What's On This Week

SUNDAY, MAY 18

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
8 P.M. | CBS
Everyone from Kenny Chesney to Carrie Underwood (right), plus a milestone award for Garth Brooks.

MONDAY, MAY 19

GOSSIP GIRL
8 P.M. | CW
The season wraps with everyone headed to a society wedding. The vow ought to be: "You know you love me ... XOXO."

HOUSE
9 P.M. | FOX
Part 2 of the season ender: Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) is still putting his brain back in order after that bus accident.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 21

AMERICAN IDOL
8 P.M. | FOX
The winner is announced to great and glorious fanfare. But will David Archuleta (left) be in the final two, as Simon Cowell predicted at the start of the season?

THURSDAY, MAY 22

GREY'S ANATOMY
9 P.M. | ABC
In the two-hour finale to season 4, Izzie and Alex (Katherine Heigl and Justin Chambers) bond over a new crisis.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
8 P.M. | FOX
The summer reality staple returns with two hours of auditions, making happy feet happier.

LAST COMIC STANDING
9:30 P.M. | NBC
Season 6 for the reality contest, with comics from 20 countries vying to be screamingly funniest.

Ugly Betty
ABC, May 22, 8 p.m. ET

LINDSAY ON BOARD!

COMEDY DRAMA

The second season of one of television's best series—a celebration of both the candy-colored diversion of fashion and the values of home and family—ends with a much publicized casting coup: Lindsay Lohan appears as a girl named Kimberly who tormented Betty (America Ferrera) back in high school. Lohan will continue into five episodes in the coming fall season. If she hooks new viewers, well, that's fabulous. But fans of the show wouldn't care if Meryl Streep were hired to come striding in from The Devil Wears Prada. Betty already has a near-perfect cast of performers who all seem to be having an infectious good time as they charge through the over-the-top soap opera plot. Chief among them, of course, is Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, super-conniving editrix. Williams gives off the chill glamour of an orchid preserved on ice. I'll miss her in the heat of summer.

HBO, May 25, 9 p.m. ET |

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DRAMA

Superdelegates, schmooperdelegates. This briskly enjoyable movie takes us back to the election in which political destiny hung on tiny bits of paper dangling from ballot cards—the historic 2000 Bush-Gore struggle that started in Florida and went all the way to the Supreme Court. Kevin Spacey plays Ron Klain, the former Gore chief of staff who tried to wrest victory for the Vice President from a confusing mass of misread, misvoted ballots. Spacey is his usual skillful, coolly skeptical self, meshing unfussily into a large cast that includes performances that are graceful (John Hurt as a reserved Secretary of State Warren Christopher), larger-than-life (Tom Wilkinson as a very tough James Baker) and satirically loopy: Laura Dern plays Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State in charge of certifying who won the vote, as a wonderfully vain, dumb, overdressed creature. The movie isn't subtle—the Republicans move with the deliberate, prowling heaviness of sharks, while the Democrats are youthful and scrappy—but it takes on a big subject and gives it a light spin.

• The former Family Ties star, 41, plays a secretive art student renting from Gaby and Carlos on ABC's Desperate Housewives, ending its fourth season May 18

HOW DID YOU WIND UP ON HOUSEWIVES? I'm a friend of [creator] Marc Cherry and I know a couple of the other writers. Marc said, "I want to write you a part." And I wanted to go play with them.

YOUR CHARACTER IS—RARE FOR THE SHOW—NO STYLE PRINCESS. My hair's wavy-crazy, and my clothes are artsy—it's fun.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN YOUR LIFE? I have an Internet production company, and we're in talks with sponsors to get financing for our first production. It's a sitcom miniseries.

FAVE HOUSEWIFE? I love Eva Longoria Parker. She's a master seamstress and brings her sewing machine to the set. She's always making dresses.

FOR YOU? Not yet!

Denise Richards: It's Complicated, premiering on E! May 26, follows the 37-year-old actress as she goes about her career and family life with Sam, 4, and Lola, 2, her daughters with ex Charlie Sheen.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO THE SHOW? I just thought, "Gosh, I can't go anywhere but up from here," so I had nothing to lose. I've had every rotten thing you can imagine written and said about me, so I figured why not let people see who I really am?

WHY WOULD YOU INVOLVE YOUR DAUGHTERS IN A REALITY SHOW? I'm in a no-win situation. If I don't have the girls in it, people will think, "She's not the mom she says she is," and if they are—even for just a glimpse—I'm exploiting them. But they had to be a part of it. I'm a single mom.

DO YOU TALK ABOUT CHARLIE SHEEN IN THE SHOW? I don't say one negative word about Charlie. This show is also about me having a fresh start.

HOW ABOUT ALL THAT FUSS WHEN YOU WERE DATING RICHIE SAMBORA? I reference more the situation. I kind of have to because it's the elephant in the room.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT TO SEE? My mom [Joni] just passed away from cancer, so my dad moves in with me, and we're all still grieving. I'm trying to balance being a mom and working and dealing with being newly divorced. As dysfunctional as it may be, we're a real family that really loves each other.