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Going Through Channels

Sunday, March 8
The L Word (Showtime, 9 PM) airs its final episode ever after a one-hour finale special at 8 PM. After six seasons of the groundbreaking series, is television a friendlier place for the LGBT community? Hmm... let me see... well, Callie's bicurious on Grey's Anatomy, now. That's gotta count for something, I guess.

Get out your Erlenmyer flasks and desperation-induced disregard for law enforcement, everyone! Breaking Bad (AMC, 10 PM) is back for its second season, and with the terminally ill Walt still in need of mucho cash to provide for his family, the meth-dealing antics are certain to be running high. High. Get it? Fine, that was lame -- but know what's not lame? Emmy winner Bryan Cranston. So watch this show.

Monday, March 9
Penny's got some competition on The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 PM), when the guys end up on a train with Summer Glau -- that's right, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' Summer Glau -- and spend the entire episode trying to figure out a way to chat her up. Not interested in a guest spot by a certified sci fi babe? This episode has something for everyone, because George Smoot -- that's right, Nobel Laureate and father of the actual Big Bang Theory George Smoot -- will also make a cameo appearance!

Maybe you think you don't need to watch the latest incarnation of Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 8 PM), but you're wrong. No, it's not because you're interested in getting reacquainted with a bunch of has-beens celebrities...oh, they're supposed to be celebrities?...huh. It's because you want to see who else will succumb to the Dancing with the Stars curse! Jewel and Nancy O'Dell have already fallen... who will be the next to go?

Haven't been able to contain your grief since October Road bit the dust? Well, for the twelve of you that applies to, here's some comfort: Laura Prepon begins her multi-episode arc as Ted's college girlfriend on How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8:30 PM) tonight. Apparently she'll be playing against her pushover girl-next-door type as Ted's bitchy college girlfriend notorious for cheating on men to avoid formally dumping them. Oh Donna, how you've grown...

Joss Whedon alums are just all over television this season! Nathan Fillion brings his sublime self back to the small screen with the premiere of Castle (ABC, 10 PM), in which he plays a mystery novelist who must help the NYPD solve a series of murders based on his books. As long as he throws in the occasional veiled reference to his time on the good ship Serenity, we'll be happy.

Tuesday, March 10
Finally, the time has come for our top twelve... err, top thirteen... to hit the stage on American Idol (FOX, 8 PM). I guess the addition of an extra contestant does warrant a two-hour episode -- thanks AI producers! And thank you God, for preventing Tatiana from crazying her way onto our televisions any more... unless there's some kind of tricky surprise fourteenth contestant business planned for next week. Shudder.

Stephanie March, also known as ADA Alex Cabot, is coming out of Witness Protection to begin her multi-episode arc on Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10pm). Woah... what if all the old ADAs and cops and prosecutors started to come back to Law & Order in some crazy ploy to boost ratings before the series ends? Oh wait, that's already happening on ER. Never mind!

Wednesday, March 11
Feeling the pain now that Top Chef is over and unwilling to fill the hole in your life with reruns of The Next Food Network Star? Boy, does NBC have a show for you! The Chopping Block (NBC, 8 PM) premieres Wednesday, and will pit eight teams of couples against each other as Michelin-starred chef and British television personality Marco Pierre White schools them on opening a restaurant. Because going into a notoriously volatile industry with your spouse as your partner under the added pressure of being on national television is always a good idea...

American Idol's (FOX, 9 PM) elimination show moves into its regular timeslot, and we find out who America just wasn't feelin', dawg.

Get ready to have yourself a time when South Park (Comedy Central, 10 PM) premieres its 13th season! In HD! Because it's important to be able to see every detail of characters that are, in fact, cartoon cutouts. Here's hoping President Obama will continue to make appearances on the show after his touching decision to run the country instead of escaping to a tropical island after a bipartisan jewel heist last season. We knew we elected the right guy!

Thursday, March 12
Is Dr. McDreamy quitting his job on Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 9 PM)? Of course not, but he'll most certainly hijack the entire episode with his whining and complaining after the information that more of his patients have died than survived causes him to consider resignation. But there is a silver lining to this cloud of mope, because Izzie's interns will determine just what the hell is wrong after looking at her (we mean, Patient X's) charts! Quick-killing fatal disease, anyone?

The ER (NBC, 10 PM) final season previous-character-lovefest continues when Eriq LaSalle, Julianna Margulies, and Susan Sarandon return to County General. Wait a second, Susan Sarandon was never on ER! What's going on? Oh well, guess you can't fault them for wanting to go out with a bang... may we suggest Mickey Rourke for the next unrelated guest star? That guy makes everything awesome.

Friday, March 13
Put on your voyeurism helmets, everybody! Wife Swap (ABC, 8 PM) celebrates its 100th episode by pairing up two past fan favorite families for two weeks of forced emotional scarring learning to be open to different lifestyles. And apparently the kids from each family will get to face off! Hooray, because I was so sad when Kid Nation ended and there was nowhere on TV for me to watch children being inappropriately hostile toward one another.

Okay, this one's destined to be a classic based on title alone: Hot Girls in Scary Places (E!, 9 PM) will throw three apparently attractive USC ladies into a haunted hospital with the promise of a $10,000 prize if they... something. Take off their clothes, probably.

The wait is almost over as Battlestar Galactica (SciFi, 10 PM) airs the first part of its finale this Friday. But even though the series is ending next week, BSG fans have surely heard by now that Universal Pictures has an unrelated film update in the works! Does this seem like overkill to anyone else?...Yeah, we thought so.

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