1) MTV Video Music Awards, 8-10:30 p.m. Sunday, MTV (where it reruns at 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m.), plus several other cable channels and CW; MTV also has a preview at 6:30. Jack Harlow – who ties Kendrick Lamar for the lead with seven nominations, will perform. So will Nicki Minaj (shown here), who gets the Video Vanguard award. Also performing: Lizzo, Kane Brown, Maneskin, J Balvin, Anitta, Panic at the Disco, the K-pop group Blackpink and more.
2) “Cinderella” (1997), 9-11 p.m. Tuesday, ABC; plus a special at 8. Now for an older kind of music: One of the lesser Rodgers-and-Hammerstein musicals was spiffed up, adding two great Rodgers songs from other shows, plus vibrant sets and splendid Rob Marshall choreography. The young stars (Brandy, Paolo Montalban) are fine, Jason Alexander is fun and Whitney Houston is a soaring godmother. The special celebrates the color-blind casting, 25 years ago.
3) “Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert,” 9-10:30 p.m. Friday, PBS. And now some MUCH older music. Amid the pain of war and Covid, this richly filmed night spans Europe. Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons opens with German music (Beethoven) and closes with a Viennese waltz. He features a French composer (Saint-Sains) and cellist (Gautier Capucon), but also had a Romanian piece, two Czech ones and two from Ukraine.
4) “Unthinkably Good Things,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The first movie under Hallmark’s “Mahogany” banner offers a dandy change-of-pace. That’s partly because it has Black women as producer, writer, director and stars, but there’s more. It’s filmed in Italy, skillfully using splendid backdrops. And it has a smart story, far from the predictable boy/girl ones from Hallmark’s past. Three friends juggle complex lives.
5) “TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons?” 8 p.m. today, Fox. Once a chubby little New Orleans guy, Simmons shed 123 pounds (almost half his weight). He started a Los Angeles fitness studio, emphasizing oldies music and upbeat attitude. He swirled through talk shows, commercials and more. Then — 8 ½ years ago, at 65 – he vanished. There was one audio interview, a brief hospitalization, a police wellness check, then nothing.
6) “Kevin Can F— Himself” season-opener, 9 p.m. today, AMC. Deliberately bipolar, this alternates between being a noisy sitcom (with audience laughter) and a dark drama. Now it’s mostly dark; having failed to kill her bombastic husband, Allison (Emmy-winner Annie Murphy) tries to sabotage his political campaign. Also, she’s keeping her friend’s brother – who overheard everything – hostage. Murphy is terrific; the show is innovative, but iffy.
7) “Welcome to Wrexham” debut, 10 and 10:30 p.m., FX. Wrexham is a Welsh city of 67,000, with a crumbling economy and a 215-year-old soccer stadium. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the team. Here’s a warm, bittersweet documentary series. It’s in a busy cable week, with a series finale (“Motherland: Fort Salem,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, Freeform) and a debut (“The End is Nye,” 10 p.m. Thursday, Syfy).
8) “Archer” season-opener (Wednesday) and “Little Demon” debut (Thursday), both 10 p.m., FXX. These animated shows juggle clever comedy and action-adventure. “Archer” has a spy reluctantly rescuing his boss; “Demon” has a 13-year-old learning she’s the spawn of Satan. The latter is strictly for grown-ups (nudity, gore, more), but well-made. Lucy DeVito stars, with her real-life father, Danny DeVito, perfectly cast as her satanic dad.
9) Football, 9:30 a.m. PT Saturday, Fox. Somehow, the college football season is starting in Dublin, Ireland. Nebraska and Northwestern – hoping to recover from brutal, 1-8 Big Ten seasons – collide. There’s also a game on Fox Sports 1 (Connecticut/Utah State, 1 p.m. PT) and four on the CBS Sports Network – Austin Pey/Western Kentucky (9 a.m.) … Idaho State/Nevada-Las Vegas (12:30 p.m.) ,,, Charlotte/Florida Atlantic (4 p.m.) … Vanderbilt/Hawaii (7:30).
10) “The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family” opener, 8 p.m Sunday., PBS. Here is family ambition. Anne’s great-grandfather went from apprentice hatmaker to mayor of London. Her father reached the king’s inner circle and sent her to the French court, where she thrived. Bright and fun, she charmed Henry VIII on her return. This opener is followed at 9 and 10 p.m. by the first half of the second “Guilt” season; unlike the first season, its story is merely murky.