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'Touch' preview ratings solid, 'American Idol' slips

Fox’s series premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch had a promising preview Wednesday night, but the second week of American Idol slipped.

Touch opened to 11.9 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the adult demo, while its lead-in, Idol, had 19.5 million viewers and a 6.4 rating — down 14 percent from last week’s two-hour season premiere (though only down about 7 percent from last week’s 8 p.m. hour).

Touch marks the highest retention (on a percentage basis) of a drama debuting after Idol, and is the second-biggest premiere for a new drama this season. Also keep in mind Glee once delivered a somewhat unspectacular rating in its post-Idol preview, then eventually became a hit for the network. Touch doesn’t officially premiere until March. READ FULL STORY

Marg Helgenberger on shooting her final 'CSI' episode, airing tonight: 'Really intense'

Goodbye, Catherine!

In preparation for Marg Helgenberger’s last episode of CSI – airing tonight on CBS — EW talked to the 53-year-old actress about becoming the third original star (behind Gary Dourdan and William Petersen) to depart the long-running crime drama, as well as what she’ll miss, and whether she’ll ever come back.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You say goodbye to the other members of the CSI team in the last scene of your final episode. Was that by design?
MARG HELGENBERGER  Yeah. I had asked for that to be the last scene ’cause I knew it was gonna be a really intense scene and I just didn’t want to play it before anything else. I don’t know if pressure is the right word, but I felt like a big bubble over my head, like, “This is an important day in my life.” It’s been such an incredible journey. I just wanted to make sure that…I said the right things.

How did you think it went?
I was really happy with the way it went. I mean, the scene, I had tweaked it. They had written it, but I tweaked it and they were okay with that. They said, “Really, whatever you want to say.”  My boyfriend said several times, “That was just really, really special.”  I mean, I knew that I was probably not gonna feel that kind o’ love. I mean, who knows? I hope to have another experience like that in my career, but that was a rare experience to end [my time on] the show that I still have enormous love for and respect for and pride and all of that. It was great. It was beautiful. It was really beautiful. Every time I’ve like thought about that day and leaving, I well up. Jorja Fox had written this card for me with a polar bear on it — a photograph of a polar bear. What she said in the card was so beautiful about how I’m an endangered species and blah, blah, blah. It was just so moving. So I just feel so blessed to have had this experience all these years.

READ FULL STORY

'CSI' says goodbye to Marg Helgenberger -- EXCLUSIVE

CSI on Wednesday bid an emotional farewell to star Marg Helgenberger, the latest original cast member to leave the long-running crime show on CBS. Cast and crew members — including series creator Anthony E. Zuiker and Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn – packed the show’s set on the Universal City, Calif. lot to hear Helgenberger say goodbye after wrapping her 263rd episode as Catherine Willows. (The episode will air Jan. 25)

“I’ve been thinking a lot about this moment for a very long time,” began Helgenberger, who went on to reminisce about the show’s humble beginnings in 2000 and its becoming the worldwide phenomenon it is today. READ FULL STORY

Breaking: Elisabeth Shue joins 'CSI'

Marg Helgenberger may be leaving CSI in January but the veteran procedural found a pretty cool way to make up for the loss: The network announced today that Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) will join the show as a series regular.

She’ll play a CSI who just completed anger management training. Her character will be introduced in the episode airing Feb. 15. READ FULL STORY

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Glee,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'American Horror Story': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Awwww. Y’all know what I realized this week?

It’s been just about one year since we first started our show-mance (and I mean that quite literally). Our mutual love for television has brought us together and I couldn’t be happier about it. So many thanks for your readership, harassment, and love. Sometimes, it all even came rolled in a single e-mail. Crazies after my own heart — I love it.

So I hope you enjoy today’s installment and the comfort of knowing that you’re now officially my longest relationship ever. Woo!!… I think.

Also, celebrate by sending me more questions and ponderings. (E-mail: SpoilerRoom@EW.com or Tweet: @EWSandraG) You’re great people and I appreciate you. Happy Anniversary!! (Note: It was officially last Saturday, but in the grand tradition of all my relationships, I forgot. So we can celebrate now!)

