Weekly Previews

Week’s top-10 for Oct. 3: Swank leads surge of debuts

1) “Alaska Daily” debut, 10 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Two Academy Award-winners link for a promising drama. Hilary Swank (shown here) won Oscars for “Girls Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby”; Tom McCarthy won for his “Spotlight” script. Now he’s writer-producer and she plays a newspaper reporter, moving to Anchorage to repair her tarnished career. That gets ABC’s best timeslot, behind the season-openers of “Station 19” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 26: a light-drama revival

1) “So Help Me Todd” debut, 9 p.m. Thursday, CBS. There’s a sweet spot, where fun and crimesolving co-exist. TV lost it for a while, but “Todd” hits it perfectly in its opener … before getting a tad goofy in the next couple weeks. Margaret (Marcia Gay Harden) is a lawyer; Todd (Skylar Astin) is a private eye, with tech skills and no work. (They’re shown here.) He’s also her son; when he works for her, his freeform style collides with her diligence. Good mysteries are peppered with fun. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 19: Leap into a new season

1) “Quantum Leap” debu (shown here)t, 10 p.m. today, NBC, rerunning 8 p.m. Saturday. The first day of the official TV season includes a zinger – a quick, slick fantasy show that keeps us involved, even when stretching credibility wildly, Raymond Lee plays a physicist, adapting the same notion used 30 years ago, in the original series. Suddenly, he’s in 1985, in the body of a stranger. He remembers nothing, including his fiancee, who’s there as a hologram others can’t see. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 12: Emmys, finales, debuts

1) Emmy awards, 8-11 p.m. today, NBC. Kenan Thompson (shown here) hosts, planning to have a big opening number. He’s not much of a monologue guy, but he’ll have lots of other “Saturday Night Live” people (past and present). They include Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon and Vanessa Bayer. Others range from Will Arnett to Natalie Zea and two people from “Squid Game,” a first-year show that’s up for best drama. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 5: New season sneaks in early

1) “Monarch,” about 8 p.m. ET Sunday (after football), Fox. Eight days before the season officially starts, here’s the first arrival, Planned for last spring, then delayed, it links music and soap-style drama, just as “Empire” did … but with country music. Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon play the leaders of a Nashville dynasty (shown here). They have one daughter who looks like a star (Anna Friel) and one who sings like one (Beth Ditto), plus a business-like son. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 29: parks, performers & “Patient,” plus pause in romance

1) “America’s National Parks,” 8 and 9 p.m. today through Thursday, then 9 p.m. Friday, National Georaphic. This starts today with opposite worlds — the Everglades and the 277-mile-long Grand Canyon. It ends Friday with the fury and beauty of trhe Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (shown here), where one volcano erupted for 35 years, burying a road under 100 feet of lava,. It’s beautifully filmed, with Garth Brooks as narrator.

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Week’s top-10 for Aug. 22: lotsa music, new and not

1) MTV Video Music Awards, 8-10:30 p.m. Sunday, MTV (where it reruns at 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m.), plus several other cable channels and CW; MTV also has a preview at 6:30. Jack Harlow – who ties Kendrick Lamar for the lead with seven nominations, will perform. So will Nicki Minaj (shown here), who gets the Video Vanguard award. Also performing: Lizzo, Kane Brown, Maneskin, J Balvin, Anitta, Panic at the Disco, the K-pop group Blackpink and more. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 15: dragons, da Vinci & reality

1) “House of the Dragon” debut, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO, rerunning at 10:10. Towering over everything else is this “Game of Thrones” prequel (shown here). HBO spent a reported $200 million on the 10-episode season, which started filming 16 months ago. Set 200 years before “Thrones,” the show has newcomer Emma D’Arcy as the princess and dragonrider. Sci-fi fans will spot Matt Smith of ”Doctor Who” and Olivia Cooke of “Ready Player One.” Read more…

Week’s top 10 for Aug. 8: A time for finales, debuts, returns

1) “So You Think You Can Dance” finale, 9 p.m. Wednesday, Fox. Only two dancers remain, bringing opposite styles. Keaton Kermode, 20, is husky by dance standards; growing up in an Indiana town of 542, he was a 190-pound running back and safety in football. Alexis Warr, 21, trained at the same Utah dance studio as Derek Hough, then backed him on tour. Keaton is mainly a contemporary dancer; Warr wants to be the show’s first ballroom champ. They’re shown here, dancing together. Read more…

Looking ahead: Music leads top-10 for Aug. 1-7

1) “CMA Fest,” 8-11 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. For four June days, country fans had this Nashville fest, the first in three years; now we see highlights. One host (Dierks Bentley) performs with Billy Ray Cyrus; they’re shown here. The other (Elle King) with Ashley McBryde. Other links: Wynonna Judd and Carly Pearce, Lady A and Breland, Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker. Also performing: Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, more. Read more…