Here we go again


 “American Idol”

Tuesday-Wednesday 8pm, Fox
The big news for Season 9 is, of course, the departure of Paula Abdul from the judging panel. The four-person panel definitely wasn’t working—a number of last year’s episodes ran over because of the judges’ ceaseless prattling—but Paula wasn’t the problem. She might have been totally incoherent and hopelessly uncritical, but at least her babbling about contestants shooting magical pony juice out of their eyes or whatever was entertaining, in a drunk-crazy-aunt kind of way. Meanwhile, the utterly useless Randy Jackson continues to draw a paycheck. Boo. In an even more baffling move, the producers decided to keep the awkward four-judge system by replacing Abdul with…Ellen DeGeneres. Apparently, Ellen will be the voice of the “everyman,” since she has no connection to or experience with the music industry. If her tenure is anything like her shticky guest spot on “So You Think You Can Dance” last summer, I will be very cross. You hear that, Ellen? I will be very cross.
Thursday 10pm, FX
Spy shows are all over TV nowadays, from “24” to “Burn Notice” to “Chuck” to the new “Human Target.” FX jumps in with something different, an animated comedy series about a brilliant-but-stupid spy and his dysfunctional work life. The animation style is hipster cool, and the voice talent can’t be beat. Aisha Tyler (“Talk Soup,” “Friends”) plays the title character’s ex-girlfriend and current partner. Chris Parnell (“SNL,” “30 Rock”) is her new accountant boyfriend. And best of all, Jessica Walters (“Arrested Development”) is Archer’s ball-busting mother and boss.
“67th Annual Golden Globe Awards”
Sunday 8pm, NBC
Awards season begins with what is traditionally the most entertaining of Hollywood’s backslapping marathons. British funnyman Ricky Gervais oversees this year’s edition, so hopefully we’ll be in for some fresher, more biting jokes. As for the nominees, I’ll be honest: I haven’t seen most of the films, because I tend to gravitate toward populist crap or kids movies. (I have seen all of the animated selections. How sad is that?) But I did catch Precious and Inglourious Basterds, and they were pretty awesome. Definitely taking home a statuette will be Martin Scorsese, who will get the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Perhaps most exciting: Joan Rivers is back busting on unsuspecting celebrities about their outfits for E!, so check that out starting at 6pm. Maybe she’ll make Helen Mirren cry again.