This Friday, IFC premieres the much-anticipated Portlandia, a quirky sketch comedy series starring out rocker Carrie Brownstein! Afterwards, get the DVR set for Sunday’s avalanche of television goodness.
Friday, January 21
10:00pm: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena , Starz (1 hr) MINISERIES PREMIERE
In this “prequel” to the currently halted Spartacus: Blood and Sand series, Antonio Te Maioha reprises his role as Barca, the “Beast of Carthage” whose romance with male slave Pietros came to a tragic end on the series.
10:30pm: Portlandia, IFC (30 min) SERIES PREMIERE
Bisexual rocker-cum-actor Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Sleater-Kinney) teams up with Fred Armisen to bring hipster-inspired hilarity to a living room near you.
Saturday, January 22
10:00pm: The Graham Norton Show, BBC America (1 hr) NEW
Graham’s guests this week include Matt LeBlanc (who stars in the new Showtime series Episodes, see Sunday’s guide below for the deets) and Donald Sutherland.
Sunday, January 23
7:30pm: American Dad!, Fox (30 min) NEW
In this week’s “Stanny Boy and Frantastic,” Stan and Fran struggle to keep up with a young adventurous couple.
9:00pm: Big Love, HBO (1 hr) NEW
Closeted character Alby Grant hinders Bill’s attempts to stage a “safety net” meeting for polygamist leaders. Meanwhile, Barb invites Nancy to a symposium focusing on mother-daughter Mormon challenges in an effort to find common ground, and Nicki learns the extent of Adaleen’s isolation.
9:30pm: Episodes, Showtime (30 min) NEW
Matt LeBlanc of Friends fame returns to television on Showtime’s new series, playing a larger-than-life version of himself who butts heads with his very British showrunner Beverly. This week, they argue whether or not his costar’s character should be a lesbian:
10:00pm: Shameless, Showtime (1 hr) NEW
This week, the family searches for “Aunt Ginger,” the elderly aunt who owns their home. Meanwhile, Ian (who’s secretly involved with his married boss) finds out a girl in school has feelings for him.
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