February 19, 2012 in Features

TV Notes: ‘Downton Abbey’ wraps up season 2 in fine style

Chuck Barney Contra Costa Times
 

Catch the 500th episode of “The Simpsons” tonight at 8 on Fox.
(Full-size photo)

Don’t miss

“Downton Abbey” – Expect all the soapy shenanigans to reach a boiling point in the Season 2 finale of this ceaselessly addictive costume drama. The two-hour episode has the family gathering to celebrate Christmas and welcome the new year (1920). But not all is bliss as poor Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) is on trial for the murder of his wretched ex-wife. Meanwhile, we continue to wonder if Mary (Michelle Dockery) will throw over Sir Richard (Iain Glen) and pledge her true love to hunky Matthew (Dan Stevens). Who knows where that plot line will go, but judging from the preview footage, Matthew and Richard are set to duke it out. Sunday, 8 p.m. KSPS; 9 p.m., KCDT.

Tonight

No one – not even Matt Groening – would have predicted way back when that “The Simpsons” would crank out 500 episodes. But tonight, Homer, Marge and company hit that remarkable milestone, and they’re still going strong. 8 p.m., Fox.

A couple of clowns are joining “The Amazing Race.” No, that’s not a joke. A pair of circus clowns (husband and wife) are among 11 teams set to make the world trek as Season 20 opens. Our advice? Leave the floppy shoes at home. 8 p.m., CBS.

Call it reality TV inbreeding. The new season of “Celebrity Apprentice” features several contestants who earlier appeared on other unscripted shows, including Clay Aiken (“American Idol”), Victoria Gotti (“Growing Up Gotti”) and Teresa Giudice (“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”). 9 p.m., NBC.

Monday

On “The Bachelor,” Ben is down to four women, and he’s set to visit their hometowns, where he’ll meet their families and probably face some tough questions, like, “What’s up with that hairdo?” 8 p.m., ABC.

“Clinton: American Experience” is a compelling two-part documentary that looks back on the political journey of former President Bill Clinton, who overcame a broken childhood in Arkansas to eventually land in the White House. The film examines all the triumphs and tribulations along the way. 9 p.m., KSPS; 8 p.m., KCDT.

Tuesday

“Glee” fans had better savor tonight’s episode because the show is about to go on a winter break of nearly two months. But first, a big showdown with the Dalton Academy Warblers at Regionals. 8 p.m., Fox.

Wednesday

And you thought tensions were high during Hollywood Week. Now, it’s time for the performance challenge on “American Idol” as contestants face the judges one last time before the semifinalists are announced. 8 p.m., Fox.

Yes, fans of “One Tree Hill” are bummed out that the show soon will end, but they get a treat tonight when Chad Michael Murray returns as Lucas, who comes back to town to lend some help to Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti). The actor has been missing in action since Season 6. 8 p.m., The CW.

Thursday

There’s big trouble for Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) on “The Mentalist.” Malcolm McDowell returns in the role of Patrick’s old adversary – the sinister cult leader Bret Stiles. 10 p.m., CBS.

Friday

The latest installment of “Great Performances” puts the spotlight on “Memphis.” It’s the 2010 Tony Award winner for best new musical that turns the radio dial back to the 1950s to tell the story of a rebellious white DJ (Chad Kimball) and his affinity for African-American music. 8 p.m., KSPS; 9 p.m., KCDT.

Saturday

Yes, the Oscars are the biggie, but the Independent Spirit Awards are usually much more fun to watch. Seth Rogen hosts the annual, free-wheeling gala that honors independent films such as “The Artist” and “The Descendants.” 10 p.m., IFC.

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