Elsewhere this week: the true star of “DWTS” emerges and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West opens up about his shocking childhood
What all the TV-loving kids will be talking about this week …
THE “BOSS” MAN
Emmy-winning “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer makes a comeback bid this week with the premiere of Starz’ “Boss,” the Friday night political drama in which he plays fictional Chicago Mayor Tom Kane.
Unfortunately for the actor, more attention has been focused on his off-camera drama than his new on-screen one. And giving interviews in which he claims to have appeared on the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” as a “parting gift” to ex-wife Camille Grammer isn't helping matters.
Grammer's comedic talents snagged multiple Emmys — so will viewers tune in to watch him change direction with his new show? Or has he diminished his brand with his reality appearances and interviews about his personal life?
“DANCING” WITH THE REAL STARS
The Chaz Bono casting controversy, Nancy Grace's alleged wardrobe malfunction, back-to-back surprising ousters and the potential for an appearance by Cher in the audience have taken up most of the “Dancing With the Stars” spotlight so far this season.
But “DWTS” fans should start paying a little more attention to veteran-turned-actor J.R. Martinez, who's not only earning high dance scores with professional partner Karina Smirnoff, but who also adds an air of legitimacy and inspiration to a show otherwise largely packed with wacky athletes, D-list reality stars and whatever Elisabetta Cannalis is.
After receiving severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body in a Humvee accident while serving in Iraq in 2003, stretching his arms or even opening his hands was painful for Martinez, who had to re-learn how to walk.
Now, he's a serious contender to win “DWTS,” and that, along with the example Bono is trying to set for the LGBT community, has made “DWTS” very watchable this season.
“REAL SPORTS” LEGEND GETS REAL
NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, the all-star player and championship-winning Los Angeles Lakers general manager, makes some surprising disclosures about his history with depression when he chats on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on HBO Tuesday.
West, as he details in his new memoir “West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life,” recalls for Gumbel the terrible beatings he suffered as a child at the hands of his father. West tells Gumbel his father beat him with a belt and buckle, repeatedly, and was once warned by West's mother that he was going to kill his child with the intense batterings. The abuse, which went on for years, caused West to deal with decades of depression, even during his successful basketball career.
It's another great interview by Gumbel, and a powerful revelation from “Mr. Clutch,” a sports legend not known for such personal and public declarations.
WE ALL SCREAM FOR SPIKE SCREAM AWARDS
No spoiling the winners here in case you want to be surprised, but we will tell you that Tuesday's 2011 SCREAM Awards ceremony on Spike (which was taped Saturday in Los Angeles) includes appearances by Robert Downey Jr., Nicolas Cage, Quentin Tarantino, Darth Vader, Gary Oldman, J.J. Abrams, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bradley Cooper, George Lucas and Pee-Wee Herman.
GET MUSICAL, WITH PEARL JAM AND ELVIS
The celebration of Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary has sparked a beer in the band's honor and “Pearl Jam Twenty,” the Cameron Crowe-directed tribute to the band that will as part of PBS’ “American Masters” series on Friday night.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Crowe has been a part of the band's inner circle since its early Seattle days — and cleverly cast them as Matt Dillon's band “Citizen Dick” in “Singles.” So he's the perfect guy to chronicle their musical successes, relationship with their fans, boycott of Ticketmaster, and relationships with other music superstars. A clip of Vedder dancing backstage with Kurt Cobain at the 1992 MTV VMAs is priceless.
In other musical moments on TV this week: Say what you will about Col. Tom Parker's evil habit of casting Elvis in cheesy musical after cheesy musical. But Presley's projects are not without their charms, and there are far worse ways to spend a Wednesday than to watch TCM's eight-film Elvis marathon. The day's lineup kicks off with “Follow That Dream” and ends with “The Trouble with Girls,” Elvis’ penultimate scripted feature, which co-starred Vincent Price and Dabney Coleman.