January 22, 2012 in Features

TV Notes: After ‘24,’ see if Sutherland still has magic

Chuck Barney, Contra Costa Times Contra Costa Times

Don’t miss

“Touch” – So much for Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland returns to television, playing a man dramatically different from the amped-up federal agent he embodied for eight years in “24.” Now, Sutherland is Martin Bohm, a widower and single father exasperated by an inability to connect with his 11-year-old mute son (David Mazouz). But a major breakthrough occurs when he discovers that the boy possesses a gift of incredible genius: the ability to see things that no one else can in life’s everyday patterns. The gift begins to manifest itself in strange cases, involving people across the globe who are connected in ways they never knew. Both compelling and inspiring, “Touch” quickly gets you in its grasp. 9 p.m. Wednesday, Fox.


• As if “American Idol” needed to expand its audience. The talent-show juggernaut should pull big ratings for this special one-time airing after an NFL playoff game. Now, if we can just throw some penalty flags at some of the deluded hopefuls. 10 p.m., Fox.

• Poor Snow White, um, Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin). She’s nursing a broken heart on “Once Upon a Time” as her Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) prepares to marry another woman. Funny, we can’t recall that part in our storybooks. 8 p.m., ABC.

“Desperate Housewives” continues the march toward its series finale with an episode that has Lynette (Felicity Huffman) venturing out on her first date since she and Tom (Doug Savant) separated. We’re thinking that it will rank pretty high on the awkward meter. 9 p.m., ABC.


Another very creepy scumbag surfaces on “Alcatraz.” He’s a ruthless kidnapper from the past who returns the children he abducts – after he’s killed them. 9 p.m., Fox.


• President Obama delivers what he hopes won’t be his last State of the Union address when he goes before Congress and the American people to offer his take on the economy and other issues. TV pundits and Republican rivals, of course, will be poised to dissect every line. 6 p.m., broadcast networks and cable news channels.

• “Geronimo: American Experience” is a new profile of the prominent Native American leader who made a major mark in the Old West. To many whites, he was a brutal savage. To his own people, he was a hero fighting to preserve the old ways, although some of them saw him as a troublemaker with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance. 8 p.m. KSPS, 9 p.m., KCDT.


For 12 seasons, folks have come and gone on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” but Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows has always been a mainstay. That changes tonight, when she puts aside the fingerprints and blood samples and turns in her badge. She’ll be missed. 10 p.m., CBS.


• On “30 Rock,” Tracy (Tracy Morgan), embarks on another misguided mission. This time, he’s leading a protest in defense of morons. Sounds like a movement that will undoubtedly resonate with some sitcom writers. 8 p.m., NBC.

“Russell Simmons Presents the Ruckus” is a new stand-up comedy series designed to showcase funny veterans and rising stars. JB Smoove hosts the festivities from the Edison Ballroom in New York City and presents filmed sketches. 10 p.m., Comedy Central.


• For five years, the lowly rated comedic action series, “Chuck,” defied the odds to stay on the air. But it all comes to an end tonight when our geek-turned-secret agent (Zachary Levi) says good-bye in back-to-back episodes. Of course, he’ll first have to make it through one last perilous mission. 8 p.m., NBC.

• Tonight brings the premiere of “Spartacus: Vengeance” with new lead actor Liam McIntyre replacing the late Andy Whitfield as the rebellious gladiator. But some things never change: The series will still be on blood-and-sex overload. 10 p.m., Starz.


Plenty of blades of glory will be on display during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif. Tonight’s coverage focuses on the women’s field, which is expected to include defending champ Alissa Czisny and rival Mirai Nagasu. 9 p.m., NBC.

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