This Week's TV Best Bets
Sunday, Sept. 24
Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?
Hip-hop icon Ice-T and award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien lead an investigation into the unsolved murders of ’90s rap icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls). The two-hour special re-examines these unsolved homicides by uncovering new details and revealing never-before-heard accounts.
The Vietnam War: “Things Fall Apart”
Seeing the violence and brutality of the Tet Offensive unfold on television, Americans begin to doubt President Johnson’s promise of “light at the end of the tunnel.” LBJ decides not to run again. The country is staggered by assassinations and unrest.
The Final Countdown
Sony Movie Channel, 8pm
A modern aircraft carrier is sent back in time to Hawaii in 1941, just hours before the Japanese launch the attack on Pearl Harbor. Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen and Katharine Ross star.
Star Trek: Discovery
Before you get too excited about the premiere of a new Star Trek series, note that only the first episode will premiere on CBS, and the remaining 15-episode season will move to the network’s streaming service CBS All Access (the first eight episodes will be available Sept. 24-Nov. 5, and the remaining seven start up again in January).
Fear the Walking Dead: “Brother’s Keeper”
As Nick (Frank Dillane) and Jake (Sam Underwood) set out to handle a delicate situation, the residents of the ranch prepare for a threat greater than any they’ve faced before.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10th Anniversary Special
There’s no denying that the Kardashian family, like ’em or leave ’em, are the most successful stars of reality TV. Their series has grown steadily from a familial docuseries into a global phenomenon. From breakups to makeups, weddings, births and all the drama in between, fans have “kept up” with the family’s constant evolution. Ryan Seacrest sits down with Kris, Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie to reflect back on the most monumental events in their lives. Throughout the years, the family has remained genuine, compassionate and vulnerable with the viewers, and this special will delve into what it’s been like for the family to live all the triumphs and hardships in front of the camera.
Chesapeake Shores: “Forest Through the Trees”
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
Away from the distraction of technology, Abby and Trace talk about their past and the future during a camping getaway. With some encouragement from Nell, Mick and Thomas try to work out their differences in person.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 9pm
When the Postables (Eric Mabius, Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe and Geoff Gustafson) discover an antique vase with a letter inside, they trace the package to three little girls who attempted to sell the vase 18 years ago in order to save their family farm. With the farm again facing financial hardship, the Postables must choose between doing what’s legal and what’s moral.
Monday, Sept. 25
The Big Bang Theory
In the Season 11 premiere “The Proposal Proposal,” Amy (Mayim Bialik) gives Sheldon (Jim Parsons) an answer to his marriage proposal. Laurie Metcalf, Riki Lindhome and Stephen Hawking return as guest stars.
So You Think You Can Dance: “The Finale”
FOX, 8pm Live
After incredible auditions in New York and Los Angeles, grueling call-backs and weeks of inspired live performances, the nation will finally decide who joins the ranks of America’s Favorite Dancers. The final four dancers show the judges and the country what they’ve got one last time before the winner is crowned.
Jennifer Hudson joins Miley Cyrus (back after taking a season off), Blake Shelton and Adam Levine as a coach for Season 13 of the hit singing competition series. The series also airs Tuesday nights starting tomorrow, Sept. 26.
The Vietnam War: “The Veneer of Civilization”
With the country at odds over the war, draft-age Americans face wrenching choices. After chaos roils the Democratic Convention, Richard Nixon narrowly wins the presidency. In Vietnam, soldiers on all sides witness terrible savagery and unflinching courage.
Catch a sneak peek of this Big Bang Theory spinoff before its official premiere on Nov. 2. This heartfelt family comedy follows the childhood version of Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper and explores his unusual upbringing in East Texas. When we first meet the 9-year-old prodigy — played by Iain Armitage, although Parsons provides his adult voice to narrate the series — he’s about to begin his freshman year of high school.
Kevin Can Wait
Season 2 of Kevin Can Wait has a big change in the cast. Kevin James’ former King of Queens costar Leah Remini — who guest-starred in the two-part Season 1 finale of Kevin Can Wait — joins the regular cast. The new season opens with a time jump, revealing that Kevin’s wife, Donna (Erinn Hayes), has died.
Me, Myself & I
This time-jumping new comedy series is about the significant moments in the past, present and future life of Alex Riley as seen through Alex as a nerdy teen (Jack Dylan Grazer) in 1991, a struggling inventor (Bobby Moynihan) in 2017 and a retiring tycoon (John Larroquette) in 2042.
