TV best bets with David Letterman farewell, season finales of 'Survivor,' 'Modern Family,' 'The Voice'

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Sunday, May 17, 2015

While the TV broadcast season officially ends Wednesday (I know. That's still a thing?), the most notable series ending will be David Letterman's venerable late night show on CBS that night.

While he was inspired by the likes of his predecessors Steve Allen and Johnny Carson, Letterman brought a fresh ironic, sardonic sensibility to late night television that Gen Xers ate up. His fingerprints remain on  current generation hosts (the two Jimmy's, James Cordon), who have taken Letterman's many quirky experiments and turned them viral, so to speak.

He wasn't the most popular guy at night, but it's hard to measure the respect he has garnered. Expect a huge audience for his finale night and an emotional farewell.

Meanwhile, three major reality shows are closing shop for the spring: "The Voice," "Survivor" and "Dancing With the Stars." And a few summer series are back, including Fox's "Masterchef" and ABC's 'The Bachelorette." And NBC experiments with a game show over nine nights called "500 Questions," which might actually do worse than the audacious "Million Second Quiz" two years ago.


“Two Broke Girls” 8 p.m. CBS (fourth season finale) — Max and Caroline are tasked with retrieving Sophie's wedding dress.

“Dancing With the Stars ” 8 p.m. ABC — Rumer Willis is the favorite to win.

“The Following ” 8 p.m. Fox (two-hour series finale) — The FBI's hunt for Theo intensifies as some of their own are attacked.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta ” 8 p.m. VH1 — Rasheeda learns of Kirk's budget woes.

“The Voice ” 8 p.m. NBC — The live finale part one.

“Mike & Molly ” 8:30 p.m. CBS (fifth season finale) — Carl and Victoria's nasty breakup necessitates Mike having to tell Carl he's uninvited from his and Molly's anniversary cruise.

“The Bachelorette ” 9 p.m. ABC (11th season debut) — Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe welcome 25 bachelors to the mansion.

“American Dad ” 9 p.m. TBS (10th season debut) — Jeff returns from space, allegedly.

“Southern Rites ” 9 p.m. HBO — Photographer Gillian Laub returns to the Georgia community where she documented segregated proms in 2009 to examine the lingering racial tension in the aftermath of the shooting of a young black man that occurred during a historic campaign for sheriff.

“Keeping Up With the Kardashians ” 9 p.m. E! — Part 2 about the Kardashians reacting to Bruce Jenner's gender  shift.

The Night Shift ” 10:01 p.m. NBC (second season finale) — Two deadly snipers terrorize San Antonio.

NCIS: Los Angeles ” 10: p.m. CBS (sixth season finale) — The team travels to Moscow where they assume multiple undercover identities to locate suspects in the case involving Arkady.


“Hell’s Kitchen” 8 p.m. Fox (back to back new episodes) — Seven contestants remain to prepare a premiere dish using various cuts of steak in less than 35 minutes.

“The Flash” 8 p.m. the CW (first season finale) — Wells presents Barry with a life-changing choice.

“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC — Bachelorettes Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe learn which one of them is staying and which one is going home.

“Dancing With the Stars” 9 p.m. ABC (2oth season finale) — Riker Lynch has the highest average judges' score to date but the public might vote differently.

“The Voice” 9 p.m. NBC (eighth season finale) — Sawyer Fredericks is the favorite to win.

“iZombie ” 9 p.m. the CW — Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a journalist who was working on a story that linked psychotic episodes in a small number of consumers to a popular energy drink.

Deadliest Catch ” 9 p.m. Discovery — Elliot Neese makes a life-changing decision aboard the Saga.

“Younger ” 10 p.m. TV Land — Liza visits her old book club in New Jersey to promote an unpublished author she discovered at work.

“Finding Carter ” 10 p.m. MTV — Carter is grounded just as an old friend arrives with alarming information about Lori; and Taylor sees Max in a different light after learning about his past.

“Inside Amy Schumer ” 10:30 p.m. Comedy — Amy competes in a pageant; gives breast milk to a dog; and admires her new figure.


“Survivor ” 8 p.m. CBS (30th season finale) — Hopefully, the final three will at least Carolyn or Mike. The other three? Decidedly unworthy.

