The huge/massive/undeniably super-hyped premiere of the week is the return of "Mad Men" to AMC this Sunday in a 2-hour episode that airs at 9pm. AMC has been running hilarious, "Walking Dead"-themed "Mad Men" promos and the cast is all over as many different media as possible, including Jon Hamm on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Last week Christina Hendricks was on the JV Club podcast in a very lively and real conversation but I wonder if I have sunk to a new low of cynicism because I had the extremely fleeting thought that Hendricks' leaked cell phone pics were part of an elaborate promo for the show as it happened about 2 weeks before this premiere. Perish the thought, because, you know, Hollywood would never engage in such a thing. Still, it can't be denied that fans are ravenous for the show due to its long hiatus and a good lead off this Sunday could help it hold onto an audience that premium cable will try to chip at over the next few months. The return of such a great show can only be good for TV, regardless of the production and promotional shenanigans it took to make this happen. [Updated: Check out the hourlong interview with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner at the end of this post.]
I'd like to extend a huge congratulations to comedian and podcast pioneer Marc Maron on the occasion of his TV show, based on his WTFpod podcast, getting picked up for a 10 episode run on IFC. The series has yet to be cast but it is tentatively scheduled to premiere "next Fall" according to Laughspin but I'm unsure of whether that's Fall 2012 or Fall 2013. I interviewed Maron last year after he shot the pilot and you can hear him discuss the concept on our Channel Zero podcast episode.
DVR This! Tonight - "Raising Hope" (Fox @ 8pm), "New Girl" (Fox @ 9pm), "SouthLAnd" (TNT @ 10pm), "Justified" (FX @ 11pm on repeat), Jon Hamm is on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." Wednesday - "Bent" series premiere (NBC @ 9pm), "Psych" (USA @ 10pm), "Ugly Americans" (Comedy Central @ 10:30pm), Don Rickles is on Jimmy Kimmel. Thursday - "Community" (NBC @ 8pm), "30 Rock" (NBC @ 8:30pm), "Touch" (Fox @ 9pm), "Inside Comedy" has Kathy Griffin & Steven Wright (Showtime @ 10pm), Heather McDonald & Bobby Lee on roundtable at "Chelsea Lately." Friday - "Fringe" (Fox @ 9pm). Saturday - Go out and get some dinner with friends. Sunday - "Frozen Planet" (Discovery @ 8pm), "Mad Men" 2-hour season premiere (AMC @ 9pm), "Luck" season/series finale (HBO @ 9pm and repeated).
Events: Tonight at 8pm is A Fancy & Enchanting Benefit for LLS with over 3 hours of comedy entertainment at the Hayworth Theatre featuring Bob Odenkirk, Rob Delaney, Garfunkel & Oates, Janet Varney, Paul Gilmartin, The Spanglers, and more! [Updated: "Chelsea Lately" regulars Chris Franjola, TJ Miller, Ben Gleib, John Caparulo, and more will be at the Comedy Store this Sunday, March 25, at 8pm for a super-inexpensive show with special guests, definitely the funnest way to end your weekend]
Releases: A month ago today "Underdog: Complete Collector's Edition" was released by Shout! Factory n a 9 disc set. The show ran for 3 seasons until 1973 when it went into syndication for kids everywhere, including myself, to enjoy for years to come on various independent pre-cable channels. There's cast and creator commentary as well as a featurette and alternative credits, but the main attraction is to get reacquainted ith the show and discover episodes you may have somehow missed. | Next week, Acorn is issuing the 35th anniversary edition of "I, Claudius," the BBC's epic historical series which was named by Time Magazine as one fo the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time." Extended versions of the 12 episodes span 4 DVDs which include an interview with series star, Derek Jacobi and other extras. The series spans the history of the Roman Empire from Emperors Augustus through Claudius and while it may have been the bane of your existence in high school, watching it as an adult reveals it to be a well-acted and reasonably historically accurate portrayal of that slice of history. You should also watch it for the guest star appearances that include Patrick Stewart, James Faulkner, and John Hurt.
Other Media: New episode of "Todd & The Book of Pure Evil" at 7pm on FEARnet. The newest episode of "The Louise Log" web series is "How To Be A Woman" but I urge you to check out the season 2 so far. The newest episode of KCRW's "The Business" focuses on voice actors and why they're better at providing voices for characters than top-billed actors. The JV Club has June Diane Raphael of "NTSF:SD:SUV" as a guest this week.
Updated! "Mad Men" fans, check out Jon Hamm in the "Conan" webs series, "The Pardo Patrol" with Jimmy Pardo:
Below is an hour-long interview with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner from the Archive of American Television: