TV best bets with returns of ‘Will & Grace,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘This is Us’

WILL & GRACE — Season: 1 — Pictured: (l-r) Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Eric McCormack as Will Truman, Debra Messing as Grace Adler, Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland — (Photo by: Andrew Eccles/NBC)

This was posted on Sunday, September 24, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

This covers Monday, September 25 through Sunday, October 1, 2017

It’s the week when the broadcast networks flood the zone with the returns of most of their big hits (“Empire,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” “This is Us,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Simpsons,” et. al).

Two shows of classic ilk are also coming back to life this week: NBC’s groundbreaking sitcom “Will & Grace” after an 11-year gap on Thursday, followed by HBO’s award-winning comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” after a six-year break.

A few newbies arrive as well, including a “Law & Order True Crime” take on the Menendez murders 28 years ago, a spinoff of “The Big Bang Theory” called “Young Sheldon” and a ghost comedy on Fox starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. Plus, Netflix is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Def Comedy Jam with a massive celebration with big-name stars on Tuesday.

MONDAY

“The Big Bang Theory” 8 p.m. CBS (11th season debut) — Amy gives Sheldon an answer to his marriage proposal.

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling were the best dancers last week.

“So You Think You Can Dance” 8 p.m. Fox (14th season finale) —The final four dancers show the judges and the country what they’ve got one last time before the winner is crowned.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC (13th season debut) — Jennifer Hudson is a new judge, joining Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

“Vietnam War” 8 p.m. GPB —Public support for the war declines, and American men of draft age face difficult decisions and wrenching moral choices.

“Young Sheldon” 8:30 p.m. CBS (new series) —Spin-off of “The Big Bang Theory” follows 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he grows up in East Texas and attends high school.

“Kevin Can Wait” 9 p.m. CBS (second season debut) — Kevin rushes to throw Kendra the perfect wedding.

“Me, Myself & I” 9:30 p.m. CBS (new series) — The life of Alex Riley is chronicled over the course of five decades, when he is 14, 40 and 65, as the single-camera comedy begins.

“The Brave” 10 p.m. NBC (new series) — Capt. Adam Dalton and his Special Ops squad respond when an American doctor is kidnapped by a group with terrorist ties.

“Scorpion” 10 p.m. CBS (fourth season debut) — Team Scorpion is forced to work with their old nemesis Mark Collins in order to prevent the extinction of mankind.

“The Good Doctor” 10:01 p.m. ABC (new series) — Shaun relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital.

TUESDAY

“Def Comedy Jam 25” 3:01 a.m. Netflix — Stars such as Dave Chappelle, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan fete the comedy institution.

“Difficult People” 3:01 a.m. Hulu (third season finale) — Amy Poehler guest stars.

“Celebrity Family Feud” 8 p.m. ABC — Cynthia Bailey vs. Kandi Burruss.

“Lethal Weapon” 8 p.m. Fox (second season debut) —Murtaugh follows Riggs down to Mexico.

“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS (15th season debut) —NCIS team tirelessly searching for Gibbs and McGee two months after they were last seen fighting an elusive group of rebels in a Paraguay jungle.

“Vietnam War” 8 p.m. GPB —With morale plummeting in Vietnam, President Nixon begins withdrawing American troops.

“Dancing With the Stars” 9 p.m. ABC (two-hour results show) — Another elimination happens tonight.

“The Mick” 9 p.m. Fox (second season debut) — Mickey and the kids are forced to downgrade from their temporary residence at a hotel after their financial advisor cuts them off due to excessive spending.

“This is Us” 9 p.m. NBC (second season debut) — Randall and Beth debate on a life change.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” 9:30 p.m. Fox (fifth season debut) — Jake and Rosa assimilate to their new lives behind bars.

“American Horror Story” 10 p.m. FX — The title is “11/9,” a nightmarish date for most Democrats last year.

“NCIS: New Orleans” 10 p.m. CBS (fourth season debut) — Pride is still on probation six weeks after his rogue takedown of the corrupt Mayor Hamilton.

