Tune in Tonight: Apple launches space-based head-scratcher ‘Constellation’

A psychological thriller with science-fiction and supernatural overtones, “Constellation” streams the first three of its eight episodes on Apple TV+ today.

A French-German-American production with a Swedish-speaking lead that begins on a mission on the International Space Station, “Constellation” bounces back and forth rather seamlessly in time and from Earth to space. At the outset, an astronaut named Jo (Naomi Rapace, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) is floating around the space station, anticipating a walk outside the craft while spending a little Facetime with her daughter and husband back in Sweden.

Barking orders from mission control, a gruff NASA big shot named Henry (Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad”) seems obsessed with a secret experiment that can only be conducted in zero gravity. It has the potential to “change everything.” But the very moment his project gets underway, all heck breaks loose on the space station, the aftermath of some cosmic collision.

Not to give too much away, but a routine day becomes an aborted mission and a desperate effort to cobble together old Soviet/Russian capsules as life rafts. Left behind on the station to ride solo on the last craft, Jo is also assigned with saving the experiment and taking it back to Earth.

But even before she leaves, she has experiences, or perhaps hallucinations, right out of this world.

With its use of zero gravity to turn mundane assignments into graceful ballet, “Constellation” may remind some viewers of “2001.” It also borrows that film’s penchant for quick jumps between the routine and the cosmic, a style that some may find entrancing and others baffling.

By chance, “Constellation” also arrives on the heels of the departure of HBO’s “True Detective: Night Country.” Both involved the aftermath of earth-shattering experiments conducted in the most frozen extremes. And both feature strong female professionals conducting their business amidst mind-bending circumstances. Of the two, “Constellation” is the more visually dazzling, if slow-moving and challenging.

— Apple TV+ also streams the four-episode sports documentary series “Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend.”

— “Nature” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) descends to the ocean’s depths, where diver and cinematographer Patrick Dykstra conducts research into learning how whales see their watery world. He strikes up a bond with a sperm whale he calls “Dolores” and tries his best to communicate.

— Back on dry land, “Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) blends a musical variety showcase with a runway of four-legged furry friends. Parton will also be joined by stars of the two-legged variety, including Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”), Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Margaret Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Carson Kressley, Jim Nantz, Kelly Osbourne, Jessica Simpson and Rachel Smith, among others.

— Paramount+ streams the second season of the reality comedy “The Family Stallone.”


— A question of memory on “Chicago Med” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— A defibrillator malfunctions at a critical moment on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— “NOVA” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) follows the search for ancient DNA.

— A smoking incident inspires a policy revisit on “Abbott Elementary” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

— A series of jewelry store robberies rattles Atwater on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

— Wallowing in self-pity and vodka, Truman (Tom Hollander) has a bracing conversation with fellow writer James Baldwin (Chris Chalk) on “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).


An Oscar winner in 1975, the documentary “The Man Who Skied Down Everest” (8 p.m., TCM, TV-G) captures an elaborate 1970 expedition that claimed the lives of six local Sherpas as well as a Japanese participant who suffered a heart attack. Director Barbara Kopple’s 1976 “Harlan County, USA” (10 p.m., TV-MA) follows.


“The Price Is Right at Night” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … “I Can See Your Voice” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … Pest control on “The Conners” (8 p.m. CBS, TV-PG) … Misadventures in babysitting on “Not Dead Yet” (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

Anthony Anderson hosts “We Are Family” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … “Celebrity Family Feud” (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … “Judge Steve Harvey” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).


Emma Stone and Jaime Harrison appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS, r) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Jacob Elordi, Ariana DeBose, BJ The Chicago Kid and Chloe on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC, r).

Dua Lipa, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Morgan Rose visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts Jerry O’Connell, Arden Myrin and Mary Lynn Rajskub on “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).