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Friday on TV

Ratings-starved network is hoping to build on success of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Smallville (7 p.m., Ch. 30): Clark becomes infected by gemstone kryptonite, which has wish-fulfilling properties.

Caprica (7 and 9 p.m., Syfy): The Graystones attempt damage control while vengeance closes in on them.

NBA (8:30 p.m., FSN): Jazz at Warriors

The Ricky Gervais Show (10 p.m., HBO): It's the debut of the hilarious series that has a sort of ridiculously simple premise: Take Gervais' incredibly popular podcasts; animate him, his partner Stephen Merchant and their odd sidekick, Karl Pilkington; and comedy ensues. (This is HBO, remember, so there's more than a little adult humor here.)

The Life & Times of Tim (10:30 p.m., HBO): Well, at least this second-season premiere of this animated series offers a decided contrast to "The Ricky Gervais Show." Because that show is actually good. And funny. "Tim" is neither.

And it's almost as crude as the primitive art at times.

In the second half of this week's episode, Tim attends a horrifically bad play that stars his friend Stu's pot dealer.

"Oh my (gosh), did he just shoot himself?" Tim asks upon hearing an offstage gunshot.

"I hope so," Stu says. "They should give out guns to the audience."

After sitting through the episode, I know just how he feels.