CBS revives one of its most popular franchises as William Petersen and Jorja Fox return to CSI: Vegas. Disney+ presents two major documentaries, an immersive look at an astronaut’s life and, from National Geographic, a feature-length profile of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Tough as Nails returns to CBS as a Survivor reality companion. Netflix examines notorious sports scandals in the six-part Bad Sport docuseries.
Sometimes the simplest formulas are the best. The show that kicked off a CBS prime-time crime wave more than 20 years ago is back with its original stars, William Petersen (as bug-crazy criminologist Gil Grissom) and Jorja Fox (as his beloved Sara Sidle)—though bowing to convention, Gil makes a fashionably late appearance. Introducing a new crew of forensic lab experts, CSI: Vegas opens with an attack on a familiar figure from CSI’s past that leads to a conspiracy which could undermine all of Team Gil’s good work in the early 2000s. (See the full review.)
An immersive study of an astronaut’s life, in space and on Earth, becomes an inspiring story of international cooperation beyond this planet in a six-part docuseries focused on NASA’s Capt. Chris Cassidy. He’s first shown coming to an Italian colleague’s aid during a spacewalk at the International Space Station. Then Stars comes back down to Earth to follow Cassidy as he bides his time for one last critical mission, launching during the pandemic.
From National Geographic Documentary Films, a feature-length biographical documentary profiles Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s most visible and outspoken infectious disease expert. His public persona grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was either a hero or a target for attack during a period when science itself fell victim to political polarization. With glimpses of his personal as well as professional life, Fauci tracks his history as a public health leader, guiding the U.S. during its response to outbreaks of HIV/AIDS, SARS and Ebola over 40 years.
The reality competition devoted to the country’s essential blue-collar workers begins its third season by welcoming back the first year’s winner, Marine veteran Kelly “Murphy” Murphy, as a new crew of 12 contestants meet up at California’s Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Among the professions represented on the opposing teams: crop duster, ironworker, construction foreman, heavy equipment operator, carpenter, diesel mechanic, fire captain, lineman and cement mason. Their first challenge: racing to retrieve cargo dropped from a C-130 plane.
It’s OK to cry foul as the true-crime genre invades the world of sports documentaries in a six-part series rehashing notorious scandals in the wide (and wild) world of athletics. Subjects include the rigging of scores during figure skating at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, insurance fraud in horse racing, point-shaving in college basketball, marijuana smuggling in auto racing and match-fixing in Italian football.
Another terrific episode of the reimagined ’60s coming-of-age comedy tackles the (then) taboo of sex when Dean (Elisha “EJ” Williams) is busted for bringing nudie magazines to school to delight his friends. The reaction from his “cool” dude dad (Dulé Hill) and his stern but loving mom (Saycon Sengbloh) isn’t quite what he expects—but it makes him wonder yet again at the mysterious world of grown-ups.
Inside Wednesday TV:
- Castle (streaming on Hulu): All eight seasons and 173 episodes of the mystery series about a crime novelist (Nathan Fillion) and his detective partner (Stana Katic) are available for streaming for the first time.
- The Conners (9/8c, ABC): Becky’s (Lecy Goranson) recovery program includes making amends with those she’s lied to over the years—so this could take a while.
- In the Dark (9/8c, The CW): Murphy (Perry Mattfeld) finally learns what happened to Jess (Brooke Markham) in the third-season finale.
- Archer (10/9c, FXX): The animated spy spoof wraps its 12th season (already renewed for a 13th) with the “world’s greatest spy” (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) imprisoned inside the HQ of rival International Intelligence Agency. We’d recommend he use his smarts to get out of this mess, but…
- A Million Little Things (10/9c, ABC): No such thing as gender neutrality this week, when the women throw a divorce party for Katherine (Grace Park) and the guys distract Eddie (David Giuntoli) by gathering to watch hockey. But maybe there’s hope for long-suffering Eddie. When he helps adorable son Theo (Tristan Byon) make a romantic gesture for a new crush, Eddie encounters someone from his past. It’s got to be better than his present.
- The Horror: Stream some early Halloween treats, with Shudder’s V/H/S/94, the latest in the horror anthology built around creepy found footage. Netflix’s There’s Someone Inside Your House follows Hawaii transplant Makani Young (Sydney Park) to Nebraska where she’s moved to finish high school. But first she helps unveil a serial killer who’s terrorizing classmates while wearing a replica mask of their own face.