Tune in Tonight: Season enders, Ducky recalled and James Brown remembered

With series returning from strike-enforced inaction, the new network spring season is taking shape. But first, the winter season shows must end.

A winner emerges on the two-hour finale of the short, eight-episode season of “America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

The team closes in on a suspect in a church bombing on the first season finale of “The Irrational” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG). This series, starring Jesse L. Martin as behaviorist Alec Mercer, has been renewed for a second season. In its short first season, it has been notable for accentuating reason over gunplay, explosions and violence.

Over on CBS, “NCIS” (9 p.m., TV-14) enters its 21st season with the crew mourning the loss of Ducky, played by actor David McCallum, who died at the age of 90 on Sept. 25, 2023.

McCallum’s presence on prime time dates back to his role on the 007-inspired series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” which ran from 1964-68, appearing on the small screen a year after McCallum’s appearance in the touchstone 1963 war movie “The Great Escape.”

McCallum and Ducky had been part of “NCIS” for its first 20 seasons. It’s hard to think of another performer or pop culture fixture from the era of the Beatles still actively participating in a popular show well into the third decade of the 21st century.

— Speaking of pop idols and relics, Mick Jagger and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson have executive produced the two-night documentary special “James Brown: Say it Loud” (8 p.m. and 9 p.m., A&E, TV-PG, concludes Tuesday).

The first hour profiles Brown’s hardscrabble origins. It’s worth noting that two of the most influential musicians of the 20th century — Louis Armstrong and James Brown — were essentially raised in bordellos. And Brown’s South Carolina “house” lacked the exotic allure of Armstrong’s New Orleans’ upbringing.

From dirt-poor origins, Brown became one of the most popular and influential practitioners of music, from doo-wop to soul to funk, all the while turning his exacting demands on his band and backup singers into an elaborate stage show.

Jagger’s participation in this effort reminds us how much Brown inspired Jagger’s own attempts at dance and stagecraft. Way back in 1964, the Rolling Stones were part of an elaborate television concert special called “The T.A.M.I. Show,” short for Teenage Music International. The British rockers had the bad luck of following Brown’s electrifying performance with their own rather stiff contribution. Jagger and the Stones were wise enough to learn that they had been schooled by a master of his craft.

The special also discusses Brown’s role as a spokesperson for Black empowerment, recording a hit single “Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud”) in 1968, the same year he was praised for efforts to keep the peace while performing in a concert in Boston on the night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.


— Joey and the 10 remaining worthies travel north of the border to Montreal on “The Bachelor” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

— A would-be chef finds a sweet spot with a childhood crush in the 2024 romance “A Taste of Love” (8 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

— “Antiques Roadshow” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-G, check local listings) visits the LSU Rural Life Museum.

— “TMZ Investigates” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) sifts through evidence and gossip about Kevin Costner’s marital woes.

— “Local: USA” (9 p.m., World) puts the focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

— After a prison transport crash, the islands are awash with escaped convicts on “NCIS: Hawai’i” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

— “Bad Romance: A Special Edition of 20/20” (10 p.m., ABC) looks at love stories that go from hearts and flowers to homicide.

— “Independent Lens” (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) presents the documentary “Breaking the News,” following a group of journalists who create a digital outlet for underreported stories about marginalized communities and women.


Directed by Alan Parker, the 1980 musical “Fame” (12:15 a.m. early Tuesday, TCM, TV-MA) follows five exuberant teens enrolled in New York’s High School of Performing Arts. The film also inspired a 1982 TV adaptation that ran six seasons on NBC and in syndication.


Clearing the runway for the stork on “The Neighborhood” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … “America’s Most Wanted” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … A dream deferred on “Bob Hearts Abishola” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).


Jimmy Fallon welcomes Justin Timberlake, Molly Ringwald and Flo Milli on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC, r) … Larry David and Katy Tur visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC).