The notion of “new” gets older every day. Take an arena rock band from another generation and add an “Idol” favorite from 10 years back and you’ve got “The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story” (8 p.m., ABC).
Lambert certainly demonstrated a lot of energy on “American Idol” all those years ago. And some versatility. So, it’s not entirely a good thing that he’s been reinvented — or reduced to — performing as the “new” Freddie Mercury, standing in for the singer who died in 1991 and who was profiled in the Oscar-winning movie “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
While Mercury was portrayed by Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) in that movie, it was Lambert and the real surviving Queen members who opened the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24.
Was ABC promoting this special even then? The corporate synergy machine was certainly humming this past Sunday, when ABC held a Queen-themed episode of “Idol.”
Nearly everything about this re-enactment-revival special is entirely too slick. Airing just days after the senior-center spectacle of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (7 p.m., r, HBO2, TV-14), this arrives like some focus-grouped, test-driven nightmare straight from a marketing department out to turn every ounce of once-original creativity into franchisable “product.”
The words “Disney” (corporate owner of ABC) and “rock and roll” should not appear in the same sentence. When they do, they look something like this.
Speaking of venerable pop culture and franchisable product, Rami Malek has just been named to play a new villain in the next James Bond movie.
• The two-hour documentary “Korea: The Never-Ending War” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) offers a concise glance at a near-70 year crisis. The first half covers the Korean War, the so-called “forgotten war” that was among the most savage ever fought.
The remaining hour or so surveys the years since and the perverse persistence of North Korea to take over the entire peninsula, even as it fell into economic backwardness and saw its Cold War sponsors evolve from hardline Communism. It crams four presidential administrations’ efforts to curtail the north’s nuclear development into about 20 minutes.
While compelling, “Korea” seems about 10 hours too short. It deserves a miniseries treatment.
• In streaming news, Acorn introduces “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.” This spin-off from the popular period Australian series updates the action (and the homicides) from the 1920s to the 1960s. A feature film adaptation, “Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears,” will be released later this year.
Tonight’s other highlights
• The top 24 perform on “The Voice” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• A lottery winner is admitted on “The Resident” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• A live installment of “Nature” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-G, check local listings), “American Spring” chronicles creatures reacting to warmer temperatures.
• On two hours of “Hostile Planet” (National Geographic, TV-PG); the difficulties of documenting hummingbirds (8 p.m.), adapting to ever-hotter deserts (9 p.m.).
• A dying Marine accuses a sitting congressman on “The Code” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
• Bobby recalls his move to Los Angeles on “9-1-1” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Apparently, it’s no longer enough to merely live in a home. You have to possess (or be possessed, or is that repossessed?) by “Bargain Mansions” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., HGTV).
• A client’s family history becomes a problem on “Bull” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
• A murder in the agency on “The Enemy Within” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
• Sevvy suffers from hallucinations on “The Fix” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• The Widow has doubts on “Into the Badlands” (10 p.m., AMC, TV-14).
• Lister’s plans for her coal mines run up against local power brokers on “Gentleman Jack” (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
Feeling bludgeoned by the marketing for the current “Avengers” sequel? There was a time, 1978 to be exact, when a big-budget comic book adaptation like “Superman: The Movie” (6 p.m., Sundance, TV-PG) seemed like a risk.
A scientific paper worries Amy and Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... Worries consume Ray on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Adam takes on a snob on “Man With a Plan” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A plan to stop the Ninth Circle on “Arrow” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Nore Davis is on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS) ... Seth Rogen, Ronda Rousey and Jessica Yellin are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Kate McKinnon, Noah Centineo and Mac DeMarco on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC).