TV column for Friday, May 11


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Common Law”
debut, 10 p.m., USA.

If the USA Network had its way, the
world would be attorney-free. “Fairly Legal,” at 9 p.m., has an
ex-lawyer who's a mediator; “Law” has an ex-lawyer who's a cop.

“The world needs good cops more than
it needs good lawyers,” Wes (Warren Kole) insists. He happens to be
a great cop – partnered with a great (but opposite) one.

Travis (Michael Ealy) is loose,
instinctive, given to one-night romances; Wes is tight, precise,
unable to get over his ex-wife lawyer. They provide sharp dialog
while catching bad guys. Despite a few exaggerations and arbitrary
chases, “Law” is a sturdy cop show spiced with crisp humor.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS.

There's a flurry of season-finales
tonight, including this solidly crafted show.

The Reagans are diligent about their
Sunday dinners – and doubly diligent about Mother's Day. As that
arrives, however, Frank (Tom Selleck), the police commissioner, is
keeping a secret: The city faces the threat of a biological attack.
Also, his sons (both cops) have a longstanding dispute, coming to a
head.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE-SEE II:
“Fringe,:9 p.m., Fox.

The real joy now is that this is merely
a season-finale – not a series finale.

It was planned either way, as “Fringe”
teetered toward cancellation. In a recent week, it was No. 95 in the
Nielsen ratings; only six big-network shows (five of them on NBC) did
worse.

Still, overseas audiences like smart
science-fiction, making “Fringe” profitable overall; Fox will
bring it back for a final, 13-episode season. Tonight, the team tries
to prevent a world-ending disaster.

Other choices include:

– “Avatar” (2009), 6:30-10 p.m.,
FX. This combination – great visuals, so-so story – really works
better on a big screen. Still, it's an impressive film that won three
Oscars and was nominated for six more.

– “The Finder” season-finale, 8
p.m., Fox. The Stults brothers team up as (logically) brothers.
George Stults was one of the “7th Heaven” stars, with
Geoff playing his brother; Geoff stars in this one, with his brother
(yes, George) arriving with a special mission: Their dying dad wants
him to find their mother.

– “Who Do You Think You Are?” 8
p.m., NBC. Jason Sudeikis (“Saturday Night Live”) hasn't known
much about the Lithuanian roots reflected in his surname; much of the
history faded after his grandfather died young. Now, however, he
traces things to a great-great-grandfather, arriving in the U.S. to
face daily danger in Pennsylvania coal mines.

– “CSI: NY” season-finale, 9
p.m., CBS. While his colleagues race to find the person who shot him,
Mac is near death, his mind wandering. Jaime Ray Newman returns as
his late wife.

– “Craft in America,” 9 p.m., PBS
(check local listings). The “Art in America” series has
concluded, but here's a stand-alone episode of this sporadic series.
This hour views fabrics and textiles.

– “Magic City,” 10 p.m., Starz.
Ike bets big with Ben – his brutal business partner – on a boxing
match. His wife confronts a personal crisis: Jackie Kennedy is
skipping her party. One son will face a bigger problem – if the
photos surface showing him with Ben's naked wife; tonight, the other
son sees them.