TV column for Tuesday, April 17


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Raising Hope”
season-finale, 9:31 p.m., Fox.

Last week brought a jolt: Hope's
mother, a convicted serial killer, survived her execution.

Now she seeks custody. There's plenty
of damning information about Jimmy's parenting skills.

The trial brings a string of witnesses,
including the three stars – Jason Lee, Jaime Pressly and Ethan
Suplee – of “My Name is Earl,” which was from the same
producers. A few jokes seem forced, but many click; “Hope” – a
clever but inconsistent show – ends its season on a high note.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Glee,” Fox or
“Gidget” (1959), Turner Classic Movies, both 8 p.m. ET.

Choose your youth-flashback era. “Glee”
eyes 1977, when disco ruled; the kids do numbers from “Saturday
Night Fever.” TCM goes even further back.

Sandra Dee plays Gidget, a sweet and
slender teen in the brassy world of bikini beaches; she falls for
Moondoggie (James Darren) and Big Kahuna (Cliff Robertson). It's an
OK film; “Gidget Goes Hawaiian” (1961), at 9:45 p.m., is less OK,
but Deborah Walley and Hawaii are appealing.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “The Woman Who
Wasn't There,” 8-9:30 p.m., Investigation Discovery.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the public
was fascinated by Tania Head's story.

She told of her fiance's death in one
tower, her own near-death in the other. She told of being rescued by
a hero who died; she guided tourists, led the survivor group, worked
tirelessly without pay.

And then the story took some stunning
twists. We won't spoil anything here; this Meredith Vieira production
lets the surprises roll out at just the right times.

Other choices include:

– “The Biggest Loser,” 8 p.m.,
NBC. Reality shows often offer cruel twists. This time, the final
five reportedly rebelled, walking out and shutting down production.
“Loser” managed to retain some of them; tonight, after the
walk-out, two people advance to the finale, with the third added next
week.

– “NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. Gaius
Charles, one of the talented young “Friday Night Lights” stars,
guests. He plays a Baltimore detective who works with Tony after a
fire reveals classified Navy documents.

– “Ringer” season-finale, 9 p.m.,
CW. The truth may emerge. Bridget considers telling Andrew that she's
not really her rich twin Siobhan; Henry considers telling Bridget
what really happened to Siobhan. And others – cops and crooks –
close in on her.

– “Dancing With the Stars,” 9
p.m., ABC. In a change, the judges will decide who's going home; the
bottom two in viewer votes will dance to the same cha-cha numbr.
Earlier, Train sings “Drive By” and Selena Gomez sings “Hit the
Lights.” There's also a Latino number, with Sheila E as
percussionist.

– “New Girl,” 9 p.m., Fox. Age
differences are key here: Nick's new girlfriend may be too young;
Jess' boyfriend may be too old for her. Jess struggles with
babysitting for his pre-teen daughter.

– “NCIS: Los Angeles,”9:01 to
10:02 p.m., CBS. A murdered Navy officer was leading a double life.

– “Private Practice,” 10:01 p.m.,
ABC. Now that “Scandal” has taken this show's spot on Thursdays,
“Practice” borrows Tuesdays from “Body of Proof,” which ended
its season early. Tonight, Erica is near death; also, Pete and
Violet, both newly single, may have feelings for each other.