Weekend TV: '30 Rock' series end Thursday in hourlong finale
BY RITA SHERROW World Television Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 6:36 AM
"30 Rock" lowers the mic for the final time, HBO's "Girls" get a special Saturday showing and everything about Sunday is super on this Super Bowl Sunday.
'30 Rock' signs off
Fans will say farewell to a gem when "30 Rock" airs its hourlong season finale Thursday on NBC.
This ode to television - with all its quirks, perks and yes, even jerks - ends its seventh and final season at 7 p.m. on NBC, channel 2, cable 9. Through 139 episodes, it's been a comedy that made fun of its own industry - parent company NBC in particular.
It regularly bit the hand that fed it but did it in all sincerity. It showed that comedy isn't always pretty but it's still funny. It can be both heartfelt and satirical with characters and storylines that are ridiculous, endearing and frustrating at the same time. And, through it all, even with bad and good episodes, it has been a love letter to television.
In this last episode, Liz (Tina Fey) is struggling with being a stay-at-home mom, Jack (Alec Baldwin) is analyzing his life and career, Tracy (Tracy Morgan) can't deal without the constant adulation of Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) who has become head of the network and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) prepares something special for the final broadcast of "TGS." Julianne Moore and Stillwater's James Marsden are among those making guest appearances.
A curse upon you
Three soothsayers curse Arthur on Friday's new episode of "Merlin," airing at 9 p.m. on Syfy, cable 45. Against Merlin's advice, Arthur refuses to take the words of the Disir seriously, and they aim their fury at Camelot. Arthur (Bradley James) must decide how to save his kingdom when they demand a great sacrifice. His uncertainty leaves Merlin (Colin Morgan) with only one chance to save the king.
HBO wants to make sure its viewers don't miss a single episode of its Golden Globe-winning original series "Girls" and its Lauren Dern-starrer "Enlightened." Assuming most will be tuned to the Super Bowl on Sunday and not watching HBO, the channel has moved new episodes to 9:05 p.m. Saturday for "Girls" and 9:35 p.m. Saturday for "Enlightened." Both on cable 300. "Girls" has already been picked up for a third season.
On "Girls," Hannah (Lena Dunham) hosts a grown-up dinner party to celebrate her writing job, but her friends' behavior isn't at all adult. Marnie (Allison Williams) and Audrey (Audrey Gelman) get into a confrontation, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) accidentally enters a new relationship phase with Ray.
Alec Baldwin hosts Saturday's second annual "NFL Honors," airing at 8 p.m. Saturday on CBS, channel 6.
The event salutes the top National Football League players and their performances from the 2012 season. OneRepublic will perform and Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders will make appearances. The winners will be on hand to receive the 16 awards, including the recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and AP's Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Coach awards.
Ruffing the puppy
Sixty-three of them to be exact, along with hedgehog cheerleaders, and - instead of Beyonce - a Kitty halftime show are all part of Animal Planet's annual "Puppy Bowl IX," airing 2-4 p.m. Sunday and repeating through 7 a.m. Monday on cable 57.
The event, produced with the help of Petfinder.com, will provide play-by-play of the canine showdowns among puppies from several shelters across the country. All have been adopted.
Fans will also be treated to the puppy cam, water bowl cam, kiss cam, a special puppy hot tub and an aerial view of the field provided a blimp with its hamster pilots. Anyone interested in adopting a pet can go online to Petfinder.com.
Super Bowl XLVII
All things Super Bowl kick off with programming at 10 a.m. Sunday and culminates in the big game pitting San Francisco against Baltimore at 5:30 p.m. on CBS, channel 6. The big halftime show will feature Beyonce, who will be joined by Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to perform several Destiny's Child hits and their new song "Nuclear" and their first time together in six years.
Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon in the series finale of "30 Rock," airing 7-8 p.m. Thursday on NBC, channel 2, cable 9.ALI GOLDSTEIN / NBC
Merlin (Colin Morgan) must make a difficult decision on "Merlin," airing at 9 p.m. Friday on Syfy, cable 45. NICK BRIGGS / Syfy
A kitten takes the stage for the halftime show of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX," airing at 2 p.m. Sunday on cable 57. KEITH BARRACLOUGH / Animal Planet / AP