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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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(Courtesy photo) Sigourney Weaver stars as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish, the former first lady, in "Political Animals."
This weekend on Utah TV: "Political Animals" begins; "Breaking Bad" returns

A high-profile new show debuts and a high-profile old show returns this weekend on cable.

Political Animals (Sunday, 11 p.m., USA) is about a former first lady who ran for president, lost in the primaries and accepted the post of Secretary of State. And it's not about Hillary Clinton. Really.

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Elaine Barrish Hammond (Sigourney Weaver) divorced her philandering ex-president husband, Bud (Ciaran Hinds). She's got two sons - one of them about to get married; the other gay - and an outspoken mother.

And "Political Animals" is about personalities more than power. It recalls "The West Wing," but women are far more prominent in this six-episode, limited run series - which gets off to a very strong start.

Meanwhile, Breaking Bad (Sunday, 8, 9:36 and 11:12 p.m., AMC) returns with the first of eight episodes that will run this summer. (The final eight will run next year.) And it remains TV's most insanely good show

On Sunday, Walt (Bryan Cranston) deals with the aftermath of the explosion that ended last season. And his transformation from mild-mannered school teacher to tough drug kingpin nears completion.

Elsewhere on Friday ...

Golf (4:30 p.m., Golf Channel): Second round of the Web.com Utah Championship

Arena Football (6 p.m., NFL Network): Cleveland Gladiators at Utah Blaze

Whale Wars (7 and 9 p.m., Animal Planet):

Elsewhere on Saturday ...

Golf (4:30 p.m., Golf Channel): Third round of the Web.com Utah Championship

NYC 22 (7 and 8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): CBS burns off two more episodes of this failed cop show.

An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Family friendly TV movie about a teen gymnast.

MLS (8:30 p.m., Ch. 30): Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes

The Firm (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): A new enemy threatens Ray and Tammy's wedding. (Finale)

In Time (9 p.m., HBO): Justin Timberlake stars in this 2011 sci-fi thriller. (Rated PG-13)

Elsewhere on Sunday ...

Golf (5 p.m., Golf Channel): Final round of the Web.com Utah Championship

Big Brother (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The faux drama continues.

Secret Millionaire (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Self-made millionaire Jeff Usner searches for worthy people in San Antonio, Texas.

Drop Dead Diva (7 and 11 p.m., Lifetime): Jane's mother asks her to defend a girl charged with murder.

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee (7 p.m., Nick): A report on slavery in Ghana.

Falling Skies (7 and 9 p.m., TNT): Hal finds bodies of de-harnessed children and someone from his past.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): A woman who weighs 435 pounds fights to lose weight.

Army Wives (8 p.m., Lifetime): A doctor puts Tanya's future in jeopardy.

The Great Escape (8 and 10 p.m., TNT): Contestants try to escape from an old missile silo.

Small Town Security (9:04 and 10:40 p.m., AMC): Debut of a reality show about a family owned security firm in rural Georgia.

The Glades (10 p.m., A&E): An anti-government group is linked to a murder.

Longmire (11 p.m., A&E): A man is brutally assaulted and a seemingly worthless painting is stolen.

Shark Wranglers (11 p.m., History): The team searches for a missing shark.

True Blood (10 p.m., HBO): Sookie has a sense of foreboding.

The Newsroom (11 p.m., HBO): Pretty much through no fault of his own, Will keeps ending up in the tabloids.

Weeds (11 p.m., Showtime): Nancy and Silas go after Shane.

Episodes (11:30 p.m., Showtime): Beverly learns the truth about Sean's relationship with Morning.

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