Tuned In: What’s Hot, Hotter And Definitely Not Happening In TV

What’s Hot: Tuesday Ratings

A wild man-to-beast transformation on “Fringe” and the wildness that is Hollywood week on “American Idol” lifted FOX to a big ratings win Tuesday night.

The Biggest Loser” continued to throw its weight around as well, and is shaping up to be one of NBC’s few bright spots in its schedule this year. “The Mentalist” won the 9pm hour (by airing a repeat nonetheless) and The CW even had something to smile about as “90210” enjoyed its best numbers in a month, and “Privileged” surged to its best showing since November 2008.

While it’s encouraging to see the CW shows improve, the numbers still aren’t big enough to quiet speculation that this could be the last season for the network. “90210” needed to be a breakthrough hit for the network, and it’s not even The CW’s highest rated show (“Top Model” and “Smallville” are). Let’s hope that Tori Spelling’s return as Donna Martin coming up will give the show a bigger audience and just perhaps save the network. If Donna can’t do it, no one can!

What’s Hotter: Fringe

“Fringe” had its second biggest audience ever last night (Thank you very much, “American Idol” lead-in!) and it’s looking more and more like FOX has successfully nurtured a show to the next level, just as “House” grew in the past with the help of “Idol”. The show has really found its stride of late by focusing on the core three (Olivia, Walter and Peter) plus peppering in new characters like Olivia’s sister and niece and more spine-tingling cases. (And the show also does very well right here on Fancast.)

It seems like everything creator J.J. Abrams touches turns to gold, and after a bit of a slow start, I’m proud to say I’m officially on board the “Fringe” train. The show definitely has procedural elements to it with the “crime of the week” but the mythology that comes into play (the Observer, Massive Dynamics, Olivia’s stepfather) keeps my eyes peeled the whole hour looking for “Lost”-like Easter eggs and clues. Yup, “Fringe” is now at the top of my Tuesday night TV list… with a bullet.

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Wednesday Sizzlers:

  • Lost: 9pm ET on ABC Things weren’t looking good for our favorite redhead Charlotte last week, as she collapsed at the end of the episode with blood streaming down her face. Could she really be dead? Besides finding out Charlotte’s fate, we also learn that someone indeed does know that Kate’s not Aaron’s father.
  • American Idol: 8pm ET on FOX The Hollywood round continues, with the tears, the drama and … gasp, the group numbers! Yes, those favorites from seasons gone by are back, and you just know someone’s not going to want to rehearse, someone’s going to forget their lyrics, and someone’s going to talk back to Simon. I can’t wait!
  • Damages: 10pm on FX The delicate tap dance between power players Ellen and Patty reaches a new level this week when Patty starts to question why Ellen came back to the firm. Will she find out her young protege is secretly working for the FBI?
  • What’s Definitely Not Happening:

    “Privileged” enjoyed its biggest ratings since November of last year, but it’s still highly questionable whether this show will be back for a second season. Much more fun than “90210” with a bigger heart, this is the CW show that deserved to get a lot more media attention, but unfortunately it’s fallen a bit by the wayside. Joanne Garcia (“Reba“) is a gem as Megan, and now is the time to check this show out before it wraps up its season this month. The show only got 18 episodes this season instead of the customary 22, so i’m keeping my fingers crossed. This is definitely a show that deserves a second season.

    The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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