Shows with a nerdish cult following are a dime a dozen today — you could find a die-hard fan of any program in this week’s listings. But when it comes to a series that transports viewers to another world and forces us to connect with countless characters, only to have them hurled into a different direction (cue the “Red Wedding” reaction reel), Game of Thrones (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO) is king. As for who will ultimately seize the Iron Throne, at this point it’s anyone’s game.
Khaleesi is prepared to liberate the largest city in Slaver’s Bay. She’s got a near-infinite army, but fears she cannot control her colossal dragons. Jon Snow returns to Castle Black, where the Night’s Watch is less than welcoming. Jamie, home safe and all cleaned up, gets reacquainted with his family. Arya finds a familiar face and seeks revenge for last season’s carnage. New character and Lannister nemesis Oberyn Martell joins the Game, arriving in King’s Landing for Joffrey and Margaery’s royal wedding.
Of course, this just scratches the surface of a deep, dark fourth season.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 2
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Phil fits right in at Gloria’s old stomping grounds; Cam’s dad whittles the guys a wedding cake topper out of soap — much to Mitch’s dismay; and all Jay wants is a nice evening with the family, which is easier said than done.
The Real World: Explosion (Season Finale, 10 p.m., MTV) -– The roommates and their exes prepare to leave their San Francisco pad and each other, but not before an in-taxi fist fight!
THURSDAY APRIL 3
Community (8 p.m., NBC) – The gang gets animated, G.I.
Joe-style (or, in this case, G.I. Jeff-style).
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC) – The Parks department saves the local prom when budget cuts threaten to eliminate school dances. Leslie and Ron both want to hire the same graduating senior (Madame France from the model U.N. ep), while Tom and Ben take a stab at spinning tunes at the dance. Hopefully DJ Roomba makes an appearance.
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Sarah discovers how Amber and Drew have been spending their recent days; Zeek and Camille make a call on the house; Julia meets Mr. Knight while helping Adam and Kristina with Max, and the two certainly seem to hit it off.
Portlandia (10 p.m., IFC) – Toni and Candace of Women and Women First take on the Portland Trail Blazers dance team, plus smoothies, tattoo removal and D.I.Y. clothing.
FRIDAY APRIL 4
Hannibal (10 p.m., NBC) -– The Ripper strikes again, this time leaving a city councilman in tangles. Hannibal hosts a dinner party (is it weird that I want to attend despite everything I know about the menu?), which Jack uses as an opportunity to test Will’s claims about the doctor.
Vice (11 p.m., HBO) – Syrian Kurds seek independence; rhino horns skyrocket in value on the black market, increasing poaching of the endangered animal.
SATURDAY APRIL 5
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) -– Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick makes her debut as host and Pharrell returns as musical guest for the first time since performing with N.E.R.D. in 2004.
SUNDAY APRIL 6
TURN (Series Premiere, 9 p.m., AMC) – America’s first spy outfit, the Culper Ring, emerges from unlikely beginnings as a farmer in New York is called to tap the British army in 1778.
Silicon Valley (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., HBO) – Mike Judge gives a hilarious take on the tech world with this story of a group of oddball programmers doing the start-up hustle as they work and live in the “Hacker Hostel.”
Veep (Season Premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO) – With news that the president won’t seek reelection, Selina uses her autobiography signing in Iowa to woo potential caucus voters. Back in D.C., the staffers attend a wedding.
MONDAY APRIL 7
RuPaul’s Drag Race (9 p.m., Logo) – Three gagging hours of drag drama await in this “Ru-persized” lineup. The queens hawk Ru’s cosmetics line (9 p.m.), work their comedic chops before a live audience (10 p.m.) and spill the tea in back-to-back episodes of Untucked (11 p.m.).
TUESDAY APRIL 8
The Mindy Project (9 p.m., Fox) – Mindy and Danny (couple name: Dandy?) are official, but shifting from co-workers to lovers is complicated. Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad’s Skyler White) guest-stars as an esteemed OB/GYN with her eye on Mindy.
Justified (Season Finale, 10 p.m., FX) – Raylan has one last chance to face Art’s shooter; Boyd finds himself in a tough spot with cartel kingpins.
CONTACT JAC KERN: email@example.com or @jackern