1) “The Irrational” debut, 10 p.m. today, NBC. New dramas – scripted ones, on broadcast networks – are rare these days. But this one, which began filming before the strikes, starts well. Jesse L. Martin (shown here) plays a guy who survived a tragedy, then became a behavioral science professor, working with the police. The opening scene is a gem; the case that follows is quite good. Next week’s hour is so-so, but the third bounces back. We’ll keep watching.
2) “A Song for Cesar,” 10-11:30 p.m. Friday, PBS. Cesar Chavez, a friend says, was “this guy with an urban soul.” He loved dancing and jazz and, Cheech Marin adds, “had a great sense of humor.” As his farmworkers’ movement grew, there was music – on the back of flat-bed trucks, then in auditoriums. This stirring film has brief (sometimes too-brief) bursts of music – often letting us jump from a white-haired musician to his young self, some 60 years ago.
3) “Reservation Dogs” finale, Wednesday, Hulu. This snuck up on us, an understated gem, quietly becoming one of TV’s best shows. At the core are American Indian teens in small-town Oklahoma. Willie Jack gets the focus first, during prison visit and a funeral; her friends, Bear and Elora, are at turning points. This finale does it all – bringing in the elders, the guest stars, even the spirits seen by individual characters. A great show ends beautifully.
4) “The Voice” opener, 8-10 p.m. today, 8-9 p.m. Tuesday; also, “People’s Choice Country Awards,” 8-10 p.m. Thursday, NBC. The 24th “Voice” season is the first without Blake Shelton. Reba McEntire is the new judge, joining Gwen Stefani (Shelton’s wife), John Legend and Niall Horan. But Shelton is set to perform Thursday. So are Toby Keith, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Wynonna Judd, Jelly Roll, Carly Pearce and the hosts, Little Big Town.
5) “Dancing With the Stars” opener, 8-10:31 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. After 30 editions on ABC, this slid to Disney+ last year. Now it’s on both. Julianne Hough joins Alfonso Ribeiro as host, with her brother Derek as a judge. One contestant is a teen star (Xochitl Gomez, 17, of “Doctor Strange”); another was one a half-century ago (Barry Williams, turning 69). There are winners of an Oscar (Mira Sorvino) and Grammy (Jason Mraz), plus lots of reality types.
6) “America’s Got Talent” finale, 9-11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, NBC, with recap at 8 Wednesday. After a summer of spectacle, the show has its 11 finalists. There are singers from Massachusetts and Indonesia, choirs from South Africa and North Carolina. There are two dance groups from Japan and one from France, plus an Italian dog act, a Canadian comedian, a New Jersey magician and an acrobat duo from Tanzania. One act will win $1 million.
7) “Survivor” opener, 8-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. The 45th edition is filled with people who obsess on the show. Indeed, two of the three lawyers lie about their profession, so they won’t be considered schemers. Bruce Perreault, who was seriously injured in the last opener, is back – and now someone else needs medical attention. “Survivor” expands to 90 minutes(as does “Amazing Race,” at 9:30), but the opener, including surprising finish, holds us.
8) “The Golden Bachelor” debut, 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Long obsessed with young love, TV tries the older side. Gerry Turner, 71, is a retired restaurateur, living at an Indiana lake. Widowed (after 43 years) for six years, he has two daughters and two granddaughters. Now he’ll meet women, ages 60 to 75. Still, Thursdays also have frisky young people in swimwear. At 9, “Bachelor in Paradise” opens its season on ABC and “Fboy Island” continues on CW.
9) “Hell’s Kitchen” opener, 8 p.m. Thursday, Fox. After lots of opening American-dream hype, we meet the contestants – an appealing bunch of dreamers. There’s a Mississippi woman, a single mom raising her six children plus her sister’s three. There’s a Texan (now working in Chicago) who’s also a professional quidditch player. In the opener, they make their specialties and Gordon Ramsay seems genial enough. Next week, he’ll start screaming.
10) “The Simpsons” season-opener, 8 p.m. Sunday, Fox. As the reality-show deluge peaks, here’s an antidote: Animation is written and voiced far in advance, so Fox’s Sunday line-up is intact. “Simpsons” starts its 35th season with Homer’s chance for crossing-guard glory. It’s a clever episode, with ripples of real-life madness. That’s followed by “Krapopolis” (which had two episodes last week) and the season-openers of “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy.”