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PopWatch Planner: Oscars! Plus a 'Downton' Christmas and the Indie Spirits

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Oscar Statuette
Albert Watson/OSCAR (r) STATUETTE © AMPAS (r)

It’s all about the little gold man next weekend, but that’s not to say there aren’t some other great events to look out for as we barrel towards Hollywood’s biggest night. This week’s PopWatch planner has new TV even on a holiday weekend, plus DVDs that are both silly and serious, and plenty of specials and events to get you ready for the red carpet, including the Indie Spirit Awards. Have a great week!

SUNDAY

Downton Abbey, 9p.m., PBS

Make some tea and settle into the Downton Abbey season finale. It’s Christmas at Downton Abbey, the perfect time for holiday quibbling. Hopefully there will be enough snips from Maggie Smith to tide us over until season 3, when Shirley MacLaine joins the formidable cast. We can’t wait for the face-off!

MONDAY

How I Met Your Mother, 8p.m., CBS

Last week’s episode left us on a major cliffhanger – Ted and Robin, together again? Really? Could it be? EP Carter Bays told us even more surprises  are in store for the rest of the season, so start your speculating!

TUESDAY

Tower Heist and Martha Marcy May Marlene out on DVD

The $60 on-demand experiment may have crashed and burned before it started, but the buddy action comedy with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy is a fun (and much cheaper!) rental. (And be sure to check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film’s climactic moment.) If you’re looking for something heftier, the fantastic Martha Marcy May Marlene is also out on DVD today.

WEDNESDAY

20/20, ABC, 10p.m.

Robin Roberts takes a look back at this year’s Oscar nominees before they were famous on this pre-awards special.  There are some adorable pictures on the show’s site of George Clooney as a tyke, shared by his father, Nick Clooney, and one of Nick Nolte as a high school football champ. I’m still waiting for one of a little Jean Dujardin in a beret on a bike.

THURSDAY

NBA All-Star weekend live coverage, TNT, 7p.m.

All-Star weekend kicks off with a double-header between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, followed by the L.A. Lakers vs the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sports, yes, but also major parties and celebs descending on Orlando and pro basketball’s way of giving us a big basketball fix through to NCAA March Madness.

FRIDAY

Wanderlust comes out in theaters

It’s been a little while since Bridesmaids, so it’s about time for a new Judd Apatow-produced flick to hit the big screen. In this new film about a couple who escape the big city for life on a rural commune, Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd team up again. The pair starred together once before, in the 1998 comedy The Object of My Affection.

SATURDAY

Indie Spirit Awards, 10p.m., IFC

The other Oscars, for those mostly still big-studio-backed-but-slightly-less-corporate indie films, will be honored tonight in Los Angeles at the Indie Spirit Awards. This year the awards are hosted by Seth Rogen. Some of our favorite “Nominated for Nothing” films like Drive and could take home an Indie, so we’ll be watching and will have all the winners and an on-the-scene report at EW.com.

SUNDAY

The 84th Academy Awards, 7p.m., ABC

It’s finally here. The dresses, the awards, Billy Crystal, and oh, did we mention the dresses? Make sure you have EW.com open along with the show to follow our live blog, photos from the carpet, interviews with the stars and all the info from backstage at our Oscar page.

Read more:

EW Special Coverage: Oscars 2012

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