What's On TV Jan. 2 To Jan. 8: 'The Bachelor,' 'Jersey Shore,' 'Celebrity Wife Swap' & More
The winter TV drought is over! A whole crop of new shows are premiering this week and many more new and old favorites are back from hiatus. Whatever you choose to watch this week, just don't let it be "Work It" on Tuesday ... otherwise ABC might be tempted to make more.
MONDAY, JANUARY 2
"The Bachelor" (8 p.m. EST, ABC) season premiere
Winemaker Ben Flajnik is the lucky (if dull) bachelor seeking a second chance at love after falling short of winning Ashley Herbert's heart during last season's "The Bachelorette." Twenty-five women will enter the mansion, including one enthusiastic senior citizen named Sheryl, a sexy equestrian who arrives on horseback, and an athletic soccer player. But which 18 will make it through to next week?
"Hoarders" (9 p.m. EST, A&E) season premiere
The sometimes disturbing, always fascinating reality series is back for a fifth season, focusing on a man called Norman whose house has been condemned for his excessive hoarding, and Linda, who lives with her two adult sons in a hoarded home.
"It's a Brad, Brad World" (10 p.m. EST, Bravo) season premiere
Rachel Zoe's ambitious former assistant, Brad Goreski, has scored his own series, chronicling his quest to become a respected stylist in his own right. Sadly, that quest is hindered by his lack of funds and an assistant of his own, but at least he has his boyfriend Gary by his side.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 3
"The Biggest Loser" (8 p.m. EST, NBC) season premiere
Season 13 of the long-running weight-loss show comes with a twist: Though the contestants arrive in pairs, they'll be forced to compete against their former partners for survival. Talk about tough love.
"Celebrity Wife Swap" (9 p.m. EST, ABC) season premiere
Anyone who is familiar with eccentric actor Gary Busey knows that he has a reputation for being a little bit loopy. (His "Entourage" appearances were particularly memorable, as was his stint on "Celebrity Apprentice.") So we can't wait to see how he handles swapping his fiancée Steffanie Sampson with Gayle Haggard, wife of former evangelical icon Ted Haggard.
"Parenthood" (10 p.m. EST, NBC)
Fans should savor this second batch of episodes of the best ensemble drama nobody's watching while they can, since there are only six remaining in the shortened season. Seeking his mother's approval, Zeek demands the entire family take a road trip. While spending time on the road, Adam connects with Haddie, Sarah confronts an embarrassing issue with Drew and Julia learns to appreciate Crosby's odd personality.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4
"I Get That a Lot" (8 p.m. EST, CBS) special presentation
An amalgamation of "Undercover Boss" and "Punk'd," celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Pauley Perrette, Jerry Springer and Dr. Drew Pinsky try to trick everyday citizens into thinking they're just celebrity lookalikes working ordinary jobs. We're especially intrigued to see Anderson attempting to sell lingerie at Victoria's Secret.
"Happy Endings" (9:30 p.m. EST, ABC)
Dave has an odd reaction when his shrink (guest star Ken Marino) starts dating Penny. Meanwhile, Jane and Max fight over ownership of a sweater and end up in another one of their strange competitions: Whoever is "less vain" gets to keep the sweater, and the challenge is to see who can wear a horribly unflattering outfit the longest. Meanwhile, Jane urges Brad and Alex to try and "bond," but it's awkward -- until they discover their mutual love of romantic comedies.
"Revenge" (10 p.m. EST, ABC)
Our favorite guilty pleasure returns for more scheming in the Hamptons, as an unwelcome and unstable visitor makes a nightmare of Daniel's intimate birthday celebration with family and friends. Elsewhere, Charlotte becomes a pawn in Conrad and Victoria's bitter divorce battle, and Emily watches her ultimate plan begin to unravel.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 5
"The Vampire Diaries" (8 p.m. EST, The CW)
Stefan has hidden the coffins containing the bodies of Klaus' family, and Klaus quickly turns to violence to convince Damon and Elena that no one will be safe until he finds Stefan and gets his family back. Tyler continues to make the most of his new abilities as a hybrid, but he has to face the disturbing consequences of his actions as well. After a terrifying incident, Elena and Alaric grow increasingly concerned about Jeremy's attitude and, ultimately, his safety.
"Project Runway All Stars" (9 p.m. EST, Lifetime) series premiere
Thirteen memorable, controversial and fan-favorite designers from seasons past -- including Austin Scarlett, Mondo Guerra and Kenley Collins -- return for a second chance at fashion fame. Supermodel Angela Lindvall serves as host, while Joanna Cole mentors.
"Jersey Shore" (10 p.m. EST, MTV) season premiere
I'm reluctant to actually recommend anything involving this tribe of overexposed, over-tanned attention seekers. But with copious quantities of alcohol and a "laugh at them, not with them" mentality, "Jersey Shore" usually proves to be an entertaining hour of TV. At the very least, it should make you feel better about your own life choices.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
"Nikita" (8 p.m. EST, The CW)
After the midseason finale, we can't wait to see how Alex deals with the revelation that her mother is alive and well in the home of her father's murderer. Her path inadvertently crosses with Nikita, who is attempting to break into Semak's mansion to retrieve his black box, while Owen and Michael work together to figure out Percy's plan for the Guardians.
"Supernatural" (9 p.m. EST, The CW)
The last episode appeared to be a heartbreaking farewell to fan favorite character Bobby, so we're desperate to see where the Winchesters will go from here. Still reeling after what happened to Bobby, Dean becomes dangerously obsessed with finding a way to take down Dick Roman (guest star James Patrick Stuart). Meanwhile, Sam decides to help a teenage girl (guest star Madison Mclaughlin) look for her father (guest star Ian Tracey), a hunter who has gone missing.
"Merlin" (10 p.m. EST, SyFy) season premiere
Morgana attempts to tear the fabric between the worlds of the living and the dead, plunging the world into chaos and unleashing deadly creatures who can kill anyone they touch in the process. Arthur and his knights set out to protect the kingdom as Merlin attempts to stop Morgana.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
"Fixing Pete" (8 p.m. EST, Hallmark) original telefilm
When an emerging fashion editor and notorious perfectionist (Brooke Burns) is assigned to makeover a disheveled and famously immature sports writer (Dylan Bruno), it's going to take a little more than a shave and a haircut to mesh their two worlds. Stacey Keibler, Valerie Harper, John Ratzenberger and Charlie Schlatter also star.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
"Once Upon a Time" (8 p.m. EST, ABC)
The fantasy drama is finally set to shed a little more light on the enigmatic Rumplestiltskin this week, as we see the imp attempting to track down the ultimate power source in order to help his son avert a meaningless war in the fairytale world that was -- that doesn't sound much like Rumple, does it? In Storybrooke, Regina and Mr. Gold engage in dirty politics as Emma decides to run for public office.
"The Firm" (9 p.m. EST, NBC) series premiere
Before the new legal drama settles into its regular Thursday time slot next week, it premieres with a two-hour episode on Sunday. Set 10 years after the events of the John Grisham film and novel, attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family emerge from witness protection and encounter both old and new challenges.
"House of Lies" (10 p.m. EST, Showtime) series premiere
Following the return of "Shameless" (9 p.m. EST), Showtime debuts a sharply written dark comedy starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell as management consultants who work hard and play harder, all while trying to beat the corporate suckers who employ them at their own games..
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