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TV best bets with series finale of ‘House,’ season finales of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ ‘American Idol,’ ‘Modern Family’

house-hugh-laurie-fox1Fox’s “House” gets a lovely send off Monday night, first with a one-hour retrospective, followed by the final episode.

Hugh Laurie and the producers managed to turn an irascible, foul-mouthed, always-in-pain doctor into a star, someone viewers were willing to watch week in and week out. The story structure became formulaic (patient gets sick, gets misdiagnosed, gets sicker, recovers after House figures out what’s really happening.) But fans of Laurie embraced the complex character over 177 episodes.

But alas, it’s time to say goodbye, ol’ grouch.

Otherwise, this week is business as usual. Both “Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars,’ down in ratings, finish up their seasons while Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” returns and ABC tries its hand in a new music show called “Duets,” which includes former “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson.

MONDAY
“America’s Got Talent” 8 p.m. NBC — Howard Stern has received good reviews so far as a new judge.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — The finale is a battle of sexy (William Levy) brawny (Donald Driver) and elegant (Katherine Jenkins).
“House” 8 p.m. Fox (series finale) — The series ends with a retrospective, followed by the finale as House sifts through his life and personal demons.
“American Ninja Warrior” 9 p.m. NBC — NBC joins G4 to find the ultimate athlete..
“The Bachelorette” 9:01 p.m. ABC — Two of the guys almost come to blows over Emily.
Clash of the Commercials” 10 p.m. CBS — The 10 best international commercials vs. the top 10 U.S. ads.
“Pawn Star$” 10 p.m. History — The owners check out a panel from an SR-71 Blackbird airplane and a vintage pair of Levi’s jeans.

TUESDAY
American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox — San Diego’s Jessica Sanchez battles Leesburg’s Phillip Phillips for the crown.
Dancing With the Stars” 9 p.m. ABC (14th season finale) — This fall, the show will have its first “all star” edition with past contestants.
Glee” 9 p.m. Fox (third season finale) — Several of the Glee kids are graduating and contemplate their futures.
“Dateline NBC” 10 p.m. NBC — A 20th anniversary retrospective on the show itself.
The Game” 10 p.m. BET — Last week, it was reported that stars Tia Mowry and Pooch Hall are leaving at the end of this season.
“Hollywood Treasure” 10 p.m. Syfy — Feeling nostalgic, Sean Astin checks out a map from “The Lord of the Rings.”.
United Stats of America” 10 p.m. History — Americans over the years have gotten taller and much much fatter over the years.

WEDNESDAY
“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox (11th season finale) — Phillip Philips could be the first Georgia winner ever. Jessica Sanchez could be the first female winner since season six.
Man-Eating Super Croc” 8 p.m. Animal — A crocodile responsible for at least one human fatality, is captured in the Phillipines but is a bigger one still lurking?
“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
” 8 p.m. NBC (first season finale) — Elderly pranksters offer massages to passersby.
“The Middle” 8 p.m. ABC (third season finale) — Axl and his pals start their own company to get summer jobs.
“Modern Family” 9 p.m. ABC (third season finale) — Alex goes to her first prom while Haley announces her future plans.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” 10 p.m. NBC (13th season finale) — An underage escort is murdered at an upper-crust bachelor party..
Revenge” 10 p.m. ABC (first season finale) — Next season, this tasty drama moves to 9 p.m. Sundays in the “Desperate Housewives” slot.

THURSDAY
Duets” 8 p.m. ABC (new series) — Yet another musical competition show, this time featuring Kelly Clarkson, Georgian Jennifer Nettles, John Legend and Robin Thicke seek duet partners.
So You Think You Can Dance” 8 p.m. Fox (ninth season debut) — First two audition cities: Dallas and New York.
“On the Fly” 9 p.m. TLC (new series) — A reality series following Southwest Airlines customers and employees.
Swamp People” 9 p.m. History — Cast member Mitchell Guist died last week.
“Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding” 9;30 p.m. Bravo — Kim works on a wedding gift for Kroy.
Awake” 10 p.m. NBC (series finale) — This risky show has been cancelled after ratings cratered
“Men at Work” 10 p.m. TBS (new series) — Four friends working together at a magazine wend through life, love, friendship and work.
Rookie Blue” 10 p.m. ABC (third season debut) — Andy returns to work following her three-month suspension.

