In The Hot Seat: What to watch (or not) on TV talk shows this week

Sarah D. Bunting
Fall TV

The week of October 22 brings you a bunch of awesome random guest pairings -- and plenty of politicians, too! Who's talking where this week:

Monday, October 22
Watch: Susan Sarandon talks life, career, and ping-pong (!) on "Katie Couric" (they're set to play a match!), and Rachael Ray teaches viewers how to turn your pumpkin into, among other things, a keg or a cooler. Elsewhere, "The Mayor of Hollywood," Tom Hanks, hits "Letterman" to talk "Cloud Atlas," and "American Horror Story" fans should check out "Ellen," where Jessica Lange is a guest.

Skip: Haters of '90s music should skip Alanis Morissette's appearance on "The View."

Tuesday, October 23
Watch: Isaac Mizrahi addresses common fashion problems on "Rachael Ray"; His Purpleness, Prince, visits Jimmy Kimmel; and the random guest pairing du jour is compliments of Katie Couric, who's hosting Rod Stewart and Rachel Maddow.

Skip: Got Taylor Swift fatigue? Don't watch "Letterman" tonight.

Wednesday, October 24
Watch: Speaking of the '90s, two huge stars of that decade who have receded from the public eye in recent years are the ones to watch today — Axl Rose talks to Kimmel, and Helen Hunt visits "Chelsea Lately" and Ellen. Plus, the always amusing Jane Lynch is on with Leno.

Skip: You should probably skip Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's segment on "Letterman"…but she's on the same night as Bill O'Reilly, which could turn into a random guest pairing for the ages. Your call.

Thursday, October 25
Watch: Big Oprah fan? She's on "Good Morning America" in the 8 AM hour; no word on whether she's giving away a car (…probably not). And you politico fans will have a field day: the First Lady's on Kimmel; Nancy Pelosi is on "The Daily Show"; Indiana governor Mitch Daniels visits "The Colbert Report"; and former presidential "can't-idate" Donald Trump talks to Letterman.

Skip: Ann Romney making Mitt's favorite dinner, meatloaf (wouldn't that be "Mittloaf"?), on "Rachael Ray." And…you should probably pass on Trump, actually, unless you're as fascinated by his hair as we are.

Friday, October 26
Watch: So many random guest pairings to choose from today! Leno hosts Sarah Silverman and Paula Deen on the same night; Fallon has Colin "Miami Vice" Farrell and James "Dawson's Creek" Van Der Beek on; and "The View" is talking to Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Geena Davis, who is about a foot taller than he is. Good times.

Skip: "Good Morning America" investigates eyebrow transplants, which has the potential to haunt the dreams…but that's nothing compared to the brief on "The Jeff Probst Show," to wit: "The Boy Whose Father Tried To Kill Him." Yikes!

Watch Jessica Lange collect her Golden Globe for "AHS" right here: