“Video Music Awards,” 9 p.m., MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, Spike, TV Land
and Comedy Central; repeats at 11:30 on MTV and VH1.
Once a year, MTV
remembers music videos and assembles starpower. This time, the VMA's
have Britney Spears performing for the first time in a decade. Other
performers include Rihanna (the Video Vanguard winner), Nick Jonas,
Future and a duet with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande.
There will be comedy
commentary, led by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Beyonce and
Adele lead with 11 and 8 nominations; for Video of the Year, they
face Drake, Justin Bieber and Kanye West.
“The Strain” season-opener, 10 p.m., FX.
This third season
begins just 23 days after the first attacks by long-tongued
creatures. Now New York is a war zone, with soldiers facing steep
odds; still, the personal stories are far more interesting.
for an answer in the lab, while searching for his walking-dead
ex-wife, who took their son; even getting gasoline is perilous
Setrakian searches an ancient book. And Fet leads a tunnel search; he
remains refreshingly vibrant, in a dark (but well-crafted) adventure.
ALTERNATIVE: “America's National Parks at 100,” 8 p.m.,
In the early years,
this was a learning experience. With no walking paths, some
Yellowstone visitors died in fiery cauldrons ... bears and burros
came up to cars ... Yosemite offered a nightly fire cascade.
And now? In its
100th year, the National Park Service has guides who
converse, not recite. It has parks in Washington, D.C. and New York
City ... and on distant islands. One park has exactly one employee;
others swarm. This hour is smartly written and beautifully
illustrated, mixing past and present.
ALTERNATIVES II: Finales, 9-10:45 p.m., HBO; and 10-11 p.m.,
HBO's “The Night
Of” began with a Pakistani-American college student, working as a
taxi driver; after a wild night with a woman, he woke up next to her
body. Now his murder trial concludes.
has been a richly human story of life on a rock 'n' roll tour; now
its season concludes with a memorial concert ... and with questions
about who will be working the European tour.
Football, all day.
Two networks combine for a pre-season tripleheader. Fox has the San
Diego Chargers at the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. ET and the Arizona
Cardinals at the Houston Texans at 4. Then NBC has the Cincinatti
Bengals at the Jacksonville Jaguars, at 8 p.m. ET.
“WE Day,” 7
p.m., ABC. This is the 10th year for this event, which
urges young people to give time and money to children's charities.
It's only the second, however, to have an hour on a broadcast
network. There will be music, documentaries and talks, with Demi
Lovato. Selena Gomez, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, Common, Joe and Nick
Jonas, Zooey Deschanel, Paual Abdul, Big Sean and Kermit the Frog
Feud,” 8 p.m., ABC. TV viewers know Steve Harvey and Sheryl
Underwood from “Feud” and “The Talk,” respectively, but she
also contributes to his radio show. Here, she faces Gus Kenworthy, an
Olympic silver-medalist skiier. Another round has Alan Thicke and
8 p.m., MTV. This won't be just babbling about gowns. There will be
music by Alessia Cara, Jidenna and Lukas Graham; DJ Khaled hosts,
with Lizzo and Charlamagne Tha God.
9 p.m., CBS. Elizabeth's husband (Tim Daly) seems to merge Mr. Chips
and James Bond. A former Marine captain, he's a college-professor who
doubles as a top-level spy. In this rerun, he's involved in a mission
to Islamabad, to eliminate the world's most-wanted terrorist.
p.m., CBS. When her brother Luke, the senator, needs an anti-war
film, Laurel works with an ex-boyfriend. Then there's the alien-bug
thing; she worrues about the health of Luke's baby.