'Dancing With the Stars' enters 25th season

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By Kevin McDonough

Is an appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) a big break? Or a fork stuck in the carcass of your career because, basically, "you're done"?

As usual, there's a combination of fresh young faces, personalities still awaiting their second acts, athletes, novelties and at least one "mature" celebrity for the stay-at-home audience to root for.

Remember when Debbie Gibson represented "Electric Youth" in the 1980s? She'll be dancing.

Reach back to the early 2000s and you could watch Frankie Muniz on "Malcolm in the Middle" or Nick Lachey on MTV's reality series "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." Now you can catch them both here. Nick appears with his current wife, Vanessa.

ABC frequently uses "Dancing" to cross-promote its properties, so look for Barbara Corcoran of "Shark Tank" fame, ESPN personality Victoria Arlen and Sasha Pieterse of Freeform's "Pretty Little Liars." Also from cable, Drew Scott is best known for HGTV's "Property Brothers."
The NFL's Terrell Owens, the NBA's Derek Fisher and the WWE's Nikki Bella round out the usual list of sports veterans. Young talents include violinist Lindsey Stirling of YouTube fame and Jordan Fisher from "Grease: Live."

After 25 seasons, you can't blame ABC for honing this reality competition into a finely tuned machine. I'm not sure there's any room left for goofy, throwaway "talents" in the Kenny Mayne, Tucker Carlson or Penn Jillette vein. But somebody might rise (or sink) to the occasion.

• National Geographic devotes tonight and tomorrow to "The State" (9 p.m. and 10 p.m., TV-MA). This fictionalized four-part drama is based on the real stories of radicalized Westerners who were recruited by ISIS on the internet and became soldiers and victims of the violent organization. Directed by Peter Kosminsky ("Wolf Hall").

• Understanding one's enemy as well as the hearts and minds of one's allies looms large on part two of "The Vietnam War" (8 p.m., PBS, TV-MA, check local listings), examining how American involvement grew during the Kennedy years.

• Starz debuts a slate of Monday night documentaries, beginning with 2016's "The Age of Consequences" (9 p.m.), profiling those who measure and anticipate the business, military and national security impacts of climate change.

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• A winner emerges on "American Ninja Warrior" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

• The top four perform on "So You Think You Can Dance" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).

• The New York Giants host the Detroit Lions in "Monday Night Football" (8:15 p.m., ESPN).

• For some, the 2016 comedy "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" (9:50 p.m., Cinemax) represented one reboot too many for the popular 1990s comedy. Something to think about while anticipating the return of "Will & Grace."

• Still stranded, the gang focuses on rescue efforts on "Scorpion" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

• Manfred leads a fight against evil on the season finale of "Midnight, Texas" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

CULT CHOICE

Director Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 biblical epic "The King of Kings" (8 p.m., TCM) sparked controversy similar to Mel Gibson's 2004 effort "The Passion of the Christ." Sets and costumes from this silent film ended up recycled in "King Kong," "Gone With the Wind" and even the Elvis Presley musical "Harum Scarum."

SERIES NOTES

Sleeping arrangements on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) * An alien invades on "Supergirl" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) * Art vs. football on "Kevin Can Wait" (8:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) * Painful memories on "Mom" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) * On two helpings of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (CW, r, TV-14), Charles Esten (9 p.m.), Wanya Morris (9:30 p.m.) * Failure to ascend on "Life in Pieces" (9:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) * Mel Brooks plays "To Tell the Truth" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

LATE NIGHT

Gucci Mane is booked on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) * Paula Patton and Shane Torres appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * The second anniversary special of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Demi Lovato and John Cleese on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) *
Amy Poehler, Nicolle Wallace and Daru Jones visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) * Lonzo Ball and Sonequa Martin-Green appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017 United Feature Syndicate