Worth Watching: ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions, HBO’s ‘Dark Materials,’ ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Milestone, a ‘Prodigal’ Family Reunion, ‘Slings & Arrows’ on Acorn
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Jeopardy! (syndicated, check local listings): I’ll take “Anticipation” for $2,000, Alex! This year’s “Tournament of Champions,” continuing through Nov. 15, is an even bigger deal than usual because it marks the return of “Jeopardy James” Holzhauer, the sports gambler who became a sensation during his remarkable 32-game winning streak earlier this year, in which he set several single-day earning records with his aggressive play and impressive recall. Holzhauer makes his first appearance in the Wednesday quarterfinal, and the player who ended his run, Emma Boettcher, shows up on Thursday. Legendary host Alex Trebek presides over the all-star contest, which also features the winners of the college and teacher tournaments.
Antiques Roadshow (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): To celebrate the landmark 500th episode of the enduring series about hidden treasures, Roadshow relives and follows up on some of the show’s greatest moments, and discoveries, in an Extraordinary Finds special. The milestone hour features interview with familiar appraisers and well-remembered guests who reveal the fate of some of the items that made news — including a Navajo blanket declared a “national treasure” and a card table that became the series’ first six-figure find from a yard sale.
His Dark Materials (9/8c, HBO): Epic fantasy returns to HBO, although with a lighter tone than Game of Thrones, in a robust adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s YA trilogy. Dafne Keen is terrific as the series’ rambunctious and precocious teenage heroine, Lyra, raised as an orphan in a stuffy Oxford college and who sets off on a quest to rescue kidnapped children. James McAvoy co-stars as her dashing explorer uncle, Lord Asriel, and Ruth Wilson is appropriately sinister as the enigmatic Mrs. Coulter, who takes Lyra under her wing.
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): This edgy procedural has shown restraint in its use of wild card Michael Sheen as notorious serial killer Martin “the Surgeon” Whitly, but in this standout episode, Martin makes the most of his moment in the spotlight when daughter Aisnley (Halston Sage) sets up shop in his spacious cell for a TV interview. She’s none too thrilled when brother Malcolm (Tom Payne) arrives to consult about a new serial-killer case — which naturally sets off triggers regarding his troubled childhood — but when things quickly go south, it’s all hands on deck. Including Martin’s. Am I the only one getting Sweeney Todd vibes?
Inside Monday TV: You don’t have to love theater (though why wouldn’t you?) to adore Slings & Arrows, the delightful Canadian dramedy about a tempest-tossed Shakespearean festival. Acorn TV presents the delicious first season from 2003 for streaming, with a fabulous cast including Paul Gross as the festival’s combustible director, Superstore‘s Mark McKinney as its fretful manager, Luke Kirby as the American film star moonlighting as Hamlet, and Rachel McAdams as an ingenue. You won’t just binge, you’ll swoon. The second and third seasons will stream later this year… A sweet episode of CBS’s The Neighborhood (8/7c) marks the 30th wedding anniversary of Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) and Tina (Tichina Arnold), with neighbors Dave (Max Greenfield) and Gemma (Beth Behrs) helping plan the sort of romantic ceremony the couple never had — if Calvin doesn’t ruin things with his penny-pinching ways… Relive Athena’s (Angela Bassett) first days on the LAPD force with flashbacks to 1989 on Fox’s 9-1-1 (8/7c), when the officer discovers a murder weapon connected to a cold case with emotional ramifications… It’s time for Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) to perform his first solo surgery on ABC’s The Good Doctor (10/9c), but when he acts out to a nurse on duty, he imperils his entire residency.