TV column for Wednesday, May 9


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

One night after “The Voice” picked
its winner, “Idol” has its final four perform. Two tiny teens –
Jessica Sanchez, 16, and Hollie Cavanagh, 18 – remain, alongside
the eccentric Phillip Phillips, 21, and the remarkable Joshua Ledet,
20.

They'll spend part of tonight with a
California-music theme; then viewers vote. On Thursday, we'll learn
which three have survived and will get home-town parties this
weekend.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Crime Scene
Investigation” season-finale, 10 p.m., CBS.

Remember when NBC really had “must-see
TV”? Two glory-days stars link tonight.

There's Ted Danson of “Cheers,” who
took over this season as the “CSI” star; tonight, we learn of he
character's past troubles. And there's Peri Gilpin (“Frasier”);
tonight, she's introduced as his wife.

Meanwhile, there's a fresh crisis.
Three bodies have been found near a campaign dinner.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “White Heat”
debut, 10 p.m., BBC America.

In modern times, Charlotte (Juliet
Stevenson) visits a London flat. The owner has died; now his old
flat-mates gather and churn memories.

There are strong ones. We flash back to
1965, with Charlotte played by Claire Foy (the star of “Little
Dorrit” star and the troubled sister in the nw “Upstairs
Downstairs”). Bright and independent, she lives with a beautiful,
blonde art student; a cocky, wealthy activist; an earnesimmigrant and
more. This seems to be the start of deep and well-crafted drama.

Other choices tonight:

– “Survivor,” 8 p.m., CBS. Only
six people remain and one will be ousted tonight. That sets up
Sunday's two-hour finale.

– “Nature,” 8p.m., PBS. White
may be a great color for lions in the circus, but it's a problem when
trying to hide in the jungle. In 35-plus years, we're told, only
three white lions have reached adulthood in the South African wild.
This film follows beautiful white cubs whose dad has apparently died.
With their mom, aunt and two cousins, they face steep odds.

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. Axl
is starting to feel the four-leave clover he picked was cursed. For
the second time, he accidentally asks “Weird Ashley” to the prom.
And his friend asks Sue – giving Axl the gloomy prospect of
double-dating with his sister.

– “Suburgatory,” 8:30 p.m., ABC.
George is clearly attracted to Eden – who arrived as the surrogate
mother for Noah and his wife. Now that she's moved in with George, he
has misgivings.

– Modern Family, 9 p.m., ABC. Here's
an episode filmed at Disneyland – where distractions grow: Gloria
has spiked heels, Haley has her boyfriend, Mitchell and Cam have
trouble keeping up with little Lily, who has a tendency to dash away.

– “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. There's been a string of attacks on gays. The
latest victim was about to marry the son of Tutuola (Ice-T); Tony
Hale and Jane Addams are guest stars.

– “Around the World in 80 Plates”
debut, 10 p.m., Bravo. Cooking becomes a global adventure, in this
fast-paced show. The first episode has American chefs racing
(literally) between London pubs. Then they take over two of them,
trying to instantly master the local tastes..