What to Watch This Weekend: The Premiere of IFC's The Birthday Boys, the Finales of Strike Back and The White Queen, and The Walking Dead

What to watch on Friday, October 18...

8pm, Nickelodeon
The Legend of Korra
The two-part “Beginnings” traces the the history of the Avatar Cycle back to its roots, as Korra learns the story of the young man who first sought to bring balance to the human and spirit realms 10,000 years prior.

8:30pm, ABC
The Neighbors
No doubt inspired by both Seth Cohen and Jack Skellington, Larry melds his two favorite seasonal festivities into “Challoweenukah.” But his efforts at drumming up interest in the hybrid holiday land him in trouble with the law.

What Not to Wear
After a decade chronicling cautionary tales of couture, the series wraps with the two-hour “Last Hurrah in Vegas!” (Exclamation point theirs, not mine.) Stacy and Clinton hit the road to check in on past makeover subjects before finding one last fashion-backward soul at the hotel that's hosting their farewell bash.

9pm, Disney
Wander Over Yonder
After Wander and Sylvia stumble upon a planet populated by villains, Wander dons a fake ‘stache to blend into their midst in “The Bad Guy.” Then “The Fugitives” finds the pair attempting to bust free from a planet ruled by Lord Hater.

SEASON 3 FINALE, 10pm, Cinemax
Strike Back
A key player in the Al Zuhari network emerges. Fearing an impending attack, the team is forced to take drastic measures, several of which will almost certainly involve blowing things up real good.

10pm, Syfy
A Trouble is getting his Gorgon on in “Countdown,” and Nathan, Duke, and Lexie must hurry to find the culprit before everyone in town is turned to stone.

10pm, CBS
Blue Bloods
Danny and Baez investigate when a teenage girl’s death by subway car appears to be a murder in “The Truth About Lying.” Elsewhere, the new inspector general (Bebe Neuwirth) takes the reins with regard to setting NYPD policy, much to Frank’s consternation.

Comedy Bang! Bang!
With seasoned cinematic superhero Rainn Wilson in the house, Reggie awakens to his new metahuman power. Will other guest Andy Daly emerge as his supervillainous counterpart?

The Birthday Boys
The sketch-comedy stylings of an L.A. troupe involve a magical car, a bunch of nerdy inventors, and more in this new series executive-produced by Bob Odenkirk (who also appears) and Ben Stiller.

– Leah Remini, NeNe Leakes, and Gary “G Thang” Johnson” on The Arsenio Hall Show, Syndicated, check local listings
– Barbara Walters, comedy writer Steve Young, and White Denim on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS
– Rosie Perez and Nick Cobb on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS


What to watch on Saturday, October 19...

11am, Nickelodeon
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
“Invasion of the Squirrelanoids” is the title of this episode, and although I couldn’t find much in the way of plot description, I bet you can venture an educated guess on what happens.

The White Queen
Anne, Margaret, and Queen Elizabeth approach the sunsets of their court careers in “The Final Battle,” while King Richard III is sure he’s sitting pretty—but Henry Tudor is looming, and the balance of power in England is about to be rocked by the next generation of would-be world-beaters. Before the finale, see how they all got to this point with a marathon of the first nine episodes beginning at 12pm.

Grave Halloween
While studying abroad in Japan, an American college student must aid her deceased mother’s spirit by braving the arboreal abominations of the Suicide Forest. At first blush this sounds less rife with preposterously rendered evil creatures than your average Syfy fare, but it’s still got a pun in the title, so let’s all give it the benefit of the doubt.

Dancing on the Edge
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as the leader and namesake of The Louis Lester Band, a black jazz combo in 1930s London, in this five-episode miniseries also starring Jacqueline Bisset and John Goodman. In the opener, Louis makes the acquaintance of an enterprising music magazine editor (Matthew Goode) who helps boost the band’s exposure.

SEASON 14 PREMIERE, 10pm, BBC America
The Graham Norton Show
Harrison Ford and Benedict Cumberbatch stop by to promote their fall movies, while James Blunt and Jack Whitehall chip in musical and comedic stylings, respectively.


What to watch on Sunday, October 20...

8pm, ABC
Once Upon a Time
Mr. Gold rolls up his sleeves to square off with Pan in “Nasty Habits,” but will the showdown save Henry or doom him? Meanwhile, Neal is nabbed by a Lost Boy, David fights to stave off the poison in his veins, and Rumpelstiltskin prowls Fairy Tale Land in search of the missing Bae.

9pm, ABC
Stung by an epic revenging fail in “Mercy,” Emily receives some post-mortem assistance from an unexpected source. In more fruitful machinations, Victoria takes decisive steps to lock down her future.

9pm, AMC
The Walking Dead
With a shiny new enemy lurking in “Infected,” the Agents of R.I.C.K. must batten down the hatches and defend their happy little prison commune. Y’know, give or take a redshirt or two.

9pm, Showtime
“Game On” finds Dana heading for the hills, possibly hoping to escape this show once and for all so she can enjoy the rest of her youth on a sprightly CW comedy-drama. Meanwhile, Carrie takes a meeting with a new client and Saul’s pursuit of the money trail takes a surprising turn.

9pm, Lifetime
Drop Dead Diva
In “One Shot,” a woman in witness protection turns to Jane after getting embroiled in a drug arrest, a teen star seeks Owen’s assistance when her career is jeopardized by a scandalous photo, and a newly married man enlists Grayson to draw up an unorthodox love contract.

9pm, HBO
Boardwalk Empire
Valentin seizes more control over Chalky’s turf, while Eli and Nucky clash in the wake of Willie’s latest bungle. Meanwhile in “William Wilson,” Joe Masseria dispatches Luciano to Tampa, Roy helps Gillian get the heroin monkey off her back, and Capone advocates an aggressive course of action in the Torrio-O’Banion rivalry.

9:30pm ET/CT (9pm PT), CBS
The Good Wife
Elsbeth defends Lockhart Gardner against an employee’s sexual harassment suit in “Outside the Bubble,” while Alicia continues to prepare for her impending exit. Elsewhere, Jackie rankles Eli with her insistence on having a voice in Peter’s administration, and Kurt helps Diane blow off some steam.

10pm, HBO
Eastbound & Down
“Chapter 25” finds Kenny delivering on his threat to Gene, as well as representing a charity in Guy’s dragon boat race. And inspired by his dad’s general ballsiness, Toby musters the courage to feed his new pet.

10pm, Showtime
Masters of Sex
“Thank You for Coming,” declares this week’s episode, and I see what you did there, Masters of Sex. Bill is nonplussed when his mother pays a visit, while Virginia and Ethan fend off Libby’s attempts to play Cupid. On the scientific front, one of the study’s new volunteer participants stuns Virginia.

11:30pm, Cartoon Network
China, IL
I can tell you that this week’s episode is called “Kenny Winker Rules,” but not knowing anyone by that name, I cannot attest as to the veracity of that assertion. I can also tell you that this week’s episode fills out its own half-hour slot, rather than cramming everything into 11 minutes alongside another Adult Swim offering. That’s the full extent of my knowledge on this one.


And now, let’s all vote to crown the What to Watch Tonight Episode Title of the Week!

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