1) Music, 9 p.m., PBS and CMT. PBS launches “Next at the Kennedy Center,” with classy concerts. Next (Nov. 18) is “A Joni Mitchell Songbook.” First, is a tribute to jazz great Charles Mingus; the Mingus Big Band soars, complete with a six-saxophone piece. Also, CMT has its “artists of the year” – Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Walker Hayes, Cody Johnson – plus a career award for Alan Jackson (shown here) and a breakthrough one for Lainey Wilson.
2) “Rings of Power” finale and more. One streaming mega-project ends its season today, just as another begins. Departing is Amazon Prime’s massive “Lord of the Rings” prequel; arriving (see next item) is Apple’s “Shantaram.” Also arriving today: Peacock has Jamie Lee Curtis back for “Halloween Ends” and Netflix has Marlon Wayans in “The Curse of Bridge Hollow.” Also, Kaitlyn Devers stars in Hulu’s “Rosaline,” a comic twist on “Romeo and Juliet.”
3) “Shantaram” debut, Apple TV+. In real life, a convicted robber escaped from an Australian prison in 1980, spent a wild decade abroad, was re-captured and spent six more years in prison … where he wrote this best-selling novel, mixing his life with a lot of fiction. Charlie Hunnam is excellent in this 12-parter, with the first three arriving today. The opening jailbreak is compelling. Then the story (smartly written, lushly filmed) finds Bombay extremes.
4) Penn & Teller: Fool Us” season-opener, 8 p.m., CW. The mini-network’s Friday line-up starts its season. First, magicians do oft-impressive tricks, hoping Penn and Teller won’t know how they did it. Then “Whose Line Is It Anyway” has a new episode (Johathan Mangum, the “Let’s Make a Deal” announcer, is the guest) at 9 and a rerun (Jeff Davis guests) at 9:30.
5) “Fire Country,” 9 p.m., CBS. Last week’s debut was involving, despite an overload of coincidences. Now we know the basics: Bode – the son of firefighters – is a prisoner who volunteered for firefighting but objected when he was sent to his hometown, where his troubles began, He quickly became both a hero and a rule-breaker. Tonight, that town braces for a fierce storm.
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