Thursday TV: Fighting Power and Finales

Empowering and inspiring, the Mexican American Studies Program in Tuscon obliterated dropout rates. While nationally, 48 percent of Mexican American students drop out, 98 percent of the program’s students graduated and 85 percent went on to college.

Still, in a state where it was becoming legal to detain people based on racial profiling, the program didn’t have a future from conservatives on the board of ed who were not so much bigoted as completely clueless at what was going on in the classroom.

“Precious Knowledge,” by Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings), makes a strong case for the program’s success and the shameful way it was taken down by the state two years ago. While it ceased to exist, it managed to inspire programs in several other states. It’s definitely worth a watch.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 9 p.m.) has been the place for some particularly egregious, gratuitously bloody finales in past years and seeks to etend that tonight with the big small plane crash episode that scatters the doctors. It may make you relieved that the show’s going away for a while.

It’s also the finale of a Shonda  Rhimes show I like even less, “Scandal” (ABC, 10 p.m.) which, unbelievably, is also coming back.

Tonight’s the last you’ll see of “Missing” (ABC, 8 p.m.) the Ashley Judd vehicle that itself will go missing next year after just one half-season. Hope she finds her son tonight, then.

Likewise, “Awake” (NBC, 10 p.m.) was not renewed for a second season. Tonight’s he first half of the season finale; it exits next week.

The network has packed in three episodes of “Community” (NBC, 8, 9 and 9:30 p.m.) to make an event of its finale. It’s the end of the season too for “30 Rock” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) with Jack and Avery renewing vows. It will be back next season for its final 13 episode season.

“Rules of Engagement” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) reaches its season finale and though it wasn’t included in CBS’s plans for next season at the upfronts Wednesday, is isn’t necessarily over; the series has been kept around to stick into programming holes for several seasons now.

It’s not just the season finale for “The Mentalist” (CBS, 10 p.m.); it’s the last time it’ll be on Thursdays. When it returns in the fall, it will run on Sunday nights. “Conflict of Interest” (CBS, 9 p.m.) also wraps its first season and will return in the fall.

To prepare for next week’s finale, the final two are unveiled at the end of “American Idol” (Fox, 8 p.m.) and Adam Lambert returns to sing and share grooming ideas.

They announce their fall schedule today, but tonight they employ a dude with pink hair to do their entertainment interview on “Perez Hilton All Access: Katy Perry” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

Miley Cyrus pulls a prank on her boyfriend on a new “Punk’d” (MTV, 10 p.m.).

The true crime films on Turner Classic Movies are “Boomerang” (8 p.m.), “Call Northside 777” (10 p.m.), “The Wrong Man” (midnight), “Anatomy of a Murder” (2 a.m.) and “Dr. Crippen” (4:45 a.m.).

NBA playoff games include game 3 of Heat at Pacers (ESPN, 7 p.m.) and game 2 of Clippers at Spurs (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.). In the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s  game 3 of Coyotes at Kings (NBC Sports, 9 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Christina Hendricks, Maria Menounos, Derek Hough, Chris Harrison. The View: Betty White, Susan Lucci, cast of “Once.” The Talk: Howard Stern, Beth Ostrosky Stern, Mary Alice Stephenson. Ellen DeGeneres: Russell Brand.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Conan O’Brien, Regina Spektor, John Mayer. Jay Leno: Hugh Laurie, Robert Griffin III. Jimmy Kimmel: Matthew Morrison, Beth Ostrosky Stern, Delta Spirit. Jimmy Fallon: Arsenio Hall, Maggie Q, Paul Weller. Craig Ferguson: Mila Kunis, the Imagineers. Tavis Smiley: David Talbot, Bonnie St. John. Carson Daly: Peter Berg, “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” Young the Giant. Jon Stewart: Dr. John R. Hall (rerun). Stephen Colbert: Michelle Alexander (rerun). Conan O’Brien: Wanda Sykes, Brooklyn Decker, Rufus Wainwright. Chelsea Handler: Giada De Laurentiis, Natasha Leggero, April Richardson, Ross Mathews.

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