1) “Carpool Karaoke,” 10 p.m. today (Aug. 19), CBS. Imagine you’re sitting in a British pub one day and a bloke comes out with a guitar. He seems pretty good and … hey, he’s Paul McCartney! That was one of the highlights of this special, which debuted a year ago. James Corden (shown here with McCartney in real and statue form), the Englishman who hosts CBS’ late-late show, also visited McCartney’s childhood home and some places mentioned in “Penny Lane.” The result is up for five Emmys, including best variety special; overall, Corden has seven nominations.
2) “I Ship It” debut, 9:30 p.m. today, CW. In the final weeks of summer TV, we deserve something fresh and fun. “I Ship It” was a 20-minute short in 2014 and a streaming series on CW Seed in 2016. It has recast once, changed concept twice, but kept the basics – a mini-musical about a young woman in a shipping store, who wants something more. The opener has three songs — one cleverly illustrated by a copy machine – and great glimpses of her favorite show, with Ethan Peck (Gregory’s grandson) as star.
3) “Power” season-opener, 8 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 25), Starz, rerunning at 9:26 and 10:52. It’s the sixth and final season of this intense drama. And if you haven’t seen the first five? They rerun in a 48-hour marathon that starts at 8 p.m. Friday. The fifth season starts at 9:52 a.m. Sunday, with the season-finale at 6:50 p.m. It’s a fierce one, with the friendship and drug-dealing partnership crumbling violently. In the season-opener, we learn if the gunshot victim survived; it’s a potent hour, the beginning of the end.
4) “Animal Kingdom” season-finale, 9 p.m. Tuesday, TNT. This week is stuffed with finales, propelled by recent jolts; let’s start with the biggest one: “Kingdom” was built around Ellen Barkin as Smurf, creating heists with her sons and grandson. They tried a huge job … unaware that Smurf (who had cancer) meant it as a suicide mission. When she survived, she made the guys kill her. Now they have the looy … but some perturbed people want it back. And yes, this will return with a Smurfless season.
5) “Holey Moley” season-finale, 8 and 9 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Now for the weirdest finale – a miniature-golf tourney, with stars dropping in. Golfer Michelle Wei is a commentator in the first hour, which includes a battle between two guys with the same name (Eric) and same fashion sense. Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas comments in the second; that’s the championship, with the final three on the zip line. Steph Curry, the producer, is in both hours and calls for more mini-sports. Mini-basketball maybe?
6) “Instinct” finale, 9 p.m. Sunday, CBS. Here’s a season-finale that’s likely to also be the series finale. Ratings were OK last season, but slumped during this summer run. Alan Cumming stars as Dylan, a college professor and author who helps Lizzie (Bojana Novakovic), a homicide detective. This time, they probe a gruesome discovery in a city pond. Also, Dylan’s husband, a lawyer-turned-barowner, helps Dylan’s student. And Lizzie embraces adventure with a friend of Dylan from his CIA days.
7) “Baskets” finale, 10 p.m. Thursday, FX. It’s a double-finale week for FX: “Pose” ends is season Tuesday; then “Baskets” ends its run. Throughout its four years, it’s had a sense of hopelessness: Chip and Dale (both played by Zach Galifianakis) have botched life.. Last week’s episode was surprisingly warm and funny, as the family converged on the state capitol. The finale, alas, returns to the norm. A suggestion: Watch them in order – a rerun of last week’s episode at 10:30 p.m., then the finale at 11.
8) “Web of Dreams,” 8-10 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime. For four Saturdays, Lifetime has had V.C. Andrews’ Casteel saga. Here’s the final novel — a prequel, explaining the secrets; you can also catch all five: In “Heaven” (noon), Heaven Casteel grows up poor, then is sold to a cruel family … In “Dark Angel” (2 p.m.), she reaches her grandfather’s mansion … In “Fallen Hearts” (4), she’s happy, but lured back … In “Gates of Paradise” (6), her daughter faces tragedy … Then we flash back to Heaven’s troubled mom.
9) “What Just Happened?” 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox. After two weeks off (for football and an award show), this oddity returns. It’s for fans who have just seen “The Flare,” based on the novel “The Sun is the Moon at Night.” Except … the book and “The Flare” don’t exist; Fred Savage, as himself, pretends to be the superfan host. At 8:30, he’s bothered by noise in the next studio; at 9:30, he’s stuck in an elevator and his disinterested co-host mus take over. Eric Stonestreet and Taran Killam are guests.
10) “Halston,” 9 p.m. ET Sunday (barring breaking news), CNN. For two decades, the designer called Halston was a cultural giant. He created Jackie Kennedy’s hats, Liz Minnelli’s gowns, the uniforms of Braniff stewardesses. Handsome and articulate, he was omnipresent at parties and on TV; still, people knew little about him. He was Roy Halston Frowick, from Des Moines, Iowa and Evansville, Ind. With rich detail, this describes his free-spending time at the top … and the finance schemes that toppled him.