TV column for Wednesday, May 23


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “American Idol,”
8-10:07 p.m., Fox.

Each year at this time, huge audiences
show up to watch “Idol” name its winner. This time, it's between
Phillip Phillips, 21, who worked in the family pawn shop in Georgia, and Jessica Sanchez, 16, from San Diego (her dad is a Navy
man) who says she's been obsessing on music since she was 2.

Before the winner is announced, expect
lots of commotion. The final 12 contestants will be back and guest
stars will perform, including Rihanna and last year's winner, Scotty
McCreery.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Modern Family,”
8:30 and 9 p.m., ABC.

On the final night of the season, this
dandy show has some tough moments for Phil and Claire.

First, in a rerun, they drink too much
alcohol and share too much information. Then, in a new episode, they
celebrate their younger daughter going to prom … then (with some
funny moments) are jolted by their older daughter's plans. Also,
Cameron and Mitchell continue their push to adopt a second baby, this
time bringing Gloria along as translator.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Revenge,”
10 p.m., ABC.

This has suddenly become one of ABC's
most important shows, the one that will inherit the “Desperate
“Housewives” spot on Sundays. First, here's the season-finale.

Emily has spent the year subverting the
people (especially Conrad Grayson) who may have been responsible for
framing and killing her dad. She's on the verge of destroying them …
when there are sharp surprises.

Other choices include:

– “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two
and a Half Men,” 8-9 p.m., CBS. Next season, these shows will be
back-to-back on Thursdays – as they once were on Mondays. Here are
two reruns, to get us used to it. First, Leonard and Penny try to
hang out as friends; then Walden and Zoey have a near-death moment.

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC.
Mike's brother (Norm Macdonald) pulls another surprise: His
invitations list the Heck home as the site of his upcoming wedding.

– “X Men Origins: Wolverine,” 8
and 10:30 p.m., FX. Even with a gifted star (Hugh Jackman) and some
great action scenes, this movie is merely OK. This version has the
film's alternate ending.

– “Camp Rock” (2008), 8:30-10:30
p.m., Disney. Demi Lovato was 15, with little experience beyond
“Barney & Friends,” when she starred in this film as a
camp-worker's daughter who attracts a rock star (Joe Jonas). Here's
another look, before Lovato becomes reality-TVs youngest judge, on “X
Factor.”

– “Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit,” 9 and 10 p.m., NBC. First is a rerun, with brilliant
work by Cameron Monaghan (the teen “Shameless” co-star) and
Mariska Hargitay, in a hostage crisis. Then a new hour views a battle
between ongoing escort services.

– “Don't Trust the B in Apartment
23” season-finale, 9:32 p.m., ABC. Chloe's party-girl life is so
notorious that there's even a Japanese comic book about her. Now June
feels she can keep up with her.

– “Around the World in 80 Plates,”
10 pm., Bravo. The new hour takes the chefs to Spain. That follows a
rerun of last week's episode, in France.