FRIDAY
Jennie Garth: Little Bit Country” 9 p.m. CMT — Jennie hosts a barbecue for her mother and new stepfather.
Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids” 9 p.m. TLC — Sibling rivalry erupts with sisters getting married 30 days apart.
House Hunters” 10 p.m. HGTV — A couple decides between a place in San Francisco or the suburbs.
Insane or Inspired?” 10 p.m. Syfy (new series) — The 25 wildest homebrewed superheroes.
Mystery Diners” 10 p.m. Food (new series) — The owner of a German eatery doesn’t trust his new restaurant manager so “Mystery Diners” checks it out.
“River Monsters: Untold Stories” 10 p.m. Animal — Jeremy recalls the parts of the journey’s leading up to his dangerous encounters with freshwater fish.

WEEKEND
“How To Be a Gentleman” 8 p.m. Saturday CBS — This show was canceled last fall but CBS is burning off leftover episodes.
“Game of Thrones” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — The Lannisters’ control of King’s Landing is in peril when Stannis’ fleet launches an all-out assault.
The Killing” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC —Richmond gets a surprise boost in the mayoral campaign.
“Mad Men” 10 p.m. Sunday AMC — Don deal with a challenging pitch while Peggy ponders taking a trip.
“NYC 22” 10 p.m. Sunday CBS — CBS has not renewed this show. Tonya and Kenny raid a brothel while Yoda gets nostalgic.
“Girls” 10:30 p.m. Sunday HBO — Amy and Dan do their best to entertain students at an elementary school before the vice president shows up.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

7 comments Add your comment

Rodney's Ho

May 21st, 2012
7:43 am

Great description of this week’s Swamp People.

Mercedes S.

May 21st, 2012
8:56 am

I gave up on “House” a couple seasons ago when the show seemed to be stuck in a rut. Big story in NYT yesterday says it’s the world’s most popular TV-show, with more than 80 million viewers in 66 countries, so what do i know. Glad to hear he’sgetting a good send-off, though.

Sad to read “Awake” won’t be renewed. More interesting than “Touch”, which I gave up on early.

missnadine

May 21st, 2012
10:30 am

I used to love Modern Family, but it just doesn’t seem that funny anymore. It is so forced, in that every show now involves the entire family doing something together, just to get laughs. It was hilarious when they would show each family with their own storyline. Last week’s episode was terrible, IMO. I know it has huge ratings still, but remember how good the first season was. It is no where near as funny now. The one at Disneyland was bad too. Why do great shows always go from clever to cheap shots? Gloria, who was my favorite, just shrills for no reason these days!

Chuck

May 21st, 2012
2:56 pm

House lost me when his whole team quit and they spent the whole season auditioning a new team… like some stupid reality show. If it was supposed to be clever or compelling, well sorry… yawn.

That said, I may tune in tonight just to see how it wraps up.

mystery poster

May 21st, 2012
3:57 pm

@missnadine
You captured my feelings about Modern Family exactly.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Nosgoth1979

May 23rd, 2012
3:55 pm

I’m going to miss House, although I’m glad they gave the show a conclusion, instead of waiting until it just got cancelled or something. Lists like this are a great example of how difficult it is to watch these shows when the networks jam them all in the same couple of timeslots. DVRs help, and the Hopper has made it easier yet with its PrimeTime Anytime feature that records ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, every evening automatically. It gets better too; a coworker of mine at Dish told me a software update has given it a feature called Auto Hop. Auto Hop allows me to the commercials on the PrimeTime Anytime recordings automatically. No more getting a repetitive stress injury by pounding on the Skip Forward button constantly, and I’ll probably have to feed my remote less batteries now!