1) “Modern Family” season finale, 9 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. In a week stuffed with finales, this may be the big one: It wraps up the second-to-last season of a show that won the best-comedy Emmy in each of its first five seasons. (One year, everyone playing an adult was nominated, landing four of the five spots for supporting actor.) It’s almost time for Haley and Dylan (shown here in a previous episode) to have their twins; that spurs people to recall their recent birthdays.
2) “Veep” series finale, 10:50 p.m. Sunday, HBO. Here’s another comedy that has gobbled up awards. For each of its six seasons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won the comedy-actress Emmy; for the past three, the show was named best comedy. Those years have been a roller-coaster: As vice-president, she was roundly ignored by the president. Then he resigned, she took over … barely lost the election … and is campaigning anew. Her finale has the second-to-last “Game of Thrones” (9-10:20 p.m.) as a lead-in.
3) State of the Union” debut, 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sundance. Alongside all the finales, we also get new shows … including one that breaks all the rules: Each of the 10 episodes (running for two weeks) is 10 minutes long. Each has the same two characters, in the same coffeeshop, awaiting marital therapy sessions. Fortunately, the script (by Nick Hornby) is quietly clever and the actors — Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) and Chris O’Dowd – are perfect, with Stephen Frears (“The Queen”) directing.
4) “Agents of SHIELD” season-opener, 8 p.m. Friday, ABC. It seemed like a death sentence, when ABC said this 13-episode season would be confined to summer. But now the good news: Summer starts early for this sixth season … and a seventh has been ordered. Last season, the team leaped to see a horrific future, then moved to prevent it. It succeeded, but lost its leader, Coulson (Clark Gregg). Gregg directed this opener (and plays a new character, Sarge), with survivors scattered across the universe.
5) Paradise Hotel” season-opener, 8-10 p.m. Thursday, Fox. Back in 2003, Fox was at its friskiest and tried this reality-show blend of sex and/or romance. Eleven singles were in a resort, trying to pair up. Each episode, someone was eliminated and a new person – chosen by the contestants – was added. There were 18 spin-off versions in other countries, but the idea sputtered in the U.S. It waited five years for is second season and 11 more for this third one, with Fox saying it was “ahead of its time.”
6) “Chernobyl” debut, 9 p.m. today, HBO. In 1986, a disaster put much of Europe in fear. A nuclear plant in the Ukraine city of Chernobyl had a steam explosion; for nine days, a fierce fire roared. This five-week mini-series looks at the event and at efforts to probe it, in a Soviet Union known for secrecy. Jared Harris plays the real-life scientist who was put in charge of the investigation. Emily Watson plays a physicist (a composite character); others play firefighers, plant workers and Chernobyl residents.
7) “Fosse/Verdon,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, FX. The second half of this eight-week series begins with Bob Fosse at a crossroads. He won an Oscar, Emmy and Tony … and checked into a mental institution. We see him there, medicated … then flash to a beach weekend, meant to comfort the widowed Neil Simon. Fosse wants to direct a Lenny Bruce film … his wife, Gwen Verdon, wants the “Chicago” musical … his girlfriend, Ann Reinking, wants him to rest. Beautifully directed by Tommy Kail, this ends with a jolt.
8) “Empire” season-finale, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Fox. How many sons can Lucious lose? Two weeks ago, we saw the final episode for Jamal (Jussie Smollett, who’s been fired). Last week, Andre – with failing heart and no chance of an organ donation – begged his dad to assist his suicide; Cookie stopped them at the last second, as Andre collapsed. Now his life hangs in th balance … his parents rage at each other … the federal attorney closes in … and we learn who’s in the coffin Lucious stared at in the season-opener.
9) “Live From the Lincoln Center,” 9 p.m. Friday, PBS (check local listings) . Alongside PBS’ big events – mega-orchestras, epic operas – there’s the power of a solo star. Last season, “Stars in Concert” had four specials; now it adds three more. Coming are Megan Hilty (“Smash”) and Annaleigh Ashford (“Kinky Boots”); first is Cynthia Erivo. She grew up in London, with Nigerian-born parents, and took the “Color Purple” revival from England to Broadway, winning a Tony, Grammy and (for a “Today” visit) daytime Emmy.
10) More comedy season-finales. There are plenty all week, starting with tonight’s “Man With a Plan” (8:30 p.m., CBS); friends hate the effect Andi’s sister has on Lowell. On Tuesday, Barry is key to two ABC shows: He plans a giant breakdancing battle on the ’80s-themed “Goldbergs” at 8 p.m., then tries to win back Lainey’s love on “Schooled” at 8:30. And on the night of the second-to-last “Big Bang” (8 p.m. Thursday), the terrific “Mom” wraps its season at 9, with a hasty decision by Bonnie and Adam.
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