Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for May 21: Good-bye to a good doctor

1) “The Good Doctor” series-finale, 10 p.m., ABC. For seven years, Freddie Highmore (shown here) has built a subtly moving portrait of Shaun, an autistic doctor with a brilliant mind, troubled past and good soul. He’s become a husband, father and respected surgeon. Now he and the others face one of their toughest cases, while pondering their futures. Read more…

Best-bets for May 20: three finales and the Pope

1) “The Voice,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. After an opening song by Keith Urban, the five finalists each do a ballad and an uptempo song. John Legend has Nathan Chester, 27, and Bryan Oleson, 49; Reba McEntire has Asher HaVon 31, and Josh Sanders, 35; Dan + Shay have Karen Woldrup (shown here), 36. Their performances will be recapped at 8 p.m. Tuesday, with the finale from 9-11 p.m. Read more…

Best-bets for May 19: finale time for dramas and “Idol”

1) “American Idol,” 8-11 p.m., ABC. The finale has two Southerners – Will Mosely, 23, from Georgia, and Jack Blocker (shown here), 25, from Texas – and Abi Carter, 21. Both guys auditioned with original songs; Carter did a Billie Eilish song, which fits; like Eilish, she’s a Californian who was home-schooled. Before the results, we’ll hear Jason Mraz. Seal, CeCe Winans, Cody Johnson, Wynonna Judd and more. Read more…

Best-bets for May 18: Elvis, Jake & Bruce Lee

1) “Saturday Night Live” season-finale, 11:29 p.m., NBC. The 49th season concludes and “SNL” starts preparing for a big-deal 50th. Tonight, Jake Gyllenhaal – now beefed up for his “Road House” remake (shown here) on Amazon Prime – has his third turn as host. Sabrina Carpenter – a former Disney star, now 25 – has her first as music guest. Read more…

Best-bets for May 17: a great diva and tough cops

1) “Audra McDonald at the London Palladium,” 9-10:30 p.m., PBS. Broadway’s all-time leader (with six Tonys) fills the night with show tunes, backed by a 40-piece orchestra. Some viewers will wish she spent less time in the upper octaves. Still, McDonald (shown here in a previous concert) finds lots of fun and has powerhouse moments, including several songs about diversity, plus the triumphant “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Read more…

Best-bets for May 16: A good show has a great goodbye

1) “Young Sheldon” series-finale (shown here), 8 and 8:30 p.m., CBS. This is one of the best hours of the season, or of any season. It manages the rare feat of being funny and subtly moving. Propelling it is the death, a week ago, of Sheldon’s father. The reactions vary widely, bur perfectly fit each wonderfully complex character. As a bonus, the second half-hour peeks at the nowadays Sheldon and Amy. Read more…

Best-bets for May 15: Amid war, humans strain to save animals

1) “Nature: Saving the Animals of Ukraine,” 8 p.m., PBS. Encased in horror, people still rush to the rescue. “To save animals is to remain human,” says Asha Serpinska, 77. Evacuees (shown here) clung to cats and dogs. Lions were rescued from private zoos. A 13-year-old house cat survived a 60-day ordeal. It became a national hero; so did a little dog who finds land mines. It’s a richly human story. Read more…

Best-bets for May 14: Fallonfest, plus lots of dramas

1) “Tonight Show” anniversary. 9-11 p.m., NBC. After some stumbles, NBC had a fresh idea: Jimmy Fallon — then 39, boyish and upbeat — took over “Tonight” on Feb. 17, 2014. Ratings soared, then feel due to Covid, strikes and other shows’ focus on Trump-era satire. Now Fallon (shown here) is No. 3 in ratings, but thriving. In prime time, he’s had three game shows plus this clip-filled special. Read more…

Best-bets for May 13: young dancers, young chefs, Young Sheldon

1) So You Think You Can Dance,” 9:02 p.m., Fox. This starts with a four-person routine that makes one thing clear: These are remarkably gifted dancers, working with great choreographers. (They’re shown here in a previous week.) One dancer faces sharp pain, but all four – Madison Alvarado, 21; Dakayla Wilson, 19; Anthony Curley and Easton Magliarditi, 18 – dance brilliantly. Three advance to next week’s finale. Read more…

Best-bets for May 12: strong dramas and a recast vampire

1) “Interview With the Vampire” season-opener, 9 p.m., AMC. After deep mourning for her daughter, who died at 5, Anne Rice created Claudia, who has the body of a child (when she became a vampire), the soul of an adult. She was 5 in the book, 11 in the movie and 14 here. Now she’s been recast: Delainey Hayles (sown here) is richly emotive, in a sometimes-brutal hour in 1940s Romania. Read more…