“Project Runway” (8 p.m., Bravo, TV-PG) returns for its 19th season. Season 18 wrapped up in March 2020, just as COVID was beginning to shut down society. Wouldn’t it be nice to think of its return as a harbinger of better days?
Otherwise, it’s pretty much business as usual, as a gaggle of brash talent is set to work by judges Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell and Elaine Welteroth and mentor Christian Siriano.
It’s hard for me to think of “Runway” without recalling a classic scene from “Citizen Kane.” In a brilliant bit of editing, publisher Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) looks at a photo of the esteemed staff of the Chronicle, the top paper in town. The camera pulls away to reveal the identical group, six years later, sitting for a staff photo for the Inquirer, Kane’s upstart newspaper, which has hired them all.
It’s not nice to say “Runway” lost its mojo when mentor Tim Gunn and host Heidi Klum left for “Making the Cut,” a very similar series streaming on Amazon Prime, but it would be correct.
The very nature of reality television adds to the sense of depletion. The arriving contestants aren’t only talented, they’re people who have watched 18 previous seasons of “Runway.” It’s hard for them to sound like anything but imitations of previous incarnations. Their brash, self-promotional quips seem coached, copied and cliche.
“Runway” fixture Michael Kors left in 2012. The series bounced between Bravo and Lifetime, and its reputation has been shadowed by its long association with executive producer Harvey Weinstein. “Runway” isn’t merely “back,” it appears to be a show that just can’t be killed. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing.
• “Shark Tank” meets QVC on “America’s Big Deal” (8 p.m., USA, TV-PG). Competing entrepreneurs pitch their products to inventor and consumer cheerleader Joy Mangano. Viewers can buy these products through One Platform Commerce @NBCU. The contestant with the most sales by the end of the show is the winner and gets to land a deal with a major retailer.
• Four precocious youths host “The Kids Tonight Show,” promoted by Jimmy Fallon and streaming on Peacock.
TONIGHT’S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
• The Philadelphia Eagles host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL (7 p.m., Fox) action.
• Seattle sizzles on “Station 19” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• After eye surgery, a tough L.A. cop (former wrestler Dave Bautista) hires an Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani, “Silicon Valley”) to pursue drug dealers in the 2019 buddy-cop comedy “Stuber” (7 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
• Dr. Montgomery returns, full of advice, on “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• Bull’s feelings get in the way on “Bull” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
• Tubb overflows with advice on “Big Sky” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• Nandor is convinced to give up the life of the undead on “What We Do in the Shadows” (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
It’s been 30 years since the premiere of the 1991 coming-of-age drama “Boyz N the Hood” (8 p.m., BET, TV-14), starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King and Angela Bassett. John Singleton was nominated for a Best Director and Best Screenplay Oscar. He died in 2019.
More questions than answers on “Young Sheldon” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... On two episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, TV-14): angry neighbors (7 p.m., r); the arrest of sibling influencers blows up social media (8 p.m.) ... Evidence leads to a secluded spot on “Coroner” (7 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Riley becomes a difficult partner on “United States of Al” (7:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Unquiet graves on “Ghosts” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... Landon is not quite himself on the season four premiere of “Legacies” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Gina receives grim news on the second season premiere of “B Positive” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... Flutura’s plans become clear on “Law & Order: Organized Crime” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Bob Woodward, Robert Costa and Leon Bridges are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS, r) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Jamie Foxx, Jodie Comer and Tom Thakkar on “The Tonight Show” (10:34 p.m., NBC) ... Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani and Bleachers appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (10:35 p.m., ABC) ... James Spader, Beanie Feldstein and Tate McRae visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (11:37 p.m., NBC) ... Cobie Smulders and Regina Hall appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (11:37 p.m., CBS, r).