NOTE: I’m on my honeymoon this week so there won’t be any breaking TV/radio news this week. I’ll catch up when I get back January 25.
Scifi fans who are missing “Battlestar Galactica” should be psyched about Friday’s debut of “Caprica,” which sets up what happened decades earlier when Cylon was a new concept. The first episode features a terrorist attack, whether a soul can live on in an alternative word and two families in turmoil.
And speaking of a strange world, bid farewell to the first season of MTV’s addictive “Jersey Shore” Thursday. But don’t worry: they’ll certainly be on talk shows and tabloid magazines for months to come until MTV carts out season two. We should all have nicknames this bizarre! Right, JWoww?
“Chuck” 8 p.m. NBC — Brandon Routh (“Superman”) plays a CIA superagent who trains Chuck but may not be all that he appears.
“How I Met Your Mother” 8 p.m. CBS — Amanda Peet plays a gal who kisses Marshall. Lily will not be pleased.
“24” 8 p.m. Fox (two hours) — Renee returns and she’s becoming like… Jack Bauer!
“Life Unexpected” 9 p.m. the CW (new series) — Cate gave up Luxe for adoption but Luxe ends up in foster care. At age 15, trying to be emancipated, she informs Cate and her immature biological dad Baze. They end up taking care of her. The show has its charms but comparisons to “Gilmore Girls” is a bit exaggerated.
“The Buried Life” 10 p.m. MTV (new series) — Four guys travel the country with bucket lists – and help out others, too.
“Life As Liz” 10:30 p.m. MTV (new series) — Liz dumps the popular crowd for the outcasts in this high school-based unscripted hybrid reality series in which non-actors re-create moments from their real lives.
“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox —Shania Twain is the guest judge in Chicago.
“The Biggest Loser” 8 p.m. NBC — Contestants become “trainers” and teach weight-loss techniques.
“Monica: Still Standing” 10 p.m. BET (first season finale) — Atlanta balladeer Monica’s album finally comes into shape.
“Millionaire Matchmaker” 10 p.m. Bravo (third season debut) — Patti Stanger helps out two Jewish guys, one an annoying child actor (remember “Twin Peaks”?)
“White Collar” 10 p.m. USA (mid-season debut) — Neal checks out some saint-like Wall Street brokers. Okay, not saint-like at all.
“Paranormal Cops” 10:30 p.m. A&E (new series) — Yet another group investigates ghosts — but they have guns (like that’ll make a difference)
“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox — Actress Kristin Chenoweth guest judges in Orlando.
“Human Target” 9 p.m. Fox — Winston has to protect a hacker from an assassin on a plane.
“Modern Family” 9 p.m. ABC — Jay can’t believe his friend (Chazz Palminteri) might be gay.
“Being Erica” 10 p.m. Soapnet (second-season debut) — Erica gets stuck in 1998. And she still can’t get Chumbawumba out of her head.
“Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” 10 p.m. Sundance — Elvis hits up Brooooooce.
“Toddlers & Tiaras” 10 p.m. TLC (third season debut) — A Little Miss Glitz pageant in Florida is featured.
“Nip/Tuck” 10 p.m. FX — Sean does pro bono surgery while Christian and Kimber get limber in bed.
“The Deep End” 8 p.m. ABC (new series) — Kind of like “Grey’s Anatomy” with hot, young attorneys.
“Food Tech” 9 p.m. History (new series) — Why sesame seeds stick to buns and other burger mysteries.
“The Office” 9 p.m. NBC — The team tries to impress a potential new buyer.
“Grey’s Anatomy” 9 p.m. ABC — Izzie returns hoping to reconcile with Alex.
“Burn Notice” 10 p.m. USA (third-season winter debut) — Michael needs Madeline’s help while assissting a widow evade violent con men.
“Jersey Shore” 10 p.m. MTV (first season finale) — Dear Snooki, JWoww and the Situation: we are so going to miss you!
“Project Runway” 10 p.m. Lifetime — Expect more nifty bon mots from Atlanta’s Anthony Williams.
“Pay It Off” 8 p.m. BET — Four new episodes in a row of this Kim Coles -hosted game show, taped in Atlanta.
“Hope for Haiti” 8 p.m. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT — A two-hour telethon to help victims of the Haiti earthquake hosted by actor George Clooney in Los Angeles, singer Wyclef Jean in New York and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in Haiti.
“Caprica” 9 p.m. SyFy (new series) — How did the Cylons come to be in “Battlestar Galactica”? Find out in this prequel, which is quite compelling, even if you aren’t into science fiction.
“Sparticus” 10 p.m. Starz (new series) — Expect lots of violence and sex in this telling of the rise of this Roman slave.
“Familiar Waters” 1 p.m. Saturday Outdoor — North Georgia’s own Josh Holloway (“Lost”) casts his fly rod on a bonefishing trip.
“Screen Actor’s Guild Awards” 8 p.m. Saturday TBS/TNT — The incomparable Betty White gets a lifetime achievement award.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” 8 p.m. Sunday ABC (two hours) — Singer Ashanti helps a Buffalo community activist rebuild her home.
“Big Love” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — Bill gets off on the wrong foot with a lobbyist in D.C. played by Sissy Spacek.
“The Tiniest Girl In the World” 9 p.m. Sunday TLC — At age two, a girl weighs just seven pounds
“Worst Cooks in America” 10 p.m. Sunday Food — Recruits learn how to make one of the simpler dishes: pasta.