1) “Making It” season-opener, 8 p.m. Thursday, NBC. It’s been a long wait for one of TV’s best competition shows. The first two seasons brought Emmy nominations for its hosts (Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, shown here) and a Television Critics Association nomination for best reality show. Then came an 18-month shutdown. But now it’s back, with likable contestants (taxidermist, muralist, etc.) making projects that have personal links. “So many tears in episode one,” Poehler says. And quite a few laughs.
2) “In the Dark” season-opener, 9 p.m. Wednesday, CW. Unlike bigger networks, CW stuffs its summer with new, scripted shows. “The Republic of Sarah” (9 p.m. Mondays) is off to a strong start; after discovering a glitch in maps, a New Hampshire town declared independence, led by an idealistic young teacher. Now “Dark” focuses on Murphy, a blind woman, accidentally encased in crime. Nia (the drug boss) is dead and Josh (the IRS agent) is aware that Murph is involved. Life-changing decisions loom.
3) “The Blacklist” season-finale, 10 p.m. Wednesday, NBC. For eight seasons, this show has delivered smart dialog and tangled twists. This year started late, but still went ahead with all 22 episodes. Along the way, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) has shattered her FBI career, while obsessing on destroying Raymond Reddington (James Spader), the mentor-turned-enemy who killed her mother. Last week, he took her into his crime empire. Now he has a disturbing request, before he’ll reveal his true identity.
4) “United States of Al” season-finale, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS. Arriving late, this has brightened a drab year for TV comedy. It’s been fairly funny, while giving us likable people. That includes Riley, the ex-Marine whose PTSD gnaws at him. Now his ex-wife and his former Afghan interpreter nudge him to get help. Also wrapping its first season is CBS’ “Clarice,” at 10 p.m. Thursday. Clarice’s probe has exposed an evil company, but now she’s trapped inside a facility where trafficked women are captive.
5) “Gidget” (1959), 9:45 p.m. ET today, Turner Classic Movies. There’s something special about summertime stories. TCM has a new book (“Summer Movies,” Running Press) with 30 of them, and stacks several here. “Gidget” spans eras – family friendly, yet modern, as a teen (Sandra Dee) prefers to surf with the guys. Also featured are Betty Grable’s “Moon Over Miami” (1941) at 8 p.m., the French comedy “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday” (1953) at 11:30 and the Bogart-Bacall “Key Largo” (1948) at 1:15 a.m.
6) “College Bowl” debut, 10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. After giving much of last week’s schedule to the Olympic trials, NBC is back to its summer power. It has two hours of “American Ninja Warrior” (9 p.m. today) and of “America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m. Tuesday). The latter leads into “College Bowl,” a notion that goes back to 1953 on radio and ‘59 on TV. Peyton Manning hosts drolly, with his brother Cooper as his sidekick. The fairly interesting opener has Auburn-Alabama and Michigan-Minnesota.
7) “When Nature Calls,” 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC, repeating at 9 p.m. Saturday. Now ABC’s offbeat summer line-up is complete. Last Thursday, it had two hours of “Holey Moley,” the bizarre miniature-golf contest, followed by the debut of “The Hustler” gameshow. Now “Holey” settles for one hour at 9, making room for this quirky British show, with comedians offering voices for footage of animals. Dame Helen Mirren is the dignified host, just as she was for the “Documentary Now” satirical series.
8) Daytime Emmy Awards, 8-10 p.m. Friday, CBS. For eight years, this ceremony wandered the hinterlands — on small cable channels (HLN, Pop) or merely online. Last year, it finally returned to CBS, for a virtual production that had all the nominees in their home. Now that same format returns, with Sheryl Underwood as host. Nominees include the four surviving soap operas, top talk shows and the late Alex Trebek, who already has seven wins as best game-show host, including the past two years.
9) “Great Performances: Vienna Philharmonic,” 9-10:30 p.m. Friday, PBS. In some ways, last year’s lockdown has made TV stronger this summer, with delayed shows now piling up. Usually, the Vienna concert is a late-summer highlight; now we get two of them – this one (intended for last year) and another on Aug. 27. This one starts blandly, so be patient. After 28 minutes, it finally introduces tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who sings powerfully. It also has lush “Dr. Zhivago” music and, as usual, a waltz.
10) ALSO. After vanishing for five weeks, NBC’s “Good Girls” resurfaces with new episodes at 9 and 10 p.m. Thursday. And the week ends with strong choices Sunday: The BET Awards (8-11:30 p.m., BET) has performances by Audra Day, DJ Khaled, H.E.R., Kirk Franklin and more, from Lil Baby and Lil Durk to Roddy Ricch and Moneybagg Yo! And “Masterpiece Theatre” (9-11 p.m., PBS) has the second half of “Us,” the funny and poignant tale of a fractured family’s grand European vacation.