What's On This Week

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

THE SIMPSONS
8 P.M. | FOX
Lisa dons a nun's habit and tries to spring Maggie from a convent in what sounds like a DaVinci Code riff.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
9 P.M. | ABC
The acidly funny Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies) plays a teacher working with Susan (Teri Hatcher).

MONDAY, MARCH 16

THE CITY
10 P.M. | MTV
In the season ender, Whitney Port (left) has it out with Olivia. Then the Cloverfield monster attacks. I can wish, no?

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18

CSI: NY
10 P.M. | CBS
Pete Wentz and his wife, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz (right), guest star as a couple with Bonnie and Clyde-size dreams.

THURSDAY, MARCH 19

GREY'S ANATOMY
9 P.M. | ABC
Izzie (Katherine Heigl, left, who's adorable even in this crazy season) struggles to keep her illness under wraps.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20

DOGTOWN
10 P.M. | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Poor widdle puppies! It's a new season of the touching series about maltreated dogs given a happy new leash on life.

NBC, weeknights, 12:35 a.m. ET |

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TALK
The thing I liked best about Jimmy Fallon's first week in the spot vacated by Conan O'Brien were his hands, made all the more conspicuous by the fact that they're emerging from the suit sleeves that are part of the official late-night uniform. He gesticulates with a tentative, likable vagueness, like a salesman too modest to describe the product he's pitching. Fallon is a bit damp—he doesn't have O'Brien's talent for blazing into craziness. But a gag about flashbacks sputtered into something distinctively ridiculous, and a parody of The Hills was perfectly, knowingly inane. With guests he's politely excitable, laughing and rushing through his words. Overall, his potential is first-rate.

ABC, March 18, 8:30 p.m. ET |

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NEW SERIES!

COMEDY
Jay Harrington (Desperate Housewives, Private Practice) stars as Ted, head of research and development for a weird, somewhat sinister corporation called Veridian Dynamics. One typical company project, ordered up by his willful but not necessarily brilliant boss (Portia de Rossi), involves redeveloping a pumpkin into a weapon. The show, which is shiny and brisk, nonetheless suggests The Office combined with Fringe—such an odd mutation, you can't help wondering whether it should have left the test tube.

NBC, March 15, 8 p.m. ET |

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NEW SERIES!

DRAMA
Based on the Biblical tale of King David, this modern dynastic soap is like Dirty Sexy Money at the palace, or Henry IV staged by Gossip Girl. It's got problems. Christopher Egan, looking like a young Robert Redford with a dollop of Matt Damon, is David Shepherd, a soldier elevated to a powerful new position after rescuing the son of Benjamin, king of a very American-looking land called Gilboa. Ian McShane (Deadwood?) makes a great king: You fully believe the man sees no discrepancy between nation building and bumping off twerps at court. David, though, is a clod, tripping over affairs of state. Banish him!

>• The London chef, 47, dices competitors as host of NBC's The Chopping Block.

HOW ARE YOUR CONTESTANTS? Everybody there dreams of opening a restaurant. Some turn that dream into a nightmare.

DID YOU ENJOY FIRING THE LOSERS? I've never sacked people before; they tend to sack themselves. To be honest, I loved it!

HOW DO YOU LIKE BEING FAMOUS NOW? I don't like to be seen in public. I set the world record for going down the red carpet at the Emmys: 14.5 seconds!

>George Stephanopoulos's wife and frequent Oprah panelist, 44, returns for a new season of her Starz comedy Head Case.

DO YOU AND GEORGE WATCH EACH OTHER'S SHOWS? Yeah, but he knows the only thing I really want to hear is, "You looked great." And he doesn't want to hear what I have to say about nuclear proliferation in Iran, but I'll say, "The tie looked great!"

WHAT DO YOUR TWO KIDS THINK ABOUT SEEING MOM AND DAD ON TV? They think everybody is on TV. We get strict and say, "No more TV," and they say, "Why? You're on TV." We feel like complete hypocrites. Who are we to say, "No Hannah Montana for you"?

>• The recent Emmy winner, 53, shaved his head and dropped 16 lbs. to play a teacher turned meth dealer battling cancer in his AMC drama's second season.

WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING BALD? It was terrifying at first. I did not recognize myself. My wife [actress Robin Dearden] jokes I'm not her husband. She's not crazy about the bald look but still loves me in spite of it.

HOW DID YOU LOSE THE WEIGHT? I did the South Beach Diet, cutting out carbs and sugar for a year to maintain 170 lbs. I was calorie conscious for the first time ever. I would ask myself, do I really want that glass of wine with dinner and then have to run an extra eight miles?

YOU GET NUDE ONSCREEN! When I get embarrassed, I cover myself with humor. So I stood there and said, "Anybody feel a draft?"