TV For The Weekend: Homeland, Upstairs Downstairs And Hustle

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Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in Homeland
Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in Homeland

If you stay in one night this weekend to watch TV, make it Sunday...

Friday

Coronation Street - 8.30pm, ITV1

Nigel Havers returns to Corrie tonight after disappearing as charming conman Lewis Archer in 2010 and having a brief spell as Lord Hepworth in Downton Abbey. Audrey and Gail take up power-walking after being told to give up the booze for medical reasons - a hard thing when most of the Street's inhabitants spend most of their time in the Rovers. And who do they bump into on their walk? Lewis of course.

Hustle - 9.00PM, BBC1

Hustle is in for a killer finale tonight, as the show bows out after nine series. Mickey is ready for retirement but has one final target in his sights - crooked businessman Madani Wasem, who could give him and the others a £10million payday in a stock-market scam. It's the end of the road for Mickey and the gang but will they go out in a shower of money or a hail of bullets?

Saturday

Lucian Freud: Painted Life - 9.00pm, BBC2

To coincide with a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (READ The Huffington Post UK's review of the exhibition here) BBC2 profiles the successful career of Lucian Freud. The documentary charts how his art progressed from the bohemian early years of the 1950s and 60s London through to the international adulation that he enjoyed later in life.

The Jonathan Ross Show - 9.20pm, ITV1

This week Wossy sees critically acclaimed actor John Hurt, who recently received the Outstanding Contribution To Film award at the BAFTAS, join him on the sofa. Ross also chats to American actress Christina Ricci, who stars in BBC2 drama series Pan Am, and the troublesome trio Keith Lemon, Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby from ITV2 comedy quiz Celebrity Juice.

Sunday

Upstairs Downstairs - 9.30pm, BBC1

Downton Abbey is currently off air while the cast are busy filming the third series, so if there's a period-drama-shaped hole in your life you'll be pleased to hear Upstairs Downstairs returns on Sunday. The aristocrats and serving staff of 165 Eaton Place open their doors once more, and this time it's September 1938. Lady Agnes Holland (played by Keeley Hawes) is frail following the birth of her second child, while her husband's (Sir Hallam, played by Ed Stoppard's) preoccupation with Nazi Germany leads him into dangerous waters overseas.

Homeland - 9.30pm, Channel 4

Damian Lewis and Claire Danes have received a fantastic reception in the States for their roles in Homeland as Sergeant Nicholas Brody, a marine and former prisoner of war, and determined CIA agent Carrie Mathison, respectively.

Now the Golden Globe Award-winning drama, reportedly Barack Obama's favourite television programme and loosely based on Gideon Raff's Israeli television series Prisoners of War, has been brought to the UK with its first episode airing this Sunday night.

READ: Our interview with Damian Lewis for Homeland.

The compelling series centres on an American soldier (Brody) who was taken prisoner during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Left for dead, he miraculously returns to the US after years in captivity and the nation welcomes home their hero. However, tightly-wound CIA officer Carrie, who is battling her own psychological demons, is solely convinced that all is not as innocent as it seems.

Carrie puts her career on the line as she pursues her theory that the intelligence behind his rescue was a setup - and that he may be connected to an Al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil. It's captivating stuff.

(READ: HuffPost reviews of Homeland and Upstairs Downstairs on the site on Monday)