PBS LAUNCHES the biography series “In Their Own Words” (8 p.m., TV-PG, check local listings). Blending archival interviews, news footage and occasional animation, it profiles some of the most compelling figures of the present and recent past.
The first episode, “Pope Francis,” recalls the youth, upbringing and spiritual call of the man born Jorge Bergoglio in Argentina. The first pope from the Americas, he would be influenced by his country’s history, the region’s experience with authoritarian regimes and dictators, and the church’s relationship with those in power and with dissidents.
“Words” examines the Pope’s own speeches on the church’s struggle with the ongoing abuse scandal and his contentious relationship with more conservative scholars and clerics in Europe and America.
This is the second season of “In Their Own Words.” Upcoming installments include looks at musician Chuck Berry and Princess Diana. Archival episodes from season one, including profiles of Queen Elizabeth, Muppeteer Jim Henson and Muhammad Ali, can be streamed at PBS.org.
• A glance at social media and even broadcast “news” might suggest that the battle for Britney Spears’ conservatorship is the most important news event of our time. As it has for decades, “Frontline” (10 p.m., PBS) tends to cut through the clutter.
Its latest installment, “Leaving Afghanistan,” discusses the short and long-term ramifications of the American military’s departure from that country after two decades of ousting al-Qaida and fighting the Taliban. It presents interviews with Afghans and American policy experts who foresee a looming civil war and attempts by outside powers to wage proxy wars and gain influence.
The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Russia’s 10-year involvement in Afghanistan in the late 1980s marked a humiliation for Moscow and preceded the unraveling of the USSR. Does this American withdrawal mark the end of a chapter and a new policy toward military involvements and “nation building”? Or another news story that most viewers tend to tune out?
• Is “Rosemary’s Baby” (9:30 p.m., TMCX) the best horror movie of all time? A tale of a vain actor (John Cassavetes) who trades career success for his soul and arranges with the Satanists next door to impregnate his wife (Mia Farrow) with the devil’s child has more than held up over half a century.
The film announced the arrival of assured director Roman Polanski and lifted the horror genre into the realm of respectability, if not art. Its production disrupted the marriage of Farrow and Frank Sinatra, who just couldn’t understand what all of the auteur fuss was about.
Life later imitated art in the most grisly fashion, when Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in ritualistic fashion by the Manson gang. Its lurid setting, Manhattan’s Dakota apartments, was further stained with tragedy when it became the site of John Lennon’s assassination.
“Baby” was based on a novel by Ira Levin, who later apologized for introducing so much occult malarky into popular culture.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) and “NBA Countdown” (8:30 p.m.) anticipate the big game.
• The Bucks host the Suns in game 6 of the NBA finals (9 p.m., ABC).
• The White House melodrama “Tyler Perry’s The Oval” (9 p.m., BET, TV-14) enters its second season.
• Time travel looms large in the 2020 holiday romance “Christmas Comes Twice” (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
• Terrorists target a perceived elite on “FBI: Most Wanted” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
• Peyton Manning hosts “College Bowl” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• Josh hopes to fulfill his father’s Hawaiian dreams on “Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” (10 p.m., Discovery, r, TV-14).
• A trip to Ecuador offers a glimpse at rare wildlife on “Unknown Amazon With Pedro Andrade” (10 p.m., Viceland, TV-14).
Married to a boring financier (Ian Bannen), a young woman (Natalie Wood) robs his bank to get his attention in the 1966 comedy “Penelope” (6:15 p.m., TCM, TV-PG), co-starring Peter Falk, Jonathan Winters and Dick Shawn. Part of a Natalie Wood movie marathon.
A working holiday on “NCIS” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... “America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) ... Will Arnett hosts “Lego Masters” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) ... New alliances on the season finale of “The Flash” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... “Love Island” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Rob Lowe hosts the season finale of “Mental Samurai” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) ... A welcome distraction on “Superman & Lois” (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
Jimmy Fallon welcomes the Jonas Brothers and Zoe Lister-Jones on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Kristin Chenoweth, Tim Robinson and Simon Rich visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC).