Time flies, but it seems to take waaaay longer when you’re waiting for the most anticipated movie of the year to open or a favorite TV show to come back from an extended hiatus. This Friday, Hunger Games fans will finally get their wish when Katniss, Peeta, and the rest of the crew come to the silver screen. But that’s not all that’s on the docket this week. The planner is bookended with AMC favorites, starting with tonight’s Walking Dead season finale and moving on to next Sunday’s Mad Men season 5 premiere – it’s only been 17 months in the making!
In between, there’s the Dancing with the Stars season opener, a couple new TV shows (Touch and Bent) to check out, and of course, NCAA March Madness. Have a great week!
The Walking Dead season finale, 9 p.m. AMC
The Walking Dead season finale tonight should have enough blood, gore, drastic turns of events, and gun-wielding zombies to hold you over until next season. If not, perhaps you should seek outside help… or just watch the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer a few more times. After the show, check out our interview with showrunner Robert Kirkman and the full recap of the episode on insidetv.ew.com.
Dancing with the Stars season premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
If you ever wanted to see Urkel dance, this season of Dancing With the Stars is your chance. Former Family Matters star Jaleel White joins tennis great Martina Navratilova, Extra host Maria Menounos, singer Gavin DeGraw, and more under the glitter ball.
The Muppets out on DVD/Blu-ray
I have had “Man or Muppet” in my head since The Muppets came out over Thanksgiving, but that won’t stop me from watching it again. Relive all the Muppety magic as the Jason Segel/Amy Adams – and don’t forget Kermit and Miss Piggy – film makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray.
Bent premieres, 9 p.m., NBC
Amanda Peet (where’s she been?) stars in NBC’s new sitcom Bent. She plays a recently divorced lawyer who hires a contractor with a reputation for womanizing to renovate her kitchen. What I’m looking forward to most? The always hilarious Jeffrey Tambor playing an aspiring musician (and the contractor’s father).
Touch premieres, 9 p.m., FOX
A sneak peek of the new Kiefer Sutherland drama was well-received earlier this year, but will fans remember and be ready come back for the full season? A step away from Jack Bauer on 24, but back in the same time slot, Sutherland stars as a New Yorker whose wife died on 9/11, and who’s now raising his 11-year-old son.
Bonus if you’re reading this on Sunday: There’s an online Q&A at 6:30pm.
The Hunger Games opens in theaters
The hottest movie of the year comes out today, but may the odds be ever in your favor in buying a ticket – advance sales on Fandango list over 1,000 showtimes already sold out, and more are going fast. Our Hunger Games special coverage has the lowdown from the cast and crew of the film, plus you can check out clips from the movie, and share your thoughts on opening day!
March Madness basketball, CBS
Regional finals continue this weekend, so keep an eye on your bracket and settle in for some serious college basketball.
Mad Men returns, 9 p.m., AMC
A season premiere just 17 months in the making, Mad Men returns Sunday night with a special two-hour episode. Are Don and Megan for real? How’s Joan doing with the baby? What pitch is Peggy working on this week? It’s been a loooong time for us to go without a scotch, so get your decanter and highball glass ready.