Network television returns with a vengeance. Fresh from selling repeat rights to "The Big Bang Theory" to HBO Max for a huge sum, creator Chuck Lorre presents "Bob (Hearts) Abishola" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG). A strenuously awkward comedy, "Bob" kicks off with a fart joke and goes downhill from there.
Bob (Billy Gardell) is a gruff Detroit businessman, always on the lookout for new customers for his sock line. When a bout of gas turns out to be a mild heart attack, he wakes up to the vision of his nurse, Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku), a no-nonsense immigrant from Nigeria. The mild scatology continues when Bob discovers that only the sound of her gentle singing can relax him enough to urinate.
Love, or something resembling it, ensues.
There's something vaguely funny about Abishola's humorlessness. But not enough to compensate for a lack of chemistry between stereotypes. Bob may be heavy, but he's thinly drawn. Why is he single? Why are his children so boring? Why does he look older than his mother?
Clearly written as an immigrant love story, if not a love letter to a melting-pot view of American society, "Bob" seems blind to the obvious. Bob may be smitten, but he's still a complete stranger, from a position of power, hitting on the help.
-- Shot through with sniper attacks, mass bombings and imminent terror, CBS legal procedurals ("FBI", "S.W.A.T." and "NCIS") project a paranoid world view where martial law seems right around the corner.
So, there's something refreshing about "All Rise" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14), starring Simone Missick as Lola Carmichael, a D.A. turned judge. Once on the bench, she becomes obsessed with due process and the protection of even the sketchiest suspect's rights. Her rather far-fetched altruism isn't the show's biggest problem. "Rise" can't seem to decide if it's noble or whimsical, offering dollops of "Law & Order" laced with "Night Court." On the plus side, it accentuates inclusiveness over fear and whimsy over violence.
For the record, with "The Neighborhood," "Abishola" and "All Rise," CBS presents three consecutive shows with black actors in leading roles.
-- Jimmy Smits returns to episodic TV in "Bluff City Law" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14). He's a high-powered Memphis attorney Elijah Strait, whose daughter and law partner, Sydney (Caitlin McGee), bicker over tactics and the fact that she just discovered that dear old dad fathered a son out of wedlock who happens to be working in the family business.
Personal problems take a backseat to a quixotic court case when Elijah and Sydney try to save a friend, neighbor and noble farmer from a predatory seed company modeled on Monsanto.
Unabashedly Capraesque in its leanings, "Bluff" suffers from obvious attempts at local color. Lawyers argue over barbecue sauce and blues music. Because that's what you do in Memphis.
-- Fox's creepy new drama is called "Prodigal Son" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) because "My Dad Is a Serial Killer" would sound like a comedy.
Tom Payne as stars as young Malcolm Bright, a profiler haunted by dreams about his evil father, Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen, "The Queen").
Every moment of "Prodigal Son" without Sheen's twitchy Hannibal Lecter-type on screen seems rather predictable.
TONIGHT'S SEASON PREMIERES
-- Dave thinks he's earned his place at the barbecue on "The Neighborhood" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
-- Chairs swivel on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
-- A traffic stop is anything but routine on "9-1-1" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
-- From here to paternity on "Bull" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
-- A memorable first date on "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Eliminations arrive on "Dancing With The Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
"Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14), followed by a repeat episode (9:30 p.m.).
Jeffrey Dean Morgan appears on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Gwen Stefani, Ben Platt and Zac Brown Band on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).