Awkward relationship spectacles did not begin with reality TV. Anybody who ever watched “The Newlywed Game” knows that. But “A Night With My Ex” (9 p.m., Bravo, TV-14) brings whole new levels of cringe and cliche to the genre.
As the title implies, “Night” invites broken-up couples to spend a night together in a one-bedroom apartment rigged with a gazillion small cameras. It has the voyeurism of a “Big Brother” season where every participant has serious history. Over the course of 10 separate episodes, different pairs will seek “closure” or rekindle old bonds.
We’re told that these would transpire without producers, coaching or interruption. So anything can happen. But what if they decide to act like an old couple and just veg out in front of the television?
- Speaking of “exes,” a new “Frontline” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) explores another form of long-term relationship marked by domination and co-dependency. “Life on Parole” explores ex-convicts still very much in “the system” who are released from prison only to report to parole officers over the course of many years.
We meet mothers and fathers whose relationship with their offspring has been interrupted, sometimes for more than a decade. The hourlong documentary also profiles parole officers who walk a fine line between their desire to help their cases stay out of prison and their duty to report infractions.
- Featuring a modern-day Noah with a Nikon, the three-part PBS series “Rare” (8 p.m., TV-PG) follows photographer Joel Sartore as he travels to five continents to capture images of some of the most vulnerable species before they succumb to extinction. His journeys have taken him to nearly 40 countries to photograph 6,395 species for his “photo ark.”
- “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO) profiles military dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, who has identified himself and his regime with MMA (mixed martial arts) and extreme fighting sports clubs.
“Sports” also visits Australia, where a multi-billion-dollar tourism industry is threatened by the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and catches up with baseball great and 18-time All-Star Rod Carew, who recently received a heart transplant after suffering a cardiac episode in 2015.
- TV-themed DVDs available today include “T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series.”
- Judges decide on “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
- Lost in the Amazon on “Hooten & the Lady” (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14).
- Trolls attack Kat on “The Bold Type” (8 p.m., Freeform, TV-14).
- Eliminations on “World of Dance” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
- Bob Lee barely escapes an attack as “Shooter” (9 p.m., USA, TV-14) returns for a second season.
- Robby Benson stars in the 1976 drama “Ode to Billy Joe” (9 p.m., TCM), based on the 1967 song by Bobbie Gentry. The film “explains” events only alluded to in the four-minute ballad.
- Series notes
Defenestration on “NCIS” (7 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... Marge consults parenting experts on “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) ... On two helpings of “The Middle” (ABC, r, TV-PG), a cut-rate plumber (7 p.m.), pooled resources (9:30 p.m.) ... Barry calls on the DC pantheon on “The Flash” (7 p.m., CW, r, TV-PG) ... On two helpings of “The Mick” (Fox, r, TV-14) popularity (7:30 p.m.), sleeping arrangements (8:30 p.m.) ... New Year’s Day on “Fresh Off the Boat” (7:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
Death by parachute on “Bull” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... Peter hosts a podcast on “Family Guy” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... On two helpings of “Blackish” (ABC, r), Bow’s sister (8 p.m., TV-14), skin deep (8:30 p.m., TV-PG).
Hackers target Crescent City bigwigs on “NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is booked on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (10 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Dana Carvey, Claudia O’Doherty and Brad Wenzel appear on “Conan” (10 p.m., TBS, r) ... “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS) visits Russia ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Jada Pinkett Smith, Dane DeHaan, Rita Ora and Dave Davies on “The Tonight Show” (10:35 p.m., NBC).
© 2017 United Feature Synd.