Once again, "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) returns to the airwaves, meaning another five months of insipid Steven Tyler-isms for the show's fans to endure.
I generally don't watch the show, but I may check out tonight's auditions since they take place in my hometown of Savannah. However, since 'Idol' doesn't seem to recruit anyone over 35, I doubt I'll catch someone I used to know.
'AI' hasn't shown much drop-off in ratings since Simon Cowell left. In fact, Tyler and Jennifer Lopez managed to maintain pretty consistent numbers last season after the departure of the previous set of judges.
The interesting thing is, "AI" faces a real challenge from NBC's "The Voice," which is set to return soon. Though "The Voice's" numbers were about two-thirds of "AI," the show had so much buzz that "AI's" Randy Jackson felt the need to trash "The Voice" last week at the TV critics' tour.
I can understand why Jackson is worried -- "The Voice" seems fresher and is usually more fun than "AI," and its singers are a lot better.
But my real question is, how much before all of these music shows start canceling each other out? Over the fall, we had the "AI"-like "X-Factor" from Simon Cowell, which was something of a disappointment despite very healthy ratings. There was also "America's Got Talent."
Now you have "AI" twice a week and "The Voice" twice a week, so how long before fans of the genre start tuning out?
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC's delightful lineup of sitcoms is all new tonight. Have you noticed how they are mixing up the families on "Modern Family" this year? It's kind of neat, especially when Manny and Luke are together. They are followed by a new "Revenge" at 10 p.m.
CBS has a new "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" from 9-11 p.m., and NBC has new episodes of "Whitney," "Chelsea," "Harry's Law" and "Law & Order: SVU." The CW airs a new "One Tree Hill" at 8 p.m.
On cable, "Royal Pains" (USA, 10 p.m.) is back for a new season, picking up immediately where the last one left off: Divya has just given the wrong medicine to a patient (Wilmer Valderrama); Jill is having mixed feelings about leaving; and Evan keeps trying to earn the blessing of his future father-in-law (Bob Gunton). Tom Cavanagh ("Ed") also returns as a golfer patient of Hank's.
Also on cable, BBC America returns with a new season of its night-time soap opera "Mistresses" at 10 p.m. Considering what the network has been airing in this timeslot as part of Dramaville, this is quite the come-down.