Tiger by the tail



Tuesday 10pm, Food Network

While we patiently wait for a new season of “Top Chef” (the next will be set in Washington, D.C.; in the meantime “Top Chef Masters” returns this week), we have “Chopped,” which is essentially “TC” for the ADD set. Each episode of “Chopped” features four different chefs, who are given a variety of ingredients and tasked with creating a four-course meal. After each course a panel of expert judges decides which dish was the worst, and that contestant gets axed, until two duke it out in the final round. The winning chef gets $10,000 and bragging rights, and it’s all done in a brisk 60 minutes. Instant gratification, and some pretty impressive, creative cooking too. The show—which starts its fourth season tonight—is hosted by former “Queer Eye” food maven and “TC” judge Ted Allen.

“2010 Masters Tournament” 

Saturday 3:30-7pm, CBS

I actually like watching televised golf—there’s something almost Zen about it, and it’s the rare sport where you can follow the action far more efficiently on the tube than you could in person. But this year’s Masters Tournament is worth watching for an entirely different reason: It will be the official return of Tiger Woods, in self-imposed exile since his Thanksgiving showdown with his wife brought to light his many, many adulterous liaisons, and his good-guy reputation was trashed beyond repair. The media will be swarming this sucker, with everyone eager to see how Woods performs under a kind of pressure even he’s never experienced before. The only good news: at least Sandra Bullock’s husband has taken over the title of America’s Next Top Cheating A-hole.


Sunday 10pm, HBO

“Treme” is the new series by David Simon and Eric Overmyer, creator and writer respectively of the critically acclaimed “The Wire,” and it takes a similar approach to their previous show, but in a new locale: the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, just a few months after Hurricane Katrina. The show will explore the disparate elements of the community as they try to rebuild their lives and beloved city after one of the greatest American tragedies in recent history. The cast is a collection of awesome actors from awesome shows, including Melissa Leo and Clarke Peters (“Homicide: Life on the Streets”), Khandi Alexander (“NewsRadio”), Kim Dickens (“Deadwood”), and John Goodman and Steve Zahn (just go with it).