TV

Swan Songs

Tonight, two different series wrap up their seasons -- one of which for good.

"Life On Mars" (ABC, 10 p.m.) airs its series finale tonight, apparently telling us why Sam (Jason O'Mara) went back to 1973. The American version of "LOM" will end up having run one episode longer than the BBC version.

The US version wasn't bad. I think O'Mara is a star on the rise and I've always thought Gretchen Mol to be one of the more underrated actresses of her generation. After borrowing heavily from the BBC version, the US scripts managed to branch off in a different direction.

But I hated Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli as Gene Hunt and Ray Carling, respectively, since neither came close to measuring up to their UK counterparts, Philip Glenister and Dean Andrews in the same respective roles. Keitel and Imperioli spent way too much time shouting their lines and mugging for the camera before they finally settled into a bit of a groove at the end. But Glenister, who owned the streets of Manchester as Hunt in the original, made the character something truly to marvel at. (You can catch Glenister and Andrews in the roles on "Ashes To Ashes" on BBC America, the "LOM" spinoff set in 1981.)

Also wrapping up tonight is "Damages" (FX, 10 p.m.), with a special 90-minute wrapup. Though the show will likely be back, it will wrap up the storyline of Patty (Glenn Close) trying to take down UNR while Ellen (Rose Byrne) tries to take down Patty.

"Damages" is a complicated, densely plotted show -- at times too dense for its own good -- but the acting makes it one of the best shows on TV.

I should note that "Damages" will be replaced by "Rescue Me" next week. Having seen the first nine episodes of "Rescue Me," I can safely say that the show is back on track and that this is shaping up to be the best season ever. I'll write more about it next week.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m.) had a killer ending last week, but was it killer in the Sayid-finished-off-Ben-and-thus-wrecked-the-space/time-continuum sense? I guess we'll have to tune in and find out. It follows new episodes of "Scrubs" and "Better Off Ted."

In honor of April Fool's Day, CBS is airing "I Get That A Lot" at 8 p.m., in which real celebs like Jessica Simpson and Heidi Klum work real, ordinary jobs as regular people and pretend not to be themselves. It's followed by "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY," which presumably has no April Fool's jokes.

Fox has new episodes of "Lie To Me" at 8 p.m., followed by the "American Idol" results show at 9 p.m. NBC counters with new episodes of "Life" at 9 p.m. and "Law & Order" at 10 p.m.

Finally, the special "Jerusalem: Center Of The World" (PBS, 9 p.m.) takes a look at the city that is so important to three of the world's major religions.

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