Worth Watching: A ‘Million’ Birthday, ‘Coach’ Back on ‘Sheldon,’ Weather Channel on Climate Change

ABC/Jack Rowand

A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:

A Million Little Things (9/8c, ABC): It’s hard to imagine a more adorable kid on TV than precocious and loving little Theo (Tristan Byon), whose 10th birthday also happens to be the 10th anniversary of his dad Eddie’s (David Giuntoli) sobriety. As the gang of friends gather to celebrate Theo’s big day, the event is clouded by his mom Katherine’s (Grace Park) determination to stop lying about Eddie and Delilah’s (Stephanie Szostak) love child, Charlie. The news, which all of the adults are in on, is being kept secret for the sake of their other kids, and this sticky triangle finds themselves in an impasse. Another delicate situation is brewing when Sophie (Lizzy Greene), who just got her license, brings along PJ (Chandler Riggs), who’s awaiting DNA results that could reveal he’s her half-brother. But darned if the real emotional fireworks aren’t all about Gary (James Roday), who’s contemplating returning his beloved dog Colin back to his original owner. Maybe the show should be renamed A Million Little Complications.

Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Craig T. Nelson, who won an Emmy as Coach on the long-running ’90s sitcom, puts the cap back on—not for college football anymore, but as local Little League coach Dale Ballard, who’s none too thrilled at the prospect of a girl player when Missy (Raegan Revord) tries out for the team. We look forward to watching him lock horns with a defensive Meemaw (Annie Potts), who’s already up in arms over her breakup with Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn).

2020: Race to Save the Planet (8/7c, Weather Channel): No channel deals with the consequences of climate change with more frequency than The Weather Channel, which gets political on the subject in a one-hour special. Dr. Rick Knabb, the channel’s hurricane expert, and AMHQ co-host Stephanie Abrams interview leading Democratic presidential candidates, and even a few Republican challengers to the president (who, no surprise, is not participating), on how climate change is affecting the country and the planet, and how their administrations would address this global concern. Climate Desk journalists Sarah Holder, Jamilah King, Rebecca Leber, Brentin Mock and Nikhil Swaminathan also participate in the interviews, recorded in communities directly impacted by extreme weather events.

Perfect Harmony (8:30/7:30c, NBC): The rivalry between the Second First Church choir and the higher-profile Church of Perpetual Praise singers heats up when pompous Pastor Magnus (John Carroll Lynch) goads Arthur (Bradley Whitford) to bring his underdogs to perform on the megachurch stage. When he accepts the challenge, Arthur also invites possible mutiny after recruiting Ginny’s (Anna Camp) sworn enemy, the unctuous Kimmy Bell (Laura Bell Bundy of Broadway’s Legally Blonde), to join the group. This is an especially good episode for deep-voiced Dwayne (Geno Segers), who is estranged from his family, all faithful members of Perpetual Praise, and looks forward to singing in front of them.

Inside Thursday TV: The clock is ticking down on NBC’s The Good Place (8:30/7:30c) when, on the last day of the experiment, Chidi (William Jackson Harper) faces yet one more ethical dilemma. … Patton Oswalt guests on NBC’s Will & Grace (9:30/8:30c) as Karen’s (Megan Mullally) brother-in-law, Danley Walker, who can’t keep a poker face around the object of his derision—or is it desire?—when they face off in a high-stakes card game. … Expect fireworks on CBS’s provocative Evil (10/9c) after Kristen (Katja Herbers) learns her mother Sheryl (Christine Lahti) has gotten cozy with her malevolent nemesis, Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson). … Conan O’Brien goes abroad again in the TBS special Conan Without Borders: Ghana (10/9c), immersing himself in the West African nation’s culture and history. He brings along Veep star Sam Richardson, whose mother hails from Ghana.