Best-bets for Sept. 20: Season-finale reruns on CBS

1) “Magnum P.I.” (shown here), 9 p.m., CBS. A week before their season-openers, all three CBS shows rerun their season-finales – big, busy ones. In this case, Magnum’s ex-girlfriend (Jordana Brewster) arrives. It’s not a cheery reunion because: a) She has a gunshot wound; b) She needs a favor; and c) She’s the reason Magnum and his SEAL team became POW’s. Read more…

Here’s the schedule for the big-four networks

It’s time for TV’s four big broadcast networks to have their turn.
In one crowded week (starting Monday, Sept. 23). they’ll launch of of their fall shows. That includes 13 of their 16 new shows, starting with the low-key charm of “Bob (hearts) Abishola” (shown here); the others arrive a week later.
Here, subject to change, are the daily line-ups. We’ll have separate stories on CW, when it starts two weeks later. And stories on the others – PBS, cable, streaming – are ongoing. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 19: Salutes to “Good Place,” “Downton”

1) “The Paley Center Salutes: The Good Place,” 9 p.m., NBC. The trouble with great shows is that they insist on staying great. They end early, while bland shows go on forever. “Good Place” (shown here) — wonderfully weird show, richly imaginative – plans to end after this season, which is only its fourth. It started with four undeserving people seemingly getting an ideal afterlife … then kept twisting and re-twisting. This special was originally set for 8 p.m., then moved to 9 … exactly a week before its season-opener. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 18: Cash soars; “Talent’ has a winner

1) “Country Music,” 8 p.m. (rerunning at 10), PBS. When Johnny Cash (shown here) left the Air Force, he had no clear plan. He was an Arkansas guy, newly married to a Texan he’d met during training. After moving to Memphis, where his brother lived, he was a bad salesman and an aspiring musician. He learned from a black bluesman and eventually met Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and more. That story – plus others, including the rise of Patsy Cline – wraps up the first half of Ken Burns’ brilliant, two-week series. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 17: Last chance for “Talent” ten

1) “America’s Got Talent” finals, 8-10:01 p.m., NBC. The 10 finalists get one more chance to impress us. Then viewers vote; on Wednesday, the show will have its 14th champion. There are lots of singers – Kodi Lee, Emanne Beasha and Benicio Bryant, plus the Detroit Youth Choir (shown here), the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Voices of Service. But there’s also variety — comedian Ryan Niemiller, violinist Tyler Butler-Figuera and two dance groups, the acrobatic V.Unbeatable and the light-up Light Balance Kids. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 16: “Dance” ends, “Dancing” starts

1) “So You Think You Can Dance” finale, 8-10 p.m., Fox. As usual, this started with a rich blend of genres, from tap and ballroom to salsa and hip-hop. And as usual, contemporary dancers fill most of the final four. There are three – Sophie Pittman and Mariah Russell, from Tennessee, and Gino Cosculluela from Miami. The lone exception is Bailey Munoz, who’s a “b-boy” or breakdancer from Las Vegas. Read more…

No-host Emmys? Maybe a no-fun evening

This year’s Emmy telecast will have lots of hosts – smart, slick, funny ones.
It’s just that … well, none of them will be hosting. No one will.
Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert have all been witty award-show hosts;  Billy Porter (shown here) would be another good one. This time, alas, they’re merely presenters. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 15: Brilliant “Country Music” begins

1) “Country Music,” 8 p.m., PBS, rerunning at 10. Over eight nights and 16-plus hours, Ken Burns’ brilliant documentary will watch country music transform, while scrambling to keep its roots. The later chapters will include lots of first-person stories and TV clips; this opener, however, settles for old photos, second-hand accounts and great narration. In 1927, a New York producer set up recording sessions in Bristol, Tenn; Jimmie Rodgers (shown here) and the Carter family came, giving country a great start. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Sept. 16: Finale overload

1) “America’s Got Talent” finals, 8-10:01 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, NBC. The 10 finalists perform Tuesday and viewers vote; on Wednesday, the show will have its 14th champion. As usual, there are lots of singers – Kodi Lee, Emanne Beasha and Benicio Bryant, plus three groups, the Detroit Youth Choir, the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Voices of Service. They face comedian Ryan Niemiller, violinist Tyler Butler-Figuera and two dance groups, the acrobatic V.Unbeatable (shown here) and the Light Balance Kids. Read more…