Worth Watching: 'Bachelor' vs. 'America’s Got Talent: The Champions,' a New Look for 'Roadshow'
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
America’s Got Talent: The Champions (8/7c, NBC): Viewers clearly have an appetite for high-concept reality TV this winter, with strong opening numbers last week for Fox’s ridiculous The Masked Singer and NBC’s Dwayne Johnson-fueled The Titan Games. So hopes are high as NBC spins off its hit summer talent show with an international edition, featuring fan favorites from past seasons and breakouts from international versions of Talent. With Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews as host, 10 acts compete in the opening episode for judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. Two will advance to the finals: one with a Golden Buzzer, and another sent on by a panel of AGT super-fans.
The Bachelor (8/7c, ABC): The twice-yearly wallow in made-for-TV romance kicks off with a typically indulgent three-hour live special, featuring cutaways to “Bachelor Nation” viewing parties from across the party. (You know who you are.) Colton Underwood is the BMOC choosing among an initial gaggle of 30 hopefuls, who will be reduced to 23 by night’s end.
Antiques Roadshow (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Gearing up for its 23rd season of treasure hunting, PBS’s most popular ongoing series promises “an all-new look,” as it hits the road to visit historic venues. First stop: Rochester, Michigan, where valuables are appraised at Meadow Brook Hall, the estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson.
Inside Monday TV: Bounce’s new sitcom Last Call (9/8c) stars Charles Malik Whitfield as a debt-ridden ex-NFL player who opens a comedy club in the backroom of his last investment, a Baltimore bar… Oxford scholar Bettany Hughes hosts Smithsonian Channel’s Eight Days That Made Rome (9/8c), which takes a deep dive into eight days and events that defined the Roman Empire. The history tour starts with “Hannibal’s Last Stand,” revisiting Rome’s defeat of Carthage at the 202 B.C. Battle of Zama… For something lighter and sweeter, Food Network offers a new season of Kids Baking Championship (9/8c), with Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman leading a dozen young bakers, ages 9 to 13, through weekly challenges, starting with cupcakes. Followed by a new competition series, Winner Cake All (10/9c), hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, with cake-baking teams facing off in a Decoration Challenge based on a client’s theme, then the remaining teams moving on to a sculpted Cake Challenge.