Worth Watching: 'Yellowstone' Finale, Animal Babies on PBS, 'Jay Leno's Garage'
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Yellowstone (10/9c, Paramount Network): Having established itself as a bona fide summer hit, the dark family Western wraps its second season with a manhunt — make that boyhunt — as the Duttons and the ranch hands desperately search for little boy Tate (Brecken Merrill) — also known as Grandpa John's (Kevin Costner) favorite — whose disappearance is almost certainly tied to the Duttons' feud with the merciless Beck brothers. This isn't going to end well for somebody. More family and fatherly ties are examined as the great character actor Dabney Coleman guests as John Dutton Sr., presumably in flashbacks.
From murders to kidnapping, things got wild for the Duttons and the rest of the drama's characters.
Animal Babies: First Year on Earth (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Even the fiercest of God's creatures are adorable at birth, and it's hard to imagine any nature fan resisting this three-part BBC co-production. Animal Babies is the product of four top wildlife cinematographers, capturing the first year in the lives of six animals over four continents, as they learn to adapt to their often-challenging environments. Among the babes in the sometimes literal woods taking "First Steps" in the opening episode during their first three months of existence: elephant Safina in Kenya, infant toque macaque Jazir, Limpet the southern sea otter, Arctic fox Fela, hyena sisters Bisque and Chowder, also in Kenya (hopefully not bedeviling the elephant herd), and Nyakabara, a Ugandan mountain gorilla.
Jay Leno's Garage (10/9c, CNBC): The former Tonight Show host isn't joking when it comes to driving. In the "Tough Enough" premiere of a new eight-episode season, Leno experiences some pretty rough rides, testing guest Kevin Hart's mettle when they take off in an outrageous off-road vehicle. Then he heads out with storm-chaser Reed Timmer in his "Dominator" storm-proof contraption, racing against a jet airplane. And then Leno meets injured veterans who take on high-speed racing challenges as part of their rehabilitation.
The Oscar-winning screenwriter/playwright who created the series talks about specific choices he made in shaping the show, working with Phylicia Rashad and more.
Inside Wednesday TV: As Fox's show-within-a-show BH90210 (8/7c) continues on its path to reboot the original series, the cast's jubilation over the group photo crashes to earth once the first table read reveals (shocker!) major issues in the script… The ninth and final season of Investigation Discovery's Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda (9/8c) begins with Kenda's account of reopening a cold case after three years and discovering the possible pattern of a serial killer… Ruben Santiago-Hudson guests on OWN's moving coming-of-age drama David Makes Man (10/9c) as a clinical psychiatrist taking the measure of young David (Akili McDowell), whose inner thoughts we observe as he walks the doctor through his day. A school project brings David closer to understanding the home life of his classmate Seren (Nathanial McIntyre), while flashbacks give us a clearer picture of David's single mom, Gloria (Alana Arenas).