Monday TV: ‘House’ Closing, ‘Ninja’ Invasion

As great as dramas have become on cable, the same improvement can’t be found on broadcast TV, where most hour long shows are still bad variations on cop, hospital and law genres.

But the form took a big step forward with the appearance of “House” (Fox, 8 p.m.), in which Hugh Laurie so well played a misanthropic man of medicine – the antihero as hero in a network show. At the same time, the show was a brainy mystery that despite its form – a doctor show – was actually patterned after Sherlock Holmes.

With big dollops of dark humor, ad a strong set of supporting characters, it raised the level of broadcast drama, particularly on Fox, which took chances on further smart shows that followed, from “Bones” to “Prison Break.”

Its leave tonight shows another strong aspect of “House” – it’s leaving not because of faltering ratings but because its creators wanted to wrap the story before it went on too long.

Tonight’s two hour sendoff begins with a one-hour look back before the final episode tells the final tale of what we’ll know about Dr. Gregory House.

It comes on a night when some more of the thin network entertainment for summer invades. “America Ninja Warrior” (NBC, 9 p.m.) was previously on cable’s G4 (though its finale moved to NBC). Anyway it’s all on network TV this time, on a course they built in Vegas instead of Japan. It still looks like a slimmed down “American Gladiator” to me.

The final performance show for “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) is also its shortest: one hour. Can’t say those left to compete are exactly stars, the leading contender is a British opera singer you’ve never heard of, Katherine Jenkins. Also in the finals are NFL star Donald Driver and telenovela dude William Levy. A winner is named Tuesday.

The breeze, sophisticated and surprisingly complex pop of Hal David and Burt Bacharach are honored “In Performance at the White House” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) winning the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize with performances by Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, Michael Feinstein, Lyle Lovett and Mike Myers in his Austin Powers guise.

If “The Bachelorette” (ABC, 9 p.m.) is being shot in Charlotte this season, why does the mansion look like it’s exactly the same place it’s always been?

CBS seems to be giving up on the season, with comedy reruns and a special called “Clash of the Commercials: USA vs. the World” (CBS, 10 p.m.), hosted by Heidi Klum and Kevin Fraizer.

Auditions for “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) move to New York City.

It’s a night of “River Monsters” (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.) with a trip to Africa followed by a two hour hunts in Florida and Missouri.

Who says you can’t bring Fido back from the dead? “I Cloned My Pet” (TLC, 10 p.m.).

Sally Field is star on Turner Classic Movies, with “Norma Rae” (8 p.m.), “Places in the Heart” (10 p.m.), “Absence of Malice” (midnight), “Murphy’s Romance” (2:15 a.m.) and “The End” (4:15 a.m.).

NBA playoff games are 76ers at Celtics (TNT, 7 p.m.) and Lakers at Thunder (TNT, 9:30 p.m.) – both in Game 5.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s Rangers at Devils (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.) in Game 4.

In baseball, it’s Braves at Reds (ESPN, 7 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Robin Thicke, Emily Maynard, Taye Diggs. The View: Jamie Iliver, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Sam Lkein, Paula Deen. The Talk: Marie Osmond, Marilu Henner. Ellen DeGeneres: Howie Mandel, Cat Deeley.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Lea Michele, Barry Sonnenfeld. Jay Leno: Kevin Costner, Bailee Madison, Lisa Marie Presley. Jimmy Kimmel: Kathy Griffin, Emily Maynard, Gavin DeGraw. Jimmy Fallon: John Lithgow, Miranda Cosgrove, Slash. Craig Ferguson: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Stephen Wright. Tavis Smiley: Bill Bradley. Carson Daly: Geoff Boucher, Neon Hitch, Melvins. Conan O’Brien: Elizabeth Banks, Timothy Olyphant, John Mulaney (rerun). Chelsea Handler: Randy Jackson, John Caparulo, Ali Wong, Chris Franjola.

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