1) “The Winchesters” debut, 8 p.m., CW. On “Supernatural,” Sam and Dean followed the family tradition of smiting demons. But how did their parents start this? We go to 1972, when John meets Mary (shown here). He’s tall, handsome and a Vietnam vet; she’s short, attractive and kicking creatures. He’s instantly impressed. This opener is smartly written, filmed and acted – far better than than debut of “Professionals,” at 9 p.m.
2) “Becoming Frederick Douglass,” 10 p.m., PBS. As a slave in Maryland, Douglass obsessed on learning to read. After his escape (aided by his wife, a free Black), he became a brilliant orator and writer, smashing theories of racial inferiority. This potent special is preceded at 9 by the second chapter of “Making Black America.” We’re in 1900 now, with steep biases and zero Black soldiers. It’s a time for new colleges, fraternities, societies and more.
3) “Monarch,” 9 p.m., Fox. As usual, there’s great music here. This time it ranges from country to “Silent Night” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” And as usual, there are mountains of soap excess. This is a show that now has two unrelated blackmail schemes … and a guy’s secret affair with his sister’s wife … and then a barn-burner (literally) of a twist, topping the others.
4) “La Brea,” 9 p.m., NBC. For Eve, things are getting complicated. After plunging from modern times to 10,000 BC, she’s now imprisoned in a mining camp. Her lover Levi is there; now her husband Gavin arrives, too. Also, her son has now zoomed up to 1988. It’s an hour that somehow remains interesting, despite an overload of truly unlikely schemes.
5) Baseball division playoffs, cable. Last week had the quick (best-of-three) wild-card round. Now the winners face the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees and Astros. This time, it’s best-of-five, with the American League games on TBS and the National League on Fox Sports1 or Fox. Next Tuesday, the best-of-seven league championships begin, deciding who gets to the World Series.