1) “City So Real,” 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET, National Geographic. Here is an epic documentary, tackling an entire city (Chicago), with all its passion and quirks. It starts on July 4, 2018, a half-year before the mayoral primary. Some 21 candidates announce, 17 file petitions, 14 make the ballot. But it also involves the flavor of the city, from bars to barbershops. “Real” originally ended with the election, but Geographic added a fifth part – showing the new mayor encased in protest (shown here) and pandemic.
2) “Superstore” season-opener, 8 p.m., NBC. Gradually, the laughs are returning. ABC has its Wednesday comedies in place; now NBC adds one … which greets the pandemic head-on. This is in its early days, amid confusion over masks, lines and hoarding; an attempt by employees to stash some items for themselves ends hilariously. Meanwhile, America Ferrera, who stars as Amy, is leaving. Her final episode, next week, is mostly dreary; this one is inconsistent, but has some good moments.
3) “Connecting,” 8:30, NBC. This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, fueled by George Floyd’s death, dominate the night. They’re key to the final “City So Real” hour and to this episode. So far, this has been an amiable comedy-drama about social-distanced friends, connecting online. But now they plan to join the protests – just as Ben (Michelle’s brother, Garrett’s brother-in-law, Annie’s secret love) gets COVID-like symptoms. The comedy is sparse, but we get the drama of likable people amid chaos.
4) “Every Vote Counts: A Celebration of Democracy,” 9 p.m., CBS. Five days before the election, this reminds people to vote. It has music from Alicia Keys (who hosts with America Ferrera and Kerry Washington), Shawn Mendes, Offset and Dan + Shay. It has comedians (Chris Rock, Amy Schumer) and others, including Eva Longoria, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Shaquille O’Neal.
5) Football, 8:15 p.m. ET, Fox. The Carolina Panthers (3-4) host the Atlanta Falcons, who are 1-6 and drowning in misfortune. They lost two straight games in which they led by 15 or more in the fourth quarter, then were prepared to beat the Lions with a short, game-ending field goal. But a Falcon accidentally (really) scored a touchdown, giving the Lions time to roar back, score a tying touchdown and (again, really) a 48-yard winning extra point.