Critic’s corner: What’s on TV Thursday

Michael Becker/FOX

American Idol 8 p.m., Channel 25

An odd thing happened to this season of the Fox reality competition. They stacked the deck with a strong field of female singers to get away from the pattern of recent victors. They freshened up the judges’ table with new recruits Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, and fanned the flames of feuding between Carey and Minaj. They offered a new twist on online voting. And yet ratings for the aging series are down and I’ve never been more bored watching it, even as I appreciate that the remaining four contestants — Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison, and Angie Miller — are all talented. Locals at least have a rooting interest in Beverly’s Miller, who we’d bet will still be standing after Thursday’s elimination. But “Idol” producers need to figure out how to pump some lifeblood into the series for next season. Pictured (from left): Urban, Minaj, Randy Jackson, and Carey.

The Vampire Diaries 8 p.m., Channel 56


Speaking of blood, Klaus and his fanged siblings head to New Orleans to meet up with some of their fellow “Originals” in a back-door pilot that introduces the principals of a potential spinoff that would take place in the Big Easy. Pictured: Paul Wesley as Stefan and Claire Holt as Rebekah.

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The Big Bang Theory 8 p.m., Channel 4

Ever loved a show canceled before its time? So has Sheldon, to predictably neurotic results.

Glee 9 p.m., Channel 25

Unplugged. Yet renewed for two more seasons.


The Office 9 p.m., Channel 7

Roseanne drops by to lend a hand.