Have there really been 23 seasons of "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG)? Or merely 23 variations on the same theme?
The new cast offers a virtual checklist of the series' archetypal characters. It includes sports stars, music celebrities, ingenues from the Disney/Freeform youth celebrity factory, a bad boy still in the media doghouse, a reality star who defies expectations of shape and beauty, and most curiously, the show's second once-indicted right-wing Texas politician to attempt a paso doble.
Albert Einstein is credited with the saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." Could he have also devised the formula for "Dancing With the Stars"?
- Kevin James hosts the "CBS Fall Preview" (8:30 p.m., CBS), a glance at a new season that puts special emphasis on the familiar.
James ("King of Queens") will return as a retired policeman adjusting to retirement and more time with his family in the sitcom "Kevin Can Wait."
A similar theme runs through "Man With a Plan," starring Matt LeBlanc. Along with Matthew Perry in "Odd Couple," CBS now has two former "Friends" stars on its sitcom roster. "Plan" will also feature familiar face Kevin Nealon.
Joel McHale ("Community") returns to prime time on CBS in "The Great Indoors" as a macho adventurer-type adjusting to office life and the conversational stylings of millennials.
Any similarities between "Indoors" and Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing" are strictly intentional.
Did I mention that CBS is rebooting "MacGyver"?
- This Sunday, CBS is launching a six-hour docuseries recalling the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. For those who can't wait, there's "JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery" (10 p.m., ID, TV-14), a three-night look at the 1996 murder of the 6-year-old girl.
If the O.J. Simpson trial put the spotlight on America's racial divide and the difficulty of convicting a known wife-batterer, the Ramsey case focused on the world of child pageants and the backstage parents who go to great expense to idealize and, some would argue, eroticize and exploit the beauty of girls barely out of kindergarten.
- A winner is crowned on both "American Ninja Warrior" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) and "So You Think You Can Dance" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
- Beginning tonight, Acorn streams the BBC period drama "The Secret Agent," based on the novel by Joseph Conrad and starring Toby Jones ("Detectorists") and Vicky McClure ("Line of Duty").
- Good news! Some of the geeky gang from the recently departed "MythBusters" will be producing a series called the "White Rabbit Project" for Netflix. "MythBusters" was a Discovery series with an assured tone, helmed by people who believed in science and engineering, and were smart and confident enough to have fun.
Too many Discovery series now chase a male blue-collar demographic with a certain panting desperation.
I liked its "Harley and the Davidsons" miniseries, except for large wads of dialogue that seemed lifted from beer commercials. A new series, "Sacred Steel Bikes" (10 p.m., Discovery, TV-14), celebrates a crew of motorcycle builders and chopper enthusiasts with all the usual camaraderie and shenanigans. But seriously, "Sacred Steel"? That title is a joke.
Tonight's other highlights
- A rogue agent kidnaps Toby on "Scorpion" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
- Marshawn Lynch goes "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
- The "P.O.V." (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary "All the Difference" follows two Chicago teens and the hurdles they face as they pursue their college dream.
- Rosie O'Donnell faces off with Kathy Najimy on the season finale of "The $100,000 Pyramid" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
- Darnell's murder remains a mystery on "Major Crimes" (10 p.m., TNT, TV-14).
Richard Gere and Laura Linney star in the 2002 chiller "The Mothman Prophecies" (9 p.m., Cinemax).
On two helpings of "Big Bang Theory" (CBS, r, TV-PG): a new laptop (8 p.m.), a revealing road trip (9 p.m.) ... On two helpings of "Supergirl" (CW, r, TV-14): dream weavers (8 p.m.), behind bars (9 p.m.) ... Tuition sticker-shock on "Mom" (9:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
Dr. Phil McGraw, Alan Cumming, Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Renee Zellweger, Shaquille O'Neal and Eric Church on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
Victoria Beckham, Jussie Smollett and Colson Whitehead visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Meg Ryan, Adam Scott and Brian Fallon appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).