PopWatch Planner: 'True Blood' season ends, but the political season kicks off. Plus: Alanis, 'Lawless', and more!

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Image Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

We’re nearing the end of the dog days of summer, which means it’s time for summer finales, fall TV on the horizon, the political conventions getting underway, and (soon) a coveted Labor Day off. This week has True Blood wrapping up in all its gore, Alanis putting out a new jam, and Doctor Who kicking off its seventh BBC America season (but actually its 50th year on TV – wow). Have a great week!

SUNDAY
True Blood season 5 finale, 9 p.m., HBO

True Blood’s fifth season has been gory, creepy, and intense – with more sups, more death, and loads of flashbacks. Will we find out what the deal is finally with Lafayette and all those spirits? Will the Vampire wars come to a head? Will Bill and Eric emerge as friends or mortal (er, immortal) enemies? True Blood season 5 wraps Sunday, so get your mind reading skills in shape.

MONDAY
Republican National Convention, coverage starts at 8 p.m., CNN and PBS

Politicians, start your engines! If you thought the political coverage and scathing ads were a lot over the summer, just wait. The Republicans have their moment in the spotlight this week, starting Monday night live from Tampa, Fla., where party leaders, including Mitt Romney’s six-packed running mate Paul Ryan, will address their delegation. Next week, the Dems follow in Charlotte, N.C. PBS’ NewsHour will also stream the entire convention online.

TUESDAY
Homeland season 1 out on DVD

It has been such a long wait for the best show of 2011 to make its return to the small screen. Have no fear, the Emmy-nominated Homeland is heading back for season 2 on Showtime September 30. But in the meantime, relive (or catch up!) on season 1, out on DVD today.

WEDNESDAY
Alanis Morissette, Havoc and Bright Lights

She’s many years past the angsty, heartbroken ditties of Jagged Little Pill, and one of our favorite Canadian rockers (no comment on that Avril Lavigne/Nickelback pairing) is back with a new album out this week that focuses on her latest life change: motherhood. Check out the first single, “Guardian” here.

THURSDAY
The Daily Show 11 p.m. Comedy Central

This is not a week you want to miss Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Broadcasting from the Republican National Convention (the coverage is dubbed “RNC 2012: The Road to Jeb Bush 2016″) this week and the Democratic National Convention next, the satirist’s hour of Indecision 2012 is sure to be next-day water cooler talk all week long.

FRIDAY
Lawless opens in theaters

The Boardwalk Empire season premiere is still a few weeks away (Sept. 16), so get your fill of creepy, sexy bathtub-gin swilling gangsters with the new movie Lawless, out today. Shia LeBeouf stars alongside Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Jessica Chastain. You can watch a pretty steamy red-band trailer for the film here .

SATURDAY
Doctor Who, BBC America, 9 p.m.

Matt Smith returns as the good Doctor for a seventh season on BBC America. He’s been priming the TARDIS all summer and no one mistook the blue phone booth for a place to sneak a cigarette during the London Olympics. Phew! Get more from Smith and exclusives about the season to come here.

SUNDAY
U.S. Open, Tennis Channel and CBS, coverage starts at 11 a.m.

OK, so Rafa’s not playing in this year’s open. I’m sad (Nadal had to pull out due to knee injuries), but there’s no shortage of great tennis this year. The Tennis Channel is running wall-to-wall coverage of all the action, including favorites like gold medalist Andy Murray and Rolex shiller-slash-number one seed Roger Federer. As for the women, Venus Williams will return to the court and Kim Clijsters has said this tournament will be her last.

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