Diane Werts writes about television for Newsday. Werts previously was the founding editor of Newsday's trend-spotting magazine TV
Off the Wall loves its suds.
HELL SPILLS OVER Flowing out of the underworld are two devilish series returns -- "My Cat From Hell" (Saturday night at 8, Animal Planet) and "Dates From Hell" (Friday at 10 p.m., ID). Preview the latter at investigation.discovery.com.
'GH' IN PRIME TIME This week's 50th anniversary of ABC's hot daytimer even got the attention of Katie Couric. She hosts a special "20/20" hour titled "General Hospital: The Real Soap Dish" (Saturday night at 9, ABC/7). All things "GH" at abc.com/gh.
UNDERGROUND MOVE Saturday night always was when old-time creature features aired, and now it's home to Syfy's brand-new crap-traps. Finally realizing this: Turner Classic Movies, which shifts its overnight Underground block from very late-night Friday to early Saturday with "Spine Tingler!" (2 a.m.), a fun forage through the ballyhoo gimmicks of '50s producer William Castle. Bonus -- a brand new creature feature, with Dennis Haysbert slumming among werewolves in "Battledogs" (9 p.m., Syfy). More cheap thrills at tcm.com/underground.
MAD FOR MINIS This week's event encore on Encore is 2006's "Merlin's Apprentice" (Saturday 10 a.m.-1:10 p.m.) with Sam Neill. There's a newbie, too -- the eco-terror tale "Eve of Destruction" (Friday and next Saturday 8-10 both nights, Reelz), with Steven Weber, Christina Cox and Treat Williams. Trailer at reelz.com/eveofdestruction.
AWARDS ALERT Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan host the 48th "Academy of Country Music Awards" (Saturday 8-11 p.m., CBS/2), live from Las Vegas. Long produced by Dick Clark, the ceremony this year has George Strait and Garth Brooks paying tribute to the late TV titan. Check out the program's long list of performers at cbs.com.
SEASON FINALES They're ramping up. Among this week's comedy/drama enders: "The Carrie Diaries" (Monday at 8 p.m., CW/11), "Being Human" (Monday at 9 p.m., Syfy; after 8:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. catch-up), "Cougar Town" (Tuesday 10-11 p.m., TBS; after 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. catch-up), "Go On" (Thursday at 9:30 p.m., NBC/4), "Archer" (Thursday at 10p.m., FX), "Legit" (Thursday at 10:30 p.m., FX), and the series finale of "Spartacus: War of the Damned" (Friday at 9 p.m., Starz).
BACK TO THE BEGINNING One of the great things about endless series recycling at channels like Cloo and Chiller is the chance to see how shows started. Last week, Cloo had the pilot for 1970s cheesefest "Charlie's Angels." This week, it's the launches of more recent faves "Burn Notice" (Tuesday 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-5 p.m.) and "House" (Wednesday 2 and 10 p.m.). Over at Chiller, it's the entire 13-episode run of Carla Gugino's 2005 thriller "Threshold" (Friday 6 a.m.-7 p.m.), also featuring "Game of Thrones" hottie Peter Dinklage. See full schedules at cloo.com and chillertv.com.
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