1) “American Experience,” 9-11 p.m., PBS. Isaac Woodard was a Black veteran of World War II, still in uniform and heading home to South Carolina. He argued with a bus driver who didn’t want to make a rest-room stop; at the next stop, police jailed, beat and blinded him. The result had national impact: President Truman promptly desegregated the military and the federal government; a local judge became a pariah in his community as he spoke up for civil rights. It’s a powerful story, but a tough one to watch; for a modern racial view, “Soul of a Nation” (shown here) is the next item.
2) “Soul of a Nation,” 10 p.m., ABC. Here’s the opposite of the jolting PBS film; it views Black athletes who have spoken out. Interviewees range from John Carlos (shown here), who gave the Black Power salute at the Olympics, 53 years ago, to Michael Thomas, who knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, five years ago. We meet Black gymnasts and basketball stars, and see a film surveying movies about Black athletes. Jemele Hill hosts and Common performs “Get It Right.”
3) “Pooch Perfect” debut, 8 p.m., ABC. Is there really any Earthling who will watch the entire night of ABC? Here, the “Soul of a Nation” network offers a competition for groomers. In the first half, they make dogs pretty; in the second, they make them look like other creatures. Rebel Wilson (“Pitch Perfect”) hosts; she previously hosted the show in her native Australia, where it failed in the ratings.
4) “Supergirl” season-opener, 9 p.m., CW. The good news is that this has sensational special-effects, the sort that make little kids’ jaws drop. The bad news is … well, everything else. When both sides have superpowers, a battle becomes a lot of empty flashes. In between are scenes that are poorly written and (with the exception of Jon Cryer’s joyous Lex Luthor) flatly acted.
5) “Mayans M.C.,” 10 p.m., FX. Alongside this show’s fierce violence, there are two quietly potent scenes involving EZ. One is with Alicia, terrified after being arrested during a drug run; the other is with his girlfriend Gaby, refusing to tell her about his prison past. That second one is perplexing, but both are, as usual, superbly acted and filmed.