1) “Songland” season-finale, 10 p.m. today, NBC. Four songwriters pitch songs to Usher (shown here) … who can sometimes mean a route to the top. He’s had 18 top-10 singles on the Billboard chart, half of them reaching No.1. Many lingered; for more than half of 2004 (28 of 52 weeks), an Usher song was No. 1. He also had two seasons on “The Voice,” coaching a champion (Josh Kaufman) and a runner-up. Now he’ll hear the pitches and choose three of the four songs for refining. Then he’ll pick one to record.
2) “Roswell, New Mexico” season-finale, 9 p.m. today, CW. The season ends with a burst of life-and-death crises. CrashCon, Roswell’s annual celebration, has been infiltrated by a deadly threat. Now Liz (Jeanine Mason) realizes she can’t save everyone she loves; she and Isobel face a heart-wrenching choice. So do others; Kyle has a moral dilemma, when the enemy needs medical attention. Also: Max faces immediate danger, Maria’s life teeters and Michael is caught in the Jess-and-Alex conflict.
3) “Mae West: Dirty Blonde,” 8-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. At 39, after success and controversy in theater, Mae West was ready to rule Hollywood. She agreed to do a small film role, but rewrote her lines and grabbed attention. From then on, she would write, produce and star; she was one of the hottest stars … briefly. After five years, censorship cut into her success; after five more, she was retreating to theater and clubs. Still, it’s a fascinating story of a woman piercing the male world of movie moguls.
4) “Great Performances: Ann,” 9-11 p.m. Friday, PBS. Ann Richards was a fierce force in Texas politics. A former schoolteacher, an upscale mother of four and a recovering alcoholic, she first ran for office in her 50s. As the keynote speaker in the 1988 Democratic convention, she mixed humor and vitriol. She was elected governor, before losing re-election to George W. Bush. Now Holland Taylor has written and starred in a one-woman show, mixing warmth and the wit of Richards’ sharp one-liners.
5) “One Day at a Time,” 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Pop. This reboot – with Norman Lear, 97, as one of its producers – keeps adjusting to the COVID limitations. It was the first multi-camera comedy to switch to shooting episodes without a studio audience. Then it came up with this plan: It animated an episode, so the actors could simply add their voices from home. The result is filled with a sort of Latino royalty: Rita Moreno is a regular, Gloria Estefan returns as her sister and Lin-Manuel Miranda is a guest star.
6) “Let It Fall: 1982-1992,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. For the second time in eight days, TV looks back 28 years, at lessons unlearned. After a not-guilty verdict for police in the 1992 Rodney King beating, Los Angeles exploded. Last week, PBS reran Anna Deveare Smith’s one-woman play; now ABC reruns John Ridley’s 2017 documentary, starting a decade before the crisis. Ridley is an Oscar-winner for his “12 Years a Slave” script; this film won DuPont and National Board of Review awards.
7) “Frontline: The Virus,” 9:30-11 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. Our twin crises overlap, with PBS’ pandemic film starting before ABC’s race-relations one ends. Martin Smith views countries successful in halting the virus and four that weren’t – China, Iran, Italy and the U.S. (The U.S. has 6.5 times as many people as South Korea, but 400 times as many COVID deaths.) He traces the slow start by China and by the World Health Organization, then the response by Americans, who had almost two months’ warning.
8) “The Unicorn” return, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS. After a successful first season, “Unicorn” had a three-month break. Now it’s back for reruns, starting with this widowed dad finally having a romance; his daughters promptly invite friends over when he’s out. And stick around at 9 p.m., when “Mom” reruns a sort of “3rd Rock From the Sun” reunion: Kristen Johnston and French Stewart played “3rd Rock” aliens, pretending to be siblings; now they are Tammy and Chef Rudy, with a maybe-romance.
9) “Labor of Love,” 9 p.m. Thursday, Fox. Clearly, all dates aren’t created equal. Gary Malec’s “date” with Kristy Katzmann consisted of herding kids at a wild party; tonight, Kyle Klinger’s date involves snuggling with wine, talk and kisses. Then there’s Trent Broach’s date tonight – an entire amusement park (no lines, no waiting) and then talented dancers cavorting to “The Time of My Life.” In four weeks, Katzmann has trimmed the field from 16 men to six; with four weeks left, she can ease the pace.
10) ALSO: The week starts and ends with heavy-duty dramas. At 9 and 10:03 p.m. ET today (rerunning at 12:03 and 1:03 a.m.), National Geographic wraps “Barkskins,” the eight-hour mini-series set in the 17th-century American frontier; it’s a brutal and bitter story, but beautifully crafted. And at 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC has a strong season-opener for “NOS4A2.” Vic seems happy with her new life … until she learns the evil Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) has emerged from his coma. Now she must return.