Worth Watching: Last Call for ‘NCIS’ and ‘New Amsterdam,’ ‘Elmo’s Playdate,’ ‘Deadliest Catch’
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
NCIS (8/7c, CBS): In what turned out to be the last episode completed before production shut down on the long-running procedural, Christopher Lloyd (Taxi, Back to the Future) guests in an emotional outing with a “Greatest Generation” vibe. He plays Joe Smith, who claims to be one of the last living survivors who served on the U.S.S. Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack. He wishes to be buried there when he passes, and it’s up to an affected Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the team to verify his identity.
New Amsterdam (10/9c, NBC): Also cut short as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, though already renewed for three more seasons, the medical drama wraps its second year with a medical mystery, when Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) and Bloom (Janet Montgomery) work to find out why so many patients are showing similar troubling symptoms. Dr. Max (Ryan Eggold) also has his hands full, trying to get a young patient with a rare muscular disease into a clinical trial that could be his only chance to survive.
Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate (7/6c HBO; simulcast on PBS Kids, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, HBO Latino): Who better to help kids and their families learn how to stay connected in these isolating times than the irrepressible Elmo. In a 30-minute special airing over the many WarnerMedia Networks, as well as PBS Kids, Elmo is joined by Sesame Street pals Grover (my favorite!), Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby as they carry on a playdate over the sort of video conference many of us have become all too acquainted with. Joining them are celebrities including Lin-Manuel Marinda (with a few rounds of “Old McDonald Had a Farm”), Anne Hathaway (playing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”) and black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross with a game of “Elmo Says.” The special celebrates EMTs, doctors and more everyday heroes, as they conduct such simple but essential actions as baking cookies at home. (Now they’re speaking Cookie Monster’s language!)
Deadliest Catch (9/8c, Discovery): It’s like the cold war on the frigid seas. As the 16th season of the hit reality series begins with a two-hour episode, the Alaskan crab fleet takes on their greatest rivals: the Russians, who are now working on a revamped crab quota season that cuts down on illegal fishing. With time ever more of the essence, the captains will make new alliances even as a mighty winter storm approaches.
Inside Tuesday TV: Dan (John Goodman) is finally following his heart on ABC’s The Conners (8/7c), but now that he’s caught up with Louise (Katey Sagal) on tour, he found her kissing another guy. Will he give up or fight harder?… With CBS’s FBI closed for the rest of the season, its spinoff FBI: Most Wanted (9/8c) fills the void with back-to-back original episodes. In the first, the team looks into the case of a small-town police officer who thinks he’s the target of a conspiracy, and in the second, they try to stop a student from crossing the border after she commits murder out of jealousy… It’s Halloween on Pop TV’s One Day at a Time (9:30/8:30c), but it’s more trick than treat for grandma Lydia (Rita Moreno) when she makes an alarming discovery in the trash. Celebrity cameo alert: Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons) appears as a neighbor opening her door to trick-or-treaters. For fun, check out her apartment number.