Tune in Tonight: Procedural fear-mongering on CBS and elsewhere

The CBS schedule continues to take form, with new episodes arriving and series returning to their pre-strike routine. In the case of the “FBI” trilogy, it continues the network’s hyperbolic violence and promotion of a sense of near-continual siege.

On “FBI” (8 p.m., TV-14), terrorists target a bus. Over on “FBI: International” (9 p.m., TV-14), the team picks up the pieces after a bomb rocks their headquarters. Things remain relatively calm on “FBI: Most Wanted” (10 p.m., TV-14), where an agent’s missing nephew shows no signs of being found.

Not to be a Pollyanna, but a domestic attack on a passenger bus or an explosion at an FBI headquarters would be major news events — maybe among the most harrowing of the year. On CBS, such mayhem erupts weekly, if not daily.

As someone who has to scan this fare on a daily basis, it’s hard not to see a pattern of intentional fear-mongering going on here. It’s one thing to create a fantasy about Godzilla stomping on a fictional Tokyo. It’s quite another to pass off such nightmares as ripped from the headlines, when in fact they go far beyond any actual news events and create an atmosphere of panic far outside the realm of reality.

— Netflix streams the standup special “Taylor Tomlinson: Have It All.” This is her third special for the streamer and the first since becoming the host of the CBS late-night talk show “After Midnight”.

During her routine, she muses on finding her dream job and settling with the right partner while wondering if the very notion of “having it all” is an aspiration or a punchline.

— Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, the four-hour documentary “Gospel” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) concludes with a look at the rise of chart-topping gospel music family dynasties and the international appeal of the musical art form.

— Mid-February may mean snow for some, but for others, it means a whiff of spring. Or at least spring training. Baseball’s opening day may be months away, but Netflix has just announced a new documentary series that will follow the Boston Red Sox over the course of the 2024 season. Think of it as a Major League Baseball variation on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series.

Such exposure brings its own risks and rewards. The New York Jets were recently the subject of a “Hard Knocks” preseason focus only to stumble into the regular season when their quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured and out for the season after only minutes of play.

The NBA’s Boston Celtics may be rethinking their strange relationship with the NBC comedy “Extended Family” (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG). In it, Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) plays the wealthy team owner who woos Julia (Abigail Spencer), Jim’s (Jon Cryer) ex-wife. It’s gotten terrible reviews here and elsewhere. When it was launched, or perhaps dumped, onto the schedule on Dec. 23, I described it as the kind of bad sitcom that made you stop watching sitcoms. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 33%. And the critics were kind. Audiences have been a tougher crowd. It has a dismal 17% from viewers. You can stream it on Peacock if you’d like.


— Danielle Brooks and Dionne Warwick learn about their ancestors on “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings).

— The search for Eve continues on “La Brea” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— Ben jumps into the world of a shadowy 1980s DJ on “Quantum Leap” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).


A bitter older teacher (Judi Dench) becomes obsessed with a younger colleague (Cate Blanchett), only to discover her illicit relationship with an underaged student in the 2006 drama “Notes on a Scandal” (8 p.m., HBO Signature), adapted from a novel by Zoe Heller. Look for Juno Temple, seen recently in the fifth season of “Fargo.”


Abbey follows in her father’s robe and footsteps on “Night Court” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) … “Name That Tune” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … “The Bachelor” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … Rob Lowe hosts “The Floor” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … A shooting may be part of a larger effort to terrorize the force on “The Rookie” (10 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).


Jimmy Fallon welcomes Amy Schumer, JB Smoove and Yard Act on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Finn Wolfhard, Sen. John Fetterman and Matt Goldich visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS).