PopWatch Planner: Farewell Wisteria Lane, hello Howard Stern

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Image Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and this week witnesses so many television season finales — including Desperate Housewives‘ huge series finale — that dedicated fans will be looking for ways to fill the void. (Except hardcore gamers, who can likely ignore every suggestion after Tuesday’s release of Diablo III.) But there’s plenty of entertainment to lift your spirits: Howard Stern is loose on the airwaves again, a horrible dictator is dealt some New York justice, and your favorite sitcom couple will cap the week, hopefully on a high note.

SUNDAY
Desperate Housewives series finale, ABC, 9 p.m.

After eight seasons of soapy plotlines that took great joy in killing off characters in the most unusual ways, it’s safe to expect that the last tour of Wisteria Lane will find someone cold. But this final season has been anything but, as the show has been rejuvenated after several seasons of melodramatic hokum. As the Queen song goes, “Another One Bites the Dust,” but Housewives is saying its farewell in style.

MONDAY
America’s Got Talent season premiere, NBC, 8 p.m.

There’s a scene in Howard Stern’s Private Parts that Nnnnnnnnn-B-C is hoping repeats itself as he joins their family-friendly TV talent show. A douchey exec (Paul Giamatti) is confronted with the contrarian research that listeners who hate Stern listen twice as long to his radio show as those who love him, and he is incredulous: “If they hate him, why do they listen?!” Answers the research analyst: “Most common answer: ‘I want to see what he’ll say next.'” That, my friends, takes genius.

TUESDAY
Diablo III unleashed on gamers

Do you have your BattleTag yet? Because it’s going to be insane applying online come Tuesday! Twelve years (!) after its last record-breaking incarnation, the dark fantasy RPG returns as Evil engulfs the planet of Sanctuary. Cough, cough. I feel a 72-hour flu coming on, boss…

WEDNESDAY
The Dictator opens in theaters

Will moviegoers kiss Sacha Baron Cohen’s ring this time around? Borat was a box-office yakshemash, while Brüno failed to make a similar mark — though it still ranks as the biggest film ever co-starring Ron Paul. As Admiral General Aladeen, a tyrannical strongman from the Middle East mirage of Wadiya, Cohen has been heavily promoting the movie, beginning with his stunt at the Academy Awards, where he tossed what he claimed were the ashes of the late Kim Jong-Il on Ryan Seacrest. Enough with the antics; roll the movie.

THURSDAY
Grey’s Anatomy finale, ABC, 9 p.m.

Let’s let showrunner Shonda Rhimes explain what you should expect from Grey‘s season 8 finale: “I think it’s going to be a very painful and shocking episode for people. From the inside, it’s a very painful and shocking episode. It’s not anything that you expect, and it doesn’t have any of the resolutions that you expect. And the reason why I wanted to say something about it before it came out is because I wanted people to be prepared. I felt like it was unnecessarily cruel for you to think that everything was going to move along happily. I wanted people to be prepared for the idea that something bad is going to happen.”

You’ve been warned. At least twice now.

FRIDAY
Battleship sets sail in theaters

As non-Battleship actor Joshua Malina tweeted, “The movie Battleship appears to be based on the board game that bears its name to about the same extent that Twister was.” Ooooooooo…. Hit! But I can’t help but root for this film, especially because Taylor Kitsch just endured John Carter and then cut his golden locks to play a cross between Will Smith in Independence Day and Chris Pine in Star Trek. However, if this truly connects at the box-office, are you prepared for imitators like Stratego: The Movie?

SATURDAY
Saturday Night Live season finale, 11:30 p.m.

Mick Jagger is a slightly surprising choice to cap Saturday Night Live’s season, a year that began with Alec Baldwin, flirted with Lindsay Lohan, and welcomed back old vets like Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph, and Will Ferrell. But even though Jagger hasn’t appeared on the show in more than a decade, he has a long SNL history, hosting with the Stones way back in 1978. (For the record, they performed “Beast of Burden,” “Respectable,” and “Shattered” that night.) Methinks Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, and Jeff Beck might not be the only special guests who pop in to lend a hand.

SUNDAY
Billboard Music Awards, ABC, 8 p.m.

Normally, I can skip the second-tier music awards — especially when they air on a Sunday night opposite Mad Men and Game of Thrones. But Community‘s Ken Jeong hosted last year’s Billboards, and Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen are tag-teaming this year’s show. Stevie Wonder is the night’s big lifetime-award honoree, and Chris Brown, Carrie Underwood, and Justin Bieber will be performing live. Doesn’t feel second-tier, does it?


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