What's On: An emergency on the home front kicks off the fifth and final season of 'Switched at Birth'

Matt Roush
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait for TV Guide Magazine

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actresses Katie Leclerc (L) and Vanessa Marano of the television show 'Switched At Birth' pose in the Getty Images Portrait Studio during Freeform's portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 10, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

Switched at Birth (9/8c, Freeform): The family drama I’ve long considered Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family’s) best begins its fifth and final season with soul sisters Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne (Katie Leclerc) on a sabbatical to China, which they decide to extend for a year—an impulse that will affect one of them in unexpected ways. But when a phone call alerts them to an emergency involving one of their nearest and dearest, it’s time to return home for another dose of the domestic and relationship drama Switched excels at. It’s remarkable how the series so naturally integrates its hearing-impaired and deaf cast members into the narrative flow. That achievement is likely to have an impact lasting long after the series ends its run this year. Also returning to Freeform: The Fosters (8/7c), with Jesus (Noah Centineo) fighting for his life after he’s rushed to the hospital following a fight.

This Is Us (9/8c, NBC): One of the best episodes to date of this breakout drama is repeated, in which the origins of the family’s unusual Thanksgiving traditions are explained in, as is This Is Us tradition, the most heartwarming and humorous way possible.

Frontline (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Take a respite from the battle over “fake news” with one of TV’s most respected news programs, which devotes an hour to the “Battle for Iraq.” The episode features two front-line reports from the brutal battle zone as troops attempt to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, with civilians often caught in the crossfire.

 Inside Tuesday TV: Bill Burr (F Is for Family) brings an unfiltered new set of stand-up comedy to Netflix in Walk Your Way Out. … One of sports broadcasting’s most familiar play-by-play announcers, Brent Musberger, calls his final game, Georgia at Kentucky, from Rupp Arena (9/8c, ESPN). … A new season of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods (9/8c) sends host Zimmern on the “Lewis and Clark Trail,” following the route of the historic explorers as he samples the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. … The first all-star team will be eliminated from the new season of Syfy’s Face Off (9/8c) after a challenging involving creating angel and devil characters.

 

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