Tuesday 8:30pm, ABC
Things are not looking good for our favorite penny can enthusiasts. “Cougar Town” got off to a rough start, bedeviled by that controversial name and a first season that struggled to find its voice, like so many sitcoms. The second season was utterly hilarious, and for me inspired way more laughs than its critical-darling contemporary, “Modern Family.” The third season will finally debut on Valentine’s Day, but with a meager 15-episode order. If you ever watched the show and liked it, now is the time to tune in. If you’ve never watched the show, know that it features a seriously funny ensemble cast led by Courteney Cox. And if you’ve watched it and hated it, you need to drink more wine.
Sunday 9pm, NBC
Donald Trump and NBC have finally abandoned the conceit that the current seasons of “The Apprentice” are anything like the show’s initially critically acclaimed, high-tension look at aspiring businesspeople. People watch now to see washed-up celebrities backstab each other and get into crazy screaming matches, and that’s more or less what the promos for this new season have promised. The new crew has some interesting names in the mix, including former talk-show host Arsenio Hall, 80’s shock-rocker Dee Snider, and my pick for the win, “Star Trek” actor and wisenheimer George Takei. But I’m most eager to see if New Jersey “Housewife” Teresa Giudice can bring the batshit where her colleague Nene Leakes failed last season. I want more table flipping and less boo-hooing, ladies!
”Life’s Too Short”
Sunday 10:30pm, HBO
Ricky Gervais obliterated a good chunk of his cred with his most recent Golden Globes hosting stint. But try to remember him as the genius behind “The Office” when you consider his latest TV project, a fake documentary following actor Warwick Davis. Davis played the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi, went on to the title role in the awful/amazing Leprechaun horror flicks, and appeared in all the Harry Potter films. He is also, of course, a dwarf, which informs most of the humor in this series. In “Curb Your Enthusiasm” style, Davis plays an exaggerated version of himself, an egotistical jackass desperate for fame and fortune. Gervais and his production partner Stephen Merchant will recur as themselves, and other celebrity cameos include Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and perhaps most exciting, Right Said Fred.