WASHINGTON, Nov.18, 2012 ― The popular show The Walking Dead continues its unprecedented reign as the most watched scripted show on television. Last week, over ten million people tuned in to watch. The most popular network show that same week, The Big Bang Theory, drew just under 6.5 million viewers. Considering the fact that The Walking Dead is on basic cable’s AMC, which is not one of those top broadcast networks, this is nothing short of phenomenal.
I am tempted to credit its popularity with the Mayan “apocalypse 2012 theory,” but no one seems to be talking about it much these days. According to a variety of prophets, writings, carvings, seers, and religions, when the winter solstice occurs on December 21st, the world as we know it will cease to exist.
In the not too distant past this theory garnered as much attention as the Y2K scare. As you might recall, that scare was based on the then current theory that predicted society would shut down because some anonymous programmer way back at the beginning of MS-DOS/Windows decided to use two numbers to designate years rather than four in Microsoft’s operating system. This was an event that would allegedly lead to some kind of a mass computer meltdown at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000. We all know now that the resulting hysteria was much ado about nothing.
Let’s all hope the doomsday theory surrounding the upcoming solstice is just as silly. That said, my local grocery store had a great sale on canned goods this week and my family and I cleared the shelves stocking up. It never hurts to be prepared.
All times are EST
CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Lara Logan reports on the bust of a massive drug-trafficking cartel; Lesley Stahl examines whether babies are born with a knowledge of right and wrong. Also: the importance of large-scale football programs to colleges and universities.
8 p.m. A-list musical performers and NFL football in this hour.
ABC: The Fortieth Anniversary American Music Awards: Scheduled performers for the 40th annual gala include Carrie Underwood, Pink, Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Linkin Park and Christina Aguilera. The event is held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Winners are determined by fan voting in categories that include Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip Hop and Latin, and for the first time, Electronic Dance Music.
FOX: The Simpsons: (New) Homer is thrown for a loop when he discovers one of his bowling buddies is an accountant for the mob, while Lisa passes out during a saxophone solo and decides to add an extra nutritional supplement, insects, to her vegetarian diet. But when she dreams of the bugs pleading for their lives, she reconsiders her decision.
NBC: Sunday Night Football: Ravens at Steelers
CBS: Amazing Race 21: (New) The race continues in Moscow. While James and Abba keep searching for a missing passport, an ankle injury threatens one team’s ability to complete a challenge.
FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (New) Bob’s plans for his favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, change when Mr. Fischoeder (voice of Kevin Kline) hires him as his chef, and Linda and the kids to play his family, as he tries to stage a perfect holiday dinner in order to make a former flame jealous.
9 p.m. A dicey judge, deception and a new alliance in this hour.
FOX: Family Guy: (New) The gunman who shot Joe and put him in a wheelchair escapes, so Quagmire and Peter join Joe to track him down.
AMC: The Walking Dead: (New) Andrea (Laurie Holden) and the Governor (David Morrisey) bond, while Michonne (Danai Gurira) comes to a decision about Woodbury.
SHOWTIME: Dexter: (New) Dexter (Michael C Hall) attempts to keep his relationship with Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) a secret from Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), but that gets blown out of the water when Astor (Christina Robinson), Cody (Preston Bailey) and Harrison (Luke Kruntchev) pay him a surprise visit and the news leaks out.
CBS: The Good Wife: (New) Will (Josh Charles) believes that a judge is biased against his client and demands a hearing to determine if another judge should take over the case. Meanwhile, Grace (Makenzie Vega) deals with the death of a classmate; and Zach (Graham Phillips) searches for a way to help his dad’s campaign.
FOX: American Dad: (New) After Stan’s stepfather dies, he invites his mother (guest voice Swoosie Kurtz) to move in. Initially, Roger isn’t pleased that he must share the attic with her, but he soon softens and the two roomies fall in love and get married, leaving Stan to deal with a new step dad. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends stumble upon a plane-crash site while out biking and discover a long-lost “Fast and Furious”-type movie script that they’re determined to make into a feature film.
10 p.m. A prison break and multiple mental overloads in this hour.
SHOWTIME: Homeland: (New) Brody’s (Damian Lewis) juggling of alliances appear to be leading him to a major meltdown, so Carrie (Claire Danes), against Quinn’s (Rupert Friend) orders, stages a dicey intervention. Meanwhile, a conflicted Dana (Morgan Saylor) seeks comfort from an unlikely source.
CBS: The Mentalist: (New) Jane (Simon Baker) thinks Lorelei (Emmanuelle Chriqui) will lead a trail to Red John if she’s no longer incarcerated, so he seeks Brett Stiles’ (Malcolm McDowell) assistance in springing her from prison.
New episodes of:
The Real Housewives of Atlanta at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Mythbusters at 8 p.m. on DSC
Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel
The Next Iron Chef at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Superstorm 2012: Hell and High Water at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Megastorm at 9 p.m. on DSC
Alaska State Troopers at 10 p.m. on NGC
For movie lovers:
Sophie’s Choice on Flix
The Twilight Saga: New Moon on FX
We Bought a Zoo on HBO
The Beach on IFC
The Sum of All Fears on SUNDANCE
The Wizard of Oz on TBS
The Bourne Ultimatum on TNT
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close at 9 p.m. on HBO
Bridesmaids at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
For further consideration:
The Dust Bowl on PBS at 8 p.m. (Check local listings) This is a Ken Burns project which almost guarantees it will be compelling as well as educational. Part I of a two-part series. The iconic photos from the southern plains states during the Great Depression say it all: the haunted eyes of weary mothers, children with their faces wrapped against the choking dust and families piling their belongings into trucks and heading to California. Compelling stuff.
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