Sunday, April 1st
The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Award, live awards show from 8 to 11pm on CBS
– Not to be confused with the CMAs, the ACAs, or the CMT Awards, the ACMs are a standout in an overpopulated field of country-music awards shows. Returning hosts Reba McEntire and the adorable Black Shelton will introduce performances by Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and Toby Keith. The fan-voted New Artist of the Year category is boys only with Nashville wunderkind Hunter Hayes up against American Idol winner Scott McCreery and rocker Brantley Gilbert.
The Killing, 2-hour season premiere at 8pm on AMC
– The Killing is based on the wildly successful Danish television series Forbrydelsen and tells the story of the murder of a young girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation. This sophomore drama series ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim’s grieving family, and the suspects. Set in Seattle, the story also explores local politics as it follows politicians connected to the case. As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they’ve moved on, their past isn’t done with them. This hit drama series turned into the most-hated-series when its season 1 finale failed to actually close the case on the Rosie Larsen murder, dragging the story out for a whole second season. So are you willing to give it another chance after possibly the biggest tease and letdown in TV history? Gripping storytelling, superb writing and compelling acting have me coming back for more.
Great Expectations, 2-hour miniseries premiere at 8pm on PBS
– The two-part miniseries Great Expectations celebrates Charles Dickens in the year that marks the bicentenary of his birth. Pip, an orphan boy, meets an escaped convict, a mentally unhinged rich woman, and a bewitching girl, and is bestowed great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron. Starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as Miss Havisham, one of Dickens’ most haunting and enduring creations, Great Expectations unites renowned actors David Suchet and Ray Winstone with emerging talents Douglas Booth and Vanessa Kirby.
Game of Thrones, season premiere at 9pm on HBO
– I have literally been counting the days until this premiere because this is hands-down my favorite show on TV by a long shot. HBO’s hit fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling novel series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ returns for a second season that promises dragons, epic battles, more sex, and beautiful landscapes (Dubrovnik, Croatia is standing in for King’s Landing! Meanwhile, the crew actually ventured to Iceland to represent a truly brutal icy glacier north of The Wall). This season, five people battle to lay claim to the Iron Throne after King Robert Baratheon’s passing. Fueled by his father, King Robert’s hand, Ned Stark’s beheading by the order of the increasingly unreasonable King Joffrey, Robb Stark leads his army of the North to war to seize the Iron Throne from the illegitimate son of the Queen Cersei and her twin brother, the currently imprisoned Jaime Lannister. Tywin Lannister, Cersei and Jaime’s father and the richest man in the seven kingdoms, sends his armies to battle Stark’s army and to capture Jaime. Officially the King’s Hand, Tywin assigns the position to his clever dwarf son Tyrion (the Emmy-award winning Peter Dinklage) while he wages war against Robb Stark. Fans can look forward to more screen time from fan favorite Tyrion as he joins his sister in King’s Landing and becomes her new confidant as they try to control her power-hungry son. Meanwhile, the two younger brothers of deceased King Robert, Renly and Stannis, battle against each other to claim they are next in line to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, the daughter of the Mad King who was betrayed and slaughtered by Jamie, is still heartbroken over losing her unborn baby and her Dothraki husband Drogo, but her loss has made her strong and determined to take her rightful seat at the Iron Throne. This season, Daenerys, a khal in her own right after emerging unscathed from a burning fire with three newborn dragons, leads a small but faithful group of Dothraki soldiers through the desert while her dragons grow large enough for her to take the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, the handsome and honorable Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard son, commits himself fully to the Night’s Watch as the coming of a long winter summons The White Walkers to attack the kingdoms, forcing Snow and the watchmen to venture north of The Wall to seek out and destroy The White Walkers. With all this and even more that I didn’t have space to elaborate on, it’s impossible to not be excited about this increasingly popular series that does not cease to amaze.
Wicked Tuna, series premieres at 10pm on National Geographic
– Fishing is a hard life, and harder with bluefin stocks depleted. In Gloucester, Massachusetts, there’s a special breed of fishermen. For generations they’ve used rod and reel to catch the elusive bluefin tuna. They depend on these fish for their livelihood, and the competition is brutal. Over the next 10 weeks, the most skilled fishermen will set out in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic in hopes of catching the valuable bluefin tuna. When one bluefin can bring in as much as $20,000—they’ll do whatever it takes to hook up.
Monday, April 2nd
Adventure Time, season premiere at 7:30pm on Cartoon Network
– The series follows the adventures of Finn, a silly kid who wants to become a great hero one day. He might not look too tough, but if there’s evil around, he’ll slay it. That’s his deal. His best friend is Jake, a dog with magical powers. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. Ward describes Finn as a fiery little kid with strong morals, while Jake is based on Bill Murray’s character in the movie Meatballs.
Bones, midseason premiere at 8pm on FOX
– This darkly amusing procedural picking up after its three-month hiatus due to the star’s real-life pregnancy, is inspired by real-life forensic anthropologist and novelist Kathy Reichs. Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and writes novels on the side. When the standard methods of identifying a body are useless (when the remains are so badly decomposed, burned or destroyed), law enforcement calls on Brennan for her uncanny ability to read clues left behind in the victim’s bones. While most people can’t handle Brennan’s intelligence, her drive for the truth or the way she flings herself headlong into every investigation, Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) of the FBI’s Homicide Investigations Unit is an exception. A former Army sniper, Booth mistrusts science and scientists – the “squints,” as he calls them – who pore over the physical evidence of a crime. But even he cannot deny that the combination of his people-smarts and Brennan’s scientific acumen makes them a formidable duo. When we last saw Brennan and Booth three months ago, they were grappling with the issues surrounding the upcoming birth of their child – all while continuing to deal with a series of gruesome and baffling crimes. Still seeing the world from radically different perspectives, they are at odds over plans for the upcoming birth of their daughter…typical.
