What's On: New ‘NCIS’ Team Member, ‘Middle’ Meets the Parents, In-Law Angst on ‘This Is Us,’ Patton Oswalt Gets Personal on Netflix

Matt Roush
Patrick Wymore/CBS

Maria Bello, Rocky Carroll.

A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:

NCIS (8/7c, CBS): You may not know Jack, but you soon will, when Maria Bello joins the team as Special Agent Jacqueline “Jack” Slaone, a forensic psychologist personally recruited by Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) to relocate from California. How she’ll fit in is anyone’s guess. (How fans will receive her is an even scarier proposition.) She arrives amid a storm that has knocked out power in Washington, D.C., complicating the search at sea for a kidnapped sailor.

The Middle (8/7c, ABC): As if Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) needed more opportunity for self-doubt, her anxiety goes into overdrive when she and Mike (Neil Flynn) are invited by Axl (Charlie McDermott) to meet his girlfriend Lexie’s (Daniela Bobadilla) wealthy parents, played by the glamorous likes of guest stars Lisa Rinna and Gregory Harrison. Meanwhile, poor Brick (Atticus Shaffer) can’t get arrested at a Sophomore Slammer fundraiser, where getting arrested is the whole point.

This Is Us (9/8c, NBC): In another affecting episode of the hit drama, Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) recuperation from his injury on the film set triggers childhood flashbacks to a time when he and his sibs all contracted chicken pox during a snowstorm. Back in the day, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) counsels his son to “tough it out,” easier said than done for Rebecca (Mandy Moore), when her hypercritical mother (Weeds star Elizabeth Perkins) shows up to take charge. This week’s celebrity cameo: power producer Brian Grazer.

Inside Tuesday TV: Streaming highlight: Comedian Patton Oswalt reflects on the personal trauma of the death of his wife and how humor helped him work through the grief. He also takes on social media and politics in Netflix’s stand-up special Patton Oswalt: Annihilation. … He and his show got solid reviews, but ABC’s The Mayor (9:30/8:30c), aka Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall), learns he has a lousy approval rating, so it’s time to rethink the new job. … Two new comedies on AT&T’s Audience Network: Jason Alexander stars in Hit the Road (10/9c), an adults-only Partridge Family about a family seeking pop stardom as they travel in a tour bus. In Loudermilk (10:30/9:30c), Ron Livingston is the title character, a barely recovering alcoholic with a very bad attitude. … A visionary’s wacky version of a pioneering game show is rescued from obscurity with Shout! Factory’s 7-DVD release of Ernie Kovacs: Take a Good Look-The Definitive Collection, featuring the two-season run (1959-1961) of an anarchic guess-the-secret-guest format whose clues and format rarely made sense to participants or viewers. Just how the brilliant Kovacs liked it.

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