TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “American Idol,”
8-10 p.m., Fox.
Last Wednesday, 10 women sang on the
Las Vegas stage; five – ages 17, 17, 18, 22 and 28 – survived.
The next night, five men (three of them 18) survived.
Now that process repeats, with women
tonight and men Thursday. Then “Idol” will have its top 20.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Psych”
season-opener, 10 p.m., USA.
Last season ended with a jolt: Shawn's
dad (Corbin Bernsen), an ex-cop, was shot by a former colleague (Max
Gail of “Barney Miller”). Now he lingers in intensive care, while
his son investigates.
There are flaws here, with some of the
humor seeming terribly forced. Also, “Psych” breaks form by
having Shawn do physical heroics. Still, it remains a reasonably
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: Two debuts,
Yes, viewers like non-fiction crime
shows. Still, these two represent opposite extremes.
“Dark Minds” (10 p.m.,
Investigation Discovery) is horribly overwrought. True-crime author
M. William Phelps ponders the man linked to an unsolved string of 10
murders and 50 rapes in 1976-86 California. Phelps postures about
solving the case himself; he doesn't, of course. He also has phone
conversations with a convict who has nothing useful to say.
“Boston's Finest” (9 p.m., TNT) is
the opposite, solid and sturdy. Produced by Donnie Wahlberg, it
follows some tough Boston cops. They range from an earnest father of
six to a young woman who says she savors the the joy of stopping
someone for a bad taillight and finding a big drug cache.
Other choices include:
– “Survivor,” 8 p.m., CBS. The
tribes are even again: After winning the first immunity challenge,
the “fans” lost last week and ousted Allie Pohevitz, a young
– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC.
Frankie continues to flounder at dental-assistant school, flubbing
whenever her imposing teacher (Jane Kaczmarek) is near. Now she also
has trouble at home: The kids broke a window, then tried –
successfully, for a while – to pass the blame to the neighbors.
– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Sal (Elizabeth Banks) – the wild-party friend of Mitchell and Cam –
is getting married, but doesn't grasp the notion of settling down.
– “Parade's End,” 9-11:05 p.m.,
HBO. The mid-section of this well-crafted, three-night mini-series
finds Christopher trapped by his own earnest decisions. Unwilling to
lie, he left a cozy job and plunged into World War I; unwilling to
leave his cruel wife, he stays away from the smart and caring
– “Stranded” debut, 9 p.m., Syfy.
The “Paranormal Activity” producers use their technique for a
ghost-hunting show. This hour sends three people (including a former
dating couple) to an off-season hotel on Star Island in New
Hampshire; it uses only the cameras they're holding or stationary
ones they set up. The technique is effective, the people and setting
are interesting … but the usual problem lingers: We mostly have to
take their word for it that something really scary just happened.
– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. Major poker players are dying.
– “Nashville,” 10 p.m., ABC.
Juliette plans a party for Deacon, with real stars – Vince Gill,
Pam Tillis, Kip Moore and more; then, once again her mom causes