Best-bets for Sept. 26: Broadway’s back, with Tonys and more

1) Tony Awards, 7-9 p.m. ET, Paramount+. Back in March of 2020, Broadway suddenly closed. No one knew when it would be back or what would happen to the Tony Awards, with half the season’s shows still waiting to open. Now we know: Audra McDonald hosts a ceremony (a year late) for the half-season that happened. That skips three categories; see next item. And one category — best actor in a musical — has only one nominee, Aaron Tveit (shown here) in “Moulin Rouge.” Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 27: Everyone turns 50

1) Anniversary specials. Let’s celebrate the 50th anniversaries of places that range from soaring sopranos to talking mice. First (9 p.m. Thursday, CBS) is “The Price is Right,” which is actually 65, but moved to CBS on Sept. 4, 1972 – making this its 50th season. Then (8 p.m. Friday, ABC) is Disney World (shown here) – exactly 50 years after its Oct. 1, 1971 opening. Also (9 p.m. Friday, PBS) is the Kennedy Center, which started Sept. 8, 1971; performers include Renee Fleming, Keb’ Mo’ and Kelli O’Hara. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept.25: a Joyful “SNL” rerun

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Next week, this show starts its 47th season, filling a vast void on Saturdays. First, here’s one more rerun. Hosting is Anya Taylor-Joy (shown here), who is almost an Emmy-winner. (Her “The Queen’s Gambit” was named best mini-series; she was nominated for best actress in a movie or mini-series.) Lil Nas X is the music guest. Read more…

HBO: classy blend of sex, sci-fi and “Succession”

Even as the TV turf quakes and shifts, HBO stays steady. It keeps turning out top-quality shows.
Now, however, those shows are spread over two spots: Some start on HBO, then slide to the HBO Max streaming service; others (including John Cena’s upcoming “Succession,” shown here) are Max-only.
Either way, the quality persists. That was clear this week with: Read more…

Here’s a one-stop overview of the new season

As the fall seaso starts, new stories keep nudging old ones aside.
Still, I wanted to keep the  fall season-preview package handy. So I’ve put all four stories together here, updating them slightly.
First is an overview; then are three lists rounding up the shows — the scripted ones on broadcast networks (includig “Ghosts,” shown here) … the unscripted broadcast ones … then a sampling of scripted cable shows. Here we go. . Read more…

He’s an accidental rock star

James Wolk is a rock star now – albeit a pretend one – and that’s ironic.
Wolk stars in “Ordinary Joe,” which reruns its pilot film at 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 24) on NBC, then continues at 10 p.m. Mondays. In TV’s splashiest role, he plays the same guy in three lives – as a cop, a nurse and a musician.
“When Jimmy got on stage, he just completely transformed into this rock star,” said writer-producer Russel Friend. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 24: quick rerun of extraordinary “Joe”

1) “Ordinary Joe,” 8 p.m., NBC. Monday was way too busy, packing three of the best new shows alongside “NCIS” and more. If you missed the “Ordinary Joe” debut, catch this quick rerun. We meet Joe (James Wolk) on graduation day, facing three choices. Then we follow all three – cop, nurse, rock star (shown here) – through joy and pain. It’s a complicated task pulled of by a subtle script and gifted actors. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 23: lotsa “Law,” plus Kenny

1) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” season-openers, 8 and 10 p.m, NBC. A slick congressman says he’ll be in the White House; Benson (Mariska Hargatay) says he’ll be in prison for making mothers trade sex for housing. It’s a tough case – that gets tougher at the end of the first hour. One character (Chief McGrath) is written and played way too broadly, but others are – in the “L&O” fashion – solid enough. Then “OC” finds Stabler (Christopher Meloni, shown in a previous episode with Hargitay working undercover . Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 22: wonder and ego and more

1) “The Wonder Years” debut, 8:30 p.m., ABC. The original series began in 1988 as a comedy-drama, then kept leaning to the drama side. Now this well-crafted reboot starts there. We meet Black family (shown here) in middle-income Montgomery, Ala. Don Cheadle is the adult narrator, looking back at his childhood; Dule Hill is his dad. There are some laughs, but this is the spring of 1968; life soon turns serious. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 21: Season-openers … and an “FBI” marathon

1) “FBI” trilogy, 8-11 p.m., CBS. Sprawling across three shows and two continents, this is an epic way to launch a new series. At 8, the “FBI” season-opener has the slaying of a woman who was at a yacht party with some rich creeps; two “FBI: Most Wanted” guys, Crosby and LaCroix – are soon involved. Then the “Most Wanted” opener, at 9, points to the debut of “FBI International” at 10. Zadan (Zeeko Zaki, shown here in a previous epiosde), from “FBI,” rushes to the Budapest bureau, to pursue a Jeffrey Epstein-type villain and his hostage. Read more…