America Ferrera America Ferrera

Castle (Monday, 10/9c, ABC)

Who's that heroic looking interloper muscling into Beckett and Castle's turf? That would be former Heroes star Adrian Pasdar, guesting in a tense two-parter as a fed who takes over a murder investigation that exposes a conspiracy with calamitous implications for the city. (Sounds like a job for Jack Bauer, but those days are over.) In other sweeps stunt-casting news, over on CBS's Hawaii Five-0 in the same hour, Danno's brother comes to paradise, a hedonistic Wall Street broker played by comedian Dane Cook. A mad bomber is also on the loose, which might actually be a welcome diversion if Cook tries to do stand-up.

The Good Wife (Tuesday, 10/9c, CBS)

The great guest stars keep coming, but at least one represents a welcome comeback: Gary Cole reprising his role as Diane's ruggedly handsome and politically opposite sometimes-beau Kurt McVeigh. The ballistics expert returns as her client, after he's sued over testimony he gave in the murder trial of a newly exonerated cop killer. Also on deck in this busy episode: Jerry Stiller as a narcoleptic judge, and Ugly Betty's America Ferrera as the illegal nanny of Peter's campaign rival Wendy Scott-Carr, which puts her on Eli Gold's radar.

The Middle (Wednesday, 8/7c, ABC)

There are no sitcom kids funnier than the Hecks — Axl, Sue and Brick — in this underappreciated comedy. This week, Poor Sue (is there any other way to refer to her?) actually wins something: a trip to New York. But put this harried family on a plane headed to Manhattan, and don't expect the skies to stay friendly for long. Also on ABC's sitcom roster, Better With You welcomes series star JoAnna Garcia's husband, Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, playing himself. And on Modern Family, Cameron plans a fundraiser with help from Mitchell — and little Luke? That can't end well.

American Idol (Thursday, 8/7c, Fox)

Time to get really serious. After winnowing down contestants in Hollywood and Las Vegas, it's crunch time for the Idol hopefuls. In a two-hour conclusion to the long audition process, the judging panel — Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson — will finally announce the Top 20 semifinalists. Next week, the top 10 guys and girls will sing on separate nights for the viewers' votes, and a week from Thursday, the top five male and female vote-getters will be announced in the first results show, with the judges' "Wild Card" picks rounding out the field. Let this game really begin.

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Tags: TV Guide Magazine, Matt Roush, Breaking News