1) “CMA Summer Jam,” 8-11 p.m. Thursday, ABC. For two summers, the Fan Fest was cancelled because of COVID. This year, however, the gap was filled by a two-day mega-concert in Nashville. Dierks Bentley sang at his club, Eric Church on a pedestrian bridge, Darius Rucker on a downtown stage and others at an amphitheater. That includes two Lukes (Bryan and Combs) plus Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani (shown here), Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Mianda Lambert, Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Thomas Rhett.
2) “Generaton 9/11,” 9-11 p.m Tuesday, PBS. Here is a fresh way to view the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks: There were 105 babies born in the U.S. after their fathers died during the attack or the rescue attempts; this moving film profiles seven of them. They are 19 now, early in their college careers, with a wobbly connection to that day. One woman is studying criminal justice and plans to be a lawyer; another reads “Catcher in the Rye” often. Most, however, push ahead with lives that offer promise.
3) More Sept. 11 coverage. There are two more nights of “9/11: One Day in America,” the brilliant National Geographic Channel film. That’s 9-10:46 p.m. today and Tuesday, rerunning at 12:46 a.m. And there are two nights of “NYC Epicenters 9/11 Through 2021 and a Half,” HBO’s Spike Lee film that traces the history of New York City, from the World Trade Center attacks on through the pandemic. That’s 8 p.m. Sunday and Sept. 11 … when many films (including National Geographic’s) will rerun.\
4) “Housebroken” season-finale, 9:01 p.m., today Fox. This has been a summer surprise – a new, animated show with dialog clever enough for grown-ups. Honey (Lisa Kudrow) is the wise poodle who holds group-therapy sessions for neighborhood animals. Beneath her calm exterior is a lust for the wild world of Coyote. Now she has a night with him … and a change-of-heart. She and Chief – a carefree, thought-free St. Bernard who is her mate – are in mortal danger; the group tries to come to the rescue.
5) “America’s Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, 8-9 p.m. Wednesday, NBC. The semi-finals begin now, with 21 people still in the running. Two are already stars – Josh Blue, 42, won “Last Comic Standing” in 2006; Michael Winslow, 62, was the funny-voices guy in “Police Academy” movies. He’s the oldest semi-finalist; the youngest, singers Victoria Brinker and Peter Rosalita, are 9 and 10. There are six singers, three vocal groups and more, including unicyclists, acrobats and even a quick-change artist.
6) “Superstar: Richard Pryor,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. Raised in his grandmother’s brothel, Pryor was abandoned by his mother at 10, expelled at 14, jailed by the Army at 18. Then he soared in show business, first in the mainstream, then with R-rated wit. Trouble persisted – seven marriages, three heart attacks, a freebasing accident – but so did his skill. Comedy Central and Rolling Stone named him the best stand-up ever; the Kennedy Center gave him its first Mark Twain Prize. Here’s a profile.
7) “What We Do In the Shadows” season-opener, 10 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday, FX, rerunning hourly until 2 a.m. Guillermo De la Cruz is one of TV’s great characters. Beautifully played by Harvey Guillen, he’s the easygoing assistant – called a “familiar” – to self-centered vampires. He also happens to be descended from a vampire-hunter; as last season ended, he protected the others by slaying 37 vampires who were after them. In neatly daft episodes, he’s a prisoner while others ponder his fate.
8) College football, 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ABC. The first full Saturday of the season peaks with a collision of teams ranked No. 5 (Georgia) and No. 3 (Clemson). Earlier, ABC has the top-ranked team (Alabama) at Miami, which is ranked No. 14, at 3:30 p.m. There’s much more, including a promising triple-header on Fox: It will be Penn State (No. 19) at Wisconsin (No. 12) at noon … then Louisiana (No. 23) at Texas (No. 21) at 12:30 p.m. … and LSU (No. 16) at UCLA (unranked) at 5:30 p.m.
9) “Guilt” (PBS) opener, 9-11 p.m. Sunday, PBS. With some of its shows delayed by the pandemic, “Masterpiece” widened its search. It found this gem, which debuted late in 2019 as the first original film on the new BBC Scotland channel. We meet brothers – one cruel and conniving, the other bumbling and likable. A car accident plunges them into cover-up schemes that get more complex. Stick with this, despite some of the difficult accents; some late twists propel us to next week’s finale.
10) AND MORE: At the start of the week, we have the first half of the “American Ninja Warrior” finals; that’s 8-10 p.m. today on NBC, with 68 people qualified. And at the end of the week, there are two more key 9 p.m. choices: Showtime returns “Billions” for the season’s final five episodes; it will then start its new season in January. CBS has the delightful “School of Rock” (2003). Written by Mike White (who co-stars), it has Jack Black playing a guy whose substitute-teaching scam turns serious.