1) “The Wonder Years” debut, 8:30 p.m., ABC. The original series began in 1988 as a comedy-drama, then kept leaning to the drama side. Now this well-crafted reboot starts there. We meet Black family (shown here) in middle-income Montgomery, Ala. Don Cheadle is the adult narrator, looking back at his childhood; Dule Hill is his dad. There are some laughs, but this is the spring of 1968; life soon turns serious.
2) “Alter Ego” debut, 9 p.m., Fox; continues Thursday. Singing shows keep finding ways to hide the surface and focus on the sound. “The Voice” has judges turn their backs … “Masked Singer” (which precedes this at 8 p.m. both nights) uses disguises … and now “Ego” goes further: The singers are offstage, while their high-tech avatars provide the visuals. It’s an entertaining concept, even if it does keep repeating feel-good messages way too often.
3) “Chicago Fire” season-opener, 9 p.m., NBC. Last season ended mid-crisis, with four firefighters trapped in a sinking boat. That provides a spectacular opening scene here; another big one – atop a flaming apartment building – is coming up. What works best, however, are the parts in between. It’s a TV cliché to show a workplace as a warm family; this show, however, makes it real and believable.
4) “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.” season-openers, 8 and 10 p.m., NBC. “Med” is, as usual, a sprawling mish-mash of loose stories. Some – especially one about twins – are simply absurd, but the two new doctors – an ex-cop and a woman with a troubled mom – start well. “P.D.,” as usual, sticks to one intense story, sharply told. Out of rage last season, Hailey killed the man who shot Burgess; Voight covered it up. Now they’re supposed to help find his accomplice … who knows what they did.
5) ALSO: On the same night that the great “Muhammad Ali” documentary concludes (8 p.m., PBS, rerunning at 10), a classic returns: “Survivor,” which skipped last season due to COVID concerns, is 8-10 p.m. on CBS. And ABC launches its lone comedy night – “The Goldbergs” at 8, “Wonder Years” at 8:30, “The Conners” (live) at 9 and ”Home Economics” at 9:30. “A Million Little Things” is at 10.