1) “Barkskins” debut, 9 and 10:03 p.m. ET, National Geographic; rerunning at 11:03 p.m. and 12:03 a.m. ET. This was supposed to be a big night for Nat Geo, launching “Genius: Aretha.” Alas, that was delayed and this eight-hour tale (shown here) – beautifully crafted, but grim and brutal – was inserted. Author Annie Proulx (“The Shipping News, “Brokeback Mountain”) is descended from French settlers who arrived 15 years after the Mayflower. This tells of indentured servitude, mail-order brides and a scheming land grab.
2) “Grant,” 9 p.m., History; rerunning at 11. After scoring with a George Washington profile, History tries another soldier-turned-president. Like “Washington,” this is a six-hour documentary with dramatic re-creations. The differences in presidents, however, is stark: Ulysses Grant grew up modestly and had troubles with alcohol and business failures. A so-so student at West Point, he became a strong battle leader and the fourth (and only successful) head of the Union Army, then became president.
3) “The Titan Games” debut, 8 and 9 p.m., NBC. Nothing comes easily here: First, the contestants face each other in athletic contests; then the winner must face a pro star. Tonight, the female winner faces Claressa Shields, the only boxer to win gold in two Olympics. The male winner faces Joe Thomas, the giant (6-foot-6, 312 pounds) lineman who was named to the pro bowl 10 times.
4) “Howie Mandel’s All-Star Comedy Gala,” 8-10 p.m., CW. Each year, top comedians converge on Montreal for a comedy festival. Mandel, a Canadian, grabs some of them for a stand-up special. This rerun has the terrific Alonzo Bodden, plus Rachel Bloom, Ronny Chieng, Anjelah Johnson and more.
5) “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), 9:30 a.m., AMC. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece starts a Memorial Day full of military movies. AMC also has the terrific “American Sniper” (2014) at 4:30 p.m. and “Top Gun” (1986) at 7:30. Sundance includes “The Big Red One” (1980) at 1 p.m. and “Dirty Dozen” (1967) at 9:30. Turner Classic Movies also has “Dirty Dozen” (at 2:15 p.m. ET), plus moving stories of life after war – “Best Years of Our Lives” (1946) at 8 p.m. ET and “Coming Home” (1978) at 1 a.m.