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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

TV Notes: Unpredictable Gervais returns to host Golden Globes

Chuck Barney Contra Costa Times

Don’t miss

“The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards” – Ready or not, the verbal blowtorch known as Ricky Gervais returns to host Hollywood’s most irreverent awards show, despite plenty of calls for his head after last year’s incendiary stint. Will he be held in check this time? Or will he fire away? Among the movies up for honors are “The Artist” with six nominations and “The Help” and “The Descendants” with five apiece. Meanwhile, new TV shows breaking into the party include “American Horror Story,” “Homeland,” “Enlightened” and “New Girl.” 5 p.m., NBC.


“Undercover Boss” returns to toss more company bigwigs into the trenches and give them a taste of workplace reality. The Season 3 opener has Stephen J. Cloobeck, chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International, going incognito. 8 p.m., CBS.

Sweet! Make way for “Napoleon Dynamite,” a new animated series based on the 2004 indie hit about America’s most awesomely awkward teen. The entire original cast – including Jon Heder – is back to voice the characters. 8:30 p.m., Fox.


What is it with J.J. Abrams and spooky islands? “Alcatraz” is the latest mystery thriller from the man who gave us “Lost.” This series stars Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill as a covert team trying to figure out why some of Alcatraz’s most notorious prisoners have reappeared 50 years after they vanished. 8 p.m., Fox.

“Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl” is a star-studded celebration of a national treasure. It airs just before “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” a hilarious hidden-camera series in which a merry band of senior citizens play pranks on unsuspecting younger “victims.” 8 p.m., NBC.


Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), prime time’s coolest, most laid-back crime fighter, returns for a new season of “Justified.” And now he’s having to contend with a couple of new Harlan bad guys played by Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson. 10 p.m., FX.

The gritty cop show, “Southland,” launches a fourth season of Los Angeles-based crime stories. New to the show is Lucy Liu, who will guest star as an LAPD officer throughout the season. 10 p.m., TNT.


The ratings monster known as “American Idol” returns for its 11th season with judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler promising to dole out a little more tough love. As usual, we start off with the audition segments, so get the cotton ready for your ears. 8 p.m., Fox.


Could Leonard and Penny (Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco) be rekindling their romance on “The Big Bang Theory”? It looks that way when he invites her to a dinner for two on the show’s milestone 100th episode. 8 p.m., CBS.

The animated spy series, “Archer,” figures to get weirder and funnier this season as Burt Reynolds – playing himself – comes aboard as a love interest for Malory (voiced by Jessica Walter). Immediately following is the debut of “Unsupervised,” a new cartoon about two socially awkward high school pals. 10 p.m., FX.


Season 3 of “Shark Tank” launches tonight with a new group of entrepreneurs set to pitch their business concepts to a panel of would-be investors. Will they sink or will they swim? 8 p.m., ABC.


The series, “Ultimate Factories,” drops in on the Lego plant in Denmark, where viewers go behind the scenes to see the development and design process of a new play set. Also featured: Molding, painting and packaging. 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel.