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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Maya Rudolph Brings Back the Variety Show, 'Hannibal' Serves Up Its Last Course, and More

Photo of Shipra Gupta By Shipra Gupta | Indiewire May 19, 2014 at 6:39PM

Boys and girls, it's a week filled with excess - beginning with the star-studded debut of Maya Rudolph's new variety show and ending with a bloody 'Hannibal' finale.
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Courtesy of NBC

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV like "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men," but what do the other nights have to offer? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of your upcoming week.

"The Maya Rudolph Show" - Pilot
Monday, May 19th on NBC at 10pm

Guest stars for the premiere of Maya Rudolph's highly anticipated variety show include Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Sean Hayes and Kristen Bell. Based on the sneak peak clips available for viewing on the show's page, the format appears to sincerely embrace variety show conventions, even as it pokes fun at them. Complete with sequins, tassles, tuxedos and musical numbers, "The Maya Rudolph Show" seems like it holds the promise of good-humored fun -- which is the perfect cure if you think you've got a case of the Mondays.

"The Writers' Room" - 'The Good Wife'
Monday, May 19th on SundanceTV at 11pm

Having just wrapped its fifth season last night, Michelle and Robert King, co-creators and showrunners of "The Good Wife," along with star Juliana Margulies and co-executive producer Ted Humphrey, 
join "The Writers' Room" host Jim Rash in conversation. While the "The Good Wife" may air on the procedural-happy CBS network, the sneak peak clip available on the show's page suggests that viewers are in for a treat as the Kings, Margulies and Humphrey appear to "let their hair down" in Rash's company -- with Mr. King even throwing out the occasional expletive.

"The Americans" - Season 2 Finale
Wednesday, May 21st on FX at 10pm

Can Philip and Elizabeth keep their children safe as they try to complete their mission? From the beginning, "The Americans" has been a sort-of inverted American dream. In the Season 2 finale, it seems that the series will force the characters, and by extension the viewers, to ask the bitter question that no one ever wants to ask: can you ever really "have it all"?

"Labyrinth" - Miniseries
Thursday, May 22nd on The CW at 8pm (

Part 1 of 2)
Friday, May 23rd on The CW at 8pm (Part 2 of 2)

The CW seems reluctant to promote the upcoming miniseries. Just three days shy of its premiere, the network hasn't even included "Labyrinth" in the slider on The CW home page, and with only one 20-second teaser, the miniseries' page is close to bare. Although the Boston Herald review calls it "

quite possibly the worst miniseries ever made for TV," perhaps we should be more cautious about prematurely judging a project that derives from a successful novel. The series could, in fact, be just as terrible as the Boston Herald claims -- but that doesn't mean it won't spawn libraries of fanfiction and fan art. Either way, it's worth tuning in to see what not to do when making a miniseries for network television.

"Hannibal" - Season 2 Finale
Friday, May 23rd on NBC at 10pm

NBC seems confident that the "Hannibal" finale will meet, if not exceed, fans' expectations. In a chilling preview for this Friday's finale, which is currently available on the show's page, Special Agent Jack Crawford and Dr. Hannibal Lecter engage in a violent brawl, before appearing fused together -- Lecter on the left and Crawford on the right -- as a grotesque amalgamation. "Will you do what needs to be done?" asks the Lector/Crawford amalgamation -- a question presumably aimed at FBI Investigator Will Graham. "Oh yes," responds Graham in a separate shot -- although it is not clear whether he is speaking to Crawford or Lecter.

This article is related to: The Writers' Room, Jim Rash, The Maya Rudolph Show, Maya Rudolph, The Good Wife, Robert and Michelle King, The Americans, Hannibal, FX, NBC Universal, SundanceTV, CW, Television





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