1) Republican convention, 8-11 p.m. ET, PBS; 10 p.m., ABC, CBS and NBC; all night, news channels. For the second straight week, the fate of the nation should get our attention. Now it’s the Republicans’ turn. Donald Trump is expected to give his acceptance speech Thursday from the White House; Mike Pence is expected to talk Wednesday from Fort McHenry (shown here), where the National Anthem was born,. Other speakers this week will include Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Jodi Ernst, Kevin McCarthy and Kristi Noem.
2) “Love Island” season-opener, 8-10 p.m. today, CBS. Yes, life is strange; presidential politics share the spotlight with 11 singles who look good in swimwear. This was a ratings hit last summer, then hesitated. Now it has the same principle as “Big Brother” (8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays): After two weeks of isolation, strangers share a festive turf. In this case, the “island” is actually a Las Vegas resort. Hours will then air at 9 p.m. daily, plus two-hour recaps on Saturdays.
3) MTV Music Video Awards, 8-11 p.m. Sunday, MTV and VH1. Show-business has quickly become good at this – performing songs and giving out awards in a social-distanced way. Keke Palmer hosts and Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande perform “Rain on Me.” BTS has the TV debut of “Dynamite”; also performing are Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, DaBaby, Black Eyed Peas, CNCO, Maluma and Doja Cat. Gaga and Grande lead with nine nominations apiece; Weeknd and Billie Eilish follow with six each.
4) “America’s Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. Eleven more acts get their quarter-finals moments. There are four singers and a drummer, plus three dance groups (one with contortionist moves), a magician, a comedian and an aerialist. Viewers will vote; on Wednesday, they’ll see which five reach the 20-act semi-finals. Five more will be chosen next week. So far, the semis have four singers, a singing duo, a choir, a salsa-dancing duo, a daredevil, a sword-swallower and a “diablo duo.”
5) “Dead Pixels” and “Tell Me A Story,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, CW. Obsession – funny and/or brutal – fills the night. At 8 p.m., “Pixels” has gamers rage over the casting of a movie; at 8:30 is a rerun of last week’s opener. Both episodes are funny and easy to like, despite semi-thick accents. At 9, “Story” continues three tales of rage. They sometimes turn dark and gory, but the perrformances are strong; James Wolk is superb as a guy seeking revenge for the killing of his fiancee, whom he still imagines.
6) “Modern Family,” 8 and 8:30 p.m.Tuesday, ABC. In its 11 seasons, this show received big laughs and five Emmys for best comedy; here are two reruns notable for their guest casts. The second has the show’s final appearance by Fred Willard as Phil’s father; Willard died in May at 86. The first has Alex’s company put her in an upscale hotel. Stephen Merchant is the beleagured official – as he was in a Las Vegas episode six years earlier. Showing up are David Beckham, Courteney Cox and Snoop Dogg.
7) “United We Fall” season-finale, 8 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. This has been a fairly likable comedy,
with solid stars (Will Sasso and Christina Vidal as Bill and Jo, with Jane Curtin as his mom) and skilled direction. ABC had planned to run the eight episodes this spring; when COVID shutdowns created a scarcity, it considered promoting them to the fall line-up … then simply dumped them during the summer. Now Bill and Jo plan to renew their wedding vows; naturally, there’s a snowstorm and more.
8) “Savage Kingdom” season-finale, 9-11 p.m. Friday, National Geographic. The mom comes home and finds that her kids are missing. So is the dad, who was supposed to watch them; instead, his no-account brother is there. She is not pleased; soon, she’s leaving with her young ones, looking for her sister and a new domain. That story – about a lioness – is one of several in the finale. Others involve a cheetah, an outcast hyena and the leader of wild dogs. This is beautifully filmed, but, well, savage.
9) “Love Fraud” opener, 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime. Richard Scott Smith was a great dater, women agree. There were motorcycle rides, restaurant meals, long conversations; “he made me feel like I was No,. 1,” one says. She wasn’t; by an early count, he had 10 wives and five names, with more on the way. He drained the money of the women and of others. One guy didn’t even know his wife was having an affair … until Smith took everything, leaving $80. It’s an intriguing, four-episode documentary.
10) And sports. This was supposed to be the opening weekend of college football. The few scheduled games, however, were canceled or postponed; we’ll have to wait a week. Tonight, TNT has the fourth games of the best-of-seven basketball play-offs; that’s at 4, 6:30 and 9 p.m.ET. Other games continue, if needed, all week on TNT or ESPN. There’s baseball all week on cable (plus Fox, at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday and 1:15 p.m. Saturday). Also, Saturday has NASCAR (7:30 p.m., NBC) and boxing (9 p.m., Fox).