“Masterchef ” 8 p.m. Fox (sixth season debut) — New judge is James Beard award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi.

“500 Questions ” 8 p.m. ABC (new series) — Over nine nights, CNN business reporter Richard Quest poses 500 questions to 28 geniuses. Miss three in a row? You're gone.

“The Mysteries of Laura ” 8 p.m. NBC (first season finale) — Jake remains in critical condition

“Law & Order: SVU ” 9 p.m. NBC (16th season finale) — Noah's biological father is put on trial for a number of crimes

“Modern Family ” 9 p.m. ABC (sixth season finale) — Alex graduates high school.

“Supernatural ” 9 p.m. the CW (10th season finale) — Dean makes a shocking decision regarding the Mark of Cain

“Black-ish ” 9:31 p.m. ABC (first season finale) — Jack and Diane learn the history of the Johnson family from Pop.

“C elebrity Wife Swap ” 10 p.m. ABC (10th season debut) — Jackee Harry swaps with Traci Lords.

“Late Show With David Letterman ” 11:35 p.m. CBS (series finale) — Bidding farewell to a comedy legend.


“Red Nose Day” 8 p.m. NBC —Fundraiser to help poor children featuring Will Ferrell, Jennifer Hudson, Jack Black, Sam Smith, among others.

“Wayward Pines” 9 p.m. Fox (new series) — Ethan is helped by Beverly as he continues looking for clues to figure out how Secret Service agent Bill Evans' body ended up in an abandoned house.

“Braxton Family Values” 9 p.m. WE (fourth season summer debut) The Braxton sisters attempt to put the past behind them and reunite for a weekend after discovering that their mom Evelyn needs major surgery.

“The Comedians 10 p.m. FX — Josh takes Billy out to celebrate his birthday.

“Lost in Transmission 10 p.m. History — A bug-infested 1964 Ford F100 that has sat idle for four years is worked on.

“Cutting It: In the ATL” 10 p.m. WE (new series) Atlanta hair salon owners debate marketing tactics.

“Lip Sync Battle 10 p.m. Spike — Salt v. Pepa.

“Louie 10:30 p.m. FX —Louie goes on the road.


“500 Questions 8 p.m. ABC  — More trivia nuts struggling with tough questions.

“Alaskan Bush People 9 p.m. Discovery — Highlights from the season.

“The Hustlers 9 p.m. truTV (new series) — A reality series following pool players in New York City.

“Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse 9 p.m. OWN — Angela learns of Keisha's recent behavior; and chooses to remove herself from the situation rather than getting involved.

“Bitten 11 p.m. Syfy The Pack have things under control when the Council of Alphas reassemble at Stonehaven, but then a surprise visit from Savannah sort of puts their plans into a tailspin.


“Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime — A 16-year-old girl, Hannah Anderson, is kidnapped in a San Diego suburb by a family friend, and her mother and brother are killed.

“Orphan Black” 8 p.m. Saturday BBCA — Dr. Coady has done something to Sarah that’s making her very ill and Paul’s not taking it lying down.

“The Cannibal in the Jungle” 9 p.m. Animal Planet —An American scientist is charged with killing and eating two colleagues in Indonesia in 1977.

“Game of Thrones” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — Sansa reaches out to Theon.

“Nurse Jackie” 9 p.m. Showtime — Jackie becomes determined to stop dealing and makes one last purge of her stash with Eddie.

“A.D.: The Bible Continues” 9 p.m. Sunday NBC — Saul hunts for Peter and has a life-altering vision on the road to Damascus

“Battle Creek” 10 p.m. Sunday CBS (series finale) — Milt survives a car bomb attack and enlists Russ to track down his would-be assassin.

“Penny Dreadful” 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime— Lyle reveals that the Verbis Diablo relics tell a very dark and disturbing story that affects Vanessa.

“Salem” 10 p.m. Sunday WGN — Countess Marburg's Achilles' heel is revealed.

“The Lizzie Bordon Chronicles” 10 p.m. Sunday Lifetime (first season finale) — Lizzie races to Boston, where Emma is taking refuge in the luxurious home of Adele Trotwood and her family.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.