“Idol” Gives Something (Besides Headaches To Me)

Hey, all, I know I’m in the minority as a person who doesn’t watch American Idol, but I have to admit that they are finally doing something worthwhile. Tonight and tomorrow night FOX is airing Idol Gives Back, a fundraiser special to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa. On tonight’s performance show, the top six show finalists will sing “life anthem” songs of hope (can I predict a “We Are the World” cover?). On tomorrow’s two-hour results show, Ellen Degeneres hosts a star-studded evening with Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Simon Cowell-manufactured classical boy band Il Divo, Keira Knightley (hopefully not there to pimp the new Pirates movie), Hugh Grant, Josh Groban with the African Children’s Choir, Jack Black, Helen Mirren, Rascal Flatts, Quincy Jones, Annie Lennox, Carrie Underwood and Bono. This special airs Wednesday, live at 8pm ET (tape delayed in Pacific Time).

Tonight CBS is airing an episode of Cold Case on a special night and time (10pm ET/PT). When the 1958 suicide of a radio personality is discovered to have been a murder, Lilly and the team must find the truth of his private life by decoding a message hidden in his final broadcast.

fuse is making it good to be bad with a new series debuting tonight at 10pm ET called Rad Girls. Darling Clementine, Munchie and Ramona Cash — described by the network as “sun-kissed hardbodies” — take risks and embark on wild stunts previously reserved for their male counterparts. Featuring antics with names like “Crane Wedgies,” “Elevator Farting Contest” and “Tabasco Sauce in the Eyes,” it may be unlikely that most men would have the guts to pull these off. I guess it’s just proof that some women can be as much of a Jackass as Johnny Knoxville.

I admit it. I sometimes watch kids’ stuff like cartoons. Wanna fight about it? One good show in particular is The CW’s The Batman, which airs Saturdays. Beginning this Saturday and continuing next weekend, the two-part season finale finds Batman facing Gotham’s most devastating threat ever — an alien invasion. At the same time, new detective John Jones (aka Martian Manhunter, who you may remember from the late, great series Justice League) arrives in town, hinting to Batman that he may know his secret. Lucius Fox also appears, perhaps setting up for next season a partnership with Batman like the one seen in the movie Batman Begins.

Just like most young women have a wide range of personalities, the daughters of U.S. presidents have ranged from good role models to partiers and Playboy Playmates. They’ve just done it in the public eye. This Saturday at 6pm ET/PT, E! looks at some of the most notable ones in First Daughters: The E! True Hollywood Story (though this episode’s connection to Hollywood may be a bit tenuous). From media-shy Chelsea Clinton to Playmate Patti Davis to the fun-loving Bush twins, most of the usual suspects are here. One memorable story from Susan Ford tells how she was able to “escape” the White House one night. What did she do with this freedom? She and a friend sat in a Safeway parking lot and drank a six-pack. Like mother like daughter?

More superhero news. The CW and Toyota have launched “Smallville Legends: Justice and Doom.” Now through the season finale of Smallville on May 19, fans will see on-air comic book interstitials driving them to an immersive online game at this website. The game presents players with five challenges related to the last five episodes of the season. This “integrated storytelling experience” offers answers to unexplained questions from the entire run of the series, details the backstory behind a major plot line, explains the secret history preceding the formation of Oliver Queen’s team, and reveals the perilous mission it has been tasked with. And of course, the Toyota Yaris, already a regular guest star on the series, will make appearances. Not even Superman can defeat the power of product placement.