Archive for Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can karma save ‘Earl’ once more?

May 14, 2009


Season finales abound tonight. Most Thursday-night series will return next fall. Some are definitely goners and at least one favorite remains on the bubble.

Final word on the fate of “My Name Is Earl” (7 p.m., NBC) has yet to arrive. If I were a betting man, I’d wager tonight marks the end for this audacious series that scoured America’s trailer parks for its often-outrageous humor.

“Earl” has had a nice long run and has pretty much exhausted Earl’s quest for karma and explored the wacky back stories of its major characters. “Earl” always managed to walk an interesting fine line between envelope-pushing language and life-affirming homilies. It remained one of the few comedies to conclude every week with hugs and lessons. And it combined these insightful tales with stories of thieves, prostitutes and adulterers. Come to think of it, there are thieves and prostitutes and adulterers in the Bible, too.

I strongly believe that NBC will come to regret its decision to renew “Parks and Recreation” for a second season. The series shares a documentary-style awkwardness with “The Office,” but has little of that series’ wit and none of its heart. Every episode of “Parks” is like an “SNL” skit that has arrived DOA and has dug itself an 11-minute hole and has another 11 minutes to dig itself out.

“The Office” (8 p.m., NBC) will come full circle tonight when Michael takes the staff on a company picnic (the site of a previous season finale) only to find deposed human-resources manager Holly (Amy Ryan) in attendance.

CBS offers few surprises with the always dependable “Survivor” and “CSI” on its roster. The Las Vegas-based forensic series witnessed the departure of its biggest star (William Petersen) and the arrival of Laurence Fishburne as his replacement without missing many beats. In many ways, this marks “CSI” as the true inheritor of the “Law & Order” mantle, the franchise bigger than any one star or personality.

• The intriguing Canadian-produced series “Being Erica” (9 p.m., Soapnet) wraps up its first season when the time-traveling patient returns to the moment of her greatest heartache — the sudden and unexpected death of her brother.

• Armchair storm chasers are in luck. “Disaster Lab: Into the Tornado” (7 p.m., National Geographic) takes a 3-D look at the funnel of a twister as scientists explain ways to improve ways to predict killer storms.

Tonight’s season finales

• After a murder, everyone at the Jefferson lab becomes a suspect on “Bones” (7 p.m., Fox). Guest stars include Ryan O’Neal, Brendan Fehr, Eric Milligan and members of Motley Crue.

• Clark confronts Doomsday on “Smallville” (7 p.m., CW).

• Leslie butters up a big shot on “Parks and Recreation” (7:30 p.m., NBC).

• Stolen chips loom large in a poker-related murder spree on “CSI” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Gordon Ramsay picks a winner on “Hell’s Kitchen” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Izzie mulls a new cancer treatment on “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Good and evil do battle on “Supernatural” (8 p.m., CW).

• Time may be running out for Jack to bond with his biological father (Alan Alda) on “30 Rock” (8:30 p.m., NBC).


Steve Jacob 9 years ago

Word is FOX will pick up "My Name is Earl" if NBC let's it go.

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