Sweeps! The final ratings period of the 2012-13 TV season has arrived, bringing several consecutive weeks of new episodes of network shows, plus season and series finales all over the place, along with some new shows debuting this week.
Sunday, April 28
The Good Wife (9-10 pm, CBS)
TGW is the best drama for grownups on any of the broadcast networks because of its consistently excellent writing, skillful interweaving of weekly cases with longer story arcs, and access to top-tier guest stars. Tonight is the final episode of season four, and promises to reveal the results of Peter’s run for governor. (I’m betting on a win, because it would provide plenty of material for storylines in upcoming seasons.) Odds they reveal exactly how Kalinda got rid of her pesky husband? Extremely slim.
Monday, April 29
The Daily Show/The Colbert Report (11 pm-midnight, Comedy Central)
Jon Stewart’s guest is Jon Hamm (Jon and Jon, cute); Stephen Colbert features a musical performance by Iggy and The Stooges.
Tuesday, April 30
Inside Amy Schumer (10:30-11 pm, Comedy Central)
Time to see if Schumer’s deliberately offensive stage persona works in a sketch-comedy setting. The show will also feature stand-up bits and on-the-street interviews. If you’re interested, you can watch the whole first episode online before the show premieres.
Wednesday, May 1
The Americans (10-11ish pm, FX)
This spy thriller wrapped in a relationship drama, set against the beginning of the Reagan presidency, turned out to be the best new show of this TV year. If you didn’t catch onto it, you should definitely get it on iTunes or add it to your Netflix queue for when it gets a DVD release. The first season concludes tonight; expect wigs and disguises, double-crosses, and a choice piece of music from the period.
Thursday, May 2
Parks And Recreation (9:30-10 pm, NBC)
Amy Poehler and her lovable bunch of municipal-government folks wrap up season five with Leslie Knope marking her first anniversary as a city councilwoman.
Friday, May 3
Maron (10-10:30 pm, IFC)
This new series from comedian and “WTF” podcaster Marc Maron is about… a comedian and podcaster. It’s tempting to compare this show to Louie, but also unfair, because Maron’s point of view is very different from C.K.’s, but equally original. (Trivial true fact: in college I had a literature class with Maron. We weren’t buddies or anything, but I chatted with him a couple of times.)
Saturday, May 4
Saturday Night Live (11:30 pm-1 am, NBC)
Zach Galifianakis makes his third appearance as host, with musical guests Of Monsters And Men.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)