Ghost Whisperer Ghost Whisperer

Ghost Whisperer
8/7c CBS
After five seasons, it's evident that the appeal of this series doesn't rest solely on the supernatural element. It also explores universal emotions and themes, especially regarding love, death and the bonds between us, and that's at the heart of this series finale. Melinda confronts a poltergeist in the hospital, and that initiates a final battle with the forces that threaten Melinda and her son. Whatever her gifts, she is a mother first and will fight for her child's life. — Bill Ecklund

Stargate Universe

9/8c Syfy
As plot devices go, those communication stones are awfully convenient. Instead of being stuck with a group of refugees on a ship that is moving farther away from Earth after every planetary pit stop, the stones let the gang interact with franchise vets Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks back in the known universe, which is good news since it seems like Col. Telford may be in cahoots with the Lucian Alliance. — Michael Chant

Friday Night Lights
8/7c NBC
Coach Taylor has already had plenty of problems with his new team, but he faces a new concern when a conflict between Vince and Luke carries over onto the field and affects the team. His worries don't end there, however. He also must contend with Tami when the pair disagree over financial matters, and Julie resists going to church with the family. — Brie Hearn

9/8c CBS
The supernatural drama closes its sixth season — and first season since departing NBC and rematerializing on CBS. In the past year, we witnessed matriarchal medium Allison dealing with her brain-tumor surgery, trying to find a kidnapped infant child, being cast in a classic horror flick, developing an odd sensitivity to light, and tangling with a high-tech home security system, among various other weighty dramas. But the tone turns particularly serious when Allison's brain tumor reappears, upending her world and creating life-shattering repercussions for her family and friends. Teri Polo guest stars. — Dean Maurer

Kitchen Nightmares
9/8c Fox
Chef Ramsay wraps up Season 2 by revisiting some restaurants he's helped in the past. This allows him to observe if his changes are still in effect and whether his advice is still being followed. Among the places he checks in on: the Handlebar Restaurant & Lounge in Mount Sinai, N.Y.; Casa Roma in Lancaster, Cal.; and Black Pearl in New York City. — Jennifer Sankowski

Ricky Gervais Show
9/8c HBO
Through The Office and Extras, most folks were aware of the genius of comedic partners Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. But unless you were familiar with the duo's audio podcasts, this animated series was probably the first exposure to the inexplicable lunacy of Karl Pilkington. The "round-headed buffoon," in Gervais' words, has been a revelation, and in the first-season finale provides fodder for conversations about extraterrestrials, freaks and different body types for humans. — Joe Friedrich

Party Down
10/9c Starz
What does actor Steve Guttenberg know about script writing? Well, he did adapt the 1975 play P.S., Your Cat Is Dead into a 2002 big-screen comedy, and he did invent the printing press. Just kidding about the latter. That was Johannes Gutenberg. As for putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, the catering gang is about to find out. While at Guttenberg's home to work his birthday party, the actor overhears screenwriter wannabe Roman discussing his script, so Guttenberg offers to help. — Ray Stackhouse