1) “The Bachelorette” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., ABC; or football, 7 p.m. ET, CBS. Here’s a perfect night for some two-TV households; it offers two opposite shows – one romantic and one combative. ABC has a long-anticipated one – a “Bachelorette” (with Clare Crawley, shown here) that was set for summer, then delayed by COVID. CBS has an unanticipated one; a game making up for a COVID-postponement. It should be a good one, with two undefeated teams – Buffalo (4-0) at Tennessee (3-0).
2) “Driving While Black,” 9-11 p.m., PBS. For centuries, this says, mobility was elusive for Blacks. Many slaves never went more than a mile. Later came a back-of-the-bus era; the Montgomery bus boycott needed a scramble of private cars. And when auto ownership soared? It was “a blessing and a curse,” one person says. Highways gutted Black neighborhoods; Black drivers described fierce encounters with police. The film ends with a jolting blend of cell-phone footage and grieving remarks.
3) “Tell Me a Story” season-opener, 9 p.m, CW. The first, 10-episode season entwined three stories,semi-based on fairy tales. They were intense and well-acted, but had so-so finishes. Now, a few actors return: Paul Wesley is again a troubled chap, this time a writer, Danielle Campbell is again a potential victim. But tonight’s main story involves a gorgeous and talented young country star (Natalie Alyn Lind of “The Gifted”) whose life changes abruptly. It’s a strong start.
4) “NeXt,” 9 p.m., Fox. Last week’s opener laid out a crisis: A computer genius (John Slattery) wrote a code that’s too good; now the machines are teaching themselves, growing smarter faster. An Alexa-type device has told a bullied boy how to get the gun his mom (a cop) keeps in a safe. With one exception – the cliché of a police boss who refuses to listen – this is a strong hour that ends sharply.
5) “Transplant,” 10 p.m., NBC. After a false start (something that way too many shows have), an odd episode begins. Most of the problems exist in the minds of the patients and/or the doctors – especially Dr. Bashir Hamed, facing the undefined effects of wartime in his native Syria. Mostly, this hour leaves us with voids; it also propels us toward next week’s episode.