Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for May 26: “Grey’s” ends for now; “Bull” ends forever

1) “Grey’s Anatomy”, 8 and 9 p.m., ABC. This is the one primetime drama that seems to go on forever. Tonight’s second episode is the 400th overall; by comparison, “This Is Us” ended at 106. And Ellen Pompeo (shown here, right) has been at the core throughout, as Meredith. Now she wants to move to Minnesota for a key research job; first, she tries to help in Seattle, where the residency program is in trouble and there’s a blood shortage. Other problems pile up, including possible prison time for Owen. Read more…

Best-bets for May 25: Chefs begin; other shows end

1) “MasterChef” season-opener (shown here), 8 p.m., Fox. Forty contestants from past seasons get one more shot. Derrick Pelz was a drummer in 2015 … Brandi Mudd was an elementary school teacher in 2016… Lindsay Haig was a lawyer in 2018 … Wuta Onda was an English teacher in 2019. None won (although Mudd was runner-up), but all four became food professionals. In this brisk opener, they’re among 12 people competing for six spots. Read more…

Best-bets for May 24: A great series ends; so do lots of seasons

1) “This Is Us” (shown here) series finale, 9 p.m., NBC. It’s farewell time for the best broadcast-network drama in recent years. Life has been especially tough on Rebecca, who has lost two husbands and much of her memory. But she has three excellent offspring (one adopted) who keep remaking their lives. For six seasons, this has brought richly nuanced emotion. Now the family is together for the 106th and final episode. Read more…

Best-bets for May 22: It’s finale time for “Idol” … and many others

1) “American Idol” finale, 8-11 p.m., ABC. Three young singers remain. Noah Thompson (shown here) and HunterGirl are from small-town South; Leah Marlene is from Illinois, but spent two college years in Nashville. Now they’ll each do two songs (one from Bruce Springsteen) and viewers will pick a champ. The judges will also perform; so will Carrie Underwood, Sara Bareilles, Michael Buble, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Thomas Rhett, Gabby Barrett, Tai Verdes, and more, including Earth, Wind and Fire. Read more…

Best-bets for May 21: “SNL” finale, puma premiere

1) “Saturday Night Live” season-finale, 11:29 p.m., NBC. Natasha Lyonne (shown here) – a streaming star via “Orange is the New Black” and “Russian Doll” – gets her first chance to host. The music guest is Japanese Breakfast, led by Korean-American musician-author Michelle Zauner. Also, “Weekend Update” anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che have a season-finale tradition of making each other read rude jokes. Read more…

Best-bets for May 20: the wit of Carlin and Shakespeare

1) “George Carlin’s American Dream,” 8-9:55 p.m., HBO; concludes Saturday. Carlin (shown here) seemed to be performing forever. He was the first host of “Saturday Night Live” … and then the first host of its competitor, “Fridays.” He had 14 HBO specials and 130 “Tonight Show” appearances. His style went from button-down to shaggy; he struggled with addiction and with police, but remained sharply organized. Now Judd Apatow has co-directed a profile that includes Carlin’s family and comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and more. Read more…

Best-bets for May 19: a finale-filled evening

1) “Station 19” and “Big Sky” season-finales, 8 and 10 p.m., ABC. Next week, “Grey’s Anatomy” wraps its season with its 399th and 400th episodes. First, ABC clears out the other Thursday shows: On “Station 19,” Andy is on trial for manslaughter, after foiling a rape attempt; now she finds a key witness. On “Big Sky,” Jenny (shown here in a previous episode) rushes to find Travis; Cassie, after a surprise, changes her quest forever. And after meeting both, the new sheriff may stick around. Read more…

Best-bets for May 18: Dancers start, masks depart

1) “So You Think You Can Dance” opener, 9 p.m., Fox. From its debut in 2005, “Dance” (shown here in a previous season) has been one of TV’s best reality competitions. It had great dancers and (after the auditions) gifted choreographers; it also had a producer and head judge (Nigel Lythgoe) who took this seriously. Now the show is back (for the first time in three years), but its leader isn’t. Lythgoe, 72, is out; JoJo Siwa, who turns 19 on Thursday, is one of the judges, alongside Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) and Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Read more…

Best-bets for May 17: Seasons end and Richie soars

1) Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, 9 p.m., PBS. Lionel Richie (shown here) gets his due, as the 13th winner of an annual prize that has included Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan. This hour is poorly crafted — too many speeches, too many broad-brimmed hats, too many attempts to involve a masked audience. But making up for that is the magnificent music. Richie’s songs are performed beautifully by Andra Day, Chris Stapleton, Yolanda Adams, Boyz II Men, Miguel, Luke Bryan and by Richie. Read more…