Simon Cowell Gets Company

American Idol returns with a fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, and Fox promising less horrible auditions.

Between 24 and Superstars of Dance, these two hour TV blocks are killing me! Luckily it didn't take much brain power to flip between 24 and Superstars of Dance. Dance because, well...it's a dancing show and 24...predictable, so no brain power needed.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy both shows but Dance has lost a bit of its luster, mostly due to the fact that I still have no idea when and how people are eliminated. 24 was an action packed ride but I called Tony as an undercover agent from the first. But wait! Maybe he's a double agent? Still, I don't see how he and Jack can justify the murder of innocent people (like the ambassador's staff) just to keep their own cover safe. Yes, I know -- it's just a TV show.

They're cheering American Idol in Kansas CityTonight is jam packed with new goods including that anticipated arrival of American Idol 2009. As far as the awful American Idol auditions, I think Idol lies. The whole audition section of American Idol has always been about the crazies. The talent doesn't show up until we get to the top ten. Face it, producers, people may grumble, but who hasn't sung along to, "I am your brother! Your best friend, forever!"

I'll keep singing. You keep reading.

Tonight On TV -- Tuesday, January 13

Fox fills the night with music, sort of. It's the return of American Idol where Simon Cowell has company on the judge panel beyond the usual suspects Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

NBC goes with The Biggest Loser and then Olivia goes undercover as a madam on Law & Order SVU.

CBS has a strong line-up. First Ducky is accused of war crimes on NCIS, a young football player is murdered on The Mentalist and on Without a Trace, the team searches for Elena's former partner.

NCIS has tragedy strike homeA man with a skull raises questions on ABC's Homeland Security, then it's a double dose of Scrubs, followed by Primetime: What Would You Do?

Finally, The CW has new episodes of 90210 and Privileged.

Over on cable

The Food Network's answer to Top Chef begins tonight. On Chopped, a new group of chefs battle for dominance each week as they take on a variety of culinary challenges.

Leverage is new on TNT tonight with Nate and the gang going up against the mob.

FX has a new episode of Nip/Tuck, Oxygen delivers The Bad Girls Club and Bravo has The Real Housewives of Orange County.

If you like to star gaze, check out the History channel series The Universe, new at 9:00.

News and notable

Breaking news from the Television Critics Association -- Fox has canceled Prison Break. Just, not right now. The show has at least four more episodes to air but then their breaking days are over.

Also according to Michael Ausielle, What About Brian's Amanda Detmer has booked a short arc on Private Practice.

He also reports that Dante's Cove star Gregory Michael will be joining Greek as a love interest for Calvin.

SCI FI Channel gave Destination Truth the go-ahead for a third season.

TNT has picked up Ray Romano's mid-life crisis series Coming of Age. Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula also star.

SOAPnet has a quirky new series called Being Erica. It's about a woman who can time travel in order to fix mistakes in her past. The series premieres February 19.

Today's clip: American Idol!

 

 

Photo credit:
American Idol -- Kansas City, MO auditioner Andrew Lang, 19. Columbia, MO. CR: Michael Becker / FOX
NCIS: Broken Bird -- After Ducky (David McCallum, left, with Brian Dietzen, right) is stabbed at a crime scene, the team uncovers disturbing secrets from the good doctor's past on NCIS. Photo: Randy Tepper/CBS

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