TV tonight: American Idol picks winner and The Office comes to an end

Who will be the next ‘American Idol” champion?
Photo: Facebook/American Idol

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2013 —Despite having to struggle with diva judges for the spotlight, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison have emerged as the two finalists on “American Idol.” But after a steady drop in ratings throughout the 2013 season, the bigger mystery may be what FOX plans to do to revamp the show.

For an unprecedented eight consecutive years, from the 2003–04 television season through the 2010–11 stanza, either “American Idol’s” performance or results show had been ranked number one in U.S. TV ratings. But as for this season, oh, how the mighty have fallen. To better adhere to honesty in packaging regs, FOX might as well have renamed this show “Idol Nonsense” for all that viewing it was worth.


SEE RELATED: TV tonight: Nicki Minaj calls Mariah Carey ‘sir’ on ‘American Idol’


At its peak in 2006 “American Idol” was the undisputed ratings champ with 36 million viewers. Last week’s episodes drew just over 11 million watchers, an indication that the show is in dire need of a serious makeover. (Or a decent Viking funeral.)

FOX net heads acknowledge this current fact of life and promise a new and improved look for the next season. But at this juncture, does anyone really care? With so many copy cats airing and given the audience fatigue with reality shows in general, it will take more than new judges and a flashy new set to fix the ailing “Idol.”

The network should commence “Idol’s” re-animation this summer by first undertaking a collective brain transplant. Jettisoning this year’s obnoxious, hubris-bloated, egomaniacal diva judges was simply a feeble first step in the process. Writers, designers, directors, studio heads, and even the janitors also ought to be forced to vacate the premises with shoeprints clearly visible on their lazy, lackluster derrières. And that’s just for starters. If Fox actually gets this far, we’ll have more brilliant suggestions for them later.

Frankly, anyone who can redeem this show for another season ought to get a free ticket to Washington to try out their makeover skill-sets (and luck) on the scandal-plagued IRS next.


SEE RELATED: TV tonight: Why ‘American Idol’ should ride off into the sunset


Hmmm. Now that might make for an interesting new reality series: “The Peasants Are Revolting.”

Moving right along, elsewhere tonight “The Office” ends its nine-season run with a behind-the-scenes retrospective at 8 p.m., followed by the final episode at 9 p.m. Despite a long list of awards, “The Office” never rose above #52 in the ratings. Maybe your average TV viewer just can’t relate to life in Scranton, Pa.

At any rate, “The Office” was always one of TVs funnier, more original sitcoms, and we’re sorry to see it go. Hey, here’s an idea. Maybe NBC could syndicate this season’s episodes and offer them to Fox as a fall or spring replacement for “Idol.” The reruns might get better ratings. It’s a thought. And NBC needs the money.

Along with reality shows and sitcoms, Thursday night’s roster also includes some top-notch dramas. Both “Elementary” and “Scandal” have made their presence known in the top 20, and both will be back next year. “Elementary’s” two-hour special tonight is likely to leave us stranded with a cliffhanger until the next season begins (just like the NCIS duo earlier this week), so grab your magic speculation wand and social network your prognostications all summer. You’ll likely find lots of company.

Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s wrap up.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Wipeout: (New) John Henson reveals a slew of wild ideas for contestants; players tackle the Killer Croc and bust out of Wipeout Jail.

CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (New) A new success for Leonard makes Sheldon very jealous and throws Penny for a loop. Meanwhile, Koothrappali pushes Lucy too far in their relationship.

FOX: American Idol: (Live) A new American Idol winner is crowned.

NBC: The Office: (New) A retrospective of “The Office” features interviews with the show’s writers, producers and actors, including John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein. Also: a look inside the writers’ room; actor auditions; and favorite moments.

CW: The Vampire Diaries: (New) On Graduation Day, Mystic Falls is overrun with ghosts intent on settling old scores and fulfilling their supernatural destinies. Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) life is in danger after a ghostly encounter, while Matt (Zach Roerig) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) join forces to battle a ghost determined to find the cure.

8:30 p.m.

CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (Repeat) Wolowitz is disappointed when he doesn’t receive a hero’s welcome upon his return from space, while game night degenerates into a pitched battle of the sexes.

9 p.m.

ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) As the storm rages, patients are brought to the hospital by the busload and resources dwindle; a doctor’s life hangs in the balance.

CBS: Elementary: (New) As Sherlock reels at the reappearance of his former lover, Irene Adler, a series of flashbacks unravel the tumultuous events that led to his downfall into addiction. Meanwhile, he and Joan once again find themselves in the crosshairs of the enigmatic Moriarty.

NBC: The Office: (New) Months after the documentary airs, office staffers from the past and present gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews.

CW: Beauty and the Beast: (New) When secrets about Cat’s (Kristin Kreuk) family are revealed, it will change everything Cat knew about her past. Vincent (Jay Ryan) finds himself staring his demise in the face; while Gabe (Sendhil Ramamurthy) takes drastic measures get some answers.

10 p.m.

ABC: Scandal: (New) As they get closer to uncovering the mole’s identity, Olivia and her team find themselves in an increasingly dangerous situation; the latest White House scandal pushes Cyrus over the edge.

10:15 p.m.

NBC: Hannibal: (New) A killer tries to get Hannibal’s attention by ripping the vocal cords from his victims.

10:30 p.m.

ESPN: NBA Playoff: Game 6: Spurs at Warriors: Indiana at New York in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Mountain Movers at 8 p.m. on NGC

Wicked Tuna: Hooked Up at 9 p.m. on NGC

Auction Kings at 9 p.m. on DSC

Swamp People at 9 p.m. on History Channel

How it’s Made at 9 p.m. on SCI

Monumental Mysteries at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Property Wars: Boom or Bust at 9:30 p.m. on DSC

Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX

Small Town Security at 10 p.m. on AMC

Giving You the Business at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

The Graham Norton Show at 10 p.m. on BBC

Tabatha Takes Over at 10 p.m. on BRAVO

America’s Worst Tattoos at 10 p.m. on TLC

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Men at Work at 10 p.m. on TBS

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Viva Las Vegas on ENC

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on FLIX

Madagascar3: Europe’s Most Wanted on HBO

Risky Business on IFC

The Big Fisherman on TCM

The Mechanic on TMC

9 p.m.

Premonition on FMC

Volcano on MOMAX

Scream 4 on SHO

Later tonight:

Star Trek: First Contact at 9:30 p.m. on Syfy

Traffic at 9:30 p.m. on SHO

The Samaritan at 9:35 p.m. on TMC

The Campaign at 9:35 p.m. on HBO

Savages at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Chasing Amy at 10 p.m. on FLIX

The Hills Have Eyes at 10:15 p.m. on IFC


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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