1) “Yellowstone opener,” 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, CBS. Five years ago, a wobbly cable channel, formerly The Nashville Network and Spike, became the Paramount Network. Most of its shows failed, with a splendid exception. Written and produced by Taylor Sheridan and starring Kevin Costner (shown here), it’s a modern western, with taut dialog and strong characters. Ratings soared; now CBS (also owned by Paramount) will rerun the entire series, from the start.
2) “Buddy Games” debut, 9 p.m. Thursday, CBS. The reality-stuffed season gets its first new show and it’s kind of a fun one. Each summer, actor Josh Duhamel and his friends return to Montana for wild games. Now he produces and hosts this show: The teams are varied – cops, beauty queens, Roller Derby women, LGBTQ, etc. — and the games are big and broad. At various points, people are muddy, messy, naked, tired and surprisingly cheerful.
3) “American Experience,” 9-11 p.m. today and Tuesday, PBS. Here are school struggles in opposite places. Today’s film views the urban North: In 1974, nine years after a state mandate, Boston began court-ordered busing; there was violence and the departure of 10,000 students. Tuesday’s film visits the rural South: Leland, Miss., began a peaceful desegregation in 1970; Douglas Blackmon, a white student in that class and a Pulitzer Prize-winner, narrates.
4) Sept. 11 documentaries, today. The 20th anniversary of the 2001 attacks brought a fresh wave of films, mixing memories and footage from the time,. Now two key ones return: The National Geographic Channel’s compelling “9/11: One Day in America” runs from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.; the History Channel’s “9/11: I Was There” is 8-10:03 p.m., rerunning at 12:03. Other films start at 7 a.m. on History and 6 p.m. on National Geographic.
5) “The Swarm” debut, 9 p.m. Tuesday, CW. Something is wrong in the oceans, it seems. Whales are late … or dead … or violent. That’s the start of an eight-week, international co-production that starts quietly, then finds mankind at risk. This opener is understated, but gives us two young researchers to root for — one (played by Joshua Odjick, an Indigenous Canadian) on Vancouver Island, the other (Leonie Benesch, a German star) on Shetland Island.
6) “The Morning Show” season-opener, Apple TV+, and more. As others struggle, streamers thrive. On Wednesday, this show crackles with sharp dialog and great characters. Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon star; soon, one is in outer space, the other at the border. Hulu also has a big week: Tuesday, “Only Murders (etc.)”; Wednesday, “Welcome to Wrexham” season-opener and a great “Reservation Dogs”; Thursday, the “Theater Camp” movie.
7) “The Conners” (8-10 p.m., ABC) and “Night Court” (9-10 p.m., NBC), Wednesday. In a slow time for comedies, “Roseanne” (now “The Conners”) and “Night Court” started strong. Both were reviving old hits, using the style (and some of the stars) from the original. Now both have reruns – two on NBC (a tempting tech scheme and a staffer with a crush on the judge) and four on ABC, starting with a new home for Darlene and her husband, sister and niece.
8) “MasterChef,” 8 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, Fox. The notion of a regional battle soon crumbled. Last week, the last of the five Northeast chefs was ousted. There’s only one (Kennedy) from the West and two (Grand and Wayne) from the Midwest, but the South thrives with Reagan, Sav and supermom Jennifer. Now these six work in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant the first hour and then face two challenges the second, setting up the finale a week later.
9) Movies, Friday. If you’ve skipped the summer superhero movies, you can catch up on HBO. This year’s “The Flash” is at 8 p.m., with last year’s “The Batman” at 5. Other Friday films range from the animated gem “Coco” (2017, 8 p.m., Disney Channel) to the sharply crafted horror film “Halloween” (1978, 7:30 p.m., IFC). Also at 8, Pop has “A Few Good Men,” with Rob Reiner directing Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and more in a potent Aaron Sorkin script.
10) “48 Hours” and “60 Minutes” season-openers, 9-11 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, CBS. With a scarcity of scripted series, news shows can grab viewers. It’s the 37th season of “48 Hours,” a true-crime show that’s often pre-empted by football; it’s also the 56th of “60 Minutes.” This fall, CBS will also have “FBI True” on Tuesdays. Continuing from 9-11 p.m. Fridays this fall will be ABC’s “20/20” and NBC’s “Dateline,” which will add Thursday reruns.