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TV Junkie: Get Your 'School Pride' on Tonight; '30 Rock' Live Wrap-Up

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Weekend Edition

Please check out our interview with Governor Jesse Ventura, host of truTV's "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" which premieres tonight at 10pm.
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There's feel-good programming and then there's "School Pride" which premieres tonight on NBC at 8pm. The somewhat saccharine and over-produced "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" is a feel-good show that also revolves around the renovation of a bulding but that show helps only one family in a kind of "We're going to Disneyland!"-style sensationalism. "School Pride" invites the entire community of a school, and anyone else who is interested, to get involved with not only fixing up the physical building, but also how to get the school back on track. Executive producer Cheryl Hines (in the interview above) got the idea for the show while participating in the renovation of Carver Elementary in Compton a few years ago and noted that fixing up the dilapidated building had multiple positive results that included improved test scores by the students and improved property values in the area.

Of the seven episodes this season, 4 of them focus on schools in Southern California. The show is hosted by Jacob Soboroff, a correspondent for the AMC network and a social activist [full disclosure: we've met Jacob a couple times and that's why we're joking about him with producers Cheryl Hines and Denise Cramsey in the above video], as well as comedian and former substitute teacher Kym Whitley, actress and Miss USA 2003 Susie Castillo, and Tom Stroup, SWAT Commander.

We were a little concerned about NBC delaying the premiere date for the show, pushing it back several weeks. But in the end this was a very smart thing to do as the show now has a chance to breathe a little freer, without having to compete with the onslaught of Fall premieres last month. Check out the program, you might be driving by one of the schools that have been worked on or you might spot one that you'd like to nominate. Please tell us if you have seen one of these schools and if you have noticed any changes there or in the community: Enterprise Middle School in Compton, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) in Los Angeles, Needles High School in Needles, or Hollenbeck Middle School in Los Angeles.
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What was your opinion of last night's "30 Rock" live episode? We knew it was going to be very "SNL"-flavored as we wrote yesterday, and while we would never want every show to be live, the excitement of a live broadcast is both inspiring and entertaining. The idea that this entire crew can pull off the lines and technical specifics is awe-inspiring. The camera was moved around enough to give the space three-dimensions and the few minor flubs were entertaining in themselves and the fact that they had to do it twice in one night is even more impressive. Evidently the AP TV writer didn't care for it but it seems like he didn't take much into account, calling it an "overheated slice of self-indulgence and excess" is already off the mark: when is "30 Rock" not about self-indulgence and excess? That's the point of the show. NY magazine has a great post outlining the (at least) 17 differences between the East and West coast broadcasts. Fey has said they will be doing this again, we can't wait.
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The TV Junkie Plan: Tonight - "School Pride", "The Good Guys", "The Soup", "Fashion Police", Letterman (David Duchovny, Amy Sedaris), Ferguson (Ty Burrell). Saturday - "Iconoclasts" (Hugh Jackman and Jean-Georges Vongerichten). Sunday - "Nature", "Boardwalk Empire", "Bored To Death", "Eastbound & Down"

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Tonight

8:00pm School Pride NBC - Teachers and parents rebuild a middle school in Compton, Calif.

9:00pm The Good Guys Fox - Dan turns to an old partner (Gary Cole) for help after being framed for a kidnapping; Jack tries to clear Dan's name.

10:00pm Real Time With Bill Maher HBO - John Legend, Dana Loesch, Markos Moulitsas, Dan Neil, Reverend Al Sharpton

10:00pm The Soup E! - Joel McHale & Co. destroy the week's pop culture

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10:00pm Blue Bloods CBS - When an off-duty police officer is killed during a diamond heist, the entire NYPD searches for the person responsible.

10:00pm The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret IFC - Todd decides to launch Thunder Muscle with an advertisement featuring a celebrity endorsement.

10:00pm Sanctuary Syfy - Kali

10:30pm Fashion Police E! - Joan Rivers reams fashion a new one

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor David Duchovny; actress Amy Sedaris.

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11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actress Eva Longoria Parker; actor Josh Duhamel; John Legend performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - TV host Julie Chen; actor Ty Burrell; Billy Currington performs.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actor Edward Norton; actor Bam Margera; comic Nick Vatterott; Bobby Brown performs.

Saturday

9:00pm Iconoclasts Sundance - Hugh Jackman & Jean-Georges Vongerichten

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Sunday

8:00pm Nature PBS/KCET - Echo: An Elephant to Remember The elephant matriarch Echo, leader of a carefully studied herd in Africa, died of natural causes in 2009.

9:00pm Rubicon AMC - Will uncovers the missing link between Truxton and Hadas's death; Katherine discovers the truth behind her husband's suicide.

9:00pm Boardwalk Empire HBO - Eli, Margaret and Van Alden undermine Nucky's attempts to usher in a joyous St. Patrick's Day.

9:00pm Dexter Showtime - Dexter must save a life; Deb has a confrontation with a key suspect; Quinn follows up on the similarities between Dexter and Kyle Butler.

10:00pm Mad Men AMC - Season Finale. Tomorrowland

10:00pm Bored to Death HBO - A professor hires Jonathan to track down a valuable item; George finds an alibi to explain his drug test results; Ray meets a familiar barfly.

10:00pm Luther BBC America - Series Premiere. Det. John Luther returns to work after the traumatic arrest of a serial killer; Luther investigates the murder of the parents of a former child genius.

10:30pm Eastbound & Down HBO - Roger warns Kenny about the perils of showboating; Kenny has competition in his courtship of Vida.

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"School Pride" which premieres at 8pm on NBC tonight, is hosted by Kym Whitley, Jacob Soboroff, Susie Castillo, and Tom Stroup