May 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM ET
Once, May meant that all television shows were ending and a season of reruns was ahead. No more. Now we've got a year-round TV season, so you can choose from small-screen or big-screen entertainment pretty much year-round. This week, "America's Got Talent" is just about to get underway, and some of the movies you've been hearing about for months are arriving in theaters.
Here are our top three entertainment picks for the week ahead.
1. MONDAY: "America's Got Talent" premiere
Yes, fans are divided about radio host Howard Stern joining "America's Got Talent" as a judge when the show premieres this week. But Stern himself told Matt Lauer he plans to be a "very serious judge" and confesses he even hugged one young auditioner who didn't make the grade. Can he change the opinion of those who know only his raunchy radio image? Tune in and find out. (Premieres May 14, 8 p.m., NBC.)
2. WEDNESDAY: "The Dictator"
Sacha Baron Cohen has been parading around as "The Dictator" for months now, even making a controversial appearance on the Oscars red carpet (he actually apologized for dumping ashes on Ryan Seacrest). Now the film, which features Baron Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen, a North African dictator who heads to America, where he finds himself having to fit in to the culture he's railed against. A scene from the trailer shows him leaning into a NYPD patrol car, asking the officer, "Is there any way you could lend me some money? Maybe ... $20,000,000?" Note: This film opens on a Wednesday, not the normal movie-opening day, Friday. (Opens May 16.)
3. FRIDAY: "Battleship"
Yes, it's inspired by the Hasbro board game, leading to plenty of jokes as to whether Liam Neeson will growl "You sank my Battleship!" But if you can't lead into the summer movie season with aliens and a lot of explosions, when can you do it? You may need to put your brain on hold, but mixed early reviews praise the unapologetic action and escapism. Plus, it may be your first chance to see singer Rihanna act. (Opens May 18.)