“Law & Order True Crime” 10 p.m. NBC (new series) — Scripted version of the Menendez murders.

WEDNESDAY

“Vietnam War” 8 p.m. GPB — South Vietnamese forces fighting on their own in Laos suffer a terrible defeat.

“The Blacklist” 8 p.m. NBC (fifth season debut) — Red—whose criminal empire is in ruins—enlists Liz in an unlikely plan to simultaneously earn cash and deliver a new Blacklister to the Task Force.

“Empire” 8 p.m. Fox (fourth season debut) — Lucious makes his first public appearance since the explosion in Las Vegas to help celebrate Empire’s 20th anniversary, but still has no memory of his family, Empire or his life before the accident. Yes, “Empire” has pulled the amnesia card.

“The Goldbergs” 8 p.m. ABC (fifth season debut) — Erica heads to college and Beverly sleeps over in the dorm because she has trouble letting go.

“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS (35th season debut) — Eighteen castaways arrive in Fiji and are divided into three tribes of six based on how they are perceived by others, as either heroes, healers or hustlers.

“Speechless” 8:30 p.m. ABC (second season debut) — The family make changes toward self-improvement.

“Law & Order: SVU” 9 p.m. NBC (19th season debut) — Fin crosses international borders to catch a fugitive rapist.

“Modern Family” 9 p.m. ABC (ninth season debut) — The family go on a houseboat vacation at Jay’s behest.

“Seal Team” 9 p.m. CBS (new series) — Elite Navy SEALs navigate their personal and professional lives as they train, plan and execute dangerous, high-stakes missions.

“Star” 9:01 p.m. Fox (second season debut) — Star goes to great lengths to assure that the group gets a release date for their album while still dealing with the repercussions of Hunter’s death.

“Greenleaf” 10 p.m. OWN — The tensions in Zora and Isaiah’s relationship come to a head at the cotillion.

“Chicago PD” 10 p.m. NBC (fifth season debut) — The district is in a state of change.

“Criminal Minds” 10 p.m. CBS (13th season debut) — Agent Matt Simmons, an ex-Delta soldier and former International Response Team member, joins the BAU.

“Designated Survivor” 10 p.m. ABC (second season debut)  — Ukrainian nationalists hijack a Russian Air flight, leading to a hostage situation in which the president’s diplomatic skills are put to the test.

THURSDAY

“Gotham” 8 p.m. Fox — Under pressure to prove that the GCPD is still powerful, Gordon attempts to bring in Jonathan Crane.

“Grey’s Anatomy” 8 p.m. ABC (14th season debut) — Owen’s sister receives help from Meredith and the team.

“Superstore” 8 p.m. NBC (third season debut) — The Cloud 9 employees rush to finish re-building the store in time for its grand re-opening.

“The Vietnam War” 8 p.m. GPB (first season finale) — The Watergate scandal rivets Americans’ attention and forces President Nixon to resign.

“The Good Place” 8:30 p.m. NBC (time slot debut) — Michael continues to work out the kinks in his grand plan; and Eleanor stumbles across a secret.

“Will & Grace” 9 p.m. NBC (ninth season debut) — Will and Grace both falter when their political beliefs are put to the test.

“Project Runway” 9 p.m. Lifetime — Atlanta’s Kenya Freeman has finished in the top three four out of six challenges but has yet to win one.

“The Orville” 9 p.m. Fox — Ed and the Orville crew encounter a massive vessel adrift in space, which is in danger of colliding with a star.

“Chicago Fire” 10 p.m. NBC (sixth season debut) — Most of the squad is still trapped inside the warehouse fire and Chief Boden makes a risky last-minute decision in an effort to save them.

“How to Get Away With Murder” 10 p.m. ABC (fourth season debut) — Annalise returns to her family home to pick up the pieces of her life.

FRIDAY

“The Big Mouth” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — The glorious nightmare that is teenaged puberty with John Mulaney lending his voice to the character of Andrew.

“Tin Star” 3:01 a.m. Amazon (new series) — A tale of the corruption of innocence, of murder, of grief and of all consuming revenge starring Tim Roth and Christina Hendrick.

