What to watch on Wednesday, May 22...
SEASON 4 PREMIERE, 8pm, Fox
In the near future, when the remnants of the Fox network are but a charred primetime landscape over which Gordon Ramsay and Seth MacFarlane battle for uncontested dominance, will we look back on this season of MasterChef as the spark that lit the epic fuse? Only the gods know for sure. But just in case, don’t you owe it to yourself to watch these first two audition rounds featuring America’s most ambitious amateur cooks?
SEASON 4 FINALE, 8pm, ABC
An aloof Axl frustrates Frankie’s plans for festivities in “The Graduation,” while Sue gears up for her sixth try at passing her driver’s test. In other rite-of-passage proceedings, Brick’s vice principal (Marion Ross) reminds him of his duties as class historian with the school year coming to a close.
SEASON 4 FINALE, 9pm, ABC
The family heads to Florida after Phil’s mom passes away, leaving behind a surprising last wish. If that wish entails Claire taking an extended vacation to, say, Bora Bora for the next four or five seasons, we will all of us be in Mama Dunphy’s debt. Elsewhere in “Goodnight, Gracie,” Cam finds some kindred spirits at Frank’s retirement community, Gloria navigates legal troubles, and Jay runs into someone from his past.
SEASON 8 FINALE, 9pm, CBS
“Brothers Hotchner” and “The Replicator” bring an end to the eighth season—and potentially to whichever BAU team member the Replicator has set his lethal sights on. So if you star on Criminal Minds and aren’t under contract for Season 9, you may want to update your resume. Case-of-the-week business takes the team to Manhattan, where Hotch learns his estranged brother has ties to a rash of mysterious deaths apparently stemming from ecstasy ODs.
With the annual Memorial Day Running of the Indy Cars around the corner, the team heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to test racing myths. Challenges include whether a human can best an auto in a standing-start sprint of 30 feet, and if the suction from a revved tire can pry a manhole cover straight out of the street.
SEASON 14 FINALE, 9pm, NBC
Law & Order: SVU
An ordinary flasher reveals himself (phrasing!) to actually be a crafty criminal mastermind in “Her Negotiation.” Can the SVU squad expose the truth (PHRASING!) before his cat-and-mouse game snares Benson and the danger comes to a head? (hey, PHRASING!)
SEASON 1 FINALE, 10pm, NBC
Everybody in the whole cell block will be dancing to the jailhouse rock, if by “dancing” you mean “navigating an increasingly tense and potentially violent situation,” when the squad is called to Cook County penitentiary in “A Hell of a Ride.” Meanwhile, Hermann’s wife goes into labor, Shay looks forward to a future family of her own, and Mills and Dawson confront crucial choices.
SEASON 1 FINALE, 10pm, ABC
Rayna rocks the CMA Awards alongside Brad Paisley in “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive,” but the night turns sour after Deacon dredges up a buried secret. Meanwhile, Juliette happens upon a letter that spills her mother’s true feelings, the feds bear down on Teddy, and Gunnar triggers Brooding Alert Orange in his mission to re-woo Scarlett.
In “Nip and Suck It,” Shawn and Gus suspect foul play in the demise of a plastic surgery patient. Their chief suspect is the doctor herself—a woman who, it just so happens, used to go out with Henry.
– Jesse Eisenberg, J.J. Abrams, and 30 Seconds to Mars on Conan, 11pm, TBS
– Zach Galifianakis on Chelsea Lately, 11pm, E!
– Bill O’Reilly on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 11pm, Comedy Central
– The National on The Colbert Report, 11:30pm, Comedy Central
– Vin Diesel, Jeff Foxworthy, and The Lone Bellow on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Woody Harrelson, Tommy Johnagin, and John Fogerty with Dawes on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS
– Alyssa Milano, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, and Darius Rucker on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 11:35pm, ABC
– Dana Carvey, Elisabeth Moss, and Bobby McFerrin on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
– Stephen Fry on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS