Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for Sept. 20: It’s Emmy time

1) Emmy awards, 8-11 p.m. ET, 5-8 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. PT, ABC. The sheer size of the TV world makes this a challenge. Producers Ian Stewart and Reg Hudlin (shown here) have sent camera kits to 130 nominees around the country (plus Tel Aviv, Berlin and more). There will be humor (Jimmy Kimmel does the opening monolog) and music, with H.E.R. singing during the “In Memoriam” segment. And others will help, including Oprah Winfrey, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patrick Stewart, Anthony Anderson, RuPaul, and Count Von Count, of “Sesame Street” fame. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 19: Ferrell, football, ‘Future’

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Will Ferrell spent seven years at “SNL,” doing silly things – cheerleader skits (shown here) and such – and them portraying George W. Bush and Alex Trebek and more. A 2014 poll named him viewers’ all-time favorite on the show. He and Adam McKay (a former “SNL” head writer) took a Bush show to Broadway, created the Funny or Die video channel and made movies, from “Elf” to “Anchorman.” Here’s a rerun of Ferrell’s fifth time as host; King Princess is the music guest. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 18: Let’s re-visit Haydn and Ratched

1) “Great Performances: Now Hear This” season-opener, 9 p.m., PBS. For almost 30 years, Joseph Haydn worked for a mega-rich family in rural Hungary and Austria. The bad news was that he was a servant – wearing a uniform, traveling with the family, sometimes even pouring drinks. The good: He was the music-master and had his own small orchestra. Now violinist Scott Yoo (shown here) visits and plays in the rooms where Haydn molded string-quartet music; he also visits influences, from bagpipers to gypsy bands. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 17: Masks, “Moley,” more

1) “The Masked Singer” preview, 9 p.m., Fox. After an awful summer, Fox hopes to start a big fall comeback next week, fueled by football, wrestling, cartoons, transplanted dramas and – especially – “The Masked Singer,” which was big last season (shown here). This is the second time it airs this preview of next Wednesday’s season-opener, offering a peek at clues, costumes and behind-the-scenes activity. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 16: Country awards Swiftly grab attention

1) Academy of Country Music awards, 8-11 p.m., CBS. During a five-month delay, this ound ways to do lots of live, social-distanced music. That will be scattered into the Grand Ole Opry’s past and current homes and a nightclub. Keith Urban hosts, Taylor Swift (shown here) ends a seven-year absence and sings “Betty,” Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani do “Happy Anywhere” and Carrie Underwood does a medley of women’s hits. Also: Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, many more. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 15: A sword-swallower and a president seek our vote

1) “America’s Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. Five spots remain in the 10-person finals; now 11 acts compete for them. There are lots of singers – Celina Graves (shown here), Cristina Rae, Kenadi Dodds, Daneliya Tuleshova, Voices of Our City – and two dance acts, BAD Salsa and W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew. Also, a magician (Max Major), a daredevil (Jonathan Goodwin), a sword-swallower (Brett Loudermilk) and acrobats (Bello Sisters). Tonight, viewers vote; on Wednesday, we’ll learn who survives. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 14: ABC wants dancers, voters

1) “Dancing With the Stars” opener, 8-10 p.m., ABC. There’s a new host (Tyra Banks) and ew judge (Derek Hough, shown here with Bindi Irwin, one of his six championships). There’s also a new approach, with dancers being distanced from everyone except their partners. The line-up includes Carole Baskin, the animal activist from “Tiger King”; Kaitlyn Bristowe, a former “Bachelorette”; and skater Johnny Weir. Also, athletes (Charles Oakley, Vernon Davis), musicians (Nelly, A.J. McLean), actors (Jesse Metcalfe, Anne Heche, Skai Jackson, Justina Machado) and more. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 13: Dutch cop, American football

1) “Masterpiece: Van der Valk” debut, 9 p.m., PBS. The season’s first scripted show is a winner – a smart and well-crafted mystery with fresh settings. All the key people are British, including the novelist who created the characters and the actors who play them, led by Marc Warren (shown here). Still, this is set in Amsterdam, providing a fresh look … and a lot of bicycles. The opener starts with a wild bike chase, then shows the main crime. It pauses for humor (as Van der Valk meets his new aide), then eyes art, politics and romance. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 12: An elite movie and a sports overload

1) “Coastal Elites,” 8-9:30 p.m., HBO, rerunning at 11:20. In the right hands, a pandemic can seem fun. Paul Rudnick (“Sister Act,” “Addams Family Values”) wrote monologues about social-distanced live; five gifted actors then did them in a social-distance way. Kaitlyn Dever plays an idealistic youmg nurse from Wyoming; Bette Midler plays an angry old New Yorker. Dan Levy plays a neurotic actor, Issa Raye plays a rich kid and Sarah Paulson (shown here) plays the star of the internet’s “Mindful Meditations.” Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 11: Cable focuses on 9/11 history

1) 9/11 documentaries, all day, History. On the 19th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks (shown her, here’s a 21-hour marathon. That includes two new hours, looking at the final two planes – one hitting the Pentagon, the other crashing in a Pennsylvania field. The rest are reruns, starting with efforts to rebuild on the site (7 a.m.) and to find the flag that was hoisted there (8). Especially moving are “Escape From the Tower” and “102 Minutes that Changed America,” at 4 and 6 p.m Read more…