'Smash,' 'Mindy Project' bring celeb guest stars for sweeps

Christian Borle as Tom Levitt, Liza Minnelli as

Christian Borle as Tom Levitt, Liza Minnelli as herself in "Smash," Episode 210, "The Surprise Party." (Credit: NBC)

Diane Werts

Newsday columnist Diane Werts Diane Werts

Diane Werts writes about television for Newsday. Werts previously was

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MONSTROUS STUFF And it's from Hollywood's '50s-'60s glory days! Saturday afternoon's Turner Classic Movies lineup of "Tarantula" (1:45 p.m.), "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (3:15 p.m.), "Five Million Miles to Earth" (4:45 p.m.) and "The Monster That Challenged the World" (6:30 p.m.) is followed by more cheap thrills Monday -- "It Came From Outer Space" (8 p.m.), "The Magnetic Monster" (9:30 p.m.), "Riders to the Stars" (11 p.m.), "The Power" (12:30 a.m.) and the classic "Creature From the Black Lagoon" (2:30 a.m.). Need newer cheese? There's always Saturday's Syfy marathon of six shark flicks, running from "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" (9 a.m.) through "Swamp Shark" (7 p.m.). Monstrosities online at syfy.com /videos/movies.

GREAT GUESTS Hmm. Could it be, maybe, Nielsen sweep month? It's pretty clear, when the stars show up. Kathie Lee Gifford does a musical number on Saturday night's "Smash" (8 p.m., NBC/4), while Chloë Sevigny plays Danny's ex-wife on "The Mindy Project" (Tuesday at 9:30 p.m., Fox/5). More in the next item.

SEASON FINALES New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a cameo on "The Good Wife" (Sunday at 9 p.m., CBS/2). Other dramatic season-enders: "Vikings" (tomorrow at 10 p.m., History), "Bones" (Monday at 8 p.m., Fox/5), "The Following" (Monday at 9 p.m., Fox/5) and "The Americans" (Wednesday at 10 p.m., FX). Want funny stuff? Try "Parks and Recreation" (Thursday at 8 p.m., NBC/4) and "BrandX With Russell Brand" (Thursday at 11 p.m., FX).


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HIS NAME IS THEODORE But his nickname provides the title of "Leave It to Beaver" (Sunday 9 a.m.-Monday 5 a.m., Antenna TV). Check out this deceptively smart take on childhood, often derided as a glossed-over comedy of boomer kids, their high-heeled moms and vaguely employed dads. It's actually a low-key look at everyday fears and dreams that's as serious as it is funny. Hey, it's Carl Reiner's favorite show! Episode listings at antennatv.tv.

FILM FESTIVALS Elvis Presley devotees get all shook up nightly in May, starting with "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (Wednesday at 8 p.m., Encore). And Turner Classic Movies' Friday Night Spotlight has Illeana Douglas hosting May's "second looks" at films underrated the first time around. First up: 1933's "Alice in Wonderland" (Friday at 8 p.m.), with W.C. Fields and Gary Cooper. Movie details at tcm.com/this-month.

THE BEST DOCTOR? Let the debate begin. Some love latter-day dudes David Tennant and Matt Smith. Others still like the first time lord to hit American air, back in the '80s. A new installment of "Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited" (8-11 p.m. Sunday, BBC America) focuses on that fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, whose curly coiffed antics and trademark scarf remain indelible. So does his record of starring in seven straight seasons of the series (which has run across six decades). Baker is back to discuss the show, followed by his vintage adventure "Pyramids of Mars." More Who-hah at bbcamerica .com/doctorwho.

SIGN OF SPRING You gotta love those itty-bitty helicopter birds just migrating back here right about now. Watch "Hummingbird" (Sunday at 8 p.m., NatGeo Wild) for insight into their sweet little lives. All things animal at natgeowild.com.