1) “The Blacklist” season-opener, 8 p.m. Thursday, NBC. As the eighth season ended, Red (James Spader, shown here) told Liz (Megan Boone, who was leaving the show) she shoot him an then read a letter revealing his secrets. Instead, a gunman killed her; Red killed him and fled. Now, on a new night, we jump ahead two years. Red vanished, the task force folded, but a new threat brings them back together. It’s the 175th episode; then again, at 9 p.m., NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” has its 500th.
2) “The Bachelorette” opener, 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. After being the runner-up on “The Bachelor,” Michelle Young takes over. A 5th-grade teacher from Minnesota, she meets 30 guys, including two firefighters, two tech CEO’s and Bryce Witzman. His eight pro-football seasons involved 11 teams; he started 20 games as a 6-foot-7, 320-pound lineman. Young, 28, is also an athlete – a 5-9 basketball player who averaged 22 points a game in high school, then led Bradley University with 12 a game.
3) “Queens” debut, 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. Back in the ‘90s, we’re told, these women had a hot hip hop group. They fought, broke up and saw their lives sink. But now a young star has sampled their music; it’s a chance to bring the group back together. That’s a good concept – and a familiar one; “Girls5Eva” debuted five months ago on Peacock with a similar story. “Queens” does have a pair of genuine music starts, Brandy and Eve; but it has noisy, over-the-top commotion from people who are difficult to like.
4) “NCIS,” 9 p.m. today, CBS. Last week’s show jolted viewers and confirmed rumors: Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is gone. After solving a case in Alaska, he decided to stay there. Harmon has been a strong force for all 18-plus seasons. After the fourth one, he led the ouster of series creator Don Bellisario; with Harmon as one of the producers, “NCIS” soared to No. 1. He’ll continue to produce, and could return as Gibbs some day. For tonight, the team probes a case that includes an exploding corpse.
5) “Howie Mandel & Friends: Don’t Sneeze on Me,” 8-9:30 p.m. today, CW. For five years, Mandel had an easy gig. He returned to his native Canada and gathered stand-up comedians from the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, for an annual special. Then COVID intervened; the festival was cancelled in 2020 and was a hybrid this year. Instead, he has this Los Angeles event, with Sherri Shepherd, Patton Oswald, Natasha Leggero, Preacher Lawson, Dulce Sloan, Ryan Hamilton, Robin Tran and many more.
6) “Nature” season opener, 8 p.m. Wednesday, PBS. Martin Dohrn traveled the world, filming lions, monkeys, crocodiles, even mass migrations. Then the pandemic confined him to his home and yard in Bristol, England. There, he fashioned equipment to shoot bees. He found more than 60 species in his yard, with fascinating behavior. Some bees meticulously crafted homes, scooting across town to find the right sticks; others just stole homes. It’s a light and charming start to this show’s 40th season.
7) “Secrets of the Dead” season-opener, 10 p.m. Wednesday, PBS. Ferdinand Magellan, we’ve been told, was the first person to sail around the world. The real story ,500 years old, is far more interesting. The voyage left Spain in 1519 with five ships and 270 men; it returned three years later with one ship, 18 men and a bounty of spices. Most of the men (including Magellan) had died, leaving Juan Elcano as a sailing hero. This is a strong week for PBS, which also has a Helen Keller profile at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
8) “Eli Roth’s History of Horror,” 10 p.m. Friday, AMC. The week is stuffed with Halloween-type shows. Fun ones are on Freeform, including “The Simpsons,” from 8-11 p.m. Wednesday; scary ones are on AMC, including the “Creepshow” series at 10 p.m. today and “Walking Dead” spin-offs at 9 and 10:07 p.m. Sunday. AMC also has Roth’s overviews, rippling with clips and comments. This week’s subject is the apocalypse; we see three versions of “Last Man on Earth,” plus zombies, aliens and more.
9) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m. Saturday, NBC. Eight years after leaving “SNL,” Jason Sudeikis finally hosts, with Brandi Carlile as music guest. Sudeikis was with the show for 10 years, the first two as a writer. After leaving in 2013, he sometimes returned to play Mitt Romney or Joe Biden. He made lots of comedy movies, was a co-star on “Last Man on Earth,” then helped create “Ted Lasso.” The Apple TV+ show has soared, winning seven Emmys, including best actor (Sudeikis) and best comedy.
10) ALSO: ABC is bringing back its “Superstar” documentary, for a Robin Williams profile. That’s 10 p.m. Wednesday, bumping “A Million Little Things” (which has had weak ratings) for a week. And HBO is back to its Sunday-dominance mode. Last week, “Succession” had s terrific season-opener at 9 p.m.; now top comedies return: At 10:03 p.m., it’s the final season of Issa Rae’s “Insecure”; at 10:40, Larry David starts “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It’s his 11th season, but only the second in four years.