1) “Masterpiece” mysteries, 8-11 p.m. Sunday, PBS. After a sluggish start last month, this night has three openers. “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” (8 p.m.) is light and bright, with Eliza on a missing-person case with a twist. “Annika” (10) has a smart story, complicated by Scottish accents. In between, “Magpie Murder” (9) is special – a six-parter juggling two mysteries: Who killed the author? And who is the killer in the missing chapter of his book?
2) “Alaska Daily,” 10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Last week, “Daily” established itself as a good series. Now it shows that it could be a great one. A reporter (Hilary Swank) moved to Anchorage to salvage her tarnished career. Linking with a Native-American colleague, she researched the disappearance of Native women; she also convinced a young reporter to tell the full story of a corrupt official. Now both those stories build, while a new one unfolds.
3) “CMT Artists of the Year,” 9 p.m. Friday, CMT. Here’s a visit to the top of the country charts. Carly Pearce had three No. 1 hits this year; Kane Brown had his seventh and eighth. He’s getting the award for the third time, as is Luke Combs; Pearce, Cody Johnson and Walker Hayes are first-timers. The night has guest stars and pairings, plus awards at opposite ends of careers: Lainey Wilson, 30, as breakout artist; Alan Jackson, 63, as “artist of a lifetime.”
4) “The Winchesters” debut, 8 p.m. Tuesday, CW. For 15 seasons of “Supernatural,” Sam and Dean followed the family tradition of fighting demons. But how did their parents start this? We go to 1972: John, tall and handsome, is a Vietnam vet; Mary, short and attractive, is kicking creatures. He’s instantly impressed. This opener is smartly written, filmed and acted – far more so than the debut of “Professionals,” which follows at 9 p.m.
5) “Kevin Can F Himself” series finale, 9 p.m. today, AMC. This clever show juggles opposite scenes. At times, it’s a deliberately bad sitcom, with bombastic husband Kevin, wise wife Allison and audience laughter; at other times, it’s a dark drama about the wife’s life. That part peaked when she faked her own death. Now we see the impact on those who know she’s alive and those who don’t. After surprises and emotional depth, there’s a fiery finale
6) “Quantum Leap,” 10 p.m., today, NBC. Raymond Lee has had double duty on Mondays – Allison’s sometimes-boyfriend on AMC and the protagonist on NBC, forever leaping into other people’s bodies. Now comes his first leap into a female body — a bounty hunter who is romancing her work partner. The partner is played by Justin Hartley of “This is Us”; their target is played by Sofia Pernas, the “Blood & Treasure” star, who is married to Hartley in real life.
7) Baseball division playoffs begin, Tuesday. Last week had the wild-card round. Now the winners of those best-of-three showdowns face the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees and Astros. This time, it’s best-of-five, with the winners reachtng the best-of-seven league championships on Oct. 18. The American League games are on TBS, with the National League on Fox Sports1 or on Fox … which then starts the best-of-seven World Series on Oct. 28.
8) “So Help Me Todd,” 9 p.m. Thursday, CBS. Living in his sister’s garage and working for his mom, Todd meets the one ex-classmate doing worse. Now he tries to help him avoid prison. Like last week’s episode, this gets too goofy at times. Still, it does have crisp dialog and a clever conclusion. CBS’ night starts with “Young Sheldon” (Georgie’s pregnant ex-girlfriend needs a place to stay) and ends with “CSI: Vegas” (a dead woman found in a ghost town).
9) “Next at the Kennedy Center” debut, 9 p.m. Friday, PBS. TV concerts are rare, so this occasional series is welcome. Coming is “A Joni Mitchell Songbook” on Nov. 18; first is a tribute to the late jazz great Charles Mingus. It ranges from moody two-person pieces to the Mingus Big Band … and a finale with six saxophonists, one (Charles McPherson, 83)w ho worked with Mingus for decades. We also hear stories of Mingus’ joy and of his rage.
10) ALSO: Two top streaming shows wrap their seasons – “She-Hulk” Thursday on Disney+ and the mega-budgeted “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” Friday on Amazon Prime. “Chesapeake Shores” has its series finale at 8 p.m. Sunday on Hallmark. Also: At 10 p.m. Tuesday, PBS has a compelling profile of Frederick Douglass; on Friday, “Shantaram” debuts on Apple TV+. with Charlie Hunnam as a prison escapee who flees to India.