Top of the Morning, May 9, 2014
For addicted TV watchers, like myself, this is a happy/sad time of year: The prime-time season is closing soon.
Happy because the shows are mostly new. Popular series want to end the year with a bang. So, they will either wrap up a long plotline or introduce a twist that will persuade you to come back in the fall.
Some series will shut down for good. If you have "The Mentalist" on your list of must-see shows, you better put it on the DVR to-do list.
The way the networks drop long-running series borders on the cruel. In the coming weeks, they will let us know that Series A won't be renewed. Unless the producers planned for a farewell, like on "How I Met Your Mother," the characters will drift into television oblivion.
Unfair? Sure. But it is reality for an industry that determines value by how many are watching. Quality of the program gets you on the air. But the remotes need to remain on a show's side for it to stay on the schedule.
And finances play a big part in deciding what stays and what goes. If a network owns a series, it is more likely to stick with it than a series owned by another company. The salaries for the actors often have an impact. It's like in pro sports: Why pay a veteran performer an exaggerated salary when you can hire a rookie actor for half the price?
The lessen that T.O.T.M. has learned is to never get too attached to a series.
Lecture over. Here are your best bets for a happy weekend of viewing. Feel free to share the knowledge with your mother:
9 p.m., WCIA (CBS)
You don't want to miss the season finale of the popular show. Technically, Tom Selleck is the start of the series. But the real reason to watch is the underappreciated work of Donnie Wahlberg. Tonight's episode revolves around Wahlberg's character, "Danny." That's a good thing. No offense to Selleck.
Baseball: Illinois at Iowa
11 a.m., BTN
T.O.T.M. likes to give you one sports option each weekend. Normally, it would be a big golf tournament or pro playoff game. But based on his recent play, you should watch Illini Casey Fletcher every chance you get. The Illini are making a push toward the postseason. A win in Iowa City enhances the NCAA tournament resume for Dan Hartleb's team.
9 p.m., Showtime
You will have to pay for the premium channel, but Showtime usually makes it worth it. "Homeland," "Nurse Jackie" and "Dexter" prove that. The new series stars former "James Bond" Timothy Dalton. He is looking older and wiser. Josh Hartnett and former Bond girl Eva Green are also part of the cast. "Penny Dreadful" fits the horror/drama genre. You might want to preview it before letting the kids watch.