The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a brilliant physician who must overcome others’ perceptions of his autism and savant syndrome to make it in the world of medicine. Richard Schiff (Ballers), Beau Garrett (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) and Hill Harper (Homeland) costar.
Team Scorpion must work with their old nemesis, Mark Collins (recurring guest star Josh Leonard), in order to prevent the extinction of mankind in the Season 4 premiere “Extinction.” The episode also features a musical number as Team Scorpion sings “Everything Is Absolutely Genius.”
Clínica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Puentes de Salud, a volunteer-run free clinic in South Philadelphia, is a lifeline for the area’s undocumented immigrants. Here, doctors and nurses charge nothing to serve people who would otherwise fall through the cracks. This film puts a face to the millions of people displaced from their homelands, separated from their families, unfamiliar with American customs, unable to obtain health insurance and terrified to seek the medical attention they need — and the heroic doctors and nurses who selflessly treat them.
NBC’s new military drama highlights the hand-in-hand work of an elite undercover unit and a D.C.-based government agency as they execute missions around the globe. Mike Vogel stars as the leader of the embedded group of heroes, and reveals that he insists on accuracy in the role, in reverence of the real men and women who serve our country. He shares, “The honor that I have of being able to portray these men and women onscreen is a great one.” Anne Heche, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Tate Ellington also star in the high-action ensemble drama.
The Opposition With Jordan Klepper
Comedy Central, 11:30pm
Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show) satirizes the alt media in this new nightly comedy series. Klepper plays what he calls “a know-nothing provocateur” who challenges the mainstream media’s alternative facts and fake news.
Tuesday, Sept. 26
In each episode of this charming animated series, follow Bianca (Addison Holley), a fairy who grants wishes using Wish Magic, and solves problems in her own creative way. This season, Bianca’s little brother Ben (Kaelyn Breitkopf) gains his own Wish Magic.
Maria Bello joins the cast in Season 15 playing an NCIS forensic psychologist who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and served two tours in Afghanistan.
This cop drama reimagines the successful film franchise about Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Murtaugh (Damon Wayans), who work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. In Season 2, Michelle Hurd (Blindspot) joins the cast in a recurring role as Gina Santos, who is brought in as the division’s new chief and who has a past with Murtaugh.
The Vietnam War: “The History of the World”
When troop withdrawals begin, soldiers left in Vietnam ask what they are fighting for. News breaks of a shocking massacre at My Lai, and questions grow about the war’s rectitude. The Cambodia invasion sparks large protests, with tragic consequences.
Expect Diana Lindsay (guest star Jill Flint) to return and make life difficult for Bull (Michael Weatherly) in Season 2 of the legal drama.
The Mick: “The Hotel”
Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) and the kids are forced to downgrade from their temporary residence at a hotel after their financial advisor cuts them off due to excessive spending. Mickey and Sabrina (Sofia Black-D’Elia) refuse to accept the decision and launder up a plan, while Jimmy (Scott MacArthur) teaches Chip (Thomas Barbusca) tricks to living in a luxurious hotel.
This Is Us
Last year’s breakout hit returns with new drama for the beloved Pearson family. In the 1996 timeline, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) start the season the day after a devastating fight. While the fight was heartbreaking for viewers to watch, Moore admits it was cathartic to shoot, saying, “There was so much pent-up resentment and anger, and animosity, and pain, that we were able to sort of pop that bubble.” The actress gushes her appreciation to creator Dan Fogelman for casting her in the role, “It’s the best job I know that I will ever have. So, I savor every moment of it.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “The Big House Pt. 1”
Jake (Andy Samberg) and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) assimilate to their new lives behind bars. Jake bonds with his cellmate, Caleb (guest star Tim Meadows), and is forced to join a prison gang led by notorious inmate Romero (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips), in order to gain his protection. Meanwhile, in the women’s prison, Rosa has Holt (Andre Braugher) and Terry (Terry Crews) complete outrageous favors for her.
NCIS: New Orleans
Season 4 begins with “Rogue Nation,” as Pride (Scott Bakula) remains on probation six weeks after his rogue takedown of the corrupt mayor, and the NCIS team is closely monitored by Supervisory Special Agent Paula Boyd (guest star Becky Ann Baker).
Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge
Each week, a new set of America’s toughest individuals head to Steve Austin’s ranch, where they face off against each other — and the desert heat — in a series of intense challenges. Only one competitor will advance to the “Skullbuster,” personally designed by Steve Austin, where they will try to complete the challenging obstacle course, set the new course record and win $10,000.
