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Friday/weekend: Ricky Gervais wraps things up with the bizarre "Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale." Plus: What did you think of Thursday's "Ace of Cakes"?

Topics: Television,

Weekend Pick

Photo: HBO

Is he having a laugh? That’s what you’re apt to wonder about Ricky Gervais if you tune in for “Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale” (9 p.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 16, on HBO), an 84-minute special that’s more like a dark film about the shallow lures of fame. Instead of wrapping up the story of struggling actor turned cheesy sitcom star Andy Millman, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant slowly (very, very slowly) turn “Extras” into a drama with a soft, chewy life lesson at the center. We wouldn’t even recommend this one, but if you don’t see it yourself, you’ll never believe that such an excellent series could go out on such a bizarre, self-serious note. (If you’d rather not slog through the worst of it, record it, watch the first 20 minutes before things go south, then fast-forward to the part where Andy is on “Celebrity Big Brother.”)

Also…

On Friday, the obnoxious delights of “I Love New York 2″ continue, as New York’s three remaining suitors travel to Miami together (8 p.m. EST on VH1), while the four remaining groups of “The Next Great American Band” (8 p.m. EST on Fox) are whittled down to three. (We’re rooting for the pretty Clark Brothers, of course, but if they stumble, then we want the little head-bangers of Light of Doom to win, thereby crushing any hope of a future for the entire series.) On Saturday, Sundance favorite “The Motorcycle Diaries” airs at 10 p.m. EST on Sundance, but you’ll probably want to watch a special on “Killer Squid” instead (10 p.m. EST on Discovery). On Sunday, the finale of “Survivor: China” (8 p.m. EST on CBS) should be pretty dramatic this season, probably much more dramatic than the finale of “America’s Most Smartest Model” (9 p.m. EST on VH1) but probably not nearly as dramatic as the finale of serial-murderer tragicomedy “Dexter” (9 p.m. EST on Showtime). And science lovers won’t want to miss “Best Science Moments of 2007″ (9 p.m. EST on Science).

Last night



What did you think of Thursday’s “Ace of Cakes”? Go here to discuss.

On the talk shows — Friday

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EST

Nicolas Cage, Michael Bolton, guest co-host Anderson Cooper

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EST

Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chris Botti, guest co-host Sara Evans

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

Ty Pennington, David Gray

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

Oprah and Rachael Ray throw a holiday party

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

TBA

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EST

TBA

David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST

Maria Sharapova, Martha Stewart, Justin Timberlake (repeat)

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST

Ellen DeGeneres, Fred Willard, Tony Bennett (repeat)

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

Stephanie Elam, Rev. Peter Gomes

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST

TBA

Conan O’Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST

Chris Tucker, Tori Spelling, Shiny Toy Guns (repeat)

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST

Parker Posey, Ian Hunter (repeat)

Contributors: Megan Doll, Heather Havrilesky, Eryn Loeb, Amy Reiter

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