Tonight marks the season finales of two very different shows.
"X-Factor," (Fox, 8 p.m.), one of the most hyped shows in recent memory, wraps up its first season by crowning a winner for TV's largest prize of $5 million.
Though the ratings have been good, "X-Factor" has to be considered something of a disappointment by those involved. Fox thought the ratings would eclipse those of "American Idol," particularly with the reunion of "AI" judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
But, for whatever reason, it didn't. Maybe it's too close to the "Idol" format and viewers have gotten worn out. Part of the success of NBC's "The Voice" was doing something completely different than "AI" (and having much better talent, IMO).
Meanwhile, over at FX, the third season of "The League" wraps up with two new episodes from 10-11 p.m. If you are looking for an example of a series that has picked up viewers through word of mouth, this is it. I can name at least two fantasy football players who refused to watch the show when it debuted, but now are huge fans.
Given its raunchy subject matter, "The League" would have never been as good had it been on one of the networks, but it's a perfect fit for FX and has emerged as one of TV's best comedies.
Meanwhile, in other TV news, HBO pulled a headscratcher by renewing only "Enlightened" among its comedies and canceling "How To Make It In America," "Bored To Death" and "Hung."
"Enlightened," starring Laura Dern, was the lowest-rated of the four comedies and certainly the most polarizing -- people either seem to love it or hate it. (I haven't watched it). It did get some Golden Globe love, which probably bought it another season.
I didn't watch "How To Make It," but "Bored To Death" was one of the funniest half hours on TV. Some people have speculated that the cast members -- Jason Schwartzmann, Zack Galifanakas and Ted Danson -- are so in demand and busy with other projects that finding time to make the show was problematic.
As for "Hung," it had kind of run its course for me, particularly since Tanya (Jane Addams) had gone from scatterbrained funny to annoyingly stupid over the course of the show, and there's no reason why Ray (Thomas Jane) would have stuck it out with her. Also, I never bought that those kids could be the progeny of two people who look like Thomas Jane and Anne Heche.
Still, all three of those shows outdrew "Enlightened" by at least a million viewers or more, so the move is a puzzler.