I don't have an office water cooler. Hey, I'm a self-employed writer, so I don't even have an office. But if I did, I can guarantee you I wouldn't be standing around waiting for the water bubble to gurgle up while shooting the breeze about the "Joey" (7 p.m., NBC) season finale.
Yes, "Joey," the much-hyped, dreaded and generally ignored sequel to "Friends," has endured its first season, and will be back for another. This being sweeps, "Joey" goes out with an hour-long cliffhanger about Joey's reluctance to commit and say "I love you" to his girlfriend, Sara (Madchen Amick). For those of you who have been paying close attention to less-than-successful Thursday night sitcoms, Amick also starred as John Stamos' possible love interest in his short-lived ABC comedy, "Jake in Progress."
- In other May sweeps developments, on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC), Dr. Carter flies to Paris on short notice and, once there, makes some life-altering decisions about his life with or without Kem (Thandie Newton). This sets up Noah Wyle's departure from the long-running hospital soap.
- For what it's worth, tonight also marks the two-part series finale of "The Simple Life: Interns" (8 p.m., Fox). In the first half-hour, the petulant princesses work at a Nashville wedding chapel. In the second, they intern for a motivational speaker and beauty queen coach.
This season finale arrives well after the much-written-about estrangement of the two stars, and after Ms. Hilton's much-publicized efforts to change her image and career direction. The simple fact is that the joke behind "The Simple Life" is deader than the toe-tagged subject of a "CSI" repeat.
Tonight's other highlights
- Somebody's torch gets doused on "Survivor" (7 p.m., CBS).
- Sandy and Caleb confront Kirsten about her behavior on "The O.C." (7 p.m., Fox).
- Nia Vardalos stars in the 2002 comedy blockbuster "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (7 p.m., ABC). Some of the cast returned for the 2003 CBS sitcom adaptation, but the word-of-mouth romantic-comedy hit did not survive the move to the small screen.
- Two solid hours of "Blue Collar TV" (7 p.m., WB).
- Death strikes a college dormitory on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Tana Goertz and Kendra Todd tangle for the top spot on the second-to-last episode of "The Apprentice" (8 p.m., NBC).
- An elderly man vanishes after a suicide attempt on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS), featuring Martin Landau as Jack's father.
- Scheduled on "Primetime" (9 p.m., ABC): the motives behind a 2003 factory shooting; an interview with George Lopez about his recent surgery.
Billy Crystal and Garbage appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 a.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Goldie Hawn, Larry the Cable Guy and Santana on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Wilmer Valderrama, Ludacris and Jessi Alexander appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 a.m., ABC).
Will Ferrell and Louis XIV chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Craig Ferguson hosts Ruth Reichl and Spoon on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).