Tuesday, April 3rd
Giuliana & Bill, season premiere at 8pm on Style Network
– The new season of the reality show starring E! News host Giuliana Rancic and her husband Bill, the original Apprentince, will follow the couple as they deal with Giuliana’s breast cancer battle. Late last year, Giuliana underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. In addition to Rancic’s breast cancer, the season will feature Bill attempting to cope with the couple’s new houseguests, in-laws parents Anna and Eduardo, and the couple’s restaurant opening in Chicago.
Savage U, series premiere at 11pm on MTV
– Dan Savage, sex-advice columnist extraordinaire, is joining forces with MTV on a cross-country tour – visiting college campuses and answering students’ most personal questions about sex, dating, and relationships. Savage U follows Dan as he drives into university towns across the U.S. answering ANY question with humor and brutal honesty. Along with his trusty sidekick, Lauren, and his popular Q&A lecture, Dan will hit the streets of each campus, ready to get a real feel for what makes each school’s sex and relationship culture unique. From the student center to nighttime hot spots, Dan will talk to students about what really goes on between the stacks, who’s hooking up and who’s holding back. And he’ll give one-on-one advice and listen to students’ unique questions, concerns, and curiosities about sex and relationships. From the serious to the silly — no topic is taboo, too kinky or too conservative.
Wednesday, April 4th
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, season premiere at 8pm on NBC
– Forget everything you thought you knew about the older generation. Betty White’s Off Their Rockers takes senior stereotypes and blows them out of the water with a cast of sassy septuagenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party! America’s favorite comedy sweetheart sends a fearless band of senior citizens to the streets to pull shockingly hilarious pranks on the younger generation in this outrageously funny “hidden camera” show unlike anything viewers have ever seen. In the vein of the recently resurrected Punk’d, the show delivers cleverly-crafted comedic stunts, candid moments and priceless reactions captured by hidden cameras. Sassy seniors are on a mission, targeting unsuspecting young “marks” with their irreverent behavior, from asking a young girl in a mall to sign a petition banning ugly people from reproducing to having an older woman proposition a young man at an airport gate to join her in the “mile high” club. White, a seven-time Emmy Award winner, stars in and executive produces the series. The inimitable and charming White will be featured in brazenly funny sketches, providing saucy commentary between the pranks and sharing her engaging, comical pearls of wisdom. Turning 90 years old in January 2012, White remains one of the busiest – and funniest – actresses in Hollywood,
Best Friends Forever, series premiere at 8:30pm on NBC
– NBC’s new comedy named after a 4th grader’s common phrase is about old friends, new beginnings and awkward situations. Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids”) and Lennon Parham (Accidentally on Purpose) star as Jessica and Lennon, best friends who live on opposite sides of the country with the men in their lives. When Jessica is overnighted divorce papers, Lennon convinces her to return home to Brooklyn and back into the apartment they used to share. It doesn’t take long for the girls to fall into old habits: movie marathons and late night girl talk sessions – none of which is good news for Lennon’s live-in boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones, Upright Citizens Brigade). Joe tries to be understanding but begins to feel like a stranger in his own home. Meanwhile, Jessica is trying to get used to her new single life.
Toddlers & Tiaras, season premiere at 10pm on TLC
– TLC’s brazen reality series whose real-life controversy over dressing a child in a “Pretty Woman” hooker costume was the inspiration for last week’s What Would You Do? is back for more drama. On any given weekend, on stages across the country, little girls and boys parade around wearing makeup, false eyelashes, spray tans and fake hair to be judged on their beauty, personality and costumes. Toddlers and Tiaras follows families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles, and lots of cash. The preparation is intense as it gets down to the final week before the pageant. From hair and nail appointments, to finishing touches on gowns and suits, to numerous coaching sessions or rehearsals, each child preps for their performance. But once at the pageant, it’s all up to the judges and drama ensues when every parent wants to prove that their child is beautiful.
Thursday, April 5th
Scandal, series premiere at 10pm on ABC
– From the creator and executive producers of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter—both professionally and personally—but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand— their own.
Friday, April 6th
Magic City, series premiere at 10pm on Starz
– Miami Beach, 1959. As Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Grey’s Anatomy) rings in the New Year at his luxurious Miramar Playa Hotel, Havana falls to Castro’s rebels. It’s a turbulent time in Miami, but it’s THE place to be. The Kennedys, the mob and the CIA all hold court here. And Ike, he’s the star of his hotel. But everything comes at a price. To finance his dream, he sold his soul to mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond. Ike’s wife Vera, a former showgirl, and his three kids think he’s an honorable man, but he can’t break his pact with the devil. His life is a façade. In fact, nothing at the Miramar Playa is what it seems. By day, it’s diving clowns and cha-cha lessons. By night, escorts have secret liaisons with husbands in the family cabanas, while Miami’s seedier residents and the law drift together to hear legendary singers, musicians and comics. As Ike’s world threatens to implode, he fights for his family, and the Miramar Playa, in Magic City.