It’s almost here… can you feel it? New shows, and new episodes of returning shows, arrive next week on Fox (which starts its season early due to preemptions for baseball playoff games on October). The rest of the networks follow a week later. Meanwhile there’s still a decent amount of entertaining viewing on this week, particularly on PBS.
Monday, September 9
Million Second Quiz (8-9 pm, NBC)
If you aren’t yet sick of the sight of Ryan Seacrest on your TV, you may want to tune into this 10-night live game show event. If you are interested enough to keep watching, you should know that it will air every night at 8 (except Sunday), through next Thursday the 19th.
Tuesday, September 10
American Masters: Billie Jean King (8-9:30 pm, PBS)
One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Ms. King is as notable for her playing career as for her efforts to promote and enhance equality for women in sports and in other areas of our civic life. She is the first sports figure to be profiled on American Masters.
Wednesday, September 11
NOVA (8-9 pm, PBS)
This is still a difficult day for many people, and will always be. NOVA begins its 41st season by choosing to look forward with “Ground Zero Supertower,” about the completion of construction of the new One World Trade Center and the work on the National September 11 Memorial Museum below ground on the same site.
Thursday, September 12
Burn Notice (9-10 pm, USA)
After seven seasons, Burn Notice concludes with what is sure to be a tense and action-filled episode. Word from USA is that “one beloved character will not survive,” so start your death pools now. There has been talk of a Sam-and-Jesse spinoff, and denying viewers some sort of closure or reconciliation to Michael and Fiona’s troubled relationship would be terribly unsatisfying, so my guess is Michael’s mother Madeline will be sacrificed.
Also tonight, the Patriots welcome their favorite divisional
doormat rival the Jets (remember last year’s Thanksgiving game?) in their home opener at 8:25 pm on NFL Network (also carried on local station WCVB channel 5 for the cable-less).
Friday, September 13
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (8-10:30 pm, Encore)
Encore is in the midst of one of its periodic James Bond movie blowouts (every night at 8 for the entire month of September). 1969’s OHMSS is one of the least-seen, probably because it was the first without Sean Connery, but in my opinion it’s one of the better efforts of the entire series, with a memorable performance by Telly Savalas (one of several actors to portray archvillian Blofeld).
Saturday, September 14
Orphan Black (10-11 pm, BBC America)
One of the most under-the-radar shows to premiere this year had one of the most talked-about performances. Many people did not hear about Tatiana Maslany’s brilliant work as half a dozen different clone characters until the show had concluded its first season run, so BBC America has wisely decided to fill some Saturday night airtime with an encore of the first season. If you missed it, now’s your chance to check it out and catch up. I wish more channels would do this with noteworthy shows.
Sunday, September 15
Masterpiece Mystery (9-10:30 pm, PBS)
Foyle’s War, one of the more enduring Masterpiece Mystery franchises, returns tonight for its seventh season. The Eternity Ring, the first of three installments, finds Foyle back in London after the end of World War II, working for MI5 investigating a possible Russian spy network.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
This 1970s disco classic became available on Netflix streaming this month and is definitely worth a look, especially if you have never seen it. It’s difficult to overstate what a gigantic cultural event this movie was when it was released. While not a great movie, it’s a fairly honest and at times unpleasant look at the lives of young people with limited options for their futures that has earned its place in pop-culture history. Featuring a shockingly young John Travolta in one of his best roles, SNF is an authentic cultural artifact of its era.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)