David vs. Goliath on ‘Survivor,’ ‘Single Parents,’ ‘South Park’ Welcomes ‘Bojack Horseman’
A critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Survivor (8/7c, CBS): It will be a battle of underdogs (the “David” tribe) vs. alpha warriors (the “Goliath” tribe) as 20 new castaways square on the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji for the 37th round of the undying reality competition. In the 90-minute premiere, a cyclone stirs things up further en route to the first of many eliminations. Players include a robotics scientist, truck driver and MMA fighter on the “David” team, with a pro wrestler, S.W.A.T. officer and filmmaker Mike White among the Goliaths.
Single Parents (9:30/8:30c, ABC): Some funny folks — Saturday Night Live veteran Taran Killam, Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brad Garrett, and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester — work too hard to brighten the evening’s one new sitcom, about (you saw it coming) snarky single parents who get over their own exhaustion to collectively rescue a hopelessly doting and pathetically lonely Mr. Mom overplayed by Killam. The show’s writing talent (led by New Girl’s Liz Meriwether and JJ Philbin) suggests there may be more to this than the pilot promises. We hope so.
South Park (10/9c, Comedy Central): How best to complement the 22nd season premiere of the outrageous animated sitcom? Import the groundbreaking and very adult show-biz satire Bojack Horseman (10:30/9:30c) from Netflix, making its linear-TV debut after five acclaimed seasons on the streaming service.
Wall-to-Wall Chicago: You’ll have to wait until next Wednesday for the season’s first three-way crossover, but fans of Dick Wolf’s Chicago procedurals are in for a weekly wallow as all three series stack up for a Windy City smorgasbord. Chicago Med (8/7c) opens its fourth season with Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) clashing with the hospital’s new COO (Heather Headley). Trendsetting Chicago Fire (9/8c) picks up its seventh season several months after Gabby (departed cast member Monica Raymund) left husband Casey (Jesse Spencer) for a gig in Puerto Rico, and he’s taking it about as well as you’d expect. Chicago PD (10/9c) starts its sixth year with Voight (Jason Beghe) suspended and Antonio (Jon Seda) taking charge, but not without challenges to his authority. And tainted heroin leads to ODs on Chicago’s meaner streets.
Inside Wednesday TV: ABC’s The Goldbergs (8/7c) tips its hat to another John Hughes classic in the sixth-season opener, as Adam (Sean Giambrone) channels his inner Molly Ringwald when the family is too busy to acknowledge his 16th birthday… Fox’s Empire (8/7c) jumps ahead two years following the hostile takeover of Empire by Eddie Barker (Forest Whitaker), as the scattered Lyon family scramble to reclaim their position in the music industry. Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) first move: sign a hot new singer/rapper, Treasure (Kaitlynn Simone)… There’s real-life medical drama in PBS’s Nova: Transplanting Hope (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org), which follows the stories of transplant patients, donor families and researchers trying to cope with an organ sho