1) “Making Black America: Through the Grapevine” opener, 9 p.m., PBS. During slavery, we learn, Black society was already forming. About 10 percent of African-Americans were free; they had clubs and literary societies … attended by some people who couldn’t read. After the war, Black towns sprang up. Henry Louis Gates (shown here) — whose “Finding Your Roots” has Tony Danza and Terry Crews at 8 p.m. — hosts this low-key, four-week series.
2) “Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom,” 10 p.m. , PBS. Barely five feet tall, Tubman was a towering figure in American history. Even as a slave, she was an entrepreneur, with her own oxen. At 27, she fled to Philadelphia, then risked her freedom 13 times, going back to guide others through the Underground Railroad and sometimes all the way to Canada. In the Civil War, she was a spy and a scout, even leading a military operation. It’s a great story.
3) “Monarch,” 9 p.m., Fox. Secrets and stealing seem to fill this country-music world. 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 soapy hour, but has a fine soundtrack.
4) “La Brea,” 9 p.m., NBC. Early in this hour, someone declares: “This is officially insane.” You think? People in modern Los Angeles fell into a sinkhole and reached 10,000 B.C. Searching for his wife and son, a guy found a Seattle sinkhole … which somehow took him near LA. By then, his son and a friend had been whisked to 1988 … where history changed and there’s a sinkhole. Later, someone returns and says: “You are never going to believe what happened.”
5) “The Rookie: Feds,” 10 p.m., ABC. Last week’s opener found the line where a show can be light and bright, without turning silly; this episode crosses the line often. Why is Simone (Niecy Nash) chasing crooks in the world’s lowest-cut wedding dress? Why would the FBI assign newcomers to arbitrarily create an informant? Why is the actor-turned-cop still auditioning? We have no idea, so we’ll just go along for the fun parts.