Worth Watching: 'Thrones' Master Finds His Roots, 'Good Trouble' on Freeform, History's 'Project Blue Book'
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Having traced the history of the Targaryens in his exhaustive Fire & Blood tome, George R.R. Martin subjects his own family tree to the scrutiny of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as the genealogy series returns for a compelling fifth season. Also learning new facts about his family’s history: Andy Samberg, who’s having quite the busy week, hosting the Golden Globes (ineffectually) on Sunday and returning for a sixth season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (to much better effect) on NBC Thursday.
Good Trouble (8/7c, Freeform): The spinoff of The Fosters follows sisters Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) five years later, graduating from college and moving to The Coterie, a community-style living space in downtown L.A. From this new home base, they start careers: Callie as a law clerk for a conservative federal judge (Roger Bart), and Mariana entering the male-oriented tech world.
Project Blue Book (10/9c, History) Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), as the Mulder of this fact-based X-Files knockoff, is the best reason to watch. Playing open-minded astrophysicist and professor J. Allen Hynek, he’s recruited by a shadowy government agency to investigate and debunk the “mass hysteria” of UFO sightings in the Cold War 1950s. Unfortunately, in dramatizing actual cases investigated by the covert military operation, this series often feels more like Close Encounters of the Familiar Kind, lacking suspense or surprise in by-the-book anecdotes of weird phenomena in the skies and sinister cover-ups on the ground.
Inside Tuesday TV: We knew him first as Skinner on The X-Files, and Mitch Pileggi is once again imposing his authority as Secretary of Defense Wynn Crawford on CBS’s NCIS (8/7c), where he shuts down Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) murder investigation and orders the arrest of McGee (Sean Murray) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama)… There’s more hard luck for ABC’s The Conners (8/7c), when Dan (John Goodman) is injured on the job, and suing the company responsible could cost D.J. (Michael Fishman) his own job… NBC ramps up its unscripted output with back-to-back episodes of the slapstick game show Ellen’s Game of Games (8/7c)… More “reality” on MTV’s Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club (8/7c), which finds the actress launching a new luxury getaway in Mykonos, Greece. There goes the neighborhood… BET’s Family Business (9/8c) returns with patriarch LC Duncan (Ernie Hudson) turning over the CEO reins to son Orlando (Darren DeWitt Henson), whose lucrative new venture makes the family business a target to foes old and new (Malik Yoba)… An underwater mystery is explored in PBS’s USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter (10/9c, check local listings at pbs.org), which follows Paul Allen’s expedition that located the wreckage of the fabled WWII cruiser in 2017. Torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese in 1945, the loss of the Indianapolis was one of the great U.S. tragedies of the war, with only 316 of nearly 1,200 sailors surviving the attack and harrowing aftermath.