Game of Thrones

HBO, April 17, 9 p.m. ET/PT |

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FANTASY

Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy novels, this galloping entertainment takes place in a medieval land, Westeros. King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), sitting none too comfortably on the throne, needs a new right-hand man and recruits his friend Lord Eddard Stark (the imposing Sean Bean, looking like James Gandolfini wrapped in Mr. Snuffleupagus' hide). Beyond that, the sprawling plot is strewn with an incestuous queen, a scheming dwarf (Peter Dinklage, in fine, sneering form), mystical wolves, bastard sons and what look like snow-dusted zombies. What's amazing is how quickly it all falls into place-the show goes like a shot. The characters don't have much more depth than what you'd find in Star Wars, but the cartoon clarity of their ambitions and passions makes them easily grasped pawns moved across a vast chessboard.

Happy Endings

ABC, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

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COMEDY

It may take a generation before we're done with sitcoms modeled on Friends, but at least Endings has something fresh at its core: a runaway bride (Elisha Cuthbert) reestablishing good terms with her jilted fiance (Zachary Knighton). Even better, the well-cast ensemble includes Casey Wilson (Saturday Night Live). She plays Penny, a desperately cheerful single woman, with just the right touch of exaggerated verve. She's a catch.

The Paul Reiser Show

NBC, Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT |

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COMEDY

Paul Reiser, who had a great run in the '90s with NBC's Mad About You, returns in a sitcom that's mostly shrug-off-able. Playing a version of himself, he's a family man who hangs out with other family men and suffers farcical indignities-it's Curb Your Enthusiasm by way of Men of a Certain Age. Reiser, a precise, nimble comic, doesn't have the gut-level energy to bully life into this contraption. It's stalled.

1 AUDRINA

SUN. APRIL 17 9 P.M.

VH1

Ms. Patridge is back-as a mermaid spy!? Nah. Reality show focused on her family.

2 BURN NOTICE: THE FALL OF SAM AXE

SUN. APRIL 17 9 P.M.

USA

Prequel movie stars Bruce Campbell.

3 HOUSE

MON. APRIL 18 8 P.M.

FOX

Amber Tamblyn's days as a med student are ending. Will she stick around?

4 COUGAR TOWN

MON. APRIL 18 9:31 P.M.

ABC

Is Courteney Cox a clingy ma? There's an episode April 20 too.

5 COMMUNITY

THURS. APRIL 21 8 P.M.

NBC

Donald Glover, as you can see, has an interesting memory in a "flashback" episode.

WERE YOU FAMILIAR WITH WILLIAM & KATE BEFORE THE MOVIE?

CAMILLA LUDDINGTON: I grew up in England. I remember their first kiss, and I knew the places they hung out.

NICO EVERS-SWINDELL: I grew up in New Zealand and they're our monarchy too. I knew all about Charles and Diana, but the relationship between William and Kate was fresh and exciting to me.

YOU FILMED SEVERAL INTENSE PAPARAZZI SCENES.

LUDDINGTON: It was an uncomfortable feeling. Especially the "crotch shots" when Kate gets out of a car. I didn't want to do them!

EVERS-SWINDELL: After our first table read we had paparazzi waiting for us. We got to experience it in real life, and it was a lesson in what they have to go through every day.

CAMILLA, YOU HAD TO LEARN HOW TO CURTSY FOR THE MOVIE.

LUDDINGTON: It's harder than it looks. You have to get really low to the ground-my thighs were burning!

WILL YOU WATCH THE ROYAL WEDDING?

EVERS-SWINDELL: We'll be in London to promote the movie, and we'll be tuning in.

LUDDINGTON: I can't wait to see what dress she's wearing!

Season 3 of Showtime's great Nurse Jackie brings romance to student nurse Zoey. This lets Merritt Wever add a little carnal grit to a performance that retains the random, floating charm of a kid's balloon. "I know that if I get married," Zoey tells Jackie (Edie Falco), "I'm going to be a sweaty bride."

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YOUR TELENOVELA, ABOUT A WOMAN WHO TAKES OVER A CARTEL, IS A HUGE HIT ON TELEMUNDO.

A great story makes a great telenovela. We're competing with-and beating!-American networks. It's a dream come true.

HOW WAS KISSING YOUR FEMALE COSTAR IN ONE SCENE?

On telenovelas this just doesn't happen! My costar was so nervous, but I just did a movie with Eva Longoria where I have to make out with her, so I was like, "Honey, this isn't my first time!"

The Mike & Molly star, 41, looks back on the memorable TV duos that influenced him.

1 LUCY & RICKY RICARDO, I LOVE LUCY

She was the first strong woman [on TV]. When I watched reruns as a kid, it was like, "Wow, this woman is going to do whatever she wants." It was neat to see a progressive relationship; they were groundbreaking.

2 GEORGE & LOUISE JEFFERSON, THE JEFFERSONS

There's such a truth to an idiot man that becomes successful having a smart woman behind him.

3 ARCHIE & EDITH BUNKER, ALL IN THE FAMILY

Archie was the classic example of an idiot who meant well and a wife who understood that. Edith was so funny but could stand up to him, which I loved.

4 TIM & JILL TAYLOR, HOME IMPROVEMENT

They had that dynamic where he'd talk to his friend and his friend would say, "You're being a moron, go listen to your wife!"

5 DAN & ROSEANNE CONNER, ROSEANNE

It was real. They didn't like the neighbors or have enough for groceries. They got through with humor and each other.