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Dick Wolf puts his mark on the true crime genre with his eight-episode look into the trial and conviction of Lyle and Erik Menendez in the murders of their wealthy Beverly Hills parents. Edie Falco stars as the brothers’ defense attorney, Leslie Abramson, who not only sought justice for her clients — who were victims themselves — but who also became a surrogate mother. Falco shares, “I think it was important for her that the jury see that underneath all of this behavior is a human — someone that you may find easy to hate and judge — but that was, at one time, a very innocent child.”
Wednesday, Sept. 27
Get ready for more Schwartz! Sam Lerner, who plays Barry’s (Troy Gentile) buddy Geoff, has been promoted to series regular for the ’80s-based comedy’s fifth season. And in some appropriate blast-from-the-past casting, Ilan Mitchell-Smith — who played Wyatt Donnelly in 1985’s Weird Science — will guest-star as a teacher named Mr. Connelly, while former pro grappler Bill Goldberg appears as Coach Mellor’s (Bryan Callen) brother.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
Season 35 of the reality competition series returns to Fiji, where contestants are divided into one of three teams based on positive attributes: Heroes (including a member of the military and a lifeguard), Healers (like a surgeon and a physical therapist) and Hustlers (including a personal assistant and a bellhop). Series host Jeff Probst reveals that once the game starts, niceties are quickly abandoned and the game turns cutthroat. “I think asSurvivor evolves, people that play are realizing it’s OK to lie,” he says. “It’s a game of human poker, and lying is part of it. It used to be, ‘Oh, my God. You lied to me. How could you lie to me?’ And the person would say, ‘Because I’m trying to beat you.’ Now it’s, ‘When are they going to lie, and will I beat them to the lie?’ And I think that strategy is fun to watch.”
Empire: “Noble Memory”
On the brink of Empire Entertainment’s 20th anniversary, Lucious is making his first public appearance after the explosion in Las Vegas, while all members of the Lyon family, as well as Lucious’ nurse, Claudia (guest star Demi Moore), have their own interests in Lucious regaining his physical and mental faculties. And in the first instance of tonight’s two Empire/Star crossovers, Queen Latifah’s Star character, Carlotta, comes face-to-face with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett).
The Blacklist: “Smokey Putnum”
With his criminal empire in ruins, a surprisingly carefree Red (James Spader) enlists Liz (Megan Boone) in an unlikely plan to simultaneously earn cash and deliver a new Blacklister to the Task Force. As Liz faces the new reality of working alongside her father, Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) finds himself in a precarious position and Tom (Ryan Eggold) weighs his options.
The Vietnam War: “A Disrespectful Loyalty”
South Vietnamese forces fighting on their own suffer a terrible defeat in Laos. After being re-elected in a landslide, President Nixon strikes a peace deal with Hanoi that allows American prisoners of war finally to come home — where they find a bitterly divided country.
The family-friendly, critically acclaimed hit about the DiMeo clan — whose physically challenged son JJ (Micah Fowler) is the most normal of the bunch — returns for Season 2. Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie and Cedric Yarbrough costar.
They grow up so fast! As the ABC sitcom’s ninth season dawns, Manny (Rico Rodriguez) heads off to college but Luke (Nolan Gould) decides to take a break from school.
David Boreanaz leads the cast of this military drama about an ultra-elite unit of Navy SEALs. When they’re not being deployed at a moment’s notice on secret missions around the globe, they’re dealing with the family dynamics that result from their stressful and dangerous jobs. Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., A.J. Buckley, Toni Trucks and Jessica Paré costar.
Star: “The Winner Takes It All”
Despite their victory at Atlanta NextFest, the girls — with Carlotta as their manager — continue to face roadblocks. And in a bit of network crossover synergy, Empire’s Jussie Smollett appears in tonight’s episode.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: “Gone Fishin’”
When Fin (Ice-T) crosses international borders to catch a fugitive rapist, a political tug-of-war derails Barba’s (Raúl Esparza) legal case. Meanwhile, shocking allegations against Benson (Mariska Hargitay) lead to the return of an old friend.
Katie Otto (Katy Mixon) and her no-nonsense clan are back for a second season of comedic suffering in upper-crust suburbia. Diedrich Bader, Julia Butters and Leslie Bibb costar.
