“Vampire Diaries,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Tudors”


 “Vampire Diaries” 

Thursday 8pm, CW

Producers are teasing no fewer than nine cliffhangers for this season finale. Given that the show has an “Oh, shit!” moment every time it goes to commercial, I don’t doubt them. You can look forward to at least two major deaths, and given how often people bite it on this show, just about anyone could go (except those dreamy vamp brothers). My guess is we’ll see the end of poor, sweet Caroline, her also-awesome boyfriend Matt, or possibly his recently returned alcoholic mother. But the real juicy stuff should come courtesy of the has-to-happen return of Katherine, the ancient vampire bitch who put this whole sordid tale into motion, and who just happens to be a dead ringer for series protagonist Elena. Operation Evil Patty Duke commence!


“Parks and Recreation” 

Thursday 8:30pm, NBC

Rob Lowe has made some stupid career moves—passing on playing McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” bailing on “The West Wing” at its peak—but this time I think he got it right. As “Brothers & Sisters” continues its creative freefall, Lowe is jumping ship for a role on this sophomore comedy. I’ve always enjoyed Amy Poehler’s mockumentary about local government, but I can see how its first season was too low key for some viewers. The show made changes, and Season 2 has been way funnier. The series seems to be following a similar trajectory to its thematic progenitor, “The Office,” and I suspect it will break big next season. Lowe plays an auditor brought in to fix the budget of wee Pawnee, Indiana, a recurring role that will extend into next season—and new series regular Adam Scott (“Party Down”) will likely have a lot to do with that.


“The Tudors” 

Sunday 9pm, Showtime

The fourth and final season of this Henry VIII drama continues with this week’s introduction of Hank’s sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr, played by Joely Richardson. I used to wince every time Richardson’s brittle, unlikable Julia came back to “Nip/Tuck,” but I think this is actually brilliant casting. As the series winds down, look for the king to wrap up his long-running war with France, to have a dreamy visitation with all six of his wives (that should be fun), and to finally descend into madness. Given how crazy actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks half the time, that shouldn’t be a stretch.