“American Idol,” 8-9 p.m., Fox.
As its ratings
decline – from sensational to merely very good -- “Idol” keeps
tweaking. Now a change pops up today and Thursday.
Instead of singing
to a supportive studio audience, the 48 singers each do a song at the
House of Blues. We'll see some sent home each night, trimming the
field to 24 by the end of Thursday's hour.
“The Mentalist” series finale, 8 and 9 p.m., CBS.
A seven-year run
concludes, with CBS showing that it has changed tone. At first, this
show – like the “CSI” ones – was often as cold and
calculating as its lead character, former fake-psychic Patrick Jane.
Then things warmed
up. Rigsby and Van Pelt (who return tonight) fell in love and left.
Vega started a maybe-romance with Wylie, then was killed. Now Jane
proposes to his former boss, Lisbon (Robin Tunney). Also, he resumes
a psychic duty in the first hour and faces a vengeful killer in the
ALTERNATIVE: “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Sure, owls seem like
they're always waiting for their photo opportunity. They have the big
eyes, the unflinching faces; what we overlook is that they are also
splendid physical creations.
They're on every
continent except Antarctica, patroling night (what we expect) and
day. Some have an awesome wing-to-weight proportion; they fly so
silently that a decibel meter picks up nothing. They are friendly
(this terrific film sees people raising them from chicks, but they're
also stark predators.
“The Mysteries of
Laura,” 8 p.m., NBC. As Laura (Debra Messing) probes a murder
linked to an escort ring, headquarters sends a detective to
investigate her alleged improprieties with Jake (Josh Lucas).
“The Book of
Negroes,” 8 p.m., BET, repeats at 10. This ambitious, three-night
series concludes. In Tuesday's chapter (rerunning at 5:30), Aminata
escaped from owner Lindo ... who then supported her freedom. She
helped compile the book, listing 3,000 blacks heading to freedom in
Nova Scotia. Now she's there, aided by Daddy Moses (Lou Gossett Jr.).
More crises follow, in Africa and in England.
(2000), 8 p.m., AMC. Four days before the Academy Awards, cable
offers a pair or films that each won five Oscars, including best
picture. This is the epic one; “The Apartment” (1960, 8 p.m. ET,
Turner Classic Movies) is smaller, filmed in black-and-white, warm
9 p.m., ABC. The once-wild Sal (Elizabeth Banks) has a belated baby
p.m., ABC. Maddie is being pushed away by Deacon, because of his
secret illness. Also, she may sign with Jeff Fordham ... infuriating
10 p.m., FX. After weeks with fierce action, “Americans” returns
to layers of ethical dilemmas. Phillip remains troubled by his wife's
plans fort their teen daughter ... and about his attempt to
manipulate a troubled teen. In Russia, Nia gropes at a outside chance
to emerge from prison.
10 p.m., Pop. If you missed the terrific start of this comedy, you
can catch the first episode at 10:31 p.m. and the second at 9:30 and
11. This third one (rerunning at 11) finds once-wealthy David facing
a new experience ... looking for a job.
Woman,” 10:30 p.m., FXX. Josh finally has a girlfriend and a happy
life. He'll find a way to blow it, while imagining some very funny
“scared straight” and “dating court” scenes.