It's a race against time for Gibbs and McGee (Mark Harmon, Sean Murray) when their mission to bring an intel-knowledgeable computer engineer back from Russia attracts enemies in "Twenty Klicks," the drama's 12th-season opener. Foreign mercenaries pursue them, forcing them to move covertly to get back to America safely -- while their colleagues in Washington, D.C., do what they can to help them. Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette also star.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) has been fighting his killer instincts for the past year, but when Slade (Manu Bennett) kidnaps someone close to him, he realizes he might have to take a drastic step. Diggle (David Ramsey) takes on Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Thea (Willa Holland) seeks help from Roy (Colton Haynes) in "Unthinkable."
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
One of the country's best-known advocates and practitioners of genealogy returns with a second season of his series that helps people delve into their respective family histories. They're often very famous people, too -- as is the case in the first new episode, "In Search of Our Fathers," which puts iconic horror novelist Stephen King on such a search. Gates also assists actors Gloria Reuben and Courtney B. Vance in unlocking their personal pasts.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hayley Atwell doesn't get her own "Marvel's Agent Carter" series until midseason, but she and the character turn up here in the second season premiere, "Shadows." She factors in as Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team stay on the run, a flight complicated by the presence of some new S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Former television "Xena" Lucy Lawless joins the show's cast, and another guest star is notable: George Stephanopoulos, who's listed as playing "self."
NCIS: New Orleans
The Big Easy is indeed the setting of this new second spinoff of the parent show, with Mark Harmon an executive producer. Scott Bakula returns to weekly television work as Special Agent Dwayne Pride, probing military-related crimes in the title city (where the show is filmed on location). Lucas Black and Zoe McLellan play members of his team, with CCH Pounder as a local coroner. David McCallum appears in his "NCIS" role as Ducky in "Musician Heal Thyself."
Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) makes his move against the human race, and shocking consequences await Sam, Dean and Castiel (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins) as they take him on. Dean is beginning to feel the effects of the First Blade in "Do You Believe in Miracles," the episode that concluded the series' ninth season.
"There's an app for that," including ...dating? Evidently, since Jess (Zooey Deschanel) gets lessons from Schmidt (Max Greenfield) in making very personal connections that way in the new episode "Dice." Winston (Lamorne Morris) is determined to make a favorable mark with fellow police cadets at a party -- a plan that quickly goes out the window with the arrival of Nick, Cece and Coach (Jake Johnson, Hannah Simone, Damon Wayans Jr.).
Always a big event under any circumstances, Abby's Annual Dance Concert takes on additional resonance because of its theme, an emotional tribute to her mother. With Nationals looming, Abby gives each of the girls 45 seconds to prove that she deserves a solo. Christi begins to worry (with good reason) about the security of Chloe's place at Nationals when Abby has Kamryn dance in Chloe's place in the new episode "45 Second Solos."
The Boomer List: American Masters
Filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders turns his approach from such previous projects as "The Black List" toward so-called baby boomers in this new documentary. Each of the 19 interviewees represents the year he or she was born -- and it's quite a famous group, ranging from Billy Joel to Erin Brockovich. Others offering comments include Deepak Chopra, Samuel L. Jackson, computer guru Steve Wozniak, playwright Eve Ensler, Maria Shriver and Rosie O'Donnell.
The Mindy Project
Four-time "Cheers" Emmy winner Rhea Perlman guest stars as Danny's (Chris Messina) visiting mother in the new episode "Annette Castellano Is My Nemesis." Since Annette is the mom, it's a foregone conclusion that the "nemesis" is Mindy (Mindy Kaling), whose efforts to win her over don't go too well. Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) tries to assert himself with Tamra (Xosha Roquemore). Max Minghella ("The Social Network") also guest stars.
Planet Earth: Human Planet
An episode called "Mountains: Life in Thin Air" explores some of the extraordinary ways in which some people have adapted to living at high altitudes, where nature is utterly unforgiving. In a segment that looks like something out of a fantasy, dwellers in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia have formed an uncanny bond with golden eagles, which do their hunting for them.
Risotto is tricky enough even in a non-competitive environment, and in the new episode "Ultimate Champions: Grand Finale," it's only the first round hurdle, as the chefs are challenged to either transform or enhance it. The entree round basket contains a big surprise that fails to thrill some contestants, while the dessert round includes booze and baked goods. Host Ted Allen welcomes judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Scott Conant and Geoffrey Zakarian.