What to Watch This Weekend: The Series Finale of Spartacus, Louis C.K.'s HBO Standup Special, the Season Premieres of Veep and Nurse Jackie, and the MTV Movie Awards

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What to watch on Friday, April 12...


8pm & 8:30pm, ABC
Happy Endings
Brad and Jane host a couples get-together in “She Got Game Night,” but the heated competition impels Penny to make a startling decision—the ramifications of which take center stage in “The Storm Before the Calm.” And I mean that literally, as she channels her emotions into a play and ropes Derrick’s theater group into staging it. Elsewhere, Alex and Max fear they may be targets of a scam when a marketing group enlists them as tastemakers.


8pm, The CW
Nikita
“Masks” finds Alex divulging to Birkhoff her plans to leave Division, and Amanda helping Owen uncover memories from his past. I mean, so far they’re only memories of the early ‘90s X-Men cartoon and Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged, but baby steps, baby steps.


SERIES FINALE, 9pm, Starz
Spartacus: War of the Damned
This one’s for all the Tostitos, folks. Crassus’s Crazies are coming into the contest a heavy favorite, with one of the ancient world’s most formidable offensive lines and some Hall of Fame playcallers on the sidelines. But Sparty’s Sparkplugs have shown plenty of underdog grit en route to a Cinderella season. Who will come out on top? Tune into “Victory,” and don’t miss our four-hour pre-game show hosted by Plutarch and Appian.


SERIES PREMIERE, 10pm, Starz
Da Vinci’s Demons
To call this dramatization of the life of Leonardo Da Vinci “loosely adapted” would do a disservice to, well, the very concept of words. But hey, a rakish 20-something Italian whipping up state-of-the-art siege engine gizmos for conniving doges seems like a promising hour of TV, right? “The Hanged Man” opens the series with Leo designing an Easter spectacle for the Medicis, which can mean only one thing: The Vitruvian Peep.


10pm, CBS
Blue Bloods
When an accomplice in a double homicide is wounded in “Ends and Means,” Linda prevents Danny from questioning him before surgery—a surgery he inconveniently fails to survive. The two butt heads over Linda’s decision, while waiting for the New York State Appellate Court to rule on the admissibility of Ouija board testimony.


LATE-NITE:
– Adam Levine, Cyndi Lauper, and The Airborne Toxic Event on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Tom Cruise, Jordana Brewster, and Shuggie Otis on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
– Jason Biggs and Keke Palmer on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:52am, CBS



WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON FRIDAY?


What to watch on Saturday, April 13...


SERIES PREMIERE, 8pm, ABC
Bet on Your Baby
What. The. Honest. Living. Hell. Fellow Walt Disney Company property Gravity Falls made a joke last week about a TV show called “Baby Fight,” and from what I can tell, this is basically that. Anyway, toddlers do stuff. Parents gamble on which toddler will do it better, or cuter, or who the hell even knows. ABC fills an hour on its schedule (two hours, tonight) for the cost of maybe 80 bucks and a box of animal crackers.


8pm, BBC America
Doctor Who
“Cold War” sends the Doctor and Clara on board a Soviet nuclear sub in 1983, as it’s tangling with a malevolent alien stowaway. Sure, said alien is endangering all of humanity, but cut the thing some slack. It just wanted to see Montana.


9pm, BBC America
Orphan Black
“Beth” is assigned to a case that may test the limits of Sarah’s charade in “Variation Under Nature.” Can she survive the investigation, retrieve her money, get out of Dodge, and maybe round up the other Orphans to squeeze in a group karaoke rendition of Weird Al’s “I Think I’m A Clone Now” before the other shoe drops?


9pm, NBC
Smash
With Bombshell prepping for previews, Tom’s overzealousness may do more harm than good. Elsewhere in “The Dress Rehearsal,” Karen suspects Derek’s motives toward her may not be entirely kosher, and an on-stage flub leads Ivy to make a critical choice. Maybe she’s signing up with Ryan’s team on The Following, where screwing up at your job is basically a prerequisite?


10pm, HBO
Louis C.K.: Oh My God
The comic performs from Phoenix’s celebrity theater, tackling topics such as the food chain, divorce, and murder with his signature blend of acerbic insight and offbeat humanism. I’m technically only guessing about that last part, but c’mon. It’s Louis C.K. It’s a safe bet.


11:30pm, NBC
Saturday Night Live
Vince Vaughn hosts, while musical guest Miguel organizes the pool betting on how far into the episode Owen Wilson’s cameo will hit. I’ve got five bucks on the eight-minutes-and-47-seconds mark.



WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON SATURDAY?


What to watch on Sunday, April 14...


8pm, ABC
Once Upon a Time
The good old-fashioned clip show has become something of a lost art nowadays, but darned if “The Price of Magic” won’t take a shot at it. This special recalls the various paths Storybrooke’s denizens have traveled since the reintroduction of their memories and magic. Also featured: interviews with the show’s creators, who delve into the mythology and hint at what’s to come.


8:30pm, Fox
Bob’s Burgers
“Family Fracas” finds the Belchers competing on a game show of the same name—and launching a winning streak that perturbs the show’s host to no end. Could foul play be afoot when their dominance is suddenly and suspiciously stopped cold? Will they at least walk away with the lifetime supply of Turtle Wax?


9pm, MTV
The 2013 MTV Movie Awards
Rebel Wilson hosts the 22nd annual celebration of cinema’s finest properties marketable to a youth-oriented demographic. Movie of the Year nominees include The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Michael Haneke’s unflinching French-language meditation on aging and death, Amour. If you can guess which of those I made up, you’re eligible to win a copy of the What to Watch Tonight Home Game!


9pm, HBO
Game of Thrones
With the Night’s Watch in retreat, Jon and Mance arrive to survey the aftermath at the Fist of the First Men in “Walk of Punishment.” In King’s Landing, Tyrion is discomfited by his new role at court, while in Astapor, Dany splurges on a shiny new infantry.


SEASON 5 PREMIERE, 9pm, Showtime
Nurse Jackie
Even with two new docs on staff, All Saints has its hands full after a bus accident in “Happy F**king Birthday.” And the day before Jackie’s birthday also happens to be the perfect time for Akalitus to restore Eddie to his old job.


SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 10pm, HBO
Veep
The wind is in Selina’s sails after she nails a series of campaign appearances during “Midterms.” But to leverage that success into a larger role in the administration, she must first contend with the president’s formidable senior strategist (Gary Cole).


SEASON 3 PREMIERE, 10pm, Showtime
The Borgias
Pope Alexander fights to overcome his poisoning, while his loyal cardinals maneuver against one another to claim the inside track in the Holy See succession. Elsewhere in “The Faces of Death,” Cesare and Micheletto hunt down the assassin, Catherine Sforza sics her own assassin on the Borgias, and Della Rovere prepares to make his move, which—and I’m just speculating here—probably involves an assassin.


10pm, History
Vikings
Ragnar sets sail for England looking to bargain for peace in “A King’s Ransom.” But Aelle has other ideas in mind, and you can bet not a one of them entails making contact with his enemy’s Berserker Eyes™ for more than, like, three and a half seconds.


10pm, AMC
Mad Men
Don disagrees with a client, Pete welcomes a guest, and Peggy clashes with her staff in “The Collaborators.” Also, let’s say, Roger and Sally discover the Legend of Peter Stuyvesant’s Gold and team up to unearth the mysterious treasure buried somewhere on the island of Manhattan.



WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON SUNDAY?

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

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