What’s new this weekend:
CHAOS (CBS, tonight) Series Debut: Why launch a live-action version of Archer when we already have, well, Archer? That CBS is slotting spy comedy CHAOS (stands for Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services, like it matters) on Fridays in the dead of spring says all you need to know about the show’s long-term survival chances. Freddie Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) stars as a newbie CIA agent who’s cast into the job with fuck-up CIA agents (including Without a Trace’s Eric Close); forced wackiness and a sad waste of talent (Rodriguez, Close and That’s ‘70s Show’s Kurtwood Smith) ensue. Never thought I’d say this, but … bring back The Defenders, already.
Camelot (Starz, tonight) Series Debut: From the network that brought you Spartacus, it’s The Sexy Adventures of King Arthur! Unlike Spartacus, Camelot has some actual star-power (Joseph Fiennes and Casino Royale Bond hottie Eva Green) and at least 80 percent less full-frontal male nudity, and it doesn’t look like a cheap videogame trailer shot over the weekend for $600. Sure, it’s still pure cheese—but it embraces the cheese with gusto!
Also new tonight:
Shark Tank (ABC); CSI:NY, Blue Bloods (CBS); Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC); Real Time With Bill Maher, The Ricky Gervais Show (HBO); Merlin (Syfy); The Soup (E!)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday) Elton John hosts … what year is it again?
The Killing (AMC, Sunday) Series Debut: If you liked the slow, methodical unfolding of last year’s Rubicon, you’ll like The Killing. Maybe. The series is adapted from a Danish crime drama that follows a murder from several different perspectives, and moves about quickly as a production still from CSI or Law & Order. Also, like Rubicon, it’s free of huge names (Michelle Forbes of Battlestar Galactica and 24 is the biggest star here); unlike Rubicon, AMC hasn’t canceled it yet.
The Kennedys (Reelz, Sunday) Miniseries Debut: After months of controversy, The Kennedys docu-drama finally finds a home on Reelz—yes, it’s an actual cable channel, promise. The Kennedys stars Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes as Jackie O, so of course it’s a comedy and … oh, they’re serious? Never mind.
Game of Thrones (HBO, Sunday) 15-Minute Preview: If you’re a real Game of Thrones geek, you’ve probably already seen most of this footage of “The Sopranos of Middle-Earth” in various chunks online in advance of the series’ April 17 debut. But, since HBO has some extra Sunday-night time to kill after the demise of Big Love, here ya go.
The Borgias (Showtime, Sunday) Series Debut: From the network that brought you The Tudors, it’s The Sexy Adventures of Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons)! The Borgias, set during the Italian Renaissance of the late 1400s (and yet they all speak perfect English), concentrates more on story than sex and swordplay, actually—so, yeah, it’s duller than The Tudors, but still waaay less ridiculous than The Kennedys.
Also new Sunday:
Secret Millionaire, Desperate Housewives (ABC); America’s Next Great Restaurant, Celebrity Apprentice (NBC); The Cleveland Show (Fox); Army Wives (Lifetime); Sister Wives (TLC); The Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo); Kourtney & Kim Take New York, Holly’s World (E!); Breakout Kings (A&E); Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Preview: Showtime’s The Borgias: Sex, power, religion, corruption, wigs!