1) “Batwoman” season-opener, 8 p.m. Sunday, CW. This could have crumbled when Ruby Rose (shown here) quit the title role. Instead, it’s better than ever. We won’t spoil any surprises, but the bat suit ends up with Ryan (Javicia Leslie, the sister on “God Friended Me”), a homeless, jobless ex-con (she says she was framed) with martial-arts skills. Passionate and energetic, she’s worth rooting for. Meanwhile, Alice – the hour’s one over-the-top character – schemes, disguising Tommy as the missing Bruce Wayne.
2) “The Resident” season-opener, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. This is the best sort of TV surprise – a show that keeps getting better. “Resident” started as an OK medical drama, than transformed. This hour starts and ends where the rest of the season will be – a post-pandemic era. In between, however, it flashes back to the arrival of the virus. The hospital CEO, a one-dimensional villain until now, gets new depth. Dr. Cain remains constant – overconfident, under-ethical, skilled. The result is potent and well-crafted.
3) “Prodigal Son” season-opener, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. There’s a brief reference to COVID and (late in the hour) a powerful one to Black Lives Matter. Mostly, though, this is a story that plays at the edge of fantasy. The opening portion is fascinating, but wildly unbelievable. The rest is extremely heightened, as Malcolm – battered by a murder to protect his sister and by their dad’s history as a serial killer – chases a new case. It’s a wild one, complete with a guillotine and a duel with medieval weapons.
4) “Call Your Mother” debut, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. Jean (Kyra Sedgwick) is an empty-nester with an empty life. “I haven’t had sex in four years,” she confides. “And it was four years before that. It should be an Olympic sport.” Now she tries a drastic solution: Move to California and re-inject herself into the lives of her son and daughter. This is from writer-producer Kari Lizer, a decade after her “New Adventures of Old Christine” concluded. Sherri Shepherd plays Jean’s phone friend from back home.
4) “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” debut, 8 p.m. Sunday, PBS. Eliza Scarlet is savvy, with her dad’s skills as a private eye. The problem: This is Victorian-era London, when women aren’t taken seriously … and her dad’s finances are tattered … and, soon, he dies. To succeed, she needs Detective Inspector William Wellington, the very image of a macho cop. Kate Phillips (who played Jane Seymour in “Wolf Hall”) stars in a light series, a good lead-in for the pleasant “All Creatures Great and Small” episode at 9 p.m.
5) College football championship game, 8 p.m.ET^ today, ESPN. After a chaotic year, this is how a season should end, with undefeated powerhouses colliding. Sure, some people grumble that Ohio State has only played seven games (compared to 12 for Alabama). But doubts quieted on New Year’s Day, when OSU thumped Clemson, 49-28; Alabama then won 31-14 over Notre Dame … which had been previously buried by Clemson, 34-10. It’s a big finish – with the pro playoffs returning this weekend.
6) “This Is Us,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. TV’s best drama series thrives when using flashbacks to tell a story. Now it has a big one to tell: Randall grew up without knowing his birth parents. He later found his dad (now deceased), who believed that the mom had died shortly after giving birth. Last week brought a jolt: Randall’s birth mom lived a full life before dying in Louisiana. Now he goes there. That’s followed by a so-so “Nurses” episode, including a dying patient going on a spiritual journey.
7) “Two Sentence Horror Stories” season-opener and “Trickster” debut, 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, CW. The long-delayed CW season finally starts Sunday. But the Tuesday shows (“Flash” and “Superman & Lois”) will wait until Feb. 23, leaving room for this makeshift night of teen woes: A detention room (8 p.m.) and a basement janitor (8:30) turn bad; then “Trickster” (9 p.m.) has an indigenous Canadian teen face disasters. The “Horror Stories” are, at least, filmed and acted with subtle skill; “Trickster” isn’t.
8) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” 9 p.m. Thursday, NBC. What do stage stars do during the Broadway shutdown? This hour – brilliantly acted, but painful to watch – offers an example: Alex Brightman, 33, has done six Broadway shows, with Tony nominations as the star of “Beetlejuice” and “School of Rock”; Eva Noblezada, 24, has done “Miss Saigon” and “Hadestown,” with nominations in both. She plays someone who does sexual role-playing online; he plays a customer, encased in gloom.
9) Julia Roberts movies, Friday. There are three of them to choose from, all starting at 8 p.m. The best is “Erin Brockovich” (2000), on Pop. Roberts plays a real-life person who used brains, beauty and people skills to battle a giant power company; the result won a best-actress Oscar and four more nominations, including best picture. Others are TNT’s “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), a fun heist film, and . The Movie Channel’s “Eat Pray Love” (2010), about a woman seeking a mid-life transformation.
10) “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” debut, 8 p.m. Sunday, PBS. Eliza Scarlet is savvy, with her dad’s skills as a private eye. The problem: This is Victorian-era London, when women aren’t taken seriously … and her dad’s finances are tattered … and, soon, he dies. To succeed, she needs Detective Inspector William Wellington, the very image of a macho cop. Kate Phillips (who played Jane Seymour in “Wolf Hall”) stars in a light series, a good lead-in for the pleasant “All Creatures Great and Small” episode at 9 p.m.