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'America's Got Talent' ushers in a new summer

Posted 5/26/20

By Kevin McDonough

Summer television returns in earnest as "America's Got Talent" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) returns for its 15th season. Host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel are joined this season by Sofia Vergara of …

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'America's Got Talent' ushers in a new summer

Posted

By Kevin McDonough

Summer television returns in earnest as "America's Got Talent" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) returns for its 15th season. Host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel are joined this season by Sofia Vergara of the recently concluded "Modern Family." Since 2006, "Talent" has churned through a "Hollywood Squares"-like roster of judges, from David Hasselhoff and Regis Philbin to Howard Stern and Piers Morgan. Like so many of these talent contests, runners-up often become more famous than eventual winners. To appreciate how long this series has run, Jackie Evancho, the child singer and crossover classical artist who was a highlight of the 2010 season, is now 20 years old.

• Produced by Jennifer Lopez, "World of Dance" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) returns for its fourth season. Lopez also serves as a judge, along with Derek Hough and Ne-Yo.

• With real sports on hold, "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" (10 p.m., HBO, TV-PG) discusses the impact of COVID-19 on competition and examines plans to return to play. Gumbel hosts roundtable conversations with players' association chiefs DeMaurice Smith (NFL), Michele Roberts (NBA) and Tony Clark (MLB) to bat around ideas for restarting professional sports in the midst of uncertainty and contagion.

"NASA & SpaceX: Countdown to Launch" (10 p.m., Discovery) anticipates Wednesday's launch of a new generation of rocket that may enable humans to return to the moon and explore nearby planets. Discovery and the Science Channel will cover the launch live at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

• The documentary "Viral: Anti-Semitism in Four Mutations" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) examines the rise of an ancient hatred in the 21st century. Over the course of 90 minutes, it looks at how hatred of Jews has metastasized in America's far right white-power groups, as exemplified by the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. In Hungary, authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has revived Nazi-era imagery by demonizing all opposition as stooges for Jewish billionaire bogeyman George Soros. In England, elements of the Labour party have conflated sympathy for Palestinians with broader anti-Jewish sentiments, and in France, militant Islamicists have engaged in violent attacks on Jews. Each strain of this "virus" is described firsthand, by victims of terror.

"Grant" (9 p.m., History, TV-14, part two of three) examines how Gen. Ulysses S. Grant became Lincoln's favorite general.

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• An agent dies in a posh locale on "FBI" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

• Killers cross state lines on "FBI: Most Wanted" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

"The Genetic Detective" (10 p.m., ABC) investigates the 1987 murder of ferry passengers whose bodies were found miles apart.

• Archaeologists explore the pyramids in "Kingdom of the Mummies" (10 p.m., National Geographic, TV-14).

CULT CHOICE

Former Supremes star Diana Ross received rapturous reviews for her portrayal of singer Billie Holiday in the 1972 biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" (10:15 p.m., TCM, TV-MA), co-starring Billy D. Williams, Richard Pryor and Scatman Crothers.

SERIES NOTES

Held hostage on "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) * On two helpings of "The Conners" (ABC, r, TV-PG), business plans (8 p.m.), Thanksgiving unravels (8:30 p.m.) * Pat comes clean on "DC's Stargirl" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) * On two episodes of "Modern Family" (ABC, r, TV-PG): Paris bound (9 p.m.); Phil's Dad (9:30 p.m.) * Crimes against nature on "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

LATE NIGHT

Russell Brand is on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS, r) * New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Christine and the Queens are on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS, r) * Jimmy Fallon hosts fan favorite clips of Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama and Brad Pitt on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC, r) * Rachel Maddow, Dylan McDermott, Rita Ora and Day Drinking with Kelly Clarkson visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r).

© 2020, United Feature Syndicate