'Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker's Wild' debuts

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By Kevin McDonough

Let the CW revive "Dynasty." TBS has rebooted "The Joker's Wild."

"Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker's Wild" (10 p.m.) brings back the slot machine-themed game show from the 1970s and '80s. The host brings his own herbal flavor to the comedy, updating the ring-a-ding-ding cocktail party vibe of the original series with something a little more self-consciously mellow.

Mr. Dogg is busy of late, hosting this show and appearing on VH1's "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party" on Monday nights.

• When Jack Barry first hosted "The Joker's Wild" back in 1972, baseball was still considered the national pastime, and ratings for the World Series (8 p.m., Fox) were dominant. Of course, there were fewer choices back then - no computers, no streaming, no DVDs, videotapes or other distractions. Video games were in their infancy.

While baseball ratings have seen a long decline, last year's World Series, between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, saw a decided uptick from the year before, when the Kansas City Royals vanquished the New York Mets. Of course, last year, the Cubs were overcoming a World Series drought dating back more than a century.

• It's way too early to see if the World Series audience increases for two years in a row; and perhaps premature to determine any trends about the new television season. But it seems that for the second year in a row, the breakout series of the fall is a slightly corny and unabashedly emotional melodrama. While cable and streaming services offer darker and darker series like Netflix's "Ozark," network viewers don't mind the feel-good.

ABC's "The Good Doctor," about a boyish surgeon with social anxieties that put him on the autism spectrum, was the first new series to get a full season pickup and was among the most-watched new shows.

Last year's breakout hit was NBC's multi-generational talk-fest "This Is Us" (9 p.m., TV-14). It attracted the kind of chatter and devoted, passionate following that network series have not seen for some time.

I remain immune to the charms of "This Is Us." I could have said the same of "Thirtysomething" and "Parenthood" as well. All three shows featured scenes of characters from the same family discussing their feelings, frequently and consistently, often speaking in complete sentences without yelling or lapsing into moments (or decades) of icy silence.

Who are these people?

I have never encountered anyone like them in my entire life.

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• Battles continue on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

• Tribal justice on "Bull" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

• On two helpings of "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath" (A&E, TV-14), tales of parental neglect (9 p.m.), long-term exploitive contracts forced upon members (10 p.m.).

• Sebastian faces discipline on "NCIS: New Orleans" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

• The presence of cameras becomes a factor at the trial on "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Kevin helps a diner owner with sibling issues on "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

CULT CHOICE

Will Harvey Weinstein's disgrace cast disfavor on all those Oscar-winning movies he produced? The 1996 drama "The English Patient" (9 p.m., MoreMax) was the template for the many Miramax Oscar-winners to come: pretty, prestigious and vaguely literary. Can we now come around to admitting that some of us found it pretentious, dull and just too darned long?

TV on DVD

TV-themed DVDs available today include U.K. imports "Midsomer Murders, Series 19, Part 2" and "Vera, Set 7."

SERIES NOTES

Reeves' pal is kidnapped on "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * Frankie fixes upon an unsolved murder mystery on "The Middle" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * Hazard arrives on "The Flash" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) * George Takei guest-stars on "Fresh Off the Boat" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * Family game night on "blackish" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * Time gets out of joint on "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Kristen Johnston guest-stars on "The Mayor" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

LATE NIGHT

Adam Sandler, Evan Peters and Jimmy Dunn appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * Jake Tapper, Shemar Moore and Khalid are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Ricky Gervais, Jenna and Barbara Bush and Sabrina Carpenter on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Anna Faris, Cole Sprouse, Robert Kirkman and Sonny Emory visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) * Cedric the Entertainer, Usain Bolt and Jesus Trejo appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017, United Feature Syndicate