1) “American Ninja Warrior” (shown here in previous year) season-opener, 8-10 p.m., NBC. This summertime hit has turned into a fall show. It’s getting a late start, but will sprawl across autumn, when NBC needs temporary help. That’s what “Big Brother” and “Love Island” do for CBS. Like those two, “Ninja” has a “bubble,” keeping everyone in one place. Instead of tryouts around the country, it does everything at America’s Center in St. Louis. Some 150 people start by tackling the six-obstacle qualifier.
2) “Jade Eyed Leopard,” 8 p.m. ET, Nat Geo Wild, rerunning at 11. For 30 years, Dereck and Beverly Joubert crafted super wildlife films, mixing beautiful pictures and smartly narrated stories. This time, they follow the early life of a mother leopard and her green-eyed baby, who must learn to kill and to elude. Beautifully narrated by Jeremy Irons, it’s a strong start to the five-day “Big Cat Week.”
3) Football. You can catch it for real – Brigham Young and Navy opening their season at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN – or in fiction: “Draft Day” (2014), 8 p.m. on Fox, has Kevin Costner holding the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Should he take an earnest linebacker (Chadwick Boseman, just before superstardom) or a cocky quarterback? His original trade for the pick makes zero sense, but the rest is first-rate.
4) “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!” 8-11 p.m., ABC. Two stories link to end the season … and promote the Oct. 13 start of “Bachelorette.” In 2014, Juan Pablo Galavis was a promising “Bachelor” choice. Born in the U.S., he grew up in Venezuela, then returned for college and soccer; after 17 straight white guys, he was the first Latino bachelor. But some viewers turned against him because of his comments and his messy split with Claire Crawley – who will be the new bachelorette.
5) “POV: Portraits and Dreams,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local lisitngs). A college grad from Detroit, Kathy Ewald moved to remote Whitesburg, Ky., in 1975 and helped 4th-graders become photographers. Their much-praised book captured their lives. Now she’s returned to meet her former students. Some are doing well, some remain crushed by poverty, but all offer deeply human glimpses.