— The upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing has many of us looking up and glancing back. "Secrets of the Dead" (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) takes the backward look well beyond 50 years.
"Galileo’s Moon" explores stories of a remarkable find, the reported discovery of proof copies of "Sidereus Nuncius" (also known as "Starry Messenger"), one of the most revolutionary books in the history of science. Unlike other copies, this proof contained vivid watercolors that appeared to illuminate Galileo’s discoveries.
"Sidereus" did nothing less than rock the universe — or at least man’s understanding of his place in the firmament. The astronomer’s discoveries challenged the prevailing view that the "heavens" revolved around the Earth.
It placed the Earth and its moon as merely two of many bodies revolving around the sun. While this view conforms to our current scientific understanding, it challenged the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which went on to condemn Galileo for his heresy.
In addition to recalling the astronomer’s work, this "Secrets" follows the story of this "found" edition, the excitement it caused, and the subsequent revelations that the work was an elaborate fake, an event that rattled the markets in rare books and manuscripts.
"Galileo’s Moon" marks the final "Secrets of the Dead" of the summer.
— TCM will also be watching the skies. The classic movie network will dedicate every Tuesday in July to an "Out of This World" festival of classic science fiction.
Tonight’s vintage choices take viewers back well more than a century. Directed by French film pioneer Georges Melies, the 1902 fantasy "A Trip to the Moon" (8 p.m.,) displayed the early power of cinematic art and special effects. Made nearly 100 years ago, director Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent vision "Metropolis" (8:30 p.m., TCM) imagines a 21st-century dystopia where a tiny elite live in splendor aboveground while an oppressed working class toil as mere drones.
The festival will continue in roughly chronological order, presenting such favorites as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (July 9); "Destination Moon" (July 16); "2001: A Space Odyssey" (July 23) and "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (July 30).
TONIGHT’S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
"America’s Got Talent" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) glances back at the season’s best moments.
— Driven by music, the anthology series "Tales" (9 p.m., BET, TV-14) returns for a second season.
— Torres’ bloody morning after on "NCIS" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG).
— Smurf detects a new threat to the family on "Animal Kingdom" (9 p.m., TNT, TV-MA).
— A desperate father scours his daughter’s laptop, search history and social media activity in the 2018 thriller "Searching" (9:50 p.m., Starz).
— A chance to set the record straight on "Blood & Treasure" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14). This series was just renewed for a second season.
— A chance to score a movie emerges on "Songland" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
— Humor is terribly subjective and affected often by personal philosophical inclinations. Released only two years apart, the 1984 comedy "Ghostbusters" (8 p.m., Sundance, TV-PG) still reflects some degree of anti-authoritarian energy, while the 1986 teen comedy "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., IFC, TV-14) seems to celebrate a youth rebellion that never transcends smug self-absorption.
Julie Chen Moonves hosts "Big Brother" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … "Spin the Wheel" (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) has millions at stake … Free-range dreams on "The Conners" (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … Reverse Flash arrives on "The Flash" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) … Katie’s day off on "American Housewife" (8:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
Buck rebounds on "9-1-1" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) … On two helpings of "Modern Family" (ABC, r, TV-PG), enrollment woes (9 p.m.), Cam’s rural roots show (10 p.m.) … Bellamy and Clarke clash on "The 100" (9 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) … See you in September on "The Goldbergs" (9:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … The preppy treatment on "black-ish" (10:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
Tony Hale on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS, r) … Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Billy Porter are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS, r) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joel Kinnaman and the Broadway cast of "Ain’t Too Proud" on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC, r) … Armie Hammer, Amber Heard, Middle Kids and Cardi B appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).