1) “Alaska Daily” debut, 10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Two Academy Award-winners link for a promising drama. Hilary Swank (shown here) won Oscars for “Girls Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby”; Tom McCarthy won for his “Spotlight” script. Now he’s writer-producer and she plays a newspaper reporter, moving to Anchorage to repair her tarnished career. That gets ABC’s best timeslot, behind the season-openers of “Station 19” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
2) “Fire Country” debut, 9 p.m. Friday, CBS. As wildfires ripped across California this year, prisoners helped fight them. Now that’s been turned into a fictional tale. Max Thieriot, who still plays the cocky Clay on “SEAL Team,” stars. He plays a prisoner who joins the firefighters to shorten his sentence – then is sent to the town where his troubles began. The opener requires a mountain of coincidences, but it mixes strong drama and blazing action.
3) “Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. Barely five feet tall, Tubman was a towering figure in American history. She escaped from slavery, fled to Philadelphia, then risked her freedom 13 times, going back to help slaves flee. In the Civil War, she was a spy and even planned and led a military operation. This fascinating documentary is preceded at 9 by the start of “Making Black America,” looking at clubs, businesses and more.
4) “iHeartRadio Music Festival,” 8-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, CW. Over two days and four hours, we get a cross-section of music hits. There’s country (Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen), rap (Pitbull, LL Cool J), techno (Diplo) and more, including Halsey, Lionel Richie, Avril Lavigne, Sam Smith, Megan Thee Stallion, Marcus Mumford, Pat Benatar and – for folks who can’t remember which is which – Black Keys and Black Eyed Peas.
5) “The Good Doctor” season-opener, 10 p.m. Monday, ABC. Last season ended with both joy – the marriage of Shaun, the autistic surgeon, and Lea, his good-hearted, techie neighbor – and agony. While the wedding reception continued on the hospital roof, two people were stabbed on the fifth floor. Now that escalates; there’s a lockdown, while tempers flare during emergency surgery. Shaun’s reactions feel forced, but it’s a strong start to the season.
6) “Monarch,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. This country-music world is awash in cheatin’ and stealin;. Flash forward and Albie and his daughter Nicky are hiding evidence of a killing; flash back and her mom steals a song from Nicky … who (in present time) does the same to her sister. It’s a messy and overwrought hour, but has a fine soundtrack. And at 10, you can switch to to ABC for a “Rookie: Feds” that strains believability, but has fun moments.
7) “The Real Love Boat” debut, 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. Now the night’s reality overload is complete. Wedged between “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” (on a night when Fox has “Masked Singer” and “Lego Masters”), this has husband-and-wife Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn host a dozen singles, including a nurse, a firefighter, a teacher and a shoe-designer. They cruise to Barcelona, Rome and more, adding and subtracting people along the way.
8) “Chucky” season-opener, “Reginald the Vampire” debut, 9 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy. Ocotober is creepy cable time: At 9 p.m., “Chucky” puts three teens in an eerie detention home. At 10, a chubby guy meets a handsome vampire mentor, played by third-generation star Mandela Van Peebles; the result is an adequate drama/comedy mix. And at 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime’s vampire tale, “Let the Right One In,” collides with AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire.”
9) “Walker Independence” debut, 9 p.m. Thursday, CW. After giving others a head start, CW makes its move. There are two season-openers – a strong “Kung Fu” hour at 9 p.m. Wednesday (Nicky meets two key people) and “Walker” at 8 p.m. Thursday. Then comes this fairly good prequel, showing how the Walkers got their name and grit. Katherine McNamara (Clary in “Shadowhunters,” Mia in “Arrow”) plays an educated Bostonian, alone in old Texas.
10) “SWAT” season-opener, 8 p.m. Friday, CBS, and more. The weekend action shows – always solid in the ratings – start their seasons. First, “SWAT” dispatches Hondo and others to Thailand training sessions. At 10, Blue Bloods has Erin considering running for district attorney – which is tricky when your dad is police commissioner. Then “NCIS: Los Angeles” (10 p.m. Sunday) has Callen torn between rescuing Hetty and helping stop terrorists.