Now that we have the gist of what — and who — Kiefer Sutherland’s President Kirkland is up against, ABC chief Channing Dungey promises that the political potboiler’s Season 2 is more people-centric, delving into the characters’ relationships and personal foibles.Royal Pains’ Paulo Costanzo joins the cast as new White House political director Lyor Boone, who Emily (Italia Ricci) brings aboard to help firm up the administration’s messaging and strategy.
Criminal Minds CBS, 10pm
Season 13 of the crime drama adds Special Agent Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney), formerly of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders’ International Response Team, to the BAU.
Chicago P.D.: “Reform”
The district is in a state of change — Lindsay has moved to New York — and the CPD is under scrutiny about the corrupt nature of its institution. Under the watchful eye of the city, the team attempts to bust a gun deal that quickly turns dicey when innocent civilians and children get involved. Tension erupts when Chief Lugo (guest star Esai Morales) brings in Denny Woods (guest star Mykelti Williamson) to review the shootout, and Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) becomes a key player in the outcome of the case.
Forever’s Ioan Gruffuud and Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt play a handsome widowed surgeon and lovely schoolteacher whose romantic dinner date may have ended with a crime. So, who is lying and who is telling the truth — and how many people in their inner circle will be swept into the fray? This twisty psychological drama is one of our top picks for the new fall season.
Thursday, Sept. 28
Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy) joins the cast and will also coproduce as the drama enters its 10-episode second season. He joins returning stars Adam Brody (also a producer), Martin Freeman, Edi Gathegi and Otmara Marrero.
Who’s in and who’s out as Shonda Rhimes’ long-running medical soap enters its 14th season? Marika Dominczyk’s Eliza and Jerrika Hinton’s Stephanie won’t report for duty, while Kim Raver and Matthew Morrison return as Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) ex Teddy and Jo’s hubby Paul. Italian actress Stefania Spampinato (Satisfaction) signs on as Dr. Carina DeLuca, troublemaking sister of Giacomo Gianniotti’s Andrew DeLuca. And Abigail Spencer (Timeless) replaces Bridget Regan as Owen’s not-dead-after-all sis, Megan.
Project Runway: “Social Thread: Models Off Duty”
The models become much more than runway eye candy as they serve as inspiration for the designers to create a street style look to be featured in a photo shoot. But ceding creative control to the models difficult for some designers. Georgina Chapman and Kelsea Ballerini guest judge
The Vietnam War: “The Weight of Memory”
President Nixon resigns amid Watergate, while a brutal civil war continues in Vietnam. North Vietnamese troops overtake Saigon with overwhelming force. For the next 40 years, Americans and Vietnamese from all sides search for healing and reconciliation.
NBC’s Thursday night comedy block kicks off with Season 3 of Superstore. In the Season 2 finale, the Cloud 9 store was ripped apart by a tornado, and now it is time for the team to rebuild.
Will & Grace
Over a decade after the comedy farce went off the air, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes reprise their Emmy-winning roles under the tutelage of creators/executive producers Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, and director James Burrows. The four actors are giddy about the reunion and the opportunity to revisit their beloved and groundbreaking characters. “I think of comedy as music, and each one of us is a different instrument,” shares Messing. “And when we play together, we’re at our best.”
During the cable-news comedy’s second season, which starts tonight, executive producer Tina Fey will also make a number of guest-starring appearances. She’ll play Diana St. Tropez, new boss at the news network, who is described as “a sort of [Facebook COO] Sheryl Sandberg on steroids” by series creator Tracey Wigfield.
How to Get Away With Murder
Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating gets two new men in her life as the Shondaland legal drama enters its fourth season. Davis’ real-life husband Julius Tennon signs on (as of presstime, his character details were still secret), along with veteran actor Jimmy Smits, whose character plays a major role in the season’s overarching mystery.
Secret Lives of the Super Rich
The series returns with 10 new episodes, again unlocking the mansion gates and giving viewers exclusive access to a world inhabited by the wealthiest people on the planet.
Nathan for You
Comedy Central, 10pm
Self-proclaimed business expert Nathan Fielder returns for a fourth season of helping real small businesses turn a profit with marketing tactics that no ordinary consultant would dare to attempt.
Chicago Fire: “It Wasn’t Enough”
With most of the squad still trapped inside the burning warehouse fire, Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) makes a risky last-minute decision to save his men. Dawson (Monica Raymund) continues to deal with her father (guest star Daniel Zacapa), who has new plans for himself.
