1) “This Is Us” season-finale, 9 p.m., NBC. This richly layered drama manages to end each season with jolts of emotion. We’ll expect that tonight, much of it coming from the two brothers. As last week’s fascinating episode ended, their mom reluctantly agreed to go away for a clinical trial, trying to head off Alzheimer’s disease. That soothed Randall (Sterling K. Brown, show here), but may enrage Kevin. They collide tonight, at the first birthday party for Jack, the blind son of their sister Kate and her husband Toby.
2) “Council of Dads” debut, 10:01 p.m., NBC. As soon as “This Is Us” ends, we get another show that aims for deep-gut emotion. Scott loves his wife, his five kids and, we assume, his gorgeous, lakeside home. Then he gets a grim medical prognosis; in a move that author Bruce Feiler did in real life, he asks friends to help with his kids. It’s a good start … but we’ll have to wait until April 30 for more.
3) “Schitt’s Creek” and “One Day At a Time,” 9 and 9:30 p.m., Pop. As “Creek” nears the end of its six-year run, its final three episodes will be lead-ins for “One Day.” Tonight, both have good episodes. On “Creek,” it’s time to fly to the city and pitch a motel scheme. Then “Creek” starts its fourth season …. and its first away from Netflix. Don’t worry about who’s-who; that’s explained to a census-taker (Ray Romano) at the start. It’s a funny bit, followed by an OK story about teen romance.
4) “Empire,” 9 p.m., Fox. After Yana’s disastrous debut performance, Lucious scrambles to find the perfect song for her. That story works fairly well, but others are – as usual – wildly overwrought. Cookie has a noisy road trip with her sisters; Andre’s bipolar behavior becomes even worse, with his late half-brother Kingsley seizing control of his mind.
5) “East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story,” 8-10 p.m., PBS. For a young mom and her family, Atlanta’s new housing project offered a fresh start. “This was like Heaven to us – until it became a nightmare,” she says. Previously, Sarah Burns and David McMahon made masterful documentaries on Jackie Robinson and on the wrongful conviction of the “Central Park Five.” Now (with her father Ken Burns producing), they show good (sometimes) intentions gone bad, when a project is neglected.