A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry (9/8c, NBC): Hello again, Dolly! The country-music legend has been all over TV this month: an ABC News special, the Country Music Association Awards, Netflix's Dolly Parton's Heartstrings series. And now to celebrate her half-century as a member of Nashville's iconic Grand Ole Opry, Dolly takes the Opry stage for a two-hour concert special with guest appearances by fellow country hit-makers Emmylou Harris, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Janson, Margo Price and more. This musical spectacular is the official kickoff of NBC's "Oh What Fun"-branded holiday programming. Happy Early Thanksgiving!
Emergence (10/9c, ABC): The sci-fi thriller has kicked into high gear, ever since the reveal that little Piper (Alexa Swinton) is an AI, and one of her programmers (Maria Dizzia as warped Emily) wants to be her mommy, although guardian police chief Jo (the terrific Allison Tolman) already has that job. In last week's cliffhanger, it looked like Emily had ordered a fatal hit on her jailed tech-mogul father, Richard Kindred (Lost's Terry O'Quinn), and now that she's in the wind, the FBI is on the case, getting in Jo's way in her search for the unstable genius. Perfect timing for Piper to bond with Jo's ex, Alex (Donald Faison), as they look for answers on a road trip.
Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season (10/9c, HBO): A new documentary profile follows the Olympic champion skier through her last year of competition, while looking back at a remarkable career that began as a child prodigy and continued through multiple triumphs and more than a few injuries. At her peak, nobody did it better than Lindsey Vonn. Tune in an hour earlier for a new edition of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (9/8c), which includes an inspiring update on athlete Amy Van Dyken, who was paralyzed from the waist down after an injury five years ago and is now mastering the sport of adaptive CrossFit.
Inside Tuesday TV: A new mission for Gibbs (Mark Harmon) on CBS's NCIS (8/7c): babysitter, when he's put in charge of neighbor kid Phineas (Jack Fisher) after his mom is suddenly called away… Still rocked by the murder of LaSalle (Lucas Black) on CBS spinoff NCIS: New Orleans (10/9c), the team looks for a way to crack the case when Eddie Barrett (Eddie Cahill) comes up with an alibi witness… Mike Birbiglia's brings his acclaimed one-man Broadway show The New One to Netflix. Filmed on the stage of the Cort Theatre, Birbiglia employs very personal observational humor to confront the reality of bringing a child into the world.