The TVLine-Up: TV Worth Watching This Sunday

On your TV this Sunday: a tally of the tube’s top men, Mark Harmon cops a new role, AMC’s ambitious new train ride, and more. Here are 12 programs to keep on your radar. (P.S. Did you remember to set your clocks back, where applicable? I once forgot for almost an entire Sunday, could not for the life of me figure out why The West Wing wasn’t on.)

8 pm America in Primetime (PBS) | I was remiss last week in not pointing you to this four-part essay on how more groundbreaking TV shows are being created today than ever before. This week’s installment covers the evolution of male characters from the “kings of their castles” in classic sitcoms to more intricate, conflicted figures — from The Andy Griffith Show and Leave It to Beaver to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. You can watch a sneak peek at

8 pm Once Upon a Time (ABC) | The story of how (a scrappy) Snow White met Prince Charming parallels what might be a breakthrough moment for Mary Margaret and “John Doe” — unless of course, the Evil… er, Regina has an ace up her sleeve.

8 pm The Simpsons (Fox) | You think cheerleading is hard? Try voicing Homer’s new assistant, says Glee‘s Jane Lynch.

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Once Upon a Time‘s Paternity Mystery and More!

9 pm Dexter (Showtime) | A very personal case awakens the needs of the Dark Passenger; Deb finds out Quinn slept with a witness in the Doomsday case.

9 pm The Walking Dead (AMC) | Glenn more than hears “the one about the farmer’s daughter,” if you catch my drift. Also: Do not drink the well water. Seriously.

9 pm The Good Wife (CBS) | When Alicia finds herself going toe-to-toe with the U.S. Treasury Department, she hires Peter’s former lawyer (played by True Blood‘s Carrie Preston).

9 pm Certain Prey (USA Network) | In the first of what possibly could become a series of TV-movies based on the John Sandford best-sellers, Mark Harmon (NCIS) stars as Lucas Davenport, a Minneapolis police chief on the trail of two women who are racking up a staggering body count. (Read what Harmon has to say about the TV-movie and whether there could be others.)

Friday Night Lights‘ Gaius Charles on Grounding Smash, Boarding Pan Am and That Pesky Rumor

10 pm Pan Am (ABC) | When sparks fly between Laura (Margot Robbie) and a serviceman (Friday Night Lights‘ Gaius Charles), it leads her to realize what she’s really looking for in a man as well as opens her eyes to the country’s malicious racial climate; Kate’s mission to turn Niko (Goran Visnjic) culminates in dramatic fashion.

10 pm Hell on Wheels (AMC) | Set in post-Civil War America just as the first transcontinental railroad is being built, this new drama stars Anson Mount as a Confederate soldier resolved to exact revenge on those who killed his wife. Colm Meaney, Common and Dominique McElligott also star. I liked the pilot some, though it’s not without its slow moments. (Watch the trailer here.)

10 pm Homeland (Showtime) | After last week’s mess with the razor blade, the Director of Counterintelligence — with more than a nudge from Carrie — orders polygraph tests on everyone who came in contact with Hamid, including Sgt. Brody. Meanwhile, tensions between Brody and Mike reach a boiling point — which Morena Baccarin (who plays Jessica) elaborates on in her TVLine Q&A.

10 pm CSI: Miami (CBS) | The Sopranos‘ Drea de Matteo plays a regular at a poker game that has the highest of stakes — most recently, one player’s life. Aldis Hodge (Leverage) also guest-stars.

10:30 pm How to Make It in America (HBO) | Having been clued in to “the Lake Bell footage” by TVLine reader Brad, I hereby award this show a slot in the TVLU. On tap for this week: Nancy sets Ben and Cam up with a manufacturer; Rachel (that’s Lake Bell) pursues a hot story.

Which of the above is must-see TV for you? And by all means, hit the Comments to offer tune-in suggestions 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. Dessy says:

    I can’t wait for today’s once upon a time!

    • Emgee says:

      I can’t wait for OUAT either. I am totally hooked on that show.

      • Sally says:

        Totally! I started watching because of Jennifer Morrison and fell in love with the entire cast and the show’s concept instantly. Can’t wait for tonight!

    • Allison says:

      I agree 100%. I love this unique show. It’s a take you into fantasy, make you feel good, series, that definately brightens up my week.

  2. Templar says:

    OUAT & Certain Prey. Sunday nights are good again.

  3. Snapy says:

    Live: The Amazing Race. The Walking Dead. Dexter.
    DVR: The Simpsons. Once Upon a Time. Desperate Housewives. Pan Am.

  4. Craig says:

    You do a wonderful job, so please accept this comment in the warm way it is intended. I watched last weeks America In Primetime and it was the ep you mentioned is airing tonight. I think tonight’s show focuses on the men as they have evolved in TV over the years

  5. BLT says:

    Live: OUAT, Certain Prey

    DVR: The Good Wife, Pan Am

    I normally watch TGW live, but Mark Harmon wins tonight.

  6. fernando says:

    Sundays is for The ABC Line Ups

    Once Upon a Time

    Desperate Houseives

    Pan Am

  7. Marc says:

    Boardwalk Empire isn’t worth watching anymore?

    come on, it’s the best show of the night.

  8. Chris says:

    There is a huge football game on tonight, so I’m predicting a drop in ratings for these shows.

  9. Arelis says:

    Certain Prey, want to see Mark Harmon in his new role.

  10. Brandy says:

    Once, desperate housewives

  11. AT says:

    I’ll probably watch Once Upon a Time and Pan Am and DVR The Good Wife. I’ll definitely DVR Page Eight as well. As for good programming, the Masterpiece Contemporary episode tonight might be worth mentioning. It’s called “Page Eight” and is on tonight on PBS at 9/8c I believe. It’s a political thriller starring Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, etc…Well anyway, I’ve heard really good things about it and can’t wait to watch.

  12. kevin says:

    AMAZING RACE baby! The episode involved a Double U-Turn and one team will be eliminated from the race and I can’t wait to watch the ratings struggle PAN AM with Gaius Charles’ guest starring stint. We still miss him from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and the retro drama better keep it up before it crash lands toward cancellation.

  13. Julie says:

    OUAT on CTV (Thank you CTV!) Then The Simpsons!!! Boycotting Allan whoever in hopes that the show will be cancelled (seriously crossing my fingers for that!) then Family Guy :)

  14. kirads09 says:

    Once Upon A Time is fast becoming must see for me.
    Jennifer Morrison and Robert Carlyle (we need more of him please!) are giving excellent performances.

  15. Arielle says:

    I’m watching football and “Hell on Wheels” looks *snore ZZzzzz*

  16. OMG says:

    Downton Abbey. Oh my God.

  17. sara says:

    I’m watching Once upon a time and The Simpsons, thanks Matt

  18. keysha says:

    i want to like once upon a time but i think this would have been better as a movie than a tv show because it’s going to end up being like lost where it drags on forever and at the end you are stl confused

  19. juan says:

    All ABC: OUAT, Desperate Housewives, and Pan Am

  20. Mikaylah says:

    Downton Abbey, Pan Am and Once Upon A Time.

    Tonight’s Once was amazing. I loved seeing Snow and Charming meeting for the first time.