1) “Resident Alien” debut, 10 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy. It’s always difficult for a newcomer to fit in. So imagine if you’re from another planet (shown here), pretending to be the guy you just killed. It’s easy to disguise physically (what with shapeshifting and such), but how do you learn the attitudes? This is partly a comedy, with the Sheldon-style humor of trying to grasp the human condition. But it’s from Steven Spielberg’s company and offers sleek, science-fiction visuals, with gorgeous Vancouver backdrops.
2) “Big Sky” return, 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. Here’s another show with splendid Vancouver backdrops – in this case, pretending to be Montana. Produced by David E. Kelley – who has ranged from “L.A. Law” to “Big Little Lies” – it also has sharp dialog and intriguing characters in nasty situations. A cop and a trucker combined to kidnap two sisters and a trans-gender prostitute. As the first portion ended, the cop was shot and the victims were saved. Now secrets emerge, amid the search for his cohort.
3) “Snowpiercer” season-opener, 9 p.m. today, TNT, repeating at 10:01. with bitter cold (112 below zero), the only harbor is this 994-car supertrain, which must keep moving. Last season, Layton (Daveed Diggs) overthrew the upper-class leadership and installed a democracy. But Wilford (Sean Bean), who created the train, attached his own 40-car train and is ready to seize control. Melanie (who designed the train) scrambles for a solution. “Snowpiercer” uses its tight setting skillfully, creating a potent hour.
4) “To Tell the Truth” season-opener, 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. It’s back-to-back Anthony Anderson – hosting “Truth” and then starring in “Black-ish.” For the former, panelists – Jimmy Kimmel, Andrea Savage and Sherri Shepherd – try to guess which people are real pancake artist, “Baywatch” lifesaver, Kentucky Derby hatmaker and figure-skater on roller skates. Then “Black-ish” brings mixed reactions during a power outage – help neighbors, hoard supplies … or desperately seek a way to charge a phone.
5) “Mixed-ish” season-opener, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. It’s 1986, Bow says, a time when her family loved “Dukes of Hazzard” – a show about White guys breaking the law, while zooming around in a car with a Confederate flag. (“1986 was a really long time ago,” she decides.) Life was confusing for these mixed-race kids, who spent their early years on a commune, where race was never an issue. Now Bow’s brother is pulling off a racial deception, in an episode that’s fairly funny and sometimes serious.
6) “Grown-ish,” 8 p.m. Thursday, Freeform. Yes, it’s a big week for the “-ish” shows, spanning two networks. This one had a 10-plus month break, before finally returning last week. Tonight’s episode faces such mismatched concerns as celibacy and for-profit prisons. Ana reaches a turning point in her romance; Aaron suddenly finds an issue that can revive his old activist spirit. The result is more drama than comedy, but it has slick filming, clever narration and likable young people who are exploring life.
7) “Citizen Kane” (1941), 8 p.m. ET Friday, Turner Classic Movies. This is listed at No. 1 on the American Film Institute’s all-time list. Orson Welles plays a publisher a lot like William Randolp Hearst; he also directed, showing how to tell a story with compelling visuals. If you’re not into classics, Friday has family gems – “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)– at 8 and 10:30 p.m. on TNT. And at 8 p.m., AMC has “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000).
8) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m. Saturday, NBC. After a five-week rest, “SNL” finally has a new episode, starting its Biden era. Jason Sudeikis used to portray Joe Biden; even returning to the role three times after he had quit being a regular. Jim Carrey stepped in during six election-time episodes; then Alex Moffat took over on Dec. 19. That was the last new episode before the break; now the show returns, no longer with a President Trump to mock. It does, however, occasionally eye ex-presidents.
9) “Masterpiece: The Long Song,” 10 p.m. Sunday, PBS. This is 1830s Jamaica, beautiful visually and painful emotionally. Hayley Atwell – barely recognizable from her work as Peggy Carter in the Captain America films – plays an empty-headed plantation-owner, with Tamara Lawrence as her slave. Then comes the 1833 act that freed the colonial slaves, but compensated only the owners. The three-week story veers toward soap-opera turf, then evolves into a nuanced (and sometimes wrenching) drama.
10) ALSO: The second half of a terrific “Bob (Hearts) Abishola” is 8:30 p.m. today on CBS. Abishola’s husband returned from Nigeria, refusing a divorce; strong wills collide. And this weekend has well-crafted British shows: At 8 p.m. Saturday, BBC America’s “A Wild Year on Earth” beautifully captures March and April in the North, as the natural world comes alive. At 8 p.m. Sunday, PBS’ “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” has Eliza feeling torn, when she’s hired to spy on the drive for women’s right to vote