The TVLine-Up: TV Worth Watching This Week

Coming to your screen this week: No less than 13 premieres, three finales, and a bunch of happy actors hearing their names announced as Emmy nominees. As but a supplement to the awesome features and original reporting TVLine has coming your way, here are 37 programs to keep on your radar.

8/7c Eureka (Syfy) | Season 4.5 arrives with Jack, Allison et al dealing with the current-day consequences of their their trip to 1947.
8 pm MLB Home Run Derby (ESPN) | For those who don’t get to watch Orioles pitchers take the mound on a regular basis.
9 pm The Closer (TNT) | The seventh and final season is here, with Brenda poised to “get her comeuppance.” But take heart, fans: The final, final episodes won’t air until next summer.
9 pm Warehouse 13 (Syfy) | Look! Up at that guy! It’s… Smallville alum Aaron Ashmore joining the series for Season 3.
9 pm Switched at Birth (ABC Family) | Bay and Emmett grow close while digging up clues about her bio-dad. Have they checked the Brothers & Sisters Season 4 DVD set?
9 pm Man vs. Wild (Discovery) | Jake Gyllenhaal pays a visit… because Tobey Maguire was busy?
10 pm Alphas (Syfy) | Series premiere: Academy Award nominee David Strathairn is the Professor X to a team of good-doing (and good-looking, bonus!) people with special abilities.
10 pm Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) | Season 2 opens with a creaky Jane recovering from the shooting. Luckily, Prison Break‘s Chris Vance shows up as an old flame, to perhaps help with hot baths?
10 pm Law & Order: LA (NBC) | Doink-doink! Series finale.

8 pm Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) | Aria and Ezra deal with going public with their romance — like, Facebook relationship status updates and everything.
9 pm MLB All-Star Game (Fox) | Speaking of baseball: Is it true the guy who caught Jeter’s 3,000th hit/home run traded it for a date with Minka Kelly?
9 pm White Collar (USA Network) | Neal is torn when he meets a teen version of his crafty self — tutor, or be a traitor?
10 pm HawthoRNe (TNT) | Christina and Tom hang with Miles’ visiting kids. Hmm. Is this going where I think it’s going?

8 pm So You Think You Can Dance
(Fox) | The Top 12 take to their toes, with the latest castoffs announced Thursday at 8.
9 pm Modern Family (ABC) | “Whatever it was, it looked like Dad was winning.”
9 pm Roseanne’s Nuts (Lifetime) | Two reactions to this new series’ title: “Didn’t Tom Arnold tell us this years ago?” And: “Egads!”
9 pm Franklin & Bash (TNT) | F&B represent two pole-dancing instructors who are charged with excessive writhing stealing from their clients.
9:30 pm Happy Endings (ABC) | Penny’s new beau has a not-so-funny last name.
10 pm Damages (DirecTV) | Season 4, airing exclusively on the dish service, features John Goodman as the bossman of a Blackwater-type military contractor and Dylan Baker as his sort-of henchman, while Chris Messina plays a PTSDing pal of Ellen’s who used to do their dirty work.
10 pm Rescue Me (FX) | The final season kicks off with Tommy and Janet having it out — in epic fashion — over her bun in the oven. Seriously, I yelled “No!” at my TV at least three times during the wild first hour. The finale will air four days before 9/11, fittingly.
10 pm The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants (Showtime) | This docuseries tags the team as they attempt to defend their World Series title.

7am Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
| OK, now’s it’s getting official. You can check out our in-depth preview of each major race, including your picks and our Dream Nominees, plus some fab actor Q&As, at TVLine.com/Emmy.
8:30 pm Parks and Recreation (NBC) | Time (again) for the Harvest Festival! Has anyone seen Li’l Sebastian?
9 pm Burn Notice (USA Network) | Forget the plot; this ep guest-stars Grant Show and The Big Show, which can’t be a coincidence.
10 pm Rookie Blue (ABC) | As the cops investigate a series of arsons, Andy gets trapped inside a very wobbly, burned-out building.
11 pm The Green Room with Paul Provenza (Showtime) | The Season 2 opener features guests Ray Romano, Garry Shandling and Judd Apatow.

8 pm Friday Night Lights
(NBC) | Series finale: For one last time, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
8 pm Smallville (The CW) | In this encore of the series finale, Part 2, Clark… you know.
9 pm Whale Wars (Animal Planet) | The Steve Irwin searches for a missing Norwegian boat crew.
10 pm Haven (Syfy) | The premiere of Season 2 features not one but two Audrey Parkers. (I believe I asked for this for Christmas.)
10 pm Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz) | Hey, Mekhi Phifer: You do not fiddle with Jack’s health monitor. Now go eat some saltines.

