1) “Riverdale” season-opener, 9 p.m., CW. The Archie comics offered sweet Americana – a cheery chap and his pals at the soda shop. This series, however, has rippled with murder and despair. Now a comet has transported everyone to 1955, when teens (including Cheryl, shown here) can focus on fun, not murder. Only Jughead remembers anything. It’s a clever idea that wobbles a bit in the opener, but works well. We see ‘50s sunniness, darkened by a world that seemed to ignore racism and more.
2) “Ted Lasso,” Apple TV+. Ted’s team was slated for last place … until, at the end of last week’s episode, an Italian superstar decided to join. Now that brings drama and laughs; it’s funny to simply see Ted struggling to be seen, as his star hovers in front of him. The episode, a good one, also deals with Ted’s divorce angst and with Rebecca’s reluctant visit to someone recommended by her mother.
3) “Chicago Med,” 8 p.m., NBC. The high-tech operating room gets a major test – perilous surgery, recorded by a film crew. That provides a fairly good hour, sandwiched around personal problems – physical for Archer, parental for Charles, romantic for Halstead.
4) “Not Dead Yet,” 9:30 p.m., ABC. It’s rerun night for ABC’s comedies. “The Connors” (8 and 8:30) finds trouble in the Darlene-and-Ben house … “Abbott Elementary” (9) has Ava teach new fundraising techniques … And “Not Dead” repeats its second episode. Navigating trouble at work and at home, Nell communes with the ghost of a motivational speaker. The result has its charms, but isn’t as good as the pilot episode … or the ones that followed.
5) ALSO: It’a busy night for the 10 p.m. dramas. On CBS’ “True Lies,” Harry and Helen need their parenting skills, when talking down a teen hacker. On NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” Burgess works on shedding her lingering trauma. On FX’s “Snowfall,” Franklin and Teddy close in on each other. And on ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” Maggie finds changes when returning to her workplace; also, secrets are revealed when Katherine meets Greta’s parents.