‘GREY’S ANATOMY’: KIM RAVER TALKS TEDDY’S GRIEF
So, readers, was Grey’s Anatomy not the most heart-wrenching thing ever last night? I was consoled only by the fact that I was sure there were other people somewhere bawling along with me. But aside from leaving me with puffy eyes, the episode also left us all with a burning question: What’s going to happen to poor Teddy? Well, when I spoke with Kim Raver, she weighed in on what’s next. “It’s like the time-bomb waiting to explode,” she says. “I know that she doesn’t just dissolve into a puddle on the floor. It’s not that kind of grieving. I know she will go into ‘Let me try to fix it’ mode. But we don’t know how long that will hold.” READ FULL STORY

'Glee,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Parenthood,' 'The Secret Circle': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Many, many scoops today. So let’s get to it.

But before we do, remember to be sending me your questions! Without you, there are no spoils to be had. So send all queries, theories, thoughts, and Get Well Soon messages (See the results of my clumsiness here) to: spoilerroom@ew.com or hit me up on Twitter: @EWSandraG.

‘GLEE’: LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
It’s hard to know where to begin talking about one of Glee‘s most anticipated episodes of the year. Thankfully, that’s not my problem, because I took your burning questions to resident Gleek lord Tim Stack, who offered up these monster teases! If you didn’t get a chance to submit any, you’re probably not following me on Twitter! Don’t miss out next time! READ FULL STORY

Scoop: 'Friday Night Lights' co-star to guest on 'CSI'

An alum of Friday Night Lights will don a badge on CSI. EW has learned that Matt Lauria — best known for playing Luke Cafferty on the football drama — will play an arrogant FBI agent on the CBS series.

Lauria’ new alter-ego will be Sac Pratt, a veteran lawdog who apparently comes to Sin City to throw his weight around with D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) and his team. Eventually, Sac plays nice with the Vegas gang.

Lauria will appear in at least three episodes, beginning with episode 9. He recently starred on Fox’s police drama The Chicago Code and the (tragically short-lived) Lipstick Jungle.

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CSI books Annabeth Gish for three episodes

'CSI' casting news: Annabeth Gish will play ....

A Pretty Little Liars friend from Catherine’s past will step inside the yellow tape of CSI next month.

EW has learned that Annabeth Gish, who played therapist Anne Sullivan on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars this summer, will join the CBS series for a three-episode arc.

She will play Laura, a childhood friend of Catherine’s (Marg Helgenberger) whose husband is investigated by the CSI team. Laura is married to a billionaire head of a military contractor who may (or may not) have played a role in a recent arms theft. (The husband has yet to be cast). Gish’s arc will begin with episode 9 of CSI.

From 2006-08, Gish earned critical praise for her work in Showtime’s Brotherhood as Eileen Caffee, the wife of Rhode Island state representative Tommy Caffee. Her previous credits include The West Wing and The X-Files.

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'X Factor' gives Fox a nightly win; 'Suburgatory' welcomed into 'hood with open arms

FOX’s two-hour broadcast of The X Factor (3.9 rating/11 share) gave the network a win among adults 18-49, growing by 41 percent over the course of the night. The network’s already bragging that this marks the first time in Fox history that it has won the first two Wednesdays of the season — which could say more about the competition and less about Simon Cowell, but time will definitely tell.

Numbers are based on early results, which means X Factor could see improvements with the finals that come in this afternoon. READ FULL STORY

'Dexter,' 'Fringe,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'The Vampire Diaries': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

System failing. Too much TV. Abort! Abort!

Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed by all the amazing television this week? Well, buck up, sissy pants! Fall TV is not for the weak. It’s for the bravest, strongest, most wonderfully reclusive individuals. Together we will conquer.

That said, I need your help. Be sure you’re sending in your scoop requests, sharing your TV ponderings, and telling me your general shows of interest so I can make sure I’m filling your need for scoops during this hectic TV time. (Send e-mails to spoilerroom@ew.com or follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG) Until next week!