8 pm CHAOS
(CBS) | The series finale at least has this going for it: Justified‘s Margo Martindale reprises her role of a CIA bigwig. “This show has such incredible potential,” she told us at a recent event. “And the boys are delicious.” (LIke, apple-pie delicious?)
10 pm Pit Boss (Animal Planet) | Season 3 premiere. I imagine that TVLIne’s rescue dog champion extraordinaire, Meg Masters, would like this show?

9 pm Castle
(ABC) | Adrian Pasdar is back!… in a repeat of Part 1 of his springtime arc, playing a gruff Homeland Security honcho.
9 pm True Blood (HBO) | Alcide helps Sookie search for Eric, while Bill forms a bond with the Bellefleurs.
9 pm Leverage (TNT) | It’s the episode everyone’s been hailing, presented partly in circa-WWII flashbacks narrated by guest star Danny Glover and featuring the regular cast in retro roles.
10 pm Falling Skies (TNT) | Another resistance leader arrives on the scene, and he’s got a retreat plan that rubs Tom the wrong way.
10 pm Breaking Bad (AMC) | After far, far too long a wait (thus robbing the show and its stars of 2011 Emmy eligibility), Walter White  is back and badder than ever.

Which of the above is must-see TV for you? And by all means, hit the comments to politely share tune-in recommendations of your own.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Renee says:

    I’m checking out Alphas. Thanks for this–I forgot it was starting this week.

    • Danielle H. says:

      Going to DVR this as well..

      • Meg - Chicago says:

        Better than a DVR is online TV where you can watch everything whenever you want – not just shows you recorded. I watch some of these shows
        online through the TVDevo website. It makes finding shows as simple as browsing the net. Netflix is a good choice for online movies.

  2. No Breaking Bad? I am disappointed TVLine.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Errant omission; it is being added post haste!

      • Nicole says:

        Can’t believe that every comment isn’t hailing the return of Breaking Bad, so I had to add mine. I CANNOT WAIT for the return of Jesse, Walt, Gus, Hank and HEISENBERG!!

  3. XK says:

    No love for Suits on Thursday?

    • Danielle H. says:

      I know right! Royal Pains could be here to, and I guess I’m the only one left watching Love Bites LOL! Thank though Matt, I know you can’t fit it all.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Thank you for understanding that, yes :)

        • XK says:

          Yeah, but… you fit THREE 9pm shows and THREE 10pm shows on the previous day. Roseanne’s Nuts, and a repeat of Modern Family are more deserving of the space?

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            It’s not about “having space,” it’s about SUITS has made the cut every week since its premiere, and the TVLine-Up is about spreading the love. Always has been.

          • XK says:

            Gotcha. That’s not how it reads, but if that’s the intent, so be it. :)

            Since it’s one of the few non-Glee-centric articles getting press on tvline lately, I clearly am attaching too much importance to it. :)

  4. Kelly says:

    1) Monday as must-see TV; so weird.

    2) You have a typo in Haven’s listing – ‘now’ instead of ‘not’.

    Thanks for all the scifi love this week!

  5. jrs says:

    Nothing on Wilfred (now the funniest show on TV)? This week Ed Helms co-stars as a dog molester. I’m laughing just thinking about it!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I gave WILFRED a shot (and I’ve seen several yet-to-air episodes), and while I’m an easy mark for comedy, I just wasn’t sold. Too loosey-goosey with its rule book re Wilfred. But maybe I will revisit it…

    • Amber says:

      I like Wilfred a lot, though I haven’t found the last two episodes to be nearly as hysterical as the premiere was. Also, I was a little frightened by that preview with Ed Helms. “Someone likes peanut butter!” Elijah Wood is pretty good on the show, but I love the actor who plays the dog. He’s what sells that show for me.

  6. I have mixed feelings about the return of “Warehouse 13”. It fills my need for a “Friday the 13th: The Series”-esque show, but it has never really grabbed me. Likewise, “Franklin & Bash” fills the want of the canceled-too-soon “The Defenders” (if only we could have had a hybrid with a surprisingly likable Jim Belushi, Breckin Meyer, and Reed Diamond).
    I don’t know if I’ll get back on-board with “Rizzoli & Isles”. I feel the show didn’t give Harmon or Alexander the room to show their respective ranges (actually, I don’t know how much range Harmon has). It is much like “Rookie Blue”. I watched the first season, but now it is hard to get excited about it.
    Also hoping that somewhere this season that “Leverage” goes back to being more fun than ‘semi-dark’ and ‘not quite brooding’. It has been off-tone for me for a while. I love the cast and I hope it stays on the air, but it has been better than it has shown so far this season.

