1) “NCIS: Hawaii” (shown here) debut, 10 p.m. today, CBS. Yes, the TV world has too many spin-offs and reboots. This one, however, gets it right. It starts with great Hawaiian backdrops and a likable star, Vanessa Lachey, as the bureau chief. Then it surrounds her with strong support; Alex Tarrant, a New Zealand actor with Maori roots, is especially good as the team’s only native Hawaiian. The stories are also solid; that starts with a mysterious plane crash that leads to confrontations with dangerous outsiders.
2) “Alter Ego” debut, 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Fox. While Vanessa Lachey caught crooks in Hawaii, her husband was flying to the mainland. Nick Lachey (see separate story) is on the panel with Alanis Morissette and two master producers, Grimes and will.i.am, for a fresh experience: Instead of the singers, they see avatars — high-tech, video creations. Like Fox’s “Masked Singer” (which precedes this at 8) and the start of NBC’s “The Voice” (Tuesdays), “Ego” manages to skip surface issues and focus on the voice.
3) “Ordinary Joe” debut, 10 p.m. today, NBC, rerunning at 8 p.m. Friday. In a play-it-safe season, this is the exception – a complex story that needs subtle writing and gifted actors. On graduation day, Joe faces three different paths (literally); then we flash ahead to variations of the same life. He’s a cop, a nurse, a rock star; he marries Amy or Jenny or neither. In each case, he has moments of warmth, joy and agony. James Wolk is perfect, with strong support from Elizabeth Lail and Natalie Martinez.
4) “The Big Leap” debut, 9 p.m. today, Fox. The season’s first new show is flawed, but easy to like. It imagines a show that auditions Detroiters, then has them perform the “Swan Lake” ballet. That’s far-fetched, but the cynical producer (Scott Foley) realizes the focus must be on second chances in life. He needs one himself; so do many of the contestants, including a laid-off autoworker, a banished football star and, especially, a single mom (newcomer Simone Recasner); viewers will quickly root for her.
5) “Dancing With the Stars” opener, 8-10 p.m., ABC. Like the fictional “Big Leap,” this sometimes has second chances at life. Olivia Jade soared as a teen influencer (1.9 million followers on Instagram, 200,000 on TikTok), before her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Ginnulli, were convicted of lying on her college application. At 21, Jade tries a comeback; other contestants include Olympic champ Suni Li, Matt James of “The Bachelor” and singers Mel C of Spice Girls) and country’s Jimmie Allen.
6) “FBI” trilogy, 8-11 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. This sprawls across three shows, two continents and lots of pursuit. It starts on the “FBI” season-opener, with the slaying of a woman who was at a yacht party with the rich and creepy. Two “FBI: Most Wanted” guys — Crosby (who had military missions with a suspect) and LaCroix – soon join. That continues on their season-opener at 9 and into the new “FBI International” at 10. Zadan (from “FBI”) helps the Budapest bureau chase the villain and his hostage.
7) “The Wonder Years” debut, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. Stepping into a bland TV world in 1988, this show was a delight, winning two straight best-comedy Emmys. An adult narrato recalled being a wide-eyed kid (played by Fred Savage) in the 1960s. Now it’s back, with Savage as producer-director. This time, it’s a Black family in middle-class Montgomery, Ala., with Don Cheadle narrating. Since it’s set in the spring of 1968, the story becomes more drama than comedy, but remains warm and uplifting.
8) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” season-openers
8 and 10 p.m Thusday., NBC. A slick congressman says he’ll be the next president; Benson says he’ll be in prison for making moms trade sex for housing. By the end of the first hour, the case is bigger and messier. One character (Chief McGrath) is written and played way too broadly, but the others are solid. Afterward, “Organized Crime” shows Stabler working undercover, now as a driver for a cocaine ring.
9) Tony Awards and “Broadway’s Back,” Sunday. After 18 months, Broadway shows have finally re-opened. Now come Tonys for the half-season that ended abruptly. That’s 7-9 p.m. ET on Paramount+, holding back three categories. Then “Broadway’s Back” is 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. It’s a concert that also awards three Tonys – musical, play, play revival – and has performances from nominated musicals: “Moulin Rouge,” “Tina” (about Tina Turner) and “Jagged Little Pill” (with Alanis Morissette music).
10) MUCH more: Two reality-show giants start their seasons: NBC’s “The Voice,” is 8-10 p.m. today; CBS’ “Survivor,” which skipped last season, is 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, Other key shows launch their seasons, including CBS’ “NCIS” (9 p.m. today), Fox’s “9-1-1” and “The Resident” (8 p.m. today and Tuesday) and ABC’s “The Conners” (9 p.m. Wednesday, live both ET and PT). On PBS, Ken Burns’ brilliant Muhammad Ali profile concludes at 8 p.m. today through Wednesday, rerunning at 10.