Goodbyes & hellos


The ’08-09 TV season effectively ends this week

By MARC D. ALLAN

Washington Post

This is the week we find out who wins “American Idol” and “Survivor,” what the next big mystery will be on Wisteria Lane, how Jack Bauer saves the nation once again and what the future might hold for those New York rich kids the Gossip Girl reports on.

And that’s not all.

The 2008-09 TV season effectively ends this week, as some two dozen shows are scheduled to wrap up with season or series finales.

At the same time, four of the five networks will reveal their prime-time schedules for the fall, and the summer season begins to ramp up with the return of several unscripted series and a preview of “Glee” on Fox.

Here are some offerings to look forward to (or not) on network TV in prime time.

TONIGHT

Fox closes down its animation block with season finales of “King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons,” “Sit Down, Shut Up,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.”

ABC creates one more dream house on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (in a two-hour finale) and provides a new cliffhanger for “Desperate Housewives” (also two hours).

And CBS devotes all of prime time to crowning the “Survivor: Tocantins” winner and reuniting this latest band of castaways.

MONDAY

CBS wraps up three sitcoms — “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Rules of Engagement” — and “CSI: Miami,” where Horatio (David Caruso) fights to save Yelina (Sofia Milos).

On Fox, the clock ticks toward the zero hour on “24” with a two-hour finale, and CW says goodbye to “Gossip Girl” for the season and “One Tree Hill” perhaps permanently.

Meanwhile, ABC’s “The Bachelorette” returns for a fifth season that begins at 9 p.m. with a two-hour premiere.

TUESDAY

The two finalists compete on “American Idol,” and when they’re done, Fox presents “Glee,” a musical comedy about an optimistic teacher leading a high school glee club.

The CW moves out of “90210” and CBS shuts down “NCIS,” “The Mentalist” and “Without a Trace” for the summer. Meanwhile, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” ends its eighth season.

WEDNESDAY

Who’ll be the next American Idol? Fox will let us know at approximately 9:55 p.m., but the finale starts at 8 p.m. as the Top 13 reunite one more time.

On CBS, “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Gary Unmarried” and “Criminal Minds” (a two-hour episode) finish their seasons.

THURSDAY

“Ugly Betty” has a two-hour finale, and the new NBC police drama “Southland” ends its abbreviated freshman season.

Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” returns for the summer, starting with auditions at 8 p.m.

ON TAP FOR NEXT WEEK

Prime-time schedule shuffling continues the week of May 24, which will include premieres of two marriage-related game shows. ABC brings back “Here Come the Newlyweds” on May 25, and CW debuts “Hitched or Ditched” the next night, right after the finale of “Reaper.”

Also on May 26, Fox launches “Mental,” a drama centered on an unconventional psychiatrist at a Los Angeles hospital.

May 27 marks the return of ABC’s obstacle course game show “Wipeout,” followed by the premiere of “The Goode Family,” an animated sitcom from Mike Judge (“King of the Hill”) about a family that always tries to do good.

And ABC begins the end of “Pushing Daisies” on May 30, leading up to the series finale June 13. For a series that started with so much hype and promise, the last episode has a particularly appropriate title: “Kerplunk.”

A PEEK AT FALL

NBC has already unveiled its fall schedule, which includes Jay Leno’s move from “The Tonight Show” to prime time five nights a week beginning in September.

We’ll find out the rest of the broadcast networks’ plans this week when Fox (Monday), ABC (Tuesday), CBS (Wednesday) and CW (Thursday) release their schedules.

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