1) “Game of Thrones” season-opener, 9 p.m., HBO. Well-made shows, alas, need more time to make fewer episodes. “Thrones” had only seven episodes last season … made us wait 17 months after that … and has only six for this final season. In case we forgot what’s happened – it was a long time ago – HBO reruns the two most-recent episodes at 6:20 and 7:30 p.m. Then the final fury begins; the wall is down, the forces collide and the bad guys have a dragon.
2) “God Friended Me” season-finale, 8 p.m., CBS. Miles has been looking for Henry Chase, the long-missing hacker who may be linked to the God account. Now he’s here, played by Derek Luke, who’s been busy since his great start in the title role of Denzel Washington’s “Antwone Fisher” (2002).
3) “Les Miserables” debut, 9 p.m., PBS. Victor Hugo’s story existed for 118 yars, before anyone started singing it; there were at least 14 filmed versions, before Hugh Jackman’s movie musical. And now we’re back to its gritty roots – no songs, few (for now) rays of hope. Beautifully directed by Tom Shankland, this is visually impressive – starting with the first battleground scene – and emotionally wrenching. Dominic West and David Oyelowo are perfect as the hardened ex-con and his pursuer.
4) “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m., ABC. Now the public takes over. Last week, judges trimmed the field from 20 to 14. Today and Monday, things go live and viewers do the voting.
5) “The Chi,” 10 p.m., Showtime. Last week’s season-opener ended with home-invaders brutalizing Ronnie’s grandmother. Now he’s desperate to get out of prison … and willing to deal with white-supremacists. It’s a strong episode, setting up an even better one next week.
— Mike Hughes, TV America