1) “Monarch,” about 8 p.m. ET (after football), Fox. Eight days before the new season starts, here’s the first arrival. It links good music (often soft and subtle) and bad soap opera (sometimes loud and blunt). Trace Adkins (shown here) and Susan Sarandon play the leaders of a Nashville dynasty. They have one daughter who looks like a star (Anna Friel) and one who sings like one (Beth Ditto), plus a business-like son. Then a big event changes everything.
2) “The Serpent Queen” (8 p,m., Starz) and American Gigolo” (9 p.m, Showtime) openers. Two series debut on premium channels. “Serpent” tells the story of Catherine de Medici (played by Samantha Morton, with Liv Hill in flashbacks), the Italian woman who was queen of France for 12 years, then guided three sons who were kings for 30 more. “Gigolo” finds Julian (Jon Bernthal) emerging from 15 years of prison and considering an honest life.
3) “The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family” conclusion, 8 p.m., PBS. In the year (1547) that de Medici began her reign in France, Henry VIII died in England. This interesting, three-week documentary ends its story 11 years earlier, with the decision to frame and behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. It’s followed at 9 by the conclusion of the “Guilt” sequel, which has great dialog and an oddly tangled story.
4) Football. After one game on Thursday, the full pro schedule begins, There are doubleheaders on CBS and Fox, followed by one game at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs (13-4 during the regular season last year) visit Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys (12-5).
5) ALSO: On the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, two channels rerun past documentaries, many of them excellent. It will be the History Channel from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. and the National Geographic Channel from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m.