargate Universe Syfy - Dr. Tamara Johansen tries to track down what is causing the crew to hallucinate.

9:00pm Funny or Die Presents HBO - "Holdup," "Playground Politics," "Morning Prayer"

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9:00pm Kitchen Nightmares Fox - Chef Ramsay tries to help a restaurant owner who has lost his passion for cooking and is in tremendous deb

9:00pm Say Yes to the Dress TLC - [1 full hour] A bride wants something sexy with lots of bling; a bride who lost weight several years ago is still insecure about her new figure; a bride has a limited budget and no clue about what type of dress she wants.

9:30pm The Ricky Gervais Show HBO - Stephen asks Karl questions posed to guests on "Inside the Actors Studio"; Karl believes that scientists should stop trying to kill germs

10:00pm The Soup E! - Joel McHale and gang, back in LA with Chris Hardwick, Alison Brie, and Gillian Jacobs

10:00pm Party Down Starz - The funeral of a patriarch goes awry when the deceased's mistress arrives to pay her last respects; the possibility of learning the blues from a real bluesman mesmerizes Kyle.

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10:00pm Merlin Syfy - Uther enlists a powerful witchfinder to rid Camelot of all magic.

10:20pm Friday Night With Jonathan Ross BBC America - Jake Gyllenhaal

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor Mike Myers; comic Tom Dreesen.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Entrepreneur Donald Trump; Jonas Brothers perform; Neon Trees perform.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actress Amanda Seyfried; author Isabel Allende.

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12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Premiere screening of "Stones in Exile."

Saturday

7:00pm Days of Wine and Roses TCM - (1962) A boozing PR man's (Jack Lemmon) wife (Lee Remick) joins him in drinking but not in Alcoholics Anonymou

9:00pm Doctor Who BBC America - The Doctor and his friends are forced to escape through the forest vault after they are surrounded by the Weeping Angels.

9:00pm Unwrapped Food - Celebrating America's deep feelings for all things deep-fried.

9:50pm The Hangover HBO - (2009) After a wild stag party in Las Vegas, three hazy groomsmen (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) must find their missing friend and get him back to Los Angeles in time for his wedding.

10:00pm The Graham Norton Show BBC America - Brooke Shields; Kevin Bacon; Miranda Hart

11:25pm Saturday Night Live NBC - Host Alec Baldwin; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers perform.

Sunday

2:00pm Amgen Tour of California Versus - Stage 1, from Nevada City to Sacramento

7:00pm The 2010 Miss USA Pageant NBC - Contestants vie for the crown in the 59th annual pageant; Curtis Stone and Natalie Morales host; Trace Adkins and Boys Like Girls perform

8:00pm Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains CBS - Season Finale. The five remaining contestants vie for the million-dollar prize.

8:00pm Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC - Season Finale. Gaby puts herself at risk in an attempt to help Angie; Eddie controls Lynette's fate; Susan faces her financial problems

8:10pm The Pacific HBO - Series Finale. Leckie returns home; Sledge reunites with his family in Alabama, but is unsure why he survived unscathed.

9:00pm Desperate Housewives ABC - Season Finale. Ty's team renovates a home that is too small to accommodate two disabled family members

9:00pm The Celebrity Apprentice NBC - Former winners Joan Rivers and Bill Rancic help Mr. Trump select the two finalists; the remaining contestants must create a tea and its marketing campaign.

9:00pm The Tudors Showtime - Henry restores his daughters to the royal succession and forges an unexpected political alliance.

9:00pm Masterpiece Mystery! PBS/KCET - Foyle's War, Series VI: The Hide The newly retired Foyle fights to save a young man condemned to death for aiding the Nazis.

9:20pm Treme HBO - Toni searches for clues about Daymo; Davis raises his profile on the streets and on TV; Janette considers suspending operations

10:00pm Breaking Bad AMC - Skyler hatches a plan; Walt and Gus come to an understanding; Jesse pursues a new opportunity.

10:00pm Brothers & Sisters ABC - Season Finale. One of William's secret investments brings hope to the Walker family