1) Democratic convention, today through Thursday. For two weeks, this seizes attention – Democrats this week, Republicans next. The news networks are there all night, with PBS from 8-11 p.m. ET; ABC and others at 10. Main speakers (in the 9-11 p.m. ET slot) include Bernie Sanders (shown here), Andrew Cuomo and Michelle Obama on Monday; Bill Clinton and John Kerry, Tuesday; Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, Wednesday; and Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Tammy Duckworth on Thursday.
2) “Love in the Time of Corona,” 8 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Freeform. Cleverly crafted, this is a show about life in isolation – filmed under isolated conditions. Most pairings are from families – Leslie Odom Jr. and his wife Nicolette Robinson, Gil Bellows and his wife and daughter – or are shot at a distance or as videochats. Smartly and subtly written and played, the story has quiet complications – friends who could be more, a secret break-up, a forced separation, fresh thoughts about parenthood.
3) “Dead Pixels” debut, 8 p.m. Tuesday, CW. These adults (sort of) have spent two years playing the videogame “Kingdom Scrolls.” Everything else is semi-ignored, including Meg’s dating, Usman’s watching his daughter and Nicky … well, having a life. And their cubicle jobs? They only switch to work when the boss walks by. “Pixels” is a funny show about likable (if daft) people; we even see them onscreen, as avatars. One of several CW summer imports, it’s fun despite the thick British accents.
4) “Great Performances: The King and I,” 9 p.m. Friday, PBS. The five-Friday stretch of Broadway reruns ends elegantly. Loosely based on a true story from the 1860s, “King” has an Englishwoman teach the children of the King of Siam. By modern standards, it’s too long (two hours, 40 minutes) and stiff. But Kelli O’Hara, who won a Tony in the role, is superb, in a show stuffed with Rodgers-and-Hammerstein hits – “Hello, Young Lovers,” “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance” and more.
5) “America’s Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. This year’s live shows will be an adventure. The first one, last week, proceeded without producer/judge Simon Cowell, injured in a bike accident; Kelly Clarkson replaced him. Some acts performed on an empty stage with no audience; others stayed near home. A comedian worked while recovering from COVID; a daredevil duo lost half its team; due to a rehearsal injury. Now 11 more acts will perform and viewers vote, with the results on Wednesday.
6) “Tough as Nails.” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. This started with 12 people from some of the toughest jobs. There was a farmer, a fisherman and a firefighter, plus a cop, an ironworker and more. Now we’re reminded just how tough a firefighter’s job is: At a training facility, contestants must clear a 60-foot section of brush. They also must save a victim and extinguish a fire …. then rappel from the top of a four-story building. Meanwhile, the “Big Brother” folks (at 8 p.m.) are just flirting with each other.
7) “24 Hours to Hell and Back,” 8-10 p.m. Thursday, Fox. In 2016, Ellicott City (near Baltimore) had what was called “a once-in-a-thousand-years” flood. The downtown was rebuilt … and flooded again in 2018. Then, with water-diversion plans set, Gordon Ramsay arrived to re-rebuild three businesses … in time for them to be closed by the pandemic. It’s a distressing story, but this rerun is a feel-good (if stretched) look at people – including designer Nate Berkus and baseball great Cal Ripkin – helping out.
8) Shark and lions, cable. “Shark Week” ended Sunday on Discovery, but creatures still prowl on cable. “Sharkfest” continues through Thursday on Nat Geo Wild; “Savage Kingdom,” beautifully filming lions’ domain, continues from 9-11 p.m. Friday on National Geographic. Then Syfy has a reverse-order marathon Saturday, from “Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” at 8:30 a.m. to the original “Sharknado” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday has “5-Headed Shark Attack” at 9 a.m., “6-Headed Shark Attack” at 11 and more.
9) “NOS4A2” season-finale, 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC and BBC America. Most finales build slowly, then pack a wallop; this goes the opposite way: The start is fierce and high-octane, with Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) trying to rescue her son, shatter the twisted Christmasland and confront Charlie Manx. Then things slow down, amid a quiet grasp for something like real life. There are nods toward a third season, but this hasn’t been renewed yet; ratings are down sharply, despite great work from Cummings.
10) “Yellowstone” season-finale, 9 p.m. Sunday, Paramount or CMT. You can catch the entire season on Paramount; it starts at noon, has the finale at 9 and reruns it at 10. That brings a showdown between John (Kevin Costner), who’s clinging to his Yellowstone mega-ranch, and Roarke (Josh Holloway), who wants to build a city there. Also concluding is the brief “Endeavour” season, at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS. The first two weeks were disappointing, but this ties things together, albeit in some iffy ways.