This Week's TV: NBC's Reality-Hopping Awake, and the Launch of DC Nation!

This week's television is just bursting with crazy goodness. NBC is debuting Awake, the acclaimed new show about a cop trapped between two very different realities — could an NBC show really become must-watch TV once again? Meanwhile, the Cartoon Network is launching its DC Nation bloc, and your favorite superheroes may never be the same again.

But that's not all. One show is doing a Gremlins tribute, another unexpected show is featuring fairytale murders — and a third show is doing an Indiana Jones spoof, guest-starring John Rhys-Davies himself! Plus Boba Fett teams up with an unexpected villain. Check out clips from Walking Dead, Clone Wars, Alcatraz, and Voltron Force!

Today:

Alcatraz (9 PM, FOX):
One of the most interesting things about Alcatraz, thus far, has been the brutal flashbacks — showing how Alcatraz not only did not rehabilitate prisoners, but probably turned them into more hardened criminals than when they arrived. This week's episode, "Clarence Montgomery," finally gets to the heart of that by showing us an inmate who was innocent — but now he's committing crimes in the present. Here's a sneak peek.

Being Human (9 PM, Syfy):
As you can see from the sneak peek at left, the Werewolf Twins set up a hunt with Aidan as the quarry, and meanwhile Sally discovers that the mysterious force that's been hunting her is not much good at housekeeping. That's followed by a brand new (to Americans) Lost Girl at 10 PM.

10 Things You Don't Know (10 PM, H2):
The good thing about this show is, if you know any of the ten things they try to teach you, then the History Channel will send you a free piece of Hitler's brain. Anyway, this is the debut of a new series focusing on historical figures, especially inventors and innovators — and the first episode focuses on Benjamin Franklin, which should genuinely be pretty interesting. That's followed at 10:30 by Abraham Lincoln.

Castle (10 PM, ABC):
Right on the heels of the two-parter about the secret invention and the plot to ensnare America in a war, Castle is doing another somewhat fantasy-oriented episode — and this time, it's all fairy tales. A woman dressed as Red Riding Hood is found with claw marks all over her, and then a woman dressed as Snow White is found with a poison apple... thus setting the stage for a "Grimm" investigation. (Pun not mine.) This episode is called "Once Upon a Crime," and here's the first 10 minutes.


Tuesday:

The River (9 PM, ABC):
This week, we're doing the entire "freighter" storyline from Lost in one episode. This show doesn't waste any time. Another ship turns up, claiming to be there to rescue our heroes — but it soon transpires that its crew has their own, somewhat nefarious, agenda in mind.

This Week's TV: NBC's Reality-Hopping Awake, and the Launch of DC Nation!

Monster Bug Slayers (10 PM, Science):
The season finale of this show. I can't really summarize this episode better than its original synopsis:

A Leaf-tailed Mantis fights a Raspy Cricket and an armored Spiny Spider is ambushed by a Crab Spider. An underwater Mudeye duels with a Water Bug, then a Domino Beetle fights a Crimson-legged Assassin Bug while a Mangrove Tree Crab faces a Leopard Spider.


Wednesday:

Voltron Force (8 PM, NickToons):
Note: New time slot. And this is the show's Gremlins tribute, as Vince wins a holographic pet as a prize in Pidge's online Voltron game — and he names it Gary. But Gary has a habit of self-replicating, and soon there are Garys everywhere, wreaking havoc. And apparently, all they can say is "Gary!" By all accounts, this is one of the show's wildest and silliest episodes to date. But watch a slapstick-filled clip and judge for yourself! That's followed at 8:30 by a new Iron Man: Armored Adventures.

Prophets of Science Fiction (10 PM, Science):
It's the Robert A. Heinlein episode. Worth tuning in just to see Ridley Scott attempting to summarize Stranger in a Strange Land on prime time television.

Psych (10 PM, USA):
Worth mentioning first because it's the midseason premiere — but also apparently it's the Indiana Jones tribute. The episode is called "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger." Apparently Shawn and Gus team up with Despereaux to find a mythical dagger that's the key to "unlocking a billionaire's treasure." And John-Rhys Davies and Cary Elwes guest star! Check out a clip!


Thursday:

Awake (10 PM, NBC):
You may already have seen this show's pilot, since it's been on Hulu and iTunes for ages now. But if you haven't — or if you'd like to watch it on a non-computer screen — then you get a chance to check it out on Thursday. If you happen to be a Nielsen househould, then it's worth watching the live airing of this show, just to support something different on television. In Awake, Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) gets in a car accident, and then he's caught in two worlds: One where his wife died in the accident, one where his son died. Whenever he falls asleep in one, he wakes up in the other. And his cases in both worlds start feeding into each other. At left: The first seven minutes.


Friday:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (8 PM, Cartoon Network):
It's episode 4.20, which doesn't mean that Yoda's finally going to break out his bong. Probably. Instead, in "Bounty," Asajj Ventress joins a crew of bounty hunters... under the leadership of the young Boba Fett! And he's... very young, saying things like "You got a problem with that?" and "It's gonna be like that, huh?" He hasn't gotten much more mature than he was at the end of season two. On the plus side: Bossk is still in the picture!

A Gifted Man (9 PM, CBS):
It's the season (and, quite possibly, series) finale for this show about a doctor and the ghost of his dead wife. If this show was on most other networks, it'd be considered a runaway hit — but CBS expects a lot more of shows. In this episode, the doctor meets a patient who has an unexpected connection to his dead wife, and meanwhile the doctor's friend has — what else? — a rare illness.

Grimm (9 PM, NBC):
A jewelry store robbery leads to Nick and Hank hunting for some rare coins that have a weird effect on anyone who handles them. But more importantly, Titus Welliver (the Man in Black from Lost) turns up as a friend of Nick's dead aunt, who has info on what caused Nick's parents' deaths.


Saturday:

DC Nation (10 AM, Cartoon Network):
Cartoon Network's new DC Comics bloc debuts, including Green Lantern: The Animated Series at 10 and Young Justice at 10:30. Much as both those shows are good solid superheroic entertainment, though, the main attraction of DC Nation is all the short videos that will appear alongside those series — including Lauren Faust's superheroine team-up show, Aardman Animations' look at Superman and Batman, plus Plastic Man, Teen Titans, Blue Beetle, Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, and tons of others. Unfortunately, there's no info on which shorts appear on which day, so you just have to tune in and find out.

Being Human (9 PM, BBC America):
This week's episode has the intriguing title, "Being Human 1955." And apparently there are three visitors — a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost — who believe that Baby Eve is the Savior, who can perform a miracle.


Sunday:

Once Upon a Time (8 PM, ABC):
Mary Margaret and Leroy team up to help the nuns of Storybrooke sell their candles during the town's Miner's Day festival. But Leroy makes a promise to a nun that he may not be able to keep — which sounds like the setup to a really weird joke, actually. Meanwhile, Emma looks into the disappearance of David's wife. And meanwhile, in fairyland, Grumpy finds love with a clumsy fairy, Nova. This episode was written by series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, so it may be quite significant.

The Walking Dead (9 PM, AMC):
Rick actually agrees with Shane when it comes to an important decision — which makes Dale worry the group is losing its humanity. And meanwhile, Carl does something that has major unintended consequences for the group. Here's a sneak peek!

Sources: Futon Critic, MSN TV, TV Guide, and various TV studio press releases.