ABC giveth and taketh away on Thursday night

America_290 So the good news is that "Ugly Betty" is back tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The bad news is that Betty's return unceremoniously bumps "Samantha Who?" from the schedule. The comedy was supposed to air last Thursday but ABC decided to air a Grey's repeat instead. I think the last time a network treated one of their shows this poorly was when "Scrubs" was on NBC. (Oh the irony that ABC now treats "Scrubs" better). A show can't gather a following, if people never know where to find it. "Samantha Who?" is a funny show that really deserved much better. Booo ABC. Booooo.

Now that I've vented let's talk about ABC's Thursday night:

"Ugly Betty" (Thursday, ABC, 8 p.m.): You can tell the series wasn't planning on being temporarily removed from the schedule because tonight's episode features an Easter egg hunt. I fear that the show could be suffering from a combination of "Desperate Housewives" and "Heroes" syndrome (Desperate Heroes? That would be a fun series). Like "Desperate Housewives," sometimes Betty behaves in a way that isn't consistent with her character. Tonight Betty wants to help save Meade Publications and while I think Betty would really want to save Meade I'm not so sure the Betty Suarez we've known for three seasons would do what she does tonight. I'll be curious to know what you guys think. And like "Heroes," sometimes the show seems to be in a plot race with itself. Storylines advance in a rapid fire fashion. The show was better served when Amanda had a storyline and wasn't just used for comic relief. But I'm still glad the show is back and that it was renewed for next season. How about you?

"Grey's Anatomy" (Thursday, ABC, 9 p.m.): Okay everyone remain calm but I actually have something nice to say about the show. Maybe it's because the episode features guest star Kellie Martin, who I've been loyal to ever since "Life Goes On," but I'm feeling maybe not good but at least not angry about the show. The drama may have done irreparable damage with the Izzie/Denny's ghost never ending story arc but tomorrow night's episode has some particularly poignant scenes that may lure you back in. There's great stuff between Meredith and the Chief and Owen and Cristina. I don't know when Sharon Lawrence became the go-to actress for playing flighty moms but I'm glad she did. She's pretty terrific as Izzie's mom and brings depth to their scenes. Sure there are still things that don't quite make sense. Suddenly Callie has no money because her parents cut her off in last week's episode. But I would think she would have some income, right? Unless I missed something, she's not working at Seattle Grace for free. How are you feeling about "Grey's" these days?

"Private Practice" (Thursday, ABC, 10 p.m.): Tomorrow night is the show's season finale (next week a Michael J. Fox special airs in the time slot and the week after is a two-hour episode of "Grey's). This show is officially my guilty pleasure. I can't stop watching. ABC didn't make the finale available for review but we do know that Amanda Foreman will be back as Violet's patient Katie and Violet will choose between Sheldon and Pete (I smell an "I choose me" moment coming on). Also the whole Addison/Noah relationship will come to a head. I still don't quite buy that Addison and Noah are in love. The show would be wise to skedaddle this story line fast. Are you excited for the season finale of "Private Practice?"

Talk about "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Private Practice" below.

Where to Find "Better Off Ted"

The President's speech tonight bumps"Scrubs" and the season finale of "Better Off Ted" to next Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

I Can't Believe I Forgot to Tell You

That Alex O'Loughlin ("Moonlight") will be on "Criminal Minds" tonight at 9 p.m. on CBS. But prepare yourself. He plays a bad guy.


Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Cheryl recognized Kevin Michael Richardson as Stan on "How I Met Your Mother." He was Rockefeller on "The Knights of Prosperity" and he's Darnell on "The Cleaner." You also hear him soon on the new FOX animated comedy "The Cleveland Show." Rebecca Budig was Holli with an "i" on "How I Met Your Mother." She's Greenlee on "All My Children." (And, fun fact, she's married to Bachelor Bob Guiney).

Speaking of "The Cleaner," I barely recognized Amy Price-Francis, Melissa on "The Cleaner" as Cara on "24." She was the woman who posed as Jonas Hodge's lawyer and then kissed my Tony.

Kathie caught Leland Orser as the man Olivia called at the end of "24." He was Dr. Lucien Dubenko on "ER."

David recognized Joanne Kelly as Lee on "Castle." She was Sara Collins on "Vanished" and Bianca on "The Dresden Files."

Obba Babatundé was the man who hit the person who dove into his car on "Grey's Anatomy." He was Principal Green on "Dawson's Creek."

Ally Walker is Ben's new therapist on "Southland." To many of us, she'll always be Sam from "The Profiler" (you remember back when networks actually had shows on Saturday night). She's also Katie on "Tell Me You Love Me." Hedy Burress is John's ex-wife (the one who gave him a prescription at the end of the episode). We just saw her as the mom who needed a heart on "ER" (another story that didn't get total resolution before the series signed off although it wasn't looking good, was it?). She was also Money Raspberry Dupree on "Gideon's Crossing" and Wyleen on "Boston Common." John Heard is Ben's father. Among his many roles, Heard was Governor Frank Tancredi on "Prison Break."

Darren caught Anna Chlumsky as Josie on "Cupid." Chlumsky will always be the girl in "My Girl" to me and Darren reminded me that she also guest starred in the original "Cupid" back in 1998.

Bill Buchanan is alive! He's alive. That was James Morrison playing Dan Buckley, the business mogul who wanted Naomi to come work for him on "Private Practice." The episode was chockfull of familiar faces. Elise Neal was the pregnant woman who needed a new heart. Neal was Tia on "All of Us," Yvonne on "The Hughleys," and Ayana Boulet on "K-ville." Mathew St. Patrick was her brother-in-law. St. Patrick was Keith on "Six Feet Under" and Detective Kenneth Marjorino on "Reunion."

And TV Gal reader Heather thinks Melinda Page Hamilton should immediately be entered into the "So Deserves Her Own Show" file. She was the teacher who had an affair with her student on "Private Practice" and we've seen her this season as Anna, the real Mrs. Don Draper on "Mad Men" and she has also appeared on "The Closer," "Castle" and "The Mentalist" this season. Also she was the nun who drove Gaby crazy on "Desperate Housewives" a few years ago.

Robby recognized Elden Henson as the father of the girl who was dying on "Grey's Anatomy." He was Matthew on the short-short-short-lived series "Smith" and was Fulton in "The Mighty Ducks" movies. Robby also remembered him as Lenny in the movie "The Butterfly Effect."

Kat Foster is Nicole, Eddie Alvarez's wife on "The Unusuals." She was Steph Woodcock on "'Til Death" until the neighbors were unceremoniously written off the show.

Clare Carey was the mother of the deaf patient on"House." She'll always be Coach's daughter Kelly from "Coach" to me, but she was also Mary on "Jericho."

Some Fun Links

You can get a preview of tomorrow night's episode of "The Office" here.

And here's a peek at Sunday's episode of "Breaking Bad."

That's all for today. I'm back on Friday to talk about things we need to see before the season ends and quotes of the week. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at amytvgal@zap2it.com.