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“The Essentials”

Saturday­ 8pm, TCM
If you don’t get enough Alec Baldwin in your life via “30 Rock” (and really, who could ever get enough Alec Baldwin?), the gravel-voiced actor also hosts this series of classic films along with Turner Classic Movies fixture Robert Osborne. This weekend marks Baldwin’s third season in the co-pilot seat, from which he and Osborne select 30 must-see films from the TCM vault. The 2011 season kicks off with the Paul Newman prison film Cool Hand Luke. Coming up look for Mildred Pierce, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sunset Blvd., Gunga Din, Bringing Up Baby, Kiss of the Spider Woman, An American in Paris and a bunch more. If you’re trying to catch up on your cinema history, skip Netflix and watch these for free. Bonus: you get to spend Saturday night with a certain silver fox.

“The Celebrity Apprentice”

Sunday 9pm, NBC
Oh, how I lust to hear Donald Trump say the words, “NeNe Leakes, you’re hired!” I know that won’t happen, but here’s hoping the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” spitfire can last a few rounds, just to torment Star Jones. Those train wrecks are just two in the cast of crazies assembled for this third “celebrity” outing of the flailing reality competition. Joining them will be the usual assortment of models, faded sports stars, and has-been actors and musicians, including baseball player/steroid aficionado Jose Canseco, crunkster Lil Jon, Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin, the insane Gary Busey, Grammy winner and friend to psychics Dionne Warwick, rocker/actor Meat Loaf, and the indefinable LaToya Jackson. I’m predicting a final two of Jones (remember, she was a lawyer) and original “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch (presuming there’s no paying-taxes challenge).

“The Event”

Monday 9pm, NBC
If you had any interest in this mystery/drama, now’s the time to tune in. “The Event” started off with lots of hype and big ratings, people drawn in by the promise of a show that mixed the mind-bending sci-fi of “Lost” with the gripping action and conspiracy theories of “24.” Well, that didn’t quite pan out. The show about clandestine nearly human aliens lost its way almost immediately after the promising pilot, and ratings plummeted by the time the last original episode aired at the end of November. The show runners swear they’ve listened to the criticism and promise that the new episodes—which start this week—will offer up a steady diet of big twists and big answers.

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