Westeros comes to life as Game of Thrones debuts on HBO!

Illustration for article titled Westeros comes to life as Game of Thrones debuts on HBO!

The long-awaited first episode of HBO's Game of Thrones launches this week, as one of the most ambitious television productions of all time comes to your screens at last. Also on television, Walter Bishop has some "special" sugar cubes.

Also, Supernatural, Chuck and Smallville are back, the Joker's got a new partner, and George Takei is your holographic sensei. Syfy's Being Human comes to an end, and Sanctuary returns. Television is your weird companion for the long week ahead!


Syfy is having a Being Human marathon all day long.

There's a new Adventure Time with Finn & Jake on the Cartoon Network at 8, followed by a new Regular Show at 8:30, followed by The Problem Solverz at 8:45.

Chuck is back at 8 PM on NBC, with "Chuck Vs. The Family Volkoff":

A bad day gets worse when Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) throws Chuck (Zachary Levi) a surprising relationship curveball as the CIA orders Vivian Volkoff (guest star Lauren Cohan) assassinated. In order to prove Vivian's innocence, Chuck must put his trust in a dangerous ally her father Alexei Volkoff (guest star Timothy Dalton). Meanwhile, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) suspects that her mother (guest star Linda Hamilton) is interfering with the search into her father's past.


There's no new episode of The Event on NBC, due to a two-hour Law and Order thing.

At 9 PM, there's the season finale of Syfy's remake of Being Human, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Me Killing You."

Stargate Universe is on Syfy at 10 PM, with "The Hunt."

An alien abducts two crewmen during an off-world expedition, and a rescue team is dispatched to save them. Meanwhile on Destiny, the discovery of a new store of technology causes trouble for Brody.


Nothing much on tonight, sorry.


NOVA is on PBS at 9 PM on its new night, Wednesdays, with "The Bible's Buried Secrets."

In this landmark two-hour special, NOVA takes viewers on a scientific journey that began 3,000 years ago and continues today. The film presents the latest archeological scholarship from the Holy Land to explore the beginnings of modern religion and the origins of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament. This archeological detective story tackles some of the biggest questions in biblical studies: Where did the ancient Israelites come from? Who wrote the Bible, when, and why? How did the worship of one God-the foundation of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-emerge?


At 9 PM, there's also a new MythBusters on Discovery, "Blue Ice."

Adam and Jamie tackle a movie myth about magazines and toasters. And Kari, Grant, and Tory take to the skies to investigate the mystery of the destructive 'Blue Ice'.


At 11 PM, SOAPNet has another episode of Being Erica


Syfy is showing a marathon of the original V all day during the day, including V: The Final Battle.

The Vampire Diaries is back on The CW at 8 PM, and it's half as batshit and fast-moving as last week's, you might want to wear some sort of protective harness. Here's the description:

As the high school prepares to throw a "1960s Decade Dance," Elena (Nina Dobrev) starts receiving disturbing messages from Klaus via an unusual source. Bonnie (Katerina Graham) tries to reassure Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) that she is strong enough to help Elena, but a worried Jeremy asks Stefan (Paul Wesley) for advice. Caroline (Candice Accola) talks Matt (Zach Roerig) into taking her to the dance. Expecting Klaus to show up at the dance, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Alaric (Matt Davis) attend as chaperones, but Klaus is playing a complicated game that keeps them on edge. Finally, Damon comes up with a new plan of action that shocks and upsets everyone.


Here's a sneak peek.

Also at 8 PM, there's a new Community on NBC.

And then there's a new Nikita at 9 PM:

Owen (Devon Sawa) returns with information on one of Percy's (Xander Berkeley) black boxes. Nikita (Maggie Q) returns to London with him to retrieve it but notices that Owen is acting strangely. Owen tells Nikita that he wants to release the contents of the black box and when Nikita disagrees, he turns on her. Meanwhile, Percy finds out Nikita is in London and dispenses Michael (Shane West) to kill her. Also, Amanda (Melinda Clarke) overhears Jaden (Tiffany Hines) arguing with Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) about the escape tunnels so she hooks Alex up to a lie detector to get the truth out of her once and for all.

At 10 PM, there's another episode of the superspy-parody Archer, on FX:

Archer's search for his father's identity leads him behind the Iron Curtain...and into hot water! Old wounds are reopened when ODIN agent Barry Dylan is sent to rescue Archer, who falls in love with a beautiful – and mysterious – woman



The Cartoon Network once again has a full slate of programs, starting at 6:30 PM with Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "The Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!" "The Joker stages a team-up of his own with his villainous counterpart, the Weeper, in a plan to bring Batman sobbing to his knees in laughter." Then at 7:30, there's a new Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, "Ben 10,000 Returns." The promo looks pretty hilarious, with Ben 10,000 explaining how awesome he is, and landing a spaceship "from the outside." That's followed by a new Generator Rex at 8 PM.

Also at 8 PM, Smallville is back, and the show is ramping up towards the Superman-tastic conclusion, with... another alternate-world episode. Okay.