    • lipsticksocialism says:

      im with you on Rizzoli & I. I’ll be watching the premiere just to see Jane pissed off at having to be recovering and not push herself, but the cases are hardly keeping me excited about it.

  7. jrs says:

    Fair enough. I get what you mean, but I’ve tried not to over-think it and just sit back and enjoy the lines that come out of Wilfred’s mouth…seriously some of the funniest writing around. Thanks.

  8. dee says:

    Didn’t “The Franchise” follow the SF Giants LAST season–that is, when they WON the World Series? I don’t think it’s documenting the defense of that title.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Nope, this current season:
      (Per Showtime) “This new docu-series follows the 2010 World Series champions as they defend their title in 2011. With unprecedented access to Giants players, their families, coaches and team personnel, this series provides a candid look at the struggles, relationships and day-to-day lives of Major League Baseball players. It’s an up close and personal journey from the off-season to Spring Training, the All-Star Game and beyond.”

  9. jen says:

    I’ll watch this last season of The Closer. And I’m very much looking forward to Alphas and Breaking Bad premieres.
    I’m also enjoying Torchwood so far.
    The rest is summer filler for me, but it’s nice to have a variety.

  10. FunnyBrit says:

    No Covert Affairs? Must be because it’s worth watching every week, not just this week. ;)

  11. steve says:

    cant wait for damages and breaking bad. But seriously love for repeats of shows yet no love for what is the best show NEW summer show AKA usa networks SUITS.

  12. steve says:

    ^ meant to say best NEW summer show AKA usa networks SUITS.
    Without the extra show

  13. Erin says:

    The last episode of Chaos? I love this show. I hate to see it end. I wish another network would have picked it up. Ugh…

    • XK says:

      I’ve been enjoying it on Saturdays, but it kind of seems like a show that would have done much better 10-20 years ago. Kind of funny that a show about the last of the old school spies would come across as being rather old school itself.

      Really fun cast though.

  14. Amanda says:

    Thanks for letting me know The Green Room is back. I would have completely missed it!

  15. Anne says:

    10 pm Law & Order: LA (NBC) | Doink-doink! Series finale –
    Matt, is there any chance that the show could return? Would NBC be willing to bring it back as a summer series, or USA Network or TNT picking it up? I hate to see the L&O franchise down to one show.

  16. Amy says:

    Looking forward to checkingout Alphas. Can’t wait for the finale of FNL even if it makes me do the ugly cry. That show is absolutely brilliant. Thanks for the heads up on the Harvest Festival Repeat! Love me some Lil’ Sebastian. He’s awesomesause. You know what else is awesomesauce? When Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights are announced as Emmy nominees on Thursday. I am pulling for them to be nominated in their respective categories. If Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton aren’t nominees come Thursday, this will be a seriously egregious crime.

  17. Gretchen says:

    Really enjoying Franklin & Bash–funny show. And Suits.

    Design Star starts tonight, too, didn’t see that in the listings, another of my “brain candy” fluff shows that I enjoy very much.

    Will be watching the Closer, cannot wait.

    No Showtime, so I can’t watch my Giants on the Franchise–will this be available online at all?

  18. Jessica says:

    As a lifetime Orioles fan you really hurt me Matt! I know they stink, but did you have to remind me? ;) It’s actually probably pretty stupid to even admit that I’m an Orioles fan. At least you can say I’m loyal…or nuts!

  19. tahina says:

    It’s The Closer and Alphas for me!Sorry for Rizzoli and Isles, gave it a break but it was not up to my expectations :(, hopefully Alphas does!

  20. Amber says:

    I second the recommendation for the series finale of FNL. I saw it the first time around on DirectTV. If it doesn’t make you get teary-eyed at the end, then your heart is made of stone. Cold, lifeless stone. =) Farewell to a fabulous show that never let me down.

  21. Kevin says:

    Breaking Bad FINALLY coming back. Also can’t wait for the series finale of FNL (wish Lyla Garrity was here) as well as the beginning of the end for The Closer and Rescue Me.

  22. Kath says:

    Castle is Must Watch, even though it’s a repeat.
    I know I’m going to cry all the way through FNL because it’s ending.

    Will check out Rookie Blue and give Love Bites and Combat Hospital another chance.