1) “Genius: Aretha,” opener, 9 and 10:08 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic; rerunning at 11:05 p.m. and 12:12 a.m. Few humans could match the awesome range and talent of Aretha Franklin. Cynthia Erivo (shown here) can. In these first two hours (of a four-night, eight-hour run), she ranges from gospel and soul to jazz and a gripping ballad. She’s also a gifted actress, in a story that bounces between Franklin’s youth and early career, but has a sameness – type-A guys (her dad and her husband) intruding on greatness.
2) “The Bachelor” finale, 8 p.m., today, ABC. Matt James can choose Michelle Young, a Minnesota teacher, or Rachael Kirkconnell, a Georgia designer, in a show taped before the fuss: James is the first Black bachelor; Kirkconnell attended a party with a pre-Civil War South theme and allegedly mocked classmates who liked Black men. Host Chris Harrison suggested leniency; for the 10 p.m. follow-up, he’s replaced by Emmanuel Acho, the author of “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man.”
3) NCAA basketball tournament, starting Thursday, four networks. This year’s tourney will be compact geographically (everything in Indiana) and in time. The games for the tourmey’s last four spots will be Thursday – 2 and 5:30 p.m. PT on TruTV, 3:20 and 6:50 p.m. on TBS. Then action Friday is on CBS (9 and 11:45 a.m.. 4 and 6:30); TruTV (9:30 a.m., 12:20, 4 and 6:50 p.m.); TBS (10 a.m., 12:50, 3:15 and 6:10 p.m.) and TNT (10:30 a.m., 1:20, 4:15 and 6:50). Things continue Saturday, Sunday and beyond.
4) “America’s Most Wanted” opener, 9 p.m. today, Fox. Back in 1988, in its first primetime season, Fox was trying anything – including profiling fugitives. “AMW” was a surprise hit; it ran 25 seasons and helped find 1,200 people. Now it’s back, with host Elizabeth Vargas and three profiles. Glen Godwin escaped from prisons in 1987 and ‘91 and hasn’t been seen since … Eugene Palmer allegedly killed his daughter-in-law and vanished … Jennifer Settle is accused of kidnapping her daughter.
5) “Holmes Family Effect” debut, 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. Setting most of its scripted shows aside, Fox is suddenly overrun with games and reality and such. Now this show gets a two-week, four-hour try-out. Mike Holmes, already an HGTV star, is a builder who works alone and with two of his kids. Both are telegenic – Sherry, 33, and Michael, 31 and 6-foot-4 – and likable. In their native Canada, they rehab a trade school and a youth-opportunity center, meeting idealistic mentors and youths.
6) “Mayans M.C.” season-opener, 10 p.m. Tuesday, FX. The season starts somberly. Soldiers fill this town and man the border. Jobs are scarce … and the motorcycle club has lost its drug sources. Also, Dita Galindo convinced EZ and Angel to kill her, making it look like a suicide. Their dad, once Dita’s lover, is despondent. Yes, there’s a bright spot: EZ has a radiant new girlfriend. Mostly, however, this hour – acted and directed with subtle skill – is deep and dark; the final minutes are especially brutal.
7) “A Grammy Salute to the Sound of Change,” 9-11 p.m., Wednesday, CBS. Some of the most potent and passionate songs will be performed by the greats. Cynthia Erivo sings John Lennon’s “Imagine” … John Fogerty does “Fortunate Son” and “Promised Land” … and Gladys Knight, backed by other stars, does Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” Hosted by Common, this s also has Andra Day, Billy Porter, Yolanda Adams, Leann Rimes, Patti Labelle, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Leon Bridges and more.
8) “Resident Alien,” 10 p.m. Wednesdau, Syfy. Previous episodes offered spurts of comedy, plus the notion that no Earthling (except a boy, whom no one believes) realizes that “Harry” is an outer-space alien, in human form. Now that changes: Searching for the piece he needs to finish his mission (destroying all humans), Harry faces disaster. There’s a life-and-death crisis and two people learn Harry’s secret … except for the kill-humans part. It’s a terrific episode that ends with some sharp jolts.
9) “Ruby,” 8 p.m Saturday, Lifetime, rerunning at midnight and then at 6 p.m. Sunday. Ever since its “Flowers in the Attic” remake drew a big audience, Lifetime has savored V.C. Andrews novels. It reruns four on Saturday, at noon and 2, 4, and 6 p.m. (They’re sequels to “Heaven,” which, oddly, reruns that night at 10:02 p.m. and 12:04 a.m.) Then it starts a fresh series about Ruby Landry, growing up in the Louisiana bayou. Its sequel, “Pearl in the Mist,” is 8 p.m. Sunday, with two more next week.
10) “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m. Sunday, ABC. For the second straight week, the young “Idol” singers collide with the best talents in the music world. Last week, they competed with the Grammy awards; this time, they face the amazing Erivo as Aretha Franklin. On its own, however, this is an appealing hour: The auditions have concluded and the survivors converge for “Hollywood Week.” There’s a “genre challenge” on Sunday, followed by duets the next night, when the show expands into Mondays.