Almost a decade ago, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and HBO teamed up to produce one of the best miniseries in the history of TV with "Band of Brothers."
So to say that anticipation is high for a new companion series called "The Pacific" (HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.) would be something of an understatement.
Early reviews are saying that "The Pacific" is at least as good as "Band of Brothers," and some are saying it's even better.
Much like "Band of Brothers," which followed the true stories of the 101st Airborne as it fought in Europe during World War II, "The Pacific" follows the true life stories of three Marines who served in the Asian theatre during the war. Much of the material comes from books written by soldiers Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge, played respectively by James Badge Dale and Joseph Mazello in the series. The third perspective comes from John Basilone (Jon Seda), a real-life Medal of Honor winner.
Like "Band," "The Pacific" is told almost entirely from the perspective of the U.S. soldiers. The enemy remains largely faceless, off in the distance. Early reviews say that "The Pacific" is also more bloody and graphic, and larger in scope than the previous series.
"The Pacific" is a 10-part miniseries that will run through May, and should be appointment TV for everyone.
R.I.P. MERLIN OLSEN: The NFL Hall of Famer died Thursday at age 69. Olsen was also a significant TV presence, starring on such series as "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy." He was also the spokesman for FTD flower deliveries for many years.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: "Numb3rs" (CBS, 10 p.m.) wraps up its sixth season, and possibly its entire series, tonight. Its episode order was cut earlier this year and there has been no news of a renewal. A hallmark series for CBS for its run, it was one of the series that helped give CBS the brand of the weekly crime procedural. Now, all the network has left in that regard is "CSI," "CSI: NY," "CSI: Miami," "NCIS," "NCIS: LA," "The Good Wife," "Cold Case," "Criminal Minds" and "The Mentalist" in terms of those kinds of series.
"Supernanny" (ABC, 8 p.m.) airs back-to-back episodes, including its 100th episode, which boggles the mind slightly.
On cable, there's a new "Caprica" (SyFy, 9 p.m.) "Spartacus" (Starz, 10 p.m.) is new as well. That series will go into a temporary halt in production as star Andy Whitfield gets treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
On Saturday, "Survivors" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is all-new.
On Sunday, Fox debuts the new sitcom "Sons of Tucson" at 9:30 p.m. following new episodes of its animated series. With "Reaper" star Tyler Labine leading the cast, it virtually guarantees I won't be watching.
CBS has new episodes of "Amazing Race," "Undercover Boss" and "Cold Case," while ABC has new episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters," beginning at 9 p.m.
Finally, NBC begins "Celebrity Apprentice" once again at 9 p.m., following a new game show "Minute To Win It," at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Read yesterday's posting about my thoughts on these so-called "celebrities."