Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for Sept. 29: “Big Brother” ends, “Riverdale” sings

1) “Big Brother” finale, 9-11 p.m., CBS. The last remnants of summer TV are finally fading; after tonight, only “Bachelor in Paradise” will linger on the big networks. “Big Brother” started with 16 people and is now down to three – Xavier Prather, 27, a lawyer; Derek Frazier, 29, a safety officer; and Azah Awasum (shown here), 30, a sales diector. Tonight, one of them gets $750,000. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 28: peril in a hospital and in the netherworld

1) “The Resident,” 8 p.m., Fox. This strong hour starts with one crisis and ends with another. As last week’s season-opener ended, a blind man wandered into a room that had a gas leak, then collapsed; Devon (shown here, left, in a previous episode) found him there, at the end of his shift, then also collapsed. That’s where we start this hour – which ends by introducing a fresh jolt. In between is a so-so story about Billie’s secret past. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 27: A good doctor, a good/bad mogul

1) “American Experience: Citizen Hearst,” 9-11 p.m. PBS; concludes Tuesday. William Randolph Hearst stormed into a stodgy newspaper world. He had money (thanks to an obliging mother), ambition and imagination – sometimes too much of all three. His papers had sharp writing and human-interest stories; at times, they also tended to exaggerate. Hearst built a castle, dated a movie star, had fancy dinner parties (shown here) ran for office; he built an epic life that crumbled during the Depression. Here’s a fascinating portrait. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 26: Broadway’s back, with Tonys and more

1) Tony Awards, 7-9 p.m. ET, Paramount+. Back in March of 2020, Broadway suddenly closed. No one knew when it would be back or what would happen to the Tony Awards, with half the season’s shows still waiting to open. Now we know: Audra McDonald hosts a ceremony (a year late) for the half-season that happened. That skips three categories; see next item. And one category — best actor in a musical — has only one nominee, Aaron Tveit (shown here) in “Moulin Rouge.” Read more…

Best-bets for Sept.25: a Joyful “SNL” rerun

1) “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Next week, this show starts its 47th season, filling a vast void on Saturdays. First, here’s one more rerun. Hosting is Anya Taylor-Joy (shown here), who is almost an Emmy-winner. (Her “The Queen’s Gambit” was named best mini-series; she was nominated for best actress in a movie or mini-series.) Lil Nas X is the music guest. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 24: quick rerun of extraordinary “Joe”

1) “Ordinary Joe,” 8 p.m., NBC. Monday was way too busy, packing three of the best new shows alongside “NCIS” and more. If you missed the “Ordinary Joe” debut, catch this quick rerun. We meet Joe (James Wolk) on graduation day, facing three choices. Then we follow all three – cop, nurse, rock star (shown here) – through joy and pain. It’s a complicated task pulled of by a subtle script and gifted actors. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 23: lotsa “Law,” plus Kenny

1) “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” season-openers, 8 and 10 p.m, NBC. A slick congressman says he’ll be in the White House; Benson (Mariska Hargatay) says he’ll be in prison for making mothers trade sex for housing. It’s a tough case – that gets tougher at the end of the first hour. One character (Chief McGrath) is written and played way too broadly, but others are – in the “L&O” fashion – solid enough. Then “OC” finds Stabler (Christopher Meloni, shown in a previous episode with Hargitay working undercover . Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 22: wonder and ego and more

1) “The Wonder Years” debut, 8:30 p.m., ABC. The original series began in 1988 as a comedy-drama, then kept leaning to the drama side. Now this well-crafted reboot starts there. We meet Black family (shown here) in middle-income Montgomery, Ala. Don Cheadle is the adult narrator, looking back at his childhood; Dule Hill is his dad. There are some laughs, but this is the spring of 1968; life soon turns serious. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 21: Season-openers … and an “FBI” marathon

1) “FBI” trilogy, 8-11 p.m., CBS. Sprawling across three shows and two continents, this is an epic way to launch a new series. At 8, the “FBI” season-opener has the slaying of a woman who was at a yacht party with some rich creeps; two “FBI: Most Wanted” guys, Crosby and LaCroix – are soon involved. Then the “Most Wanted” opener, at 9, points to the debut of “FBI International” at 10. Zadan (Zeeko Zaki, shown here in a previous epiosde), from “FBI,” rushes to the Budapest bureau, to pursue a Jeffrey Epstein-type villain and his hostage. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 20: three new shows — good ones — and more

1) “Ordinary Joe” debut, 10 p.m., NBC, rerunning at 8 p.m. Friday. In a year when the networks try safe, simple concepts, here’s the exception: On graduation day (shown here), Joe faces three paths (literally); then we flash ahead to three variations of his life. He’s a cop, a nurse, a rock star; he marries Amy or Jenny or neither. In each case, he finds warmth, joy and agony. Written and played with subtle skill, this has great work from James Wolk and strong support from Elizabeth Lail and Natalie Martinez. Read more…