The big news this week is the launch of the new Oprah Winfrey network Saturday just hours after the new year rolls in.
Discovery Communications has teamed with the talk-show queen at a reported start-up cost of $107 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. It replaces Discovery Health, available in 80 million homes. Folks with a Digital Classic package on Comcast or a Choice or higher package on DirectTV should be able to get it.
Oprah and her team are managing expectations.
“I don’t think we can come out of the gate hoping for blockbuster ratings,” said Lisa Erspamer, the network’s chief creative officer told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re going to have to continue to create and evolve over time.”
And if you don’t want to hear Dick Clark’s awkward post-stroke countdown into the new year, you can catch Anderson Cooper on CNN, Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Carson Daly on NBC, Whitney Cummings on MTV, Andy Cohen on Bravo or Nancy O’Dell on CBS.
“Monday Night Football” 8:30 p.m. ESPN (41st season finale) — Even casual pigskin fans are now paying attention to the Falcons, who face off against the Saints.
“American Pickers” 9 p.m. History — The men challenge Danielle to sell a vintage carnival ride that’s been sitting around for months.
“The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT — Part two of a case that threatens to ruin everyone’s holiday plans .
“Hoarders” 10 p.m. A&E — A woman uses a large inheritance to buy things that overwhelm her home and consignment shop.
“Men of a Certain Age” 10 p.m. TNT — An old TV commercial comes back to impact Terry’s life.
“American Chocolate Championship” 10 p.m. TLC — America’s best chocolatiers compete in Las Vegas.
“The 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors” 9 p.m. CBS — Honorees include Merle Haggard, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey.
“Dirty Jobs” 9 p.m. Discovery — Mike Rowe pollinates date palm trees.
“Millionaire Matchmaker” 9 p.m. Bravo — Patti tries to give icy Russian a hot guy.
“Auction Kings” 10 p.m. Discovery— Paul Brown’s crew checks out a rare Wurlitzer organ and a Charles Lindbergh scrapbook.
“Glory Daze” 10 p.m. TBS — Eli becomes obsessed with the military after seeing “Top Gun.”
“Hardcore Pawn” 10 p.m. TruTV (second season debut) — A former porn star tries to pawn his films.
“America’s Septuplets Turn 13” 10 p.m. TLC — The world’s first set of septuplets hit the dreaded teens.
“Dog the Bounty Hunter” 8 p.m. A&E (two-hour special) — Following Dog and his family as he promotes his book and meets fans.
“Extreme Couponing” 8 p.m. TLC — Learn how to shop for groceries for pennies on the dollar.
“My Strange Addiction” 9 p.m. TLC (new series) — A woman eats toilet paper (presumably unused).
“1000 Ways To Die” 10 p.m. Spike — Among those who meet untimely deaths: a young Amish man, a truck owner and a chess master.
“Katy Perry” 10 p.m. E! — A profile of the most ubiquitous pop star of 2010 this side of Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.
“I Used To Be Fat” 10 p.m. MTV (new series) — An overweight homecoming queen tries to slim down.
“Toddlers & Tiaras” 10 p.m. TLC (third season winter debut) — Hopefuls at an Arizona pageant include one-year-old twins. Can the win the best drooler category?
“Back to the Future” 6 p.m. AMC — Check out all three classic “Back to the Future” films in a row.
“Happy New Year, Charlie Brown” 8 p.m. ABC — Charlie Brown mixes it up with Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”
“Brad Meltzers Decoded” 10 p.m. History — Examining a Civil War code believed to reveal a buried Confederate treasure.
“Food Feuds” 10 p.m. Food (first season finale) — The hosts judge a chocolate chip ice cream test in Cincinnati.
“The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars” 10 p.m. A&E — Mediation follows a series of shootings at the Imperial Courts housing project in the lovely Watts section of Los Angeles.
“Cold Diggers” 10 p.m. Science — MGM faces a deadline to complete a third well.
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” 10 p.m., 11:30 p.m. ABC — Fergie hosts the pre-taped portion in Los Angeles. Ryan Seacrest leads the live New York proceedings with Jenny McCarthy
“NBC’s New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” 10 p.m., 11:30 p.m. NBC — Because Seacrest isn’t everybody’s taste. Performers include Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
“Watch What Happens Live: Andy’s New Year’s Party” 10:30 p.m. Bravo — Who needs Lil Wayne? Kim Zolciak is set to sing tonight and provide a special “wig drop.”
“New Year’s Eve Live” 11 p.m. Fox — Nancy O’Dell hosts with performances by Travie McCoy and David Archuleta.
“New Year’s Eve With Anderson Cooper” 11 p.m. CNN — Worth watching just to see what Kathy Griffin might do.
“All American New Year” 11 p.m. Fox News — Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly host. Rick Springfield and Katharine McPhee sing.
“Oprah’s Guide to OWN” noon Saturday OWN — Oprah Winfrey kicks off her new cable network with a preview of a raft of new shows including “Kidnapped by the Kids,” “Oprah Presents Master Class,” and “Enough Already With Peter Walsh.”
“CSI: Miami” 8 p.m. Sunday CBS — A millionaire is murdered and leads to an elite dating service.
“Iron Chef America” 9 p.m. Sunday Food (ninth season debut) — Michael Symon and Anne Burrell team up with Cat Cora and Robert Irvine.
“Desperate Housewives” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC — Susan’s life hangs by a thread after a riot on Wisteria Lane.
“What Chilli Wants” 9 p.m. Sunday VH1 (second season debut) — Atlanta’s own Chilli is back seeking love yet again.
“Worst Cooks in America” 9 p.m. Sunday (second season debut) — Sixteen unskilled home cooks enter a boot camp.
“Kendra” 10 p.m. Sunday E! — Kendra visits Eddie to support him if he decides to discuss his sexuality with his parents.
“Rich Bride, Poor Bride” 10 p.m. Sunday WE (fifth season debut) — A bride blows her budget by adding a new theme to the wedding.