Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, October 16. All times are Eastern.
The Conners (ABC, 8 p.m.): Roseanne got revived, was a huge hit, and then got canceled (on May 29) after a completely unsurprising racist tweet from its eponymous lead. It was then essentially reincarnated (on June 21) as a “spin-off” that’s basically a Roseanne-free Roseanne. It’s been, in short, a humdinger of a road, and now it, whatever it is, has arrived. ABC has been treating The Conners like some heavy-duty, top-secret, Game Of Thrones type shit, so there’s very little that we know about how the series will deal with the exit of its onetime lead (though Roseanne Barr has said some shit that may or may not be true). Maybe they’re killing her off. Maybe she’s being abducted by aliens. Maybe they all got incepted. Maybe it’ll be good, and maybe it won’t. One thing is certain: Danette Chavez will drop in on tonight’s premiere to suss all of it out.
The Rookie (ABC, 10 p.m.): Nathan Fillion must have had a pretty damn good time and/or made a lot of damn money on Castle, because The Rookie, premiering tonight, shares a whole bunch of DNA with its predecessor. Like Castle, it is a procedural; as with Castle, one of the writers and executive producers (here also the creator) is Alexi Hawley (Noah Hawley’s twin brother!). Most importantly, like Castle, it is trusting in the considerable charms of its leads—here, Fillion and Banshee’s Afton Williamson—to make up for any creakiness of format or style. We are pleased to confirm that the last item was a safe bet for The Rookie, because it is absolutely worth a look if you like procedurals, old guy jokes, or Nathan Fillion.