Two shows that got tons of buzz last year – HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones” and AMC’s “The Killing” – return Sunday night.
“Game of Thrones” is a sexy, violent adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series. It built a following last year throughout season one and was rewarded with a cover story of Entertainment Weekly last week.
Meanwhile, AMC last year also developed a massive fan base for “The Killing,” then peeved a bulk of them when they didn’t resolve who was the murderer during the finale. Will they come back? We’ll find out soon.
And if such scripted series aren’t your taste, the first of two “Jersey Shore” spinoffs starts on Thursday with Pauly D – just as the show itself has started to lose serious steam.
“Alcatraz” 8 p.m. Fox (first season finale) — Rebecca and Doc close in on a man who may be a key to why criminals keep returning.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Strong dance performances last week didn’t stop ratings from falling, especially among younger viewers watching “The Voice” instead.
“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC — The final battle rounds feature two metro Atlantans: Mathai and Jordan Rager.
“Being Human” 9 p.m. Syfy — Sally tries to fix a life that she ruined.
“Make it or Break It” 9 p.m. ABC Family (third season debut) — Lauren fears her custom-made perfume is making her ill.
“Lost Girl” 10 p.m. Syfy — Dyson is accused of murdering Ba’al.
“Smash” 10 p.m. NBC — Derek plots to steal the musical and he wants Karen to assist him.
“Castle” 10:01 p.m. ABC — Five people are killed in a bomb explosion at a protest rally.
“The Biggest Loser” 8 p.m. NBC — Antone, Becky and Vinny return to judge a cooking contest.
“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS — Vance’s brother-in-law is the chief suspect in the murder of a petty officer.
“Dancing With the Stars” 9 p.m. ABC — Who will be first out?
“NCIS: Los Angeles” 9 p.m. CBS — The murder of a Navy intelligence officer is investigated.
“New Girl” 9 p.m. Fox — Schmidt and Cece’s secret relationship is found out by one of the roommates.
“16 & Pregnant” 10 p.m. MTV (fourth season debut) — A pregnant cheerleader struggles with her boyfriend to get serious about parenthood.
“Fashion Star” 10 p.m. NBC — H&M has purchased Marietta’s Sarah Parrott clothing two weeks in a row.
“Justified” 10 p.m. FX — While Raylan squares off with a pair of Detroit hit men, the battle between Boyd and Quarles comes to a head.
“Unforgettable” 10 p.m. CBS — Carrie learns that her boyfriend may have ties to suspects in a murder investigation.
“Body of Proof” 10:01 p.m. ABC — An act of terrorism unleashes an unknown virus that kills scores of people. CDC to the rescue!
“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox — The top 9 sing songs from their idols.
“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS — Alliances are thrown into question when one castaway makes a bold move during tribal council.
“Whitney” 8 p.m. NBC (first season finale) — Alex and Whitney head to city hall to tie the knot.
“Are You There, Chelsea?” 8 p.m. NBC (first season finale) — Sloane’s husband journeys home to surprise Sloane after finishing his Army tour.
“Auction Hunters” 9 p.m. Spike (third season debut) — Ton and Allen visit Alaska.
“Bent” 9 p.m. NBC — Walt and Screwsie assist Charlie about a bully.
“Hot in Cleveland” 10 p.m. TV Land— Melanie dates a professor who makes her feel dumb.
“Psych” 10 p.m. USA — An autopsy mistake threatens Woody’s job.
“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox — Scotty McCreery and Nicki Minaj perform.
“The Big Bang Theory” 8 p.m. CBS — Raj may have found his soul mate.
“Missing” 8 p.m. ABC — Becca receives a surprise visit in Europe fromher best friend.
“Rules of Engagement” 8:30 p.m. CBS — Jeff plans a romantic scavenger hunt for Audrey..
“Touch” 9 p.m. Fox — Martin discovers that a homeless man’s obsessions with numbers are similar to Jake’s.
“Awake” 10 p.m. NBC — Michael tracks a serial killer, but an FBI agent points to him as a suspect in his own case.
“Mary Mary” 10 p.m. WE (new series) — Following the gospel music sisters, who spend time in Atlanta in the first episode as part of the Macy’s Christmas Tree kickoff last November at Lenox Square Mall.
“The Mentalist” 10 p.m. CBS — The investigation of a casino worker’s homicide reunites Jane with a magician he used to tour with.
“Pauly D Project” 10:30 p.m. MTV (new series) — A “Jersey Shore” spinoff as Pauly Delvecchio pursues his DJ dreams.
“Kitchen Nightmares” 8 p.m. Fox (fourth season finale) — Gordon Ramsay visits Zocalo, a Mexican eatery in Chicago with disappointing service.
“Undercover Boss” 8 p.m. CBS — Yankee Candle CEO Harlan Kent works undercover at his company.
“Who Do You Think You Are?” 8 p.m. NBC — Rita Wilson journeys to Greece and Bulgaria to trace her past.
“CSI: NY” 9 p.m. CBS — A lab tech is murdered.
“Fairly Legal” 9 p.m. USA — Kate mediates a dispute between a fishing-boat captain and an injured deckhand.
“Fringe” 9 p.m. Fox — A case if familiar to Peter but brand-new to the rest of the team.
“Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” 9 p.m. TLC — A bride-to-be’s mother wants all the attention at a fitting.
“Blue Bloods” 10 p.m. CBS — Danny faces a moral dilemma over whether to arrest a suspect linked to a robbery.
“In Plain Sight” 10 p.m. USA — Mary and Marshall turn to a Native-American detective to help track down a witness.
“Merlin” 10 p.m. Syfy (fourth season finale) — Camelot is apparently lost.
“Escape Routes” 8 tonight NBC (new series) — An interactive reality-competition series with $100,000 for a prize.
“Kids’ Choice Awards 2012” 8 tonight Nickelodeon — Will Smith hosts. Katy Perry and One Direction perform.
“Celebrity Apprentice” 8 p.m. Sunday NBC (three-hour episode) — Who needs two hours of Donald Trump when you can have three!
“47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” 8 p.m. Sunday CBS — Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton host. Georgia’s Jason Aldean is among the performers.
“The Killing” 8 p.m. Sunday AMC (second season debut) — Sarah returns to Seattle to look into a possible cover up.
“Mob Wives” 8 p.m. Sunday VH1 (second season finale) — NeNe Leakes has nothing on these ladies.
“Once Upon a Time” 8 p.m. Sunday ABC — Emma works hard to prove Mary Margaret’s innocence in Kathryn’s murder.
“Army Wives” 9 p.m. Sunday Lifetime — Davis is involved in a sports-related accident with a classmate.
“Desperate Housewives” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC — Susan learns that Mike has been keeping a secret from her for years.
“Game of Thrones” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO (second season debut) — Robb Stark continues his campaign against the Lannisters.
“River Monsters” 9 p.m. Sunday Animal Planet (fourth season debut) — Jeremy is back checking out menacing creatures in U.S. waterways.
“Worst Cooks in America” 9 p.m. Sunday Food (second season finale) — The final two recruits vie for $25,000 grand prize.
“House of Lies” 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime (first season finale) — Jeannie comes to a decision about her future with Wes.
“Mad Men” 10 p.m. Sunday AMC — Don and Harry try to go the extra mile for a big client.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk