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

Bradley CooperBradley Cooper

Monday, November 12
Watch: Judge Judy talks about her out-of-court life on Katie Couric. Jessica Lange talks "American Horror Story" with Kimmel, and 2011 Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper brings the foxy to Letterman to promote "The Silver Linings Playbook." One of our favorite "The Good Wife" guest stars, Martha Plimpton, comes to "Chelsea Lately."

Skip: We're not sure we needed a "Red Dawn" reboot -- much less the small circus caused by stunt-casting Connor Cruise, who's on "Live With Kelly & Michael."

Tuesday, November 13
Watch: Random guest-combo alert -- Carrie Fisher and Toby Keith come to "The Talk." And it looks like a funny night on "Conan" (well, even funnier) with Joel McHale plus a stand-up contest winner, Samuel Comroe.

Skip: "Access Hollywood Live" has a segment on how to avoid gaining holiday weight; can't we all just gain the five pounds, take it off in January, and stop obsessing about it?

Wednesday, November 14

Watch: An embarrassment of awesome riches, in our opinion. We like Richard Marx because he seems to have a sense of humor about himself; see for yourself on "Access Hollywood Live." Alec Baldwin is on Letterman, hopefully explaining why even he can't make those Capital One commercials funny. The weird guest-combo alert brings us Helen Hunt and Pauly D on Leno; the Blue Man Group does a routine on "Ellen," which you should check out if you've never caught the live show; and best of all, Backstreet's back: all the original members of the Backstreet Boys are on "The Early Show."

Skip: Rihanna is also on "Ellen," but until her headlines are unentwined with Chris Brown's, we're prone to give it a pass.

Need to know where the "Twilight" stars are appearing? Check our slideshow!

Thursday, November 15
One week to go 'til Thanksgiving! Never done this before? Rachael Ray turns her set into a grocery store to help us first-timers out with fresh vs. frozen turkeys, tips for shopping, and so on. The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Man, Mel Brooks, is on Kimmel.

Skip: If you've had all the One Direction you can take, you'll want to fast-forward through "Ellen."

Friday, November 16
"Access Hollywood Live" greets one of the original "Doomsday Preppers," David Kobler, and here's where we make a joke about Grandma's creamed onions. Meanwhile, "The Early Show" gets a jump on holiday gift-shopping (yes, "already"; just go with it) with help from lifestyle expert Chi-Lan Lieu. The always delightful Helen Mirren is on with Fallon, and we close out the week with a fab weird-guest combo: Oliver Stone and Susan Boyle both join "The View."

Play "Doomsday Preppers" trivia with our "DP" gallery