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Television

Trading barbs with Bill Maher
Comedian bringing his liberal sense of humor to Topeka
April 11, 2013
For a comedian like Bill Maher, our fair — red — state has provided plenty of fodder over the years, some of which may work its way into his stand-up routine Saturday night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. By Sara Shepherd
Tune In Tonight: Sitcom stars gather for ‘Parents’
April 3, 2013
Stars of sitcoms past appear in something new that feels very old. “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” (8:30 p.m., ABC) stars Sarah Chalke (“Roseanne,” “Scrubs”) as Polly, a sensible wife and mother who abandons her goofy, irresponsible husband, Julian (Jon Dore), to move back with her middle-aged but free-spirited parents, Max and Elaine (Brad Garrett, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and Elizabeth Perkins, “Weeds”).
Tune In Tonight: ‘Detectives’ makes way out West
April 2, 2013
“History Detectives” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) returns with a Western theme. After buying a Kit Carson biography for cheap, Charles Burns discovers some papers hidden between the covers that could be linked to the frontiersman’s family. Another investigation explores some secrets behind the lyrics to the popular song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” a 1930s cowboy number composed by Bob Nolan popularized by The Sons of the Pioneers in 1946 and reintroduced to listeners in 1998 as part of the soundtrack to “The Big Lebowski.”
Tune In Tonight: Melodrama in ‘Selfridge’ a tough sell
March 31, 2013
A new variation of “Upstairs Downstairs” set in a department store, the “Masterpiece Classic” presentation of “Mr. Selfridge” (8 p.m. Sunday, PBS, check local listings) is scripted by Andrew Davies (“Bleak House”) and features the first starring role for Jeremy Piven since his Emmy-winning turn in “Entourage.”
Tune In Tonight: ‘Orphan’ a complicated new drama
March 30, 2013
“That’s you, all over!” could be the tagline for the new head-scratcher “Orphan Black” (8 p.m. Saturday, BBC America). Part of a lineup of supernatural fare, including a new episode of “Doctor Who” (7 p.m. Saturday, BBC America), “Black” asks a lot of star Tatiana Maslany.
Tune In Tonight: Shows end for now, at least
March 27, 2013
The alien antics conclude on the season finale of “The Neighbors” (7:30 p.m., ABC). Having recently attended a Broadway show, the gang takes the next logical step for ultimate tourists: a trip to Atlantic City. Frivolity comes to an abrupt end when they receive a call from their home planet.
Tune In Tonight: Take a hop down the bunny trail
March 26, 2013
The CW, a network geared to viewers barely out of kindergarten at the turn of the century, reaches back more than 40 years to broadcast “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” (7 p.m.). This animated special, produced by Rankin-Bass (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), features the voices of Danny Kaye, Casey Kasem and Vincent Price.
Tune In Tonight: Go mad with full day of basketball
March 21, 2013
An annual tradition on CBS for decades, the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament (11 a.m.), or “March Madness,” begins today in earnest. In addition to CBS, games will also be airing throughout the day on TBS, TNT and Tru TV.
Tune In Tonight: Diving show ‘Splash’ just another flop
March 19, 2013
The old phrase, “Imitation is the sincerest form of television,” has never seemed so timely. Coined by radio star Fred Allen, it perfectly sums up the essence of “Splash” (7 p.m., ABC), a brand-new series that seems anything but.
Tune In Tonight: Two new series aim to thrill viewers
March 18, 2013
Ready for a “Psycho” prequel? The new series “Bates Motel” (9 p.m., A&E) aims to explain the devolution of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) from teenager to serial killer. As in most psychological queries, we begin with the mother.
Tune In Tonight: Reality show titles lacking in originality
March 17, 2013
With the wealth of the English language at their disposal, the geniuses in charge of putting titles on reality shows appear to have a limited vocabulary. As I have recently observed, the word “war” has been associated with “Whale Wars,” ‘‘Rhino Wars,” ‘‘Storage Wars” and “Cupcake Wars.” ‘‘Wives” and “housewives” have been similarly abused. As has “swap.”
Tune In Tonight: Lies and ads key in new ‘rom-com’
March 16, 2013
Is the truth packaged as a lie still the truth, or merely advertising? This is the heady theme of the made-for-cable romantic comedy “Tom, Dick & Harriet” (8 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark). Borrowing themes from “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “The Front,” the film stars Steven Weber.
Tune In Tonight: Dick Cheney is largely unchanged
March 15, 2013
Showtime wades into the documentary field in a big way with “The World According to Dick Cheney” (8 p.m.) directed by R.J. Cutler.
Tune In Tonight: ‘The Office’ takes sad, surprise turn
March 14, 2013
Most long-running series treat their final seasons as a kind of victory lap. They run toward the inevitable, often concluding at the altar. Even NBC’s quirky “30 Rock” ended there. For the last several months — or last few years, even — “The Office” (8 p.m., NBC) has been spinning its narrative wheels. It was difficult to predict where the show might end up because, with the exception of a series of romances that went nowhere, it, too, was going nowhere.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Kings Point’ a moving look at retired life
March 11, 2013
We’re all going to get old. Unless we don’t. That’s a hard fact we live with every day. The Oscar-nominated 2012 documentary “Kings Point” (8 p.m., HBO) takes a bittersweet look at the residents of a Delray Beach, Fla., retirement home.