Jacques Pepin, Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

American Idol
8 pm/ET FOX
Hollywood is turning Hollyweird with this sing-songy crew in town. Colorful real-world characters have dotted the landscape — and angry departures, weepy eliminations and jubilant triumphs have ruled the day. Last week's annual group performances, a usual source of ego conflicts, featured offbeat dramas (bye-bye, Bikini Girl) and catty clashing so suitable for divas-in-training. There will need to be more harmony in tonight's two-hour blast, which unveils the Top 36 semifinalists. —Dean Maurer


Criminal Minds
9 pm/ET CBS
In the quest to come up with new ways for people to die, the series has offered some gruesome murders and twisted killers. Some, however, just take "sick" to a new weird level, as in tonight's case of a killer who embalms his victims in order to spend more time with them. Cybill Shepherd guest stars as a suspect's mother. —Bill Ecklund

Top Chef
10 pm/ET Bravo
And then there were five. It was an unexpected exit last week for Jamie when her overly seasoned celery made the judges... salty. Her kitchen colleagues — Leah, Carla, Fabio, Hosea and factious front-runner Stefan — now advance without her. Tonight chef Wylie Dufresne and celebrity cook Jacques Pepin are guest judges when the cooks prove their meal mettle in the last challenge before the two-part season finale. (Part 1 airs next week.) Fans of fab Fabio, watch out: It appears your man suffers a culinary injury tonight. —Dean Maurer

Important Things with Demetri Martin
10:30 pm/ET Comedy Central
While it's difficult to think of a more generic title for a TV show, there's nothing ordinary about Demetri Martin's cerebral approach to, well, just about everything. Blending sketch comedy, music, stand-up and animation, the deadpan comic picks a topic, such as "power" or "safety," and mines it for all the conceptual absurdity you had no idea it was worth. Tonight's premiere explores "timing" and includes a skit with Amanda Peet about anger issues that is not to be missed. —Joe Friedrich

Life on Mars
10:02 pm/ET ABC
Investigating death threats against rock star Sebastian Grace (Cheyenne Jackson) pulls Sam and Chris into a wild world inhabited by groupies like Rocket Girl, who's waiting for UFO arrivals. There's also an FBI agent known as The Sorcerer on the case. (He's played by acclaimed character actor Wallace Shawn.) But most curious of all, Sam thinks he may have found a way to get back to his time. —Fred Mitchell