Weekly Previews

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 27: Everyone turns 50

1) Anniversary specials. Let’s celebrate the 50th anniversaries of places that range from soaring sopranos to talking mice. First (9 p.m. Thursday, CBS) is “The Price is Right,” which is actually 65, but moved to CBS on Sept. 4, 1972 – making this its 50th season. Then (8 p.m. Friday, ABC) is Disney World (shown here) – exactly 50 years after its Oct. 1, 1971 opening. Also (9 p.m. Friday, PBS) is the Kennedy Center, which started Sept. 8, 1971; performers include Renee Fleming, Keb’ Mo’ and Kelli O’Hara. Read more…

Top-10 for season’s first week: busy start to new season

1) “NCIS: Hawaii” debut, 10 p.m. today, CBS. Yes, the TV world has too many spin-offs and reboots. This one, however, gets it right. It starts with great Hawaiian backdrops and a likable star, Vanessa Lachey (shown here), as the bureau chief. Then it surrounds her with strong support; Alex Tarrant, a New Zealand actor with Maori roots, is especially good as the team’s only native Hawaiian. The stories are also solid; that starts with a mysterious plane crash that leads to confrontations with dangerous outsiders. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 12: End of summer brings reality finals

1) “America’s Got Talent” finale, 8-10 p.m. Tuesday and 9-11 p.m. Wednesday, NBC. Singers use to dominate this ratings-leader, winning the championship in five of the first six years. Since then, however, they’ve only won two of nine. This year’s final-10 has three singers and a nurses’ chorus, plus two comedians, two magicians, an acrobat and a taekwondo team. The youngest is Victory Brinker (shown here), 9, a singer; the oldest is comedian Josh Blue, 42, who has already won a “Last Comic Standing” title. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 6 dominated by 9/11 and Annaleigh

1) “Race Against Time: The CIA and 9/11,” 8-10 p.m. Friday, CBS. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks (shown here), there will be a surge of new films, alongside strong reruns. “Detainee 001” is a so-so look at the American captured with the Taliban; it’s 9 p.m. Friday on Showtime, preceded at 8 by a new report from Afghanistan. Also Friday: History has “9/11: The Legacy” at 7 p.m. and “Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center” at 8. And Vice has “Too Soon: Comedy After 9/ll,” from 8-10 p.m. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 30: country fun, 9/11 despair

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

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 23: from 9/11 pain to reality fun

1) “9/11: One Day in America,” 9-10:30 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic, rerunning at 11:30; continues Aug. 30-31. Here’s the start of six hours of riveting television. In a three-year project, people dug through 950 hours of film from Sept. 11, 2001(shown here) and added fresh interviews. There are deep waves of tragedy, of course, but also surprising bursts of feel-good stories. This is human nature at its best – heroism and stoic survival, mixed in with bursts of sheer luck. The stories are beautifully related. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 16: zombies, videos and Dr. Phil

1) “The Walking Dead,” 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC, rernning at 11:07p.m., 12:14 a.m., more. After a long delay, this ratings-leader starts its final season. It’s a long one – eight episodes now, then a break, with 16 more coming. The last new episode (16 months ago) will rerun at 7:52 p.m., with the final battle with the Whisperers. Now a food-gathering mission fails; Maggie proposes a dangerous plan that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, shown here must lead. Then a fierce storm forces them into a subway tnnnel filled, of course, with zombies. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 9: Post-Olympic surge of openers

1) “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” season-opener, 8 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC. Some 16 months after the seventh season ended, the eighth and final one arrives, as part of NBC’s post-Olympics surge. It will be brief (just 10 episodes), but welcome. The early seasons were awash in praise – the show won two Golden Globes and was nominated for two Television Critics Association awards and 11 Emmys. As this season starts, Amy is returning from maternity leave and her husband Jake (they’re shown here) is working a case with Rosa. Then Captain Holt creates a weekend getaway. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Aug. 2: a little romance, a lotta sports

1) “The Bachelorette,” 8-10 p.m. today, ABC. A week before the finale, there’s lots of work to do. Last week, Michael Allio – 36, a widower and the only remaining contestant older than Katie Thurston (shown here), 30 – quit after a tender talk with his son, who missed him. That leaves Blake Moynes, 30, a Canadian wildlife manager and two sales guys, Greg Grippo, 27, and Justin Glaze, 26. Still remaining are the hometown visits and the nights when each guy is invited to an overnight date; usually, the guy says yes. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for July 26: Lotsa Olympics, lotsa alternatives

1) Olympics. For two more weeks, the Olympics dominate on NBC, cable, Peacock and online (www.nbcolympics.com). American audiences are especially big on swimming (shown here), which continues through Sunday, and gymnastics, which keeps going: The team finals are today (men) and Tuesday (women); the individual all-around titles are Wednesday (men) and Thursday (women). Then, on Sunday, individuals start competing per-specialty. Also, the track-and-field events finally start Friday. Read more…