Shaun White And Ricky Gervais Headline The ‘Late Night Lineup’

It’s a quiet week on the late night front, which is probably good considering the potential fireworks coming next week. Next Monday, Jay Leno returns to host “The Tonight Show,” where he will undoubtedly reignite his long-standing ratings war with David Letterman (who is the current ratings champion at 11:35, albeit without any competition at the moment).

In fact, it appears as though everybody is girding themselves for next week’s rebirth of late night, as not only are the NBC shows pre-empted by coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but Letterman has also taken the week off. Still, that doesn’t mean that you won’t find fresh takes on the talk show circuit. Craig Ferguson will chat with Quentin Tarantino on Friday (February 26), which should be a wildly entertaining conversation between two hilarious lunatics. Over on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” British upstart VV Brown will perform on Wednesday night (February 24) and “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi stops by on Friday.

But for the real good action, you have to turn to cable this week. Chelsea Handler will welcome Danica Patrick to “Chelsea Lately” on Tuesday (February 23), while “The Crazies” star Radha Mitchell will sit on her couch on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Comedy Central may have the best hour in late night this week: Not only is “The Daily Show” back with new episodes (with Ricky Gervais on Monday and Tracy Morgan on Wednesday) but “The Colbert Report” will be doing special Olympic shows from Vancouver. Colbert has already been heavily involved in the Olympics, and he’s responsible for the best image of the games so far.

If you’re a morning person, Tuesday’s edition of “The View” is a can’t-miss, as not only will the ladies welcome the aforementioned Gervais but also the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Over on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” they’ll have Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White on Monday (February 22) and “Cop Out” star Bruce Willis on Thursday (February 25). Finally, Ellen DeGeneres welcomes “American Idol” co-star Randy Jackson on Monday, “American Idol” castoff Shelby Dressel on Tuesday and “Shutter Island” star Leonardo DiCaprio on Friday.

What shows are you most looking forward to this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments!