Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for Sept. 9: NFL season starts; TV season is next

1) Pro football season-opener, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, with pre-game at 7:30. A new season begins, just when we all need (and deserve) a distraction. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs had a slow start last year, then finished with eight straight wins and the Super Bowl championship. They host the Dallas Cowboys, with Dak Prescott back. Last year, the Cowboys were 2-3 before his inury, 4-7 afterward. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 8: youthful fun from Josie and Doogie

1) “Riverdale,” 8 p.m., CW. Great music and a so-so story combine, for what could be a pilot for a new series – and a good one. Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) did the first few “Riverdale” seasons – mostly singing, alone or with the Pussycats. She left for the “Katy Keene” series, then disappeared … until now. The story is rather monotone, repeating similar emotions from each character and scene. But the music – six numbers, ranging from “Little Shop of Horrors”(shown here) to a Nina Simone ballad– is sensational. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 7; great “Impeachment” tops a busy night

1) “Impeachment: American Crime Story” opener, 10 p.m., FX; rerunning hourly. Five years after he triumphed with the O.J. Simpson mini-series, Ryan Murphy has one that’s almost as good. It’s both funny and enraging, as Monica Lewinsky (shown here in real life) — sweet-spirited and emotionally fragile — inadvertantly shattered Bill Clinton’s presidency. Sarah Burgess’ script will leave viewers loving Lewinsky (a consultant on the project) and Paula Jones and hating Linda Tripp – perfectly played by Beanie Feldstein, Annaleigh Ashford and Sarah Paulson. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 6: romance, brash or British

1) “Harry and Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” 8 p.m., Lifetime. It’s a trilogy now, for Lifetime’s favorite couple (shown here in real life). The fairly charming “Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance” (2018) reruns at 3 p.m., with “Harry and Meghan: Becoming Royal” (2019) at 5:30; then this new film arrives. Surprisingly, different actors play the couple each time. At 10:03 p.m. is a new special, “The American Royal Baby.” Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 5: guilty mystery, rockin’ movie

1) “Masterpiece: Guilt” opener, 9-11 p.m., PBS. Driving home from a wedding, brothers argue about a cash bar they visited often. Then someone steps in front of the car and is killed. The decent thing would be to call police; the older brother (shown here) isn’t into decency. What follows starts as a fun story of laymen trying (ineptly) to do a cover-up. But late tonight – and in next week’s conclusion – new twists soar. At the core of a terrific story is the younger brother, a good guy surrounded by schemers. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 4: Football is back; so is Wiig

1) Football, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC. The first full Saturday of the college season peaks with a big one – Clemson (ranked No. 3 and shown here) hosts Georgia (No. 5). Earlier, ABC has top-ranked Alabama at Miami (No. 14), at 3:30 p.m. ET. There’s much more, including a triple-header on Fox: It’s Penn State (No. 19) at Wisconsin (No. 12) at noon ET … Louisiana (23) at Texas (21) at 3:30 p.m. … and LSU (16) at UCLA. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 3: Feel-good CBS, feel-mean CW

1) All night, CBS. Don’t look for cop shows tonight; CBS is fullyin feel-good Friday mode. That starts at 8 p.m. with “Secret Celebrity Renovation”; Boomer Esiason helps renovate the home of his high school football coach. At 9, Cedric the Entertainer hosts the amiable “Greatest #AtHome Videos.” And at 10, Jane Pauley hosts a “Pet Project” (shown here)special, viewing people and their pets. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 2: Country stars lead a busy night

1) “CMA Summer Jam,” 8-11 p.m., ABC. For two summers, the Fan Fest was cancelled because of COVID. This second time, however, the gap was filled by a two-day Nashville concert. Darius Rucker sang on a new downtown stage, Eric Church on a pedestrian bridge, Dierks Bentley at his club, others at an amphitheater. There are Lukes (Bryan and Combs) plus Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Miranda Lambert (shown here), Jimmie Allen, Dwight Yoakam, Mickey Guyton, Thomas Rhett and more. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 1: Memories of Pryor and Jessica Walter

1) “Superstar: Richard Pryor,” 10 p.m., ABC. Pryor (shown here) had a life filled with tragedy. Raised in his grandmother’s brothel, he was abandoned by his mother at 10, expelled at 14, jailed by the Army at 18. Then he soared in show business – both in the mainstream and with R-rated wit. Trouble persisted – seven marriages, three heart attacks, a freebasing accident – but so did his skill. He won the first Mark Twain Prize and was named (by both Comedy Central and Rolling Stone) as the best stand-up ever. Read more…

Best-bets for Aug. 31: 9/11 films bring deep humanity

1) “Generaton 9/11,” 9-11 p.m Tuesday, PBS. There were 105 babies born in the U.S. after their fathers died because of the Sept. 11 attack. This compelling documentary introduces six of them (along with one man who was 3 when his dad died). At 19, they are a varied group, from the intense – a criminal-justice student planning to be a lawyer, an ROTC student planning to be a soldier – to an athlete and to a musician (Megan Fehling, shown here) who rereads “Catcher in the Rye.” They push ahead with promising lives. Read more…