I’m on vacation this week, so here are the highlights:


“No Reservations” (8 p.m., Travel). Tony goes to Rome for the first time. (How is that possible?) Looks like they shot it in black-and-white, all arty, like the episode in Paris a few years ago. Whatever, it’s Rome — great scenery, great culture, great food.

“Weeds” (10 p.m., Showtime). Season premiere. I gave up last season, but if you’re still watching, Nancy and her family are on the run.

“The Big C” (10:30 p.m., Showtime). Series premiere. Laura Linney stars in this dark, dark comedy (does Showtime do any other kind?) about a woman who’s outlook in life changes after she’s diagnosed with cancer. Linney is terrific in pretty much everything she does, but the early word for the series aren’t great (follow the links for the Chicago Tribune and Fort Worth Star-Telegram reviews).


“Melissa & Joey” (8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC Family). Series premiere. Onetime teen TV icons Melissa Joat Hart and Joey Lawrence team up for a new sitcom. He’s her nanny. Ha. Don’t bother watching unless you have kids, are super nostalgic or are drunk. Or all three.

“White Collar” (9 p.m., USA). Peter and Neal track an extortionist into the world of high-stakes gambling.

“Gates of Hell” (8 p.m., History). Turns out Buffy’s Sunnydale wasn’t the only one. This special looks at six places around the world that are said to be portals to hell. Spoooooky.

“Covert Affairs” (10 p.m., USA). Annie investigates a leak in the Senate.

“Louie” (11 p.m., FX). Louie recalls how he learned about the birds and the bees. This should be good.

“Big Lake” (11 and 11:30 p.m., Comedy Central). Series premiere. A new sitcom about a Wall Street whiz kid who loses it all and moves back home. Looks stupid.


“Top Chef” (10 p.m., Bravo). The chefs prepare dishes for Wylie Dufresne and Leon Panetta at the CIA. (The spy one, not the culinary one). If Alex isn’t eliminated, I my kick my TV. Hard.

“Surviving the Cut” (10 p.m., Discovery). Series premiere. A new documentary about the grueling trials soldiers endure to join elite military units. Be warned that if you watch, you’ll probably walk away feeling like a total wuss.


“Pitchmen” (9 p.m., Discovery). Season premiere. Billy May may be dead, but his reality series isn’t. Don’t ask me how.

“Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin” (8 p.m., Food Network). Season premiere. The good news: They’re in New Zealand, which is an awesome place. The bad news: There’s nothing remotely new about this “exotic” food series.

“Burn Notice” (9 p.m., USA). Michael helps a woman who was scammed out of her life savings. Geez, these cases of the week get cheesier and cheesier. Next week is the mid-season finale, so I hope they ditch the secondary story quickly and get back to the the whole why-did-Michael-get-burned plotline.

“Project Runway” (9 p.m., Lifetime). Hats! Hats! It’s all about hats! Hats on cats and hats on rats! Hats on Matts and hats on Pats! wait, hold on . . . . whooooooo. Deep breath. Dr. Seuss has left the building.

“Jersey Shore” (10 p.m., MTV). The girls tell Sammi the truth about Ronnie’s creeping. I’m guessing she doesn’t handle it well.


“Pillars of the Earth” (10 p.m., Starz). Alfred tries to become Prior Philip’s master builder, and Aliena is torn between her love for creepy Jack and a promise she made to her dead father.

“Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” (10 p.m., IFC). The iconic ’90s comedy troupe is reunited and back with a new miniseries. The action revolves around the Grim Reaper’s arrival in a small Ontario town and the death, cross-dressing and general wackiness that ensues.  It aired earlier this year in Canada to pretty tepid reviews. I was never a huge Kids fan, so I’ll probably skip it, but if you were a fan, it might be worth checking out.


“Being Human” (9 p.m., BBC America). The secrets of Mitchell’s past threaten to be revealed, and Annie looks after a ghost baby. Heh, sounds like something out of Scooby Doo: “G-g-g-ghost baby! Jinkeys!”

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