Best-bets for Sept. 30: “Hocus,” Hulu, Hispanic Heritage

1) “Hispanic Heritage Awards,” 9 p.m., PBS. Ariana DuBose (shown here in hosting “Saturday Night Live”) – who won an Emmy and more for her great “West Side Story” work – will be honored again, this time with Los Lobos, Daddy Yankee and more. Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) hosts and has music from Carlos Vives, Julieta Venegas, Aymee Nuviola, Bozi, Robi and Hector Tellez Jr. There’s more music at 10, with a rerun of Sheila E’s “Roots of Latin Jazz.” Read more…

October brings fresh take on vampire saga

As October begins, TV re-discovers its interest in all things creepy.
It’s time for more “Chucky,” more “Halloween,” more vampires and zombies and such. For most networks, this is a seasonal blip; for AMC, it’s a way of life.
On Halloween of 2010, the network introduced the zombies of “The Walking Dead.” That’s continued for 11 seasons and several spin-offs. It returns now, to air its final eight episodes at 9 p.m. Sundays – each one followed by an “Interview With the Vampire” (shown here) episode.
This is “the largest and most significant effort we’ve ever embarked on,” network chief Dan McDermott told the Television Critics Association. “We’re building around the iconic works of Anne Rice. We purchased 18 books.” Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 29: fun with Todd, Kat and Earn

1) “So Help Me Todd” (shown here) debut, 9 p.m., CBS. This is the sort of show TV needs now – light and bright, with a case solved each episode. Margaret (Marcia Gay Harden) is a lawyer, careful and diligent; her son Todd (Skylar Astin) is a private eye, freeform and free-lance. He’s also out-of-work, out of options and living in his sister’s garage. When his mom hires him, a great contrast begins. The next two episodes get a bit goofy, but this opener is first-rate. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 28:two finales and expanded reality shows

1) “Resident Alien” season-finale, 10 p.m., Syfy. This terrific show slides easily between humor, drama and, occasionally, sci-fi action. Last week, the action dominated, as the alien (shown here in his human form as Harry) broke into the general’s complex and rescued the alien baby – which coughed up a piece needed to destroy all Earthlings. Now it’s drama time, as “Harry” decides our future. Add “Reservation Dogs” (see “News and Quick Comments”) and you have season-finales of two terrific shows. Read more…

Two terrific shows wrap their seasons

In the midst of TV’s fall-season fuss, two of the best summer shows have season-finales.
Each show wraps up its second season Wednesday (Sept. 28) and has been renewed for a third. Each is worth catching … and worth finding previous episodes, via streamers. They are:
— “Resident Alien,” at 10 p.m. on Syfy, and then on Peacock. Now that he’s rescued the alien baby, Harry must decide whether to destroy all Earthlings. He kind of likes some of them.
— “Reservation Dogs” (shown here) on Hulu. The friends are finally ready for their pilgrimage to California. Read more…

Life transforms, among the wooly mammoths

(Interesting little story about the amputee actress from Michigan who co-stars in “La Brea,” which starts its second season Tuesday, Sept. 27, on NBC. This works any time, print or Web. As with any of my stories, feel free to share it with other Gannett papers in Michigan.)

By Mike Hughes
As the second “La Brea” season begins, Zyra Gorecki’s world transforms.
She’s the Michigan actress who plays Izzy, a teen who spent the first season simply being a victim. Izzy had lost her leg in an accident … lost connection with her dad because of his emotional turmoil … then lost her mom, who was swallowed by a giant sinkhole, ending up in 10,000 BC.
As the second season starts (9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, on NBC and then on Peacock), some of that has changed. Izzy and her dad plunged into an alternate sinkhole, ending up in prehistoric Seattle.
“It was really weird just thinking about, like being in 10,000 BC and having a fake leg and all of the garbage that goes with it,” Gorecki said. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 27: a bright start for “Feds”

1) “The Rookie: Feds” debut, 10 p.m., ABC. A former guidance counselor, Simone (Niecy Nash, shown here) became the oldest grad at Quantico, the FBI school. After helping Nolan (who shows up briefly here) in two “Rookie” episodes, she’s ready something big. Instead, she’s pointed to a desk job. Naturally, she ducks it. This is a brisk, bright-eyed episode that lets Nash have fun, while catching some bad guys. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 26: Lee leaps between shows

1) “Kevin Can F Himself,” 9 p.m., AMC, and “Quantum Leap,” 10 p.m., NBC. For tonight and two more weeks, Raymond Lee is the king of Mondays. On NBC, he’s the star, leaping into strangers’ bodies; tonight, he’s aboard a space shuttle. On AMC (shown here), his marriage crumbles during his affair with Allison — who plans to fake her death to escape her husband. “Kevin” juggles deliberately bad sitcom and solid drama; it has some pivotal scenes late in this hour. Read more…

“Bridgerton” flashes back to a young queen

So there will be a new Queen Charlotte, after all.
This one isn’t in England (where the real Princess Charlotte is further back in the heir-apparent list). It’s in the fictional world of “Bridgerton.”
The first two seasons (still available on Netflix) had Golda Rosheuvel (shown here) as the old — and rather grumpy — queen. Now, however, news comes of the prequel. Read more…

The new season: Here’s an updated overview

(The new season is half-way here now. It officially began Sept. 19, but several shows will wait until early October; one new one arrives Nov. 4. With that in mind, I’m keeping the new-season overview here at the top and updating it. Here are three stories that I posted earlier; the first two have been rewritten throughout.)
A new TV season is here now. It has a few shows and a lot of promos. What it lacks is the old blend of Hollywood hope, hype and a sense of something big.
There have been big things lately, but not on the broadcast networks, the ones that send out shows for free (with commercials) over the air.
A “Game of Thrones” prequel on HBO collided with a “Lord of the Rings” prequel (shown here) on Amazon Prime, both spending mega-money – reportedly $200 million for 10 HBO episodes, $465 million for eight Amazon ones. What’s a mere broadcast network to do? Not much; consider: Read more…