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'Downton Abbey,' 'Honey Boo Boo' Return, 'Vanderpump Rules' Premieres

By Nathaniel Grey
Film/TV Correspondent
How The Graham Norton Show keeps getting major celebrities to share the couch and spotlight at the same time continues to amaze me. Example being the Jan. 5 episode of the BBC America series, which will features guests including Les Misérables star Hugh Jackman, Tom Cruise, Billy Crystal and P!nk. 

If you missed it in the theatres, you have another chance to catch the Farrelly Brothers' recent version of The Three Stooges, starring Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch and Sean Hayes, when it debuts on HBO Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. 

Just in time for a prim and proper new year, the long-awaited new season of Downton Abbey begins on Jan. 6. Check your local listings. 

If the world of the upchuck and downstairs class is more your speed, TLC has new episodes of the family who invented 'go-go juice' on the same evening. It's the return of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and her Southern roots rot family. I've only watched 20 minutes of the first episode and found it too frightening to watch again, but the second season has one redeeming element—more appearances by Alana's gay Uncle Poodle. 

Another Jan. 6 premiere is the new season of The Biggest Loser, which will feature its first out gay contestant. This will be groundbreaking news when Middle America learns that there are gay people who don't have gym memberships. 

The following night brings more lifestyles of the rich and notorious with the debut of Vamderpump Rules. This Bravo spin-off of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills looks at the daily operation of Lisa Vanderpumps's Sur Lounge and restaurant on West Hollywood's Robertson Boulevard. Of course, the added television exposure for this neighbor of The Abbey means one thing—that one more hot L.A. club will be eventually taken over by tourists. 

Deception, NBC's answer to ABC's Revenge, premieres on Jan. 7. Californication's Meagan Good plays a detective who goes undercover as a maid's daughter to solve the murder of her former best friend, a wealthy heiress. The new series reunites Argo costars Tate Donovan and Victor Garber under the direction of thirtysomething vet Peter Horton. 

Congratulations to George Takei for being named number one among the top 10 most influential people on Facebook. With a following of over 3.2 million, is it any surprise? 

Comedy maestro Eddie Izzard brings his amazing and thought-provoking humor to SoCal audiences beginning Jan. 8. The former United States of Tara star performs his Works in Progress show at Largo at the Coronet Jan. 8-10, 14 & 15, 21-23. Recently seen in the unsold pilot remake of The Munsters, Mockingbird Lane, Izzard joins Juno Temple, Angelica Huston and Giovanni Ribisi in the fantasy comedy M, which has been described as Beetlejuice mixed with Alice in Wonderland

Comedienne Deven Green, aka America's Best Christian Betty Bowers, will be a judge on the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race

Wolfe Video will release the DVD of the coming-of-age drama The Wise Kids on Jan. 8. The Southern-set tale looks at a gay teen and his two female friends struggling with self identity among the expectations of their Charleston Baptist-based hometown. 

A new season of Kathy, the Kathy Griffin chat show, returns to Bravo on Jan. 10. The first episode will feature special guests Jane Lynch and Liza Minnelli. What a trio—Jane is a gay, Kathy has a huge gay fanbase and Liza marries them. 

Fans of The United States of Tara shouldn't miss the 8th Annual Focus on Female Directors hosted by the American Cinematheque on Jan. 10. Among the panelists are former United States of Tara producer Jill Soloway with cast member Brie Larson. The Egyptian Theatre event will also feature Parenthood cast member Sarah Ramos, plus 2 Days in New York writer, director and actress Julie Delpy.

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