1) “Genius: Aretha” opener, 9 and 10:08 p.m., National Geographic; rerunning at 11:05 p.m. and 12:12 a.m. Over the next four nights, an epic life will unfold, spiced by great music. Aretha Franklin was plagued by overbearing men, including her dad, a famous preacher (played by Courney Vance, shown here) and her first husband. Still, she soared. This opens with her one trip to record in Muscle Shoals, Ala.; then it flashes between her childhood and early career. Cynthia Erivo’s portrayal is quite stoic, but her singing is magnifcent and Aretha-esque.
2) Basketball, four networks. The NCCA tournament is down to 32 teams now, so CBS gets all the daytime action. It has games at noon and at 2:30 and 5 p.m. ET. Then cable takes over – TNT at 6 and 8:30 p.m. ET, TBS at 7 and 9:30, Tru TV with one game, at 7:30 p.m.
3) “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans,” 9 and 10 p.m., CBS. Both shows rerun their season-openers: First, Callen and Sam try to be the first to reach a Russian plane that crashed on U.S. soil. Then, with New Orleans in COVID lockdown, Tammy and Carter probe a suspicious death on a ship. They follows an “Equalizer” rerun, with McCall helping an escapee; next week has new episodes.
4) “Q: Into the Storm” opener, 9 and 10 p.m., HBO. How did we get to the point where wild conspiracy theories can spur people to raid a pizza place or a Capitol? This three-week, six-hour series looks at Q-Anon. Adam McKay – an Oscar-winner for “The Big Short” and Emmy-winner for “Succession”– produced this; Cullen Hoback spent three years interviewing key people.
5) “Ruby” and “Pearl in the Mist,” 6 and 8 p.m., Lifetime. “Ruby” debuted Saturday, with a bayou teen falling in love, then finding trouble and a new life. That leads to tonight’s new film, in which she’s sent to a boarding school that has a cruel headmistress (Marilu Henner). Both tales are from novels by V.C. Andrews (“Flowers in the Attic”); the story concludes with two more movies next weekend.