Clark (Tom Welling) is shocked to find a mirror box in the barn. Clark Luthor surprises him and sends Clark Kent back to the alternate reality where Clark runs into a very angry Jonathan Kent (John Schneider). Meanwhile, back in our reality, Clark Luthor visits Tess (Cassidy Freeman) and tells if she doesn't side with him he'll kill her. Lois (Erica Durance) asks Emil (guest star Allesandro Juliani) to help her bring Clark back.

And then at 9 PM, there's the long-awaited return of Fringe — which will feature some major acid trips, as you can see from the sneak peek. It's called "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide," and here's the blurb:

The team makes a desperate attempt to remove William Bell's consciousness from Olivia's body before she's lost forever.

And there's also the return of Supernatural at 9 PM on The CW, with "My Heart Will Go On." Which sounds like an even more WTF-worthy episode than usual:

After Balthazar (guest star Sebastian Roche) changes history and keeps the Titanic from sinking, Fate (guest star Katie Walder) intervenes and begins killing those that would have died on the ship. Castiel (Misha Collins) tells Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) that Fate is very upset with the two of them and the only way they can stay alive is to kill her.

And then at 10 PM, there's the Spring premiere of Sanctuary on Syfy, with "Pax Romana":

The team's struggle in Hollow Earth continues; Adam steals a device that uses anti-matter, and the team is revived to help find him, while Helen must operate on a lava Abnormal.


At 10 PM, Starz has a new Camelot, "Lady of the Lake."

Or you could also check out the crowd-sourced TV show Bar Karma, on CurrentTV at 10 PM.



BBC America has a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon all day long.

The Hub, the cable channel for kids, is having its usual two-hour bloc of cartoons from 7 to 9 (or 4 to 6 on the West Coast.) There's Transformers Prime, G.I. Joe Renegades, Dan Vs. and R.L. Stine's the Haunting Hour: The Series. At least some of those episodes are new.

At 8:30 PM, Nickelodeon has the series premiere of the thrilling Supah Ninjas, a new show co-starring George Takei, which sounds just as demented and goofy as you'd expect. The actual first episode aired as a sneak peek back in January, but this is the first regular airing in its Saturday night timeslot. Takei plays "Hologramps," a holographic sensei and the dead grandfather of Mike Fukunaga, the main character. The trailer makes it look... well, as Takei would say, "Oh my." Even the usually unflappable Takei looks a bit embarrassed to be in this.

Sadly, instead of a new TV movie, Syfy is replaying 2009's The Storm, starring Treat Williams and James Van Der Beek. The four-hour event is made by the same people as Meteor, and as the New York Times noted back in 2009:

There's still a hulking, stony predator threatening earth, but instead of an asteroid it's Treat Williams. Mr. Williams plays Robert Terrell, an entrepreneur who, along with a renegade general played by David James Elliott ("JAG"), forms a sort of military-ecological complex. They are working to carry out Operation Rainbow, which sounds like a project to guarantee sunny days in Provincetown but actually involves weaponizing weather to create threats like droughts in North Korea and sandstorms in Afghanistan.



Fox has its usual animation bloc, starting with a new American Dad at 8:30:

After Snot professes his love for Hayley and gets shot down, Steve and Roger devise a plan to cheer him up. Roger dresses up as Steve's cousin from New Jersey, Jenny Fromdabloc, and Snot falls hard for her. Meanwhile, Stan wants to live like a gentleman of the 1960s, complete with dark suits and dry martinis.


There's also a new Family Guy at 9 and a new Cleveland Show at 9:30.

But the real highlight of the evening, without any doubt, is the first episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, the lush, big-budget adaptation of George R.R. Martin's landmark fantasy novel. The first episode is "Winter Is Coming," and it pretty much includes all the events you'd expect if you've read the book. That's at 9 PM, and here's the official description:

A Night's Watch deserter is tracked down outside of Winterfell, prompting swift justice by Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark and raising concerns about the dangers in the lawless lands north of the Wall. Returning home, Ned learns from his wife Catelyn that his mentor, Jon Arryn, has died in the Westeros capital of King's Landing, and that King Robert is on his way north to offer Ned Arryn's position as the King's Hand. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea in Pentos, Viserys Targaryen hatches a plan to win back the throne, which entails forging an allegiance with the nomadic Dothraki warriors by giving its leader, Khal Drogo, his lovely sister Daenerys' hand in marriage. Robert arrives at Winterfell with his wife, Queen Cersei, and other members of the Lannister family: her twin brother Jaime, dwarf brother Tyrion and Cersei's son and heir to the throne, 12-year-old Joffrey. Unable to refuse his old friend and king, Ned prepares to leave for King's Landing, as Jon Snow decides to travel north to Castle Black to join the Night's Watch, accompanied by a curious Tyrion. But a startling act of treachery directed at young Bran may postpone their departures.


And in case you missed it, here's the first dozen or so minutes of the episode.

The Science Channel is still re-showing all the original episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly, with special segments featuring physicist Michio Kaku. Tonight, there's "Jaynestown" at 9 PM and "Out Of Gas" at 10 PM.


And then at midnight, there's a new Superjail! on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, "Lord Stingray Crash Party."

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle TV section, Futon Critic, TV Guide, and various TV studio press releases.


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Better sound level on the same Fringe clip here.

I'm disappointed to see LSD treated so lightly in this scene. Hope it doesn't lead some youngsters to be so blithe about the stuff.