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Wednesday, January 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fox’s ‘24’ calls it a day – till next year

The suspense comes to an end on the two-hour season finale of “24” (8 p.m., Fox). And not a moment too soon.

Everybody’s had a really bad day, and the pressure to pack nail-biting cliffhangers into two-dozen episodes has begun to expose the narrative holes in “24.”

How many times can CTU allow Marwan to escape? What do you expect when you send Jack and only two other guys to capture the greatest terrorist of all time? We’ve seen this happen time and again.

When the nuclear “football” was on the loose, CTU sent Jack and just one other agent to secure the device. When CTU needed to secure a computer hard drive containing vital information, it sent Chloe!

No wonder the bad guys keep getting away.

None of these howlers comes close to the Kim’s-threatened-by-a-cougar moment of earlier seasons, but they have a cumulative impact on the show’s credibility. And the soap opera quotient has increased in the past few weeks, too.

Jack’s the kind of guy who can kill without hesitation. Heck, he can go a whole day without eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom. But now he has to check in with Audrey every 5 minutes and talk about his feelings. Jack! Snap out of it!

For all of these quibbles, I certainly will miss the show when it ends. We’ll all have to wait until January 2006 to hear Kiefer Sutherland’s raspy voice utter my three favorite words on television, “Previously on ‘24.’ “

“American Experience” (9 p.m., KSPS) presents the acclaimed 2004 documentary “Guerilla: the Taking of Patty Hearst.” The film recalls the bizarre 1974 kidnapping of the media heiress with contemporary news footage and extensive interviews with reporters who covered the story and with members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the deluded group of amateur revolutionaries who snatched Hearst.

“Nick & Jessica’s Tour of Duty” (9 p.m., ABC) covers the “Newlyweds” stars as they entertain troops at Ramstein Airbase in Germany as well as in Iraq. “Tour” includes performances by Willie Nelson, Big & Rich, Brian McKnight and Jimmy Kimmel.

If history is any guide, this could be one of the sleeper events of May sweeps. Bob Hope’s Christmas specials from Vietnam rank among the highest-rated television events of all time.

Other highlights

Note: With the exception of repeats, all network shows listed below are season finales.

Tears and drywall on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How’d They Do That?” (8 p.m., ABC).

“Secret Missions of the Civil War” (8 p.m., History) recalls clandestine military actions as well as espionage and kidnapping plots hatched by both sides.

Big changes at the gaming saloon on “Las Vegas” (9 p.m., NBC).

“Real Sports” (9 p.m., HBO) includes an interview with Wally Backman, who lost his job as Arizona Diamondbacks manager after only four days.

Horatio doesn’t know if he still loves Raymond on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS).

A once skeptical Texas Ranger (Arliss Howard) risks his life to aid Allison on “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC).

Cult choice

A career gal (Doris Day) fends off the advances of a space scientist (Rod Taylor) and is accused of espionage in the 1966 comedy “The Glass Bottom Boat” (5 p.m., TCM).

Series notes

On two episodes of “Still Standing” (8 p.m., CBS), Bon Jovi (8 p.m.), and vacation plans (8:30 p.m.) … Joe Rogan hosts “Fear Factor” (8 p.m., NBC) … Breanna prepares for college on “One on One” (8 p.m., UPN) … Annie fears Simon is moving too fast on “7th Heaven” (8 p.m., WB).

Independence day on “Cuts” (8:30 p.m., UPN).

Maya’s feelings emerge on “Girlfriends” (9 p.m., UPN) … Andy mulls a move on “Everwood” (9 p.m., WB) … On two episodes of “Two and a Half Men” (CBS), a trophy wife polished (9 p.m.), and revenge of the seduced (9:30 p.m.) … Job woes on “Half & Half” (9:30 p.m., UPN).

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