(Side note: In case you missed it, we also had a special Emmy scoops edition earlier this week that you can read here.)

DEXTER REVISITS THE PAST IN AWESOME PREMIERE

Last season of Dexter ended with the door open for anything to happen. Lumen lost her darkness and left, Dexter had taken down the season’s villain, and there was even a small note of optimism on his part that he could one day live without his own darkness following him.

On Oct. 2, we pick up with Harrison starting pre-school and Dexter very much at peace with his darkness. And, dare I say, enjoying it again.

Without ruining too much (because I honestly felt incredibly psyched by the premiere and want you to experience it for yourself), much of the episode centers around Dexter tracking down a potential victim at his 20th high school reunion. There, we not only get a great picture of who Dexter was as a high school student, but also get a good laugh out how his classmates perceive him now. (He’s… popular!)

We’re also introduced to Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos’ demented characters. I can happily report that the first murder they are responsible for is one of the most disgusting ones I’ve ever seen on the show. Congrats, newbies! READ FULL STORY

Top fall TV time-slot battles this week (and who will win)

Right after the fall schedule was announced last May, I posted a rundown of the most intriguing time-period battles and who I thought would win. There’s been a lot of buzz and new intel about these shows since then, but I’m keeping my predictions the same — plus adding a several new entries. So here they are, below. Be sure to check the Inside TV blog every morning for the ratings to see how your favorite shows perform (of course, in today’s DVR era, time periods are less important than they were five years ago, but don’t be fooled: The slots still matter — just ask any show that faced off against American Idol, or one that had the pleasure of airing after it):

Who: CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 vs. NBC’s Playboy Club vs. ABC’s Castle
When
: Mondays at 10 p.m.
Verdict: Castle pulled off a surprise victory in this slot by the end of last season against the first year of Five-0, gradually conquering a time period that it always lost to CBS when CSI: Miami was there. (Castle was especially aided by Charlie Sheen’s freak out and Two and a Half Men going into repeats — thus weakening CBS’ 9 p.m. hour’s lead into Hawaii.) So this is the rematch, with Hawaii bulking up with a ton of guest stars and adding Terry O’Quinn to the cast. Expectations are modest for Playboy Club. Hawaii will go big tonight when Men returns tonight, but in the coming weeks Castle will probably end up slightly on top. And now on Friday nights, it’s Chuck vs… READ FULL STORY

The most Tivo'ed show on TV is....

Thank God for DVRs, or fans wouldn’t get their regular fix of McDreamy. That’s right: Grey’s Anatomy is the most Tivo’ed show in the country for several years running – a pretty decent accomplishment for a drama that’s about to start its eighth season.

We asked Tivo, which began compiling data in October 2007, for the top 10 most DVR’ed shows and here’s what we got. The bad news: Three of these shows are no longer on the air. (Miss you, Greg Grunberg!) READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'The Office': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Hello from, L.A.!

The sun is shining, the Television Critics Association press tour is in full swing, there’s a party with Fox network stars tonight, I’m in the pacific time zone — which means this column is only an hour late — and I ate my weight in french fries from a food truck last night on Melrose Ave. I’m feelin’ pretty damn good, Roomies. And I hope you feel the same after reading this week’s scoop!

If not, you should probably e-mail me scoop requests to spoilerroom@EW.com. We’ll try again next week. And yes, this intro is particularly sunny because I’m hoping that will stop people from e-mailing me spam for Zoloft. If this doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what will.

For more of my LA adventures, party twitpics, or just to harass me for scoop, follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG

‘HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER’: NOW THAT’S A WEDDING!

True to their word, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas confirmed that this upcoming season’s first episode takes place at Punchy’s wedding in Cleveland a few days after the finale. But what’s the gang going through exactly? Well, in Lily’s case, she’s finds herself struggling to keep her and Marshall’s big announcement a secret. READ FULL STORY

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