1) “The Paley Center Salutes: The Good Place,” 9 p.m., NBC. The trouble with great shows is that they insist on staying great. They end early, while bland shows go on forever. “Good Place” (shown here) — wonderfully weird show, richly imaginative – plans to end after this season, which is only its fourth. It started with four undeserving people seemingly getting an ideal afterlife … then kept twisting and re-twisting. This special was originally set for 8 p.m., then moved to 9 … exactly a week before its season-opener.
2) “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event,” 8 p.m., NBC. Here’s another great show that was too brief – just six PBS seasons and 52 episodes. This special, hosted by Derek Hough, looks at the British classic and the movie, which opens Friday. Why NBC? Its parent company (Comcast) owns Universal, which owns Focus, which produced the series and the movie; life is complicated. Why Hough? He did spend a decade training and dancing in London, before returning to the U.S. and becoming a star.
3) “Young Sheldon,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., CBS. Here are two reruns, both fairly good. First, there are two troubles at church – the pastor’s marriage is crumbling … and Sheldon is pushing for donations. Then Sheldon wants a party, to listen to the Nobel Prize announcement. It’s a melancholy episode … unless you remember that the not-young Sheldon would end up winning a Nobel.
4) “The Last Days of Phil Hartman,” 9-11 p.m., ABC. A gifted actor on “Saturday Night Live,” “NewsRadio” and “The Simpsons,” Hartman had troubled marriages. In 1998, his third wife killed him and (after confessing to friends) killed herself. This special talks to her brother, has homevideo footage, includes a previously unseen interview with Hartman and talks to his second wife. It also talks to producers and co-stars and to some of the police who were on the scene.
5) “Mr. Inbetween,” 10 p.m., FX, rerunning at 11. This strange episode – well, they’re all strange – requires you to know things from previous ones (including last week’s, which reruns at 10:30): Ray’s daughter has a bully … Ray helped a friend by claiming a porno tape was his … A tough young girl at the gym once accidentally choked him unconscious. It’s all part of the odd, interesting life of a hit man.