“Hell’s Kitchen 8 p.m. Fox (17th season debut)  The show’s first all-star edition.

“MacGyver 8 p.m. CBS (second season debut) MacGyver, using a cell phone and a soccer ball, searches for a Navy SEAL who is believed to be alive in captivity in the Middle East.

“Marvel’s Inhumans 8 p.m. ABC (new series) — A divisive conflict erupts between Black Bolt and Maximus, brothers with different visions for the future of their people.

“Active Shooter 9 p.m. Showtime (new series) The 2012 mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater is examined.

“Hawaii Five-O 9 p.m. CBS (eighth season debut) — McGarrett and Danny recruit Tani Rey to join the task force. (Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park quit over salaries so their characters are gone.)

“The Exorcist” 9:01 p.m. Fox (second season debut)Father Tomas continues his training to become an exorcist under the watchful eye of his partner Marcus Keane. John Cho joins the cast.

“Blue Bloods” 10 p.m. CBS (eighth season debut) — Danny contemplates retirement until Erin enlists him to help her with a case involving her ex-husband.

WEEKEND

“Cake Boss” 8 tonight TLC (ninth season debut) — A tribute to Buddy’s mother, Mary Valastro (1948-2017).

“Iyanla Fix My Life” 9 tonight OWN (seventh season debut) — Turk, of Hot Boys fame, and his wife Erica are struggling to save their marriage from Turk’s deep-seeded paranoia.

“Saturday Night Live” 11:29 tonight NBC (43rd season debut) — Ryan Goslin hosts.

“The Simpsons” 8 p.m. Sunday Fox (29th season debut) — It’s a magical medieval world where Marge’s mother is turned into an Ice Walker and the only way for Homer to afford the cure is to force Lisa to use illegal magic.

“Shark Tank” 8 p.m. Sunday ABC (ninth season debut) — Richard Branson sits in with the sharks and vents his frustration with Mark Cuban in the first half of this combined episode.

“Outlander” 8 p.m. Sunday Starz — Jamie serves as a groomsman at Helwater.

“Ghosted” 8:30 p.m. Sunday Fox  (new series) —A key member of a top secret government agency goes missing, so cynical former detective Leroy and genius “true believer” Max are recruited to find him.

“Wisdom of the Crowd” 8:30 p.m. Sunday CBS (new series) — A Silicon Valley tech innovator creates a cutting-edge, crowd-sourcing platform for publicly shared information he is certain will find his daughter’s killer and revolutionize crime solving in the process.

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknwon” 9 p.m. Sunday CNN (10th season debut) —Bourdain tours the historically rich streets of Singapore and immerses himself in the vast array of multicultural foods found throughout this island city-state

“The Deuce” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — Rudy dangles an offer in front of Vincent.

“Family Guy” 9 p.m. Sunday Fox (15th season debut) — Peter, who’s tired of not winning an Emmy, embarks on his own “For Your Consideration” campaign for “Family Guy” by making the show more like Emmy-winning shows—and no category is off limits.

“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC—With the Ranchers trapped and without hope, Alicia is thrust into a position of leadership, where she’s forced to make life-changing decisions.

“Keeping Up With the Kardashians” 9 p.m. Sunday E! (14th season debut) — Some folks are still actually keeping up with them..

“The Last Ship” 9 p.m. Sunday TNT — An undercover mission in the land of the dead leads to disturbing revelations about Dr. Vellek’s sinister plans.

“The Last Man On Earth” 9:30 p.m. Sunday Fox (fourth season debut) —Pamela finds her place within the group as they all set sail for Mexico.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” 9:30 p.m. Sunday CBS (ninth season debut) —Hetty turns in retirement papers and disappearing.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” 10 p.m. Sunday HBO (ninth season debut) —Larry offends Jeff’s barber, tries to get rid of an inept assistant and gets into hot water over a new project.

“Ten Days in the Valley” 10 p.m. Sunday ABC (new series) — Jane’s young daughter goes missing in the midst of Jane’s tempestuous separation from her husband.


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