TODAY'S MUST-SEE: “The Oprah Winfrey
Show” (check local listings).
Winfrey says her goal was simple: “I
just wanted to be a guest host on 'Good Morning America.'”
Her agent resisted. “There weren't
going to be any more black people on network television, he said.
They've already got Bryant Gumbel.” She dropped her agent and
raised her ambitions.
Over 25 seasons, her show changed
viewing habits, reading habits, even (perhaps) voting habits. It made
many people (including Winfrey) rich. Now here's her last new
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “American Idol”
finale, 8-10 p.m., Fox.
Tonight, we learn which country teen –
Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina – is the winner. Before that, all
13 finalists will be back and we'll be reminded how much variety this
season once had.
Producers have been quiet, but Steven
Tyler is expected to perform; Bono and the Edge may perform. David
Cook will be there to sing this year's exit song; Haley Reinhart may
be do an original song.
Then there are the pairings – Casey
Abrams singing with Jack Black, James Durbin with one of his
heavy-metal idols and more. Expect some country stars – and then a
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Modern
Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Comedy thrives on mistaken assumptions
and this episode has some dandy ones.
Soon, Cam manages to be ejected from a
bakery. Phil implies that he's married to the sexy Gloria. And Claire
and Mitchell are trapped in their old tree house.
All of this unfolds on Jay's birthday.
The season ends with big laughs and some poignant moments.
Other choices include:
– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 and
8:30 p.m., CBS. Both of these terrific reruns find ways to put Penny
and Sheldon together. First, she gives him acting lessons (to improve
his teaching); then she accompanies his first sort-of date; that's
with the Sheldon-like Amy, perfectly played by Mayim Bialik.
– “America's Next Top Model,”
8-10 p.m., CW. The entire season reruns now. CW has enough trouble
filling its regular season, without worrying about summers.
– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. It's
almost summer vacation and Frankie is worry-free. Except that Brick
hasn't been doing his required daily journal … Axl hasn't been
doing his required community service … and Sue won't be honored
unless she can prove she's hade perfect attendance.
– “Modern Family,” 8:30, ABC.
This rerun (prior to the new episode) finds Mitchell and Cameron
delighted with the stranger who is using their hot tub.
– “Master Class,” 9-11 p.m.,
Oprah Winfrey Network. Shortly after Winfrey's last new episode of
her syndicated show, viewers can catch this rerun, in which she
reflects on her life.
– “Cougar Town,” 9:31-10:30 p.m.,
ABC. Forlorn about his break-up, Travis quits college and moves to
Hawaii. Naturally, his mom and friends follow him there and try to
make it a party. The result is inconsistent, but has some very funny
– “Happy Endings,” 10:30 p.m.,
ABC. A hapless friend is suddenly getting married, making people
insist Penny (Casey Wilson) is now the group's biggest loser. Also,
the bride worries that Alex – who walked out on her own wedding –
will jinx this one. It's a funny episode with bits of key human