Nothing quite announces the arrival of fall TV similar to the opening game of the NFL season (7:20 p.m., NBC). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys in television’s most-watched spectacle.
Another sign of autumn, the “CBS Fall Preview” (8 p.m.) showcases the network’s new shows. Technically, all two of them. “Ghosts,” premiering Oct. 7, is about a young married couple who move out of New York to a vast estate, only to discover it’s filled with the spirits of past inhabitants only the wife, Samantha (Rose McIver), can see. So, 21 years into the 21st century, CBS basically has reinvented “Topper,” a TV comedy that ran from 1953-55, itself based on a 1937 film and its sequels.
CBS’s other new fall offering is “The Activist,” a reality competition emphasizing global citizenship. It premieres Oct. 22.
Otherwise, look for reboots of old series, including “CSI: Vegas.” Wasn’t that where the original took place? There’s “FBI: International” and “NCIS: Hawaii,” too. Between the FBI, CSI, NCIS, SEALs and S.W.A.T., it’s acronyms galore on CBS.
• How do you introduce a series about a crime family? “Kin,” the Irish drama now streaming its first three episodes on AMC+, kicks off with a bit of a party. It only feels like a wake. It’s a party for a prodigal son returning home from prison. Mom’s not too sure about entertaining. Is that why she’s locked up in the bathroom snorting white powder? Who gave her the black eye she’s sporting?
Contrast this to “Goodfellas,” where a mob milieu’s ring-a-ding-ding glamour is seen through the wide eyes of a child who always wanted to be a gangster, or “The Godfather,” which so artfully introduces the family at a wedding. In an entertainment world filled with choices, petty drug dealers are not necessarily the first characters you gravitate toward — particularly when first encountered under grim circumstances. “Kin” is very similar to “Gangs of London” — dark, violent and fairly charmless.
But some might gravitate to “Kin” for the cast alone. Look for Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”) as Frank Kinsella, the shaky patriarch of a family getting squeezed out by a more powerful clan. Ciaran Hinds (“Game of Thrones”) is Eamon Cunningham, the gruff rival who tells Frank to get with the program, with full knowledge he won’t. “Kin” also stars Charlie Cox, who played a former IRA member in “Boardwalk Empire.”
• Sundance premieres “True Crime Story” (9 p.m., TV-14). The debut, “It Couldn’t Happen Here,” focuses on a murder that rocked a small Georgia town, a place with a tight community and very limited police resources.
The crime scene is as ordinary as they come — the parking lot of a Taco Bell where the night manager was shot in cold blood on her way to deposit the day’s receipts. Eyewitnesses point to a local troublemaker as a suspect and seem to have him dead to rights when he’s seen driving the blood-stained car of the victim. But not all first impressions are correct.
TONIGHT’S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
• A couple’s dream wedding is derailed by the groom’s cancer diagnosis in the 2020 tearjerker “All My Life” (7:15 p.m., HBO).
• Elephants mind their manners on “When Nature Calls With Helen Mirren” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• I’m generally not a fan of supernatural hogwash, but “Long Island Medium: In Memory of 9/11” (9 p.m., TLC) has got to set some new standard for bad taste.
A ballet dancer (Fred Astaire) and a showgirl (Ginger Rogers) arrange to be married for publicity’s sake, only to fall in love in the 1937 musical “Shall We Dance” (9:15 p.m., TCM, TV-G), co-starring the durable character actor Edward Everett Horton, whose voice later animated “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.”
Julie Chen hosts “Big Brother” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Four contestants make three dishes on “MasterChef” (7 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) ... “Holey Moley” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... An orphan seeks answers on “Coroner” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... On two helpings of “Call Me Kat” (Fox, r, TV-14): a free trip (8 p.m.); Sheila needs company (8:30 p.m.) ... Ominous portents on “The Outpost” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Vacation Bible school on “Young Sheldon” (8:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... A client disregards advice on “Bull” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... “The Hustler” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
Sarah Paulson and Kacey Musgraves are booked on “The Tonight Show” (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes John Cena and J Balvin to “The Tonight Show” (10:34 p.m., NBC) ... Amanda Peet and Paula Pell drop by “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:08 p.m., NBC).