What to Watch Friday: The Final Spartacus Battle Begins, 'Mikita' Tension, Banshee and More

Spartacus season 4On TV this Friday: Spartacus commences its War of the Damned, Banshee mixes it up with an MMA fighter, Ethan Hawke uncovers some Shakespeare and Nikita‘s man doesn’t like what he sees. Here are 10 programs to keep on your radar.

8 pm Nikita (The CW) | Michael and Nikita’s relationship becomes strained as he watches her work with Owen to take down a rogue “cleaner” (played by Pedro Pascal, The Good Wife).

8 pm Kitchen Nightmares (Fox) | Gordon Ramsay steps in when a Massachusetts man refuses to cede control of the Olde Hitching Post restaurant to his oldest daughter.

8 pm Fringe (Science) | If you’re still reeling from the series finale, check in with the back-to-back repeats Science Channel has cued up, including the Season 2 finale that left Olivia’s stranded in the alternate universe and Peter poised to canoodle with her doppelgänger. (Note: From here on, the channel’s Tuesday-night Fringe repeats will air on Fridays.)

PREVIEW | The Spartacus Team Talks Final Season: Is [Spoiler] Alive? The Very Last Scene Revealed?

9 pm Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz) | Season 3 premiere: As the series’ final season begins, Spartacus’ victories make him a real threat to Rome.

9 pm Shakespeare Uncovered (PBS) | Series premiere: Each episode uses interviews, clips from film and television adaptations and a celeb host to go deep with of one of The Bard’s plays. Up first: Ethan Hawke and Macbeth (or “the Scottish play,” if you’re reading this backstage and are about to go on as Banquo).

9 pm Dateline NBC (NBC) | The show (Pow!) investigates a murder (Bam!) at a comic-book store (Zaaaaaap!).

RELATED | Exclusive: House Reunion on Cinemax’s Banshee – Find Out Who’ll Stop By

10 pm Banshee (Cinemax) | A high-stakes mixed martial arts title bout is threatened when the champion runs afoul of Lucas and Siobahn.

10 pm 20/20 (ABC) | The news journal plumbs the “culture of deception” with pieces on the Manti Te’o hoax and a real-life Norman Bates who impersonated his dead mother to keep her New York home.

10 pm Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO) | Maher interviews House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Montana Sen. Jon Tester and welcomes GOPAC president David Avella, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and political strategist Kristen Soltis to the roundtable.

10 pm Portlandia (IFC) | Portland holds its first (not-so-hardcore) battle of the bands. Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), George Wendt (Cheers), Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and the Dirty Projectors guest-star.

Hit the comments with your must-see picks from tonight’s lineup!

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. SK says:

    Fringe! Oh, that’s right it’s over and I don’t have Science channel. :(
    Merlin – sad this series is ending, too.

  2. Susie says:

    Banshee and Spartacus!!

  3. Tedi says:

    Nikita!!!!! :D

  4. Templar says:

    Two vintage Frank Sinatra films on TCM. The Tender Trap and Robin and the Seven Hoods. That works for me.

  5. Taryn says:

    First Fringeless Friday :(

  6. CoolTV says:

    Nikita, Banshee and Spartacus!!!!!

  7. Michelle says:

    Nikita and Spartacus!

  8. Disastrous says:

    Spartacus and Banshee for sure. Kind of sad that this will be the final season..The show’s fight scenes are epic!

  9. forwarddad says:

    Why are Shark Tank, CSI and Blue Bloods reruns? Second week in a row Shark Tank repeat. Network TV is not going gain viewers if they keep showing reruns every couple of weeks.

  10. wrstlgirl says:

    I’m so bummed that we don’t get Starz anymore. I hope it doesn’t take forever for the final season of Spartacus to come out on DVD.

  11. King says:

    Spartacus and Banshee

  12. Shaun says:

    I think Banshee is just hilarious….the guy doesn’t even bother trying to look like a cop,lol.Watching Nikita and Spartacus too!!

  13. bobbie says:

    Bill Maher, all that’s left on Fridays til Haven or Grimm come back to save Fridays.

  14. imjstkel says:

    What’s on History, E! A&E, etc