Film and TV

The Week in TV: Louis C.K. Returning to Parks and Recreation

• Louis C.K. had a great arc on Parks and Recreation a couple seasons back as Dave, the sweet but simple cop who fell in love with Leslie but ultimately moved to San Diego. Now that Leslie and Ben are together, though, there's comedy to be mined in the reintroduction of exes, so Dave's coming back for an episode early next year. Desperate for some kind of traffic spike, TV Line reported this with a headline about Louis C.K. returning to the show to potentially bust up Leslie and Ben's relationship, because that's the kind of realistic plot twist it would make sense to breathlessly suggest in an SEO-baiting headline. Also, Oprah boobs Twilight Viagra BCS.

• HBO signed an interesting deal with David Milch this week. The Deadwood and Luck creator will work to adapt movies and TV series from the collected works of William Faulkner. He'll dig into the 19 novels and 125 short stories and, apparently, just kind of see what happens. HBO gets first crack at financing and producing the projects, but nothing's really set beyond that. Slate tried to come up with a few potential titles for Milch to start with, but the only real consensus is that As I Lay Dying would be a bad idea.

• Roger Ebert's Ebert Presents At the Movies, the resuscitated version of the movie review show that launched him and Gene Siskel to fame, is out of money and going on hiatus. The show's been treading water for a while now, but Ebert finances the thing almost entirely on his own, and it's just not popular enough to be financially successful. Yet in this era of fragmented viewership and thousands of choices, it's amazing the show made it to 50 episodes. It's a syndicated show, which means it's almost impossible for most people to find or remember to watch, but it's also a relic of a time when a syndicated TV show was the best way for a pair of fiery critics to reach a national audience. Why seek out a dedicated 30 minutes a week on TV when you can spend less time with the same reviews and critics online?

• Just a few days after dropping the first batch of teasers for the new season, FX announced that Justified will return on Tuesday, January 17, for 13 more episodes in which Timothy Olyphant walks the line between good guy and badass. Last season was a fantastic, rich story that really dug into the feuding nature of the families at the heart of the show, and I've got high hopes for the next one. FX also announced that Archer will return on Thursday, January 19, for those eager to return to the danger zone.

• Speaking of premiere dates: HBO will debut Ricky Gervais's comedy series Life's Too Short on Sunday, February 19. Because Gervais is not stupid and would like to continue making massive amounts of money, he's basically taken the ideas behind The Office and Extras and combined them. The series is a fake documentary about Warwick Davis, who attempts a career resurgence by starting a talent agency for little people called Dwarves for Hire, so you can already start to fill in the blanks for the cringe-inducing real-world humor and heightened look at the world of film and TV production featuring movie stars playing insane versions of themselves. Here's a clip:

• You know what makes sense in the economically shaky, technologically evolving working world of 2011? If you said "Overpriced novelty paper products," congratulations, you work for NBC. The adorably faltering network has partnered with to sell reams of paper branded with the Dunder Mifflin name in a tie-in with The Office. Each package also comes branded with slogans, because if there's one thing every office needs more than expensive copier paper, it's dated catch phrases for that annoying guy in payroll. Anyway, if you feel like killing trees in one of the saddest ways possible, pick up a ream and go to town.

Saturday Night Live didn't exactly hit it out of the park with Steve Buscemi, but the Coach Bert sketch was pretty solid. (Colin Quinn hated it, but I have no idea if he's serious or just the best troll in history.) Drunk Uncle was good, too:

• It's a shame Herman Cain's out of the race. He was a beautifully wrapped gift to Jon Stewart. At least we've still got Rick Perry to make fun of, right?

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Daniel Carlson
Contact: Daniel Carlson