1) “Asian Americans,” 8-10 p.m. today and 8-11 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. Spanning centuries, here is a richly researched story of pain and (eventually) triumph. Americans needed Chinese workers to build the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s, then hit them with the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. In the 1940s, they sent 120,000 Japanese (the majority of them U.S. citizens) to internment camps. These stories are told vividly Monday. Tuesday includes triumphs and the rise of activist movements (shown here).
2) “American Idol” finale, 8-10 p.m. Sunday, ABC. The stay-home notion has revitalized “Idol.” The slickness is gone; at home – alongside parents, siblings, spouses and toddlers – these contestants have seemed more human. At the same time, their music has stayed strong, boosted by some long-range back-up singers and musicians.. On Saturday (9-11 p.m.), you can catch a rerun, with seven people singing. On Sunday, we learn who survived … then see them compete to be the 18th “Idol” champion.
3) “Survivor” finale.” 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, CBS, with reunion at 10. This is the show that propelled the reality surge, alongside “Idol.” Now its 40th edition has been all-winners. Each of the 20 contestants had already been a champion – as recently as 2018 (Wendall Holland and Nick Wild) or as far back as the third edition (Ethan Zohn), in 2001. There was a double-winner (Sandra Diaz-Twine) and a married couple with separate wins (Amber and Rob Mariano). Now the finalists go for the $2 million prize.
4) “How to Get Away With Murder” series finale, 10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. These six seasons have had spectacular moments for Viola Davis. She already has an Emmy and three more nominations as Annalise; now come pivotal moments. On trial for murder, she learns there’s a surprise witness. Also, Connor has a new plan and Frank and Bonnie may be split by a lie. Still looming is a key question: A flashforward showed Annalise’s funeral. ABC promises we’ll learn what happened and who killed her.
5) “The Voice” semi-finals, 8-10 p.m. today, 8-9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. This is another music-from-home show, but it skips the personal touches and goes straight to the music. Last week, 17 people sang and nine survived – two on each team, plus Joanna Serenko (from Blake Shelton’s team), the wild-card winner. Tonight, they perform and viewers vote; on Tuesday, we’ll learn who finished in the top three. Then the middle three will perform for instant votes; we’ll have the final four for the May 18-19 finale.
6) “The Happy Days of Garry Marshall,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. Marshall was once the king of television. In the 1976 and ‘77 seasons, he had the Nielsen ratings’ top two shows, “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley”; the next year, he had three out of four, adding “Mork & Mindy.” His impact continued with movies (“Pretty Woman,” “Beaches”) and the filmmakers he mentored (Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and Penny Marshall, his sister). Now actors recall Marshall, who died in 2016 at 81.
7) “24 Hours to Hell and Back.” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. In 2016, Ellicott City had what was called “a once-in-a-thousand-years flood.” The downtown was rebuilt … then flooded in 2018. There are new water plans, but businesses in this Baltimore suburb need help. Gordon Ramsay suspends his 24-hour rule and tackles three of them, with help from designer Nate Berkus and baseball great Cal Ripkin. In a feel-good (albeit stretched) special, we see things spring to life … before being closed by the pandemic.
8) “Masters of Illusion.” 8-10 p.m Friday, CW. It’s changeover time for CW. Season-finales are 8 p.m. Tuesday (“The Flash”), Thursday (“Katy Keene”) and Sunday (“Batwoman”). And there’s the season-opener for this show, with Dean Cain introducing quick magic acts in Las Vegas. The new episodes at 8 and 8:30 p.m. have six acts apiece. Then the 21st-anniversary apecial reruns from 9-10 p.m., with some of the show’s favorites – Jonathan Pendragon, Murray SawChuck, JekiYoo, Greg Frewin and more.
9) “Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020,” 8 p.m. Saturday, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and social media. Here’s the graduation ceremony we all deserve: Barack and Michelle Obama are the commencement speakers; music people – Jonas Brothers, Pharell Williams, H.E.R., Bad Bunny, Ben Platt – will be included. So will basketball’s LeBron James. He organized this event because three million people will graduate from high school this year without a prom or full graduation ceremony
10) “Scandalous,” 10 p.m. ET Sunday, CNN. At first, this is fun. Borrowing money from a mafia boss, Gene Pope buys the New York Enquirer and turns it national. He starts with gore, then goes to UFO’s and celebrities, spending lavishly. But then the National Enquirer kills negative stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Cosby, Bob Hope and Donald Trump, even buying stories to bury them. Times change; it loses 90 percent of its circulation, but its front page remains a potent supermarket billboard.