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5 Best Things to Watch on TV This Week: Naked James Franco and Sociopathic Sitcoms

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire October 8, 2012 at 10:26AM

Sure, Sunday is incredibly overcrowded with high-end TV, including "Homeland," "Boardwalk Empire," "Copper," "The Good Wife," "Treme" and "Dexter," but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.
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Encore Neve Campbell, Chris Noth and Kevin Zegers in 'Titanic: Blood and Steel'

Sure, Sunday is incredibly overcrowded with high-end TV, including "Homeland," "Boardwalk Empire," "Copper," "The Good Wife," "Treme" and "Dexter," but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

"Titanic: Blood and Steel"
Monday, October 8 at 8pm on Encore

Encore's 12-part miniseries will run over six consecutive nights, recounting the story of the building of the legendary ship (spoilers -- it sinks) in Belfast with more historical grittiness and less Celine Dion. "Sex and the City" alum Chris Noth stars as industrialist J.P. Morgan, while Kevin Zegers is an American engineer working on the project and hiding a secret past and Alessandra Mastronardi ("To Rome with Love") plays the daughter of an Italian immigrant who catches his eye. Neve Campbell, Derek Jacobi and Liam Cunningham also star in this international co-production, directed by Ciaran Donnelly ("The Tudors").

"Iconoclasts": Season Premiere
Tuesday, October 9 at 8pm on the Sundance Channel

The cycle of mutual admiration between "127 Hours" star James Franco and Belgrade-born performance artist Marina Abramović continues in the season six premiere of the Sundance Channel's celebrities-interviewing-celebrities series. This episode is shot in Abramović's loft in Soho, leading to the artist covering a nude Franco in gold leaf and leaving him vulnerable to all kinds of jokes about his Oscar-hosting abilities. Future episodes this year are slated to pair Judd Apatow with Lena Dunham and Seth MacFarlane with Norah Jones.

"Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog": Broadcast Premiere
Tuesday, October 9 at 9pm on The CW

Joss Whedon's beloved 2008 musical web series starring Neil Patrick Harris as the aspiring supervillain of the title, Nathan Fillion as his nemesis and Felicia Day as his crush makes the move from the internet to broadcast television. This hour-long special will mainly serve as a chance for new audiences to find this strange, charming creation and hopefully finally prod the busy Whedon to create a sequel. (Check out our interview with Day here.)

"Nashville": Series Premiere
Wednesday, October 10 at 10pm on ABC

In what's by far one of the fall season's best new broadcast network shows, Connie Britton stars as a country music legend whose days in the spotlight may be numbered, with Hayden Panettiere playing the up-and-comer hoping to take her down. Created by Callie Khouri (the writer of "Thelma and Louise"), the pilot, directed by R.J. Cutler ("The September Issue") offers up a promising mix of political and personal dramas and resentments.

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia": Season Premiere
Thursday, October 11 at 10pm on FX

FX's hit indie sitcom returns for an eighth season of sociopathic comedy with "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution," an episode that finds Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) faced with the decision of whether or not to pull the plug on their ailing grandfather who, they learn, used to be a Nazi. The "Always Sunny" premiere will be followed by the return of "The League" at 10:30pm and "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell," which has been given an additional episode order, at 11:30pm.

Also worth a look: XOXO -- "Gossip Girl" begins its final season on The CW on Monday, October 8th at 9pm, with 10 episodes that will no doubt affirm the value of friendship and family; Independent Lens kicks off its new season on PBS with "As Goes Janesville," a doc about a Wisconsin town devastated by the closing of a GM plant, on Monday, October 8th at 10pm; ESPN's "30 for 30" doc series continues on Tuesday, October 9th at 8pm ET/5pm PT with "9.79*," a film about the scandal-ridden 100-meter mens final at the Seoul Olympics directed by Daniel Gordon; and The CW gives superheroes another whirl with "Arrow," kicking off on Wednesday, October 10th at 8pm.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, FX, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Encore, Joss Whedon, CW, Felicia Day, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Neil Patrick Harris, James Franco, Marina Abramovic, SundanceTV