American Beauty Star: “Red Carpet Mayhem”
The beauty directors take up their brushes and battle it out to see who can create the most glamorous, camera-worthy red carpet look. Model (and Mrs. Adam Levine) Behati Prinsloo joins in as guest judge.
Friday, Sept. 29
Our Souls at Night
Oscar winners Robert Redford and Jane Fonda reunite onscreen for the fourth time (it’s been 50 years since they starred together as newlyweds in Barefoot in the Park) in this drama about a couple who find love unexpectedly later in life. Bruce Dern and Judy Greer also star. Along with its Netflix release, the film will also debut in select theaters today.
ESPN & FS1, beginning at 7pm Live
Friday night college football highlights include Miami at Duke (ESPN), Nebraska at Illinois (FS1) and USC at Washington State (ESPN).
Before moving to its regular time slot next Friday, this Marvel Comics series described as a “family drama” kicks off with a two-hour premiere tonight. Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) stars as Black Bolt, head of the Inhuman royal family, part of a race of superhumans. After the family is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii, and now must find a way to reunite with each other and return to their home. Iwan Rheon, formerly ofGame of Thrones, costars as Maximus.
In the Season 2 premiere “DIY or DIE,” MacGyver (Lucas Till) and the team search for a Navy SEAL who is believed to be alive in captivity in the Middle East.
Season 17 of the culinary competition introduces a new crop of chef-testants trying to impress Gordon Ramsay as they vie for a life-changing grand prize.
Hawaii Five-0 CBS, 9pm
Season 8 of Hawaii Five-0 will look drastically different with Daniel Dae Kim’s Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park’s Kono Kalakaua characters not returning. New Five-0 recruits this season are recurring character Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), and newcomers Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath), a hotel pool lifeguard, and Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale), a former Navy SEAL.
The Exorcist: “Janus”
John Cho joins the cast of the supernatural scare-fest as a former child psychologist who runs a group home for five at-risk foster children on a secluded private island off the coast of Seattle. When one of the children under his care is targeted by a powerful force, Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) and a newly collarless Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) hit the road and head west, setting themselves on a collision course with hell.
In the Season 8 premiere “Cutting Losses,” Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) contemplates retiring until Erin (Bridget Moynahan) enlists him to help her with a case involving her ex-husband (recurring guest star Peter Hermann). Lorraine Bracco guest-stars as the new mayor of New York City.
Saturday, Sept. 30
Major League Baseball: Milwaukee at St. Louis
FS1, 4pm Live
The final Saturday of the MLB regular season includes a matchup of NL Central rivals as the Milwaukee Brewers visit Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Cardinals on FS1.
The Essentials: “The Bad and the Beautiful”
Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas star in Vincente Minnelli’s Oscar-winning 1952 drama about a film producer who alienates everyone around him.
Halt and Catch Fire: “Who Needs a Guy”
Joe (Lee Pace) and Gordon (Scoot McNairy) discuss Comet’s future. Donna (Kerry Bishé) takes a vacation. A new collaborator challenges Cameron (Mackenzie Davis). Bos (Toby Huss) and Diane (Annabeth Gish) make a life-altering choice.
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
A widowed surgeon (Jen Lilley) visits her family’s pear orchard in hopes of taking a break from her overbooked life and reconnecting with her distant son. She starts to fall for the farm manager (Ryan Paevey), who is growing a new hybrid pear and teaches her the importance of her heritage.
Felipe Esparza: Translate This HBO, 10pm
Actor/comedian Felipe Esparza (Superstore) stars in his first HBO standup special filmed at San Jose Improv in San Jose, Calif. The 2010 Last Comic Standing winner wrings laughs from his own experiences, tackling immigration, translating for his parents, dating single moms and more.
The sexy and lavish international drama’s second season has already raised eyebrows in France and the U.K., and it makes its U.S. debut tonight. The dark side of Versailles is front and center this season as Louis (George Blagden) overcomes political and private obstacles that stand in the way of his growing power.
Through a diary-like lens, Released presents autobiographical portraits of formerly incarcerated individuals as they walk out of the prison doors for the first time and during their first 90 days out of prison as each attempt to reconnect with their loved ones, establish their independence and begin the long, hard work of resurrecting their abandoned lives.
Saturday Night Live
NBC, 11:30pm Live
The 43rd season of the venerable late-night variety series will look a bit different — onetime cast members Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zamata are now gone — but on a familiar note, Alec Baldwin will be returning throughout the season to continue his Emmy-winning portrayal of President Donald Trump. Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049) hosts tonight’s season premiere, with musical guest Jay-Z.
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