Has comedy become too obsessed, or reliant, on politics? Is there an audience for a talk show whose host promises to avoid hot-button issues? Comedy Central certainly thinks so as it premieres “Lights Out With David Spade” (11:30 p.m., TV-14).
“Lights” follows “The Daily Show,” the series that for more than two decades has mined news footage for laughs.
In interviews promoting “Lights Out,” Spade confesses that he’s neither “smart enough” nor engaged enough to try to keep up with political fights that he believes tend to have grown too nasty, particularly on social media.
Spade promises to run his show as a showcase for comedians both familiar and up-and-coming. His first panel of comics includes Neal Brennan, Erik Griffin and Whitney Cummings, whose own Netflix standup special begins streaming on Tuesday.
The focus of their chatter will remain topical and up-to-the-minute, but Spade hopes to keep things showbiz in nature and leave political topicality to just about every other talk show host now working. It’s interesting to note that Spade’s show is in the old “Colbert Show” time slot.
Does the return of Spade to daily (or at least Monday-to-Thursday) television begin a trend of political sarcasm and snark? Or merely continue a “back-to-the-’90s” movement long underway. Spade appeared on “SNL” from 1990-96 and is perhaps best known for his work on “Just Shoot Me,” which ran from 1997-2003.
The cast of that NBC series has remained busy. Laura San Giacomo has been seen on “NCIS”; George Segal stars on “The Goldbergs”; Wendie Malick starred in “Hot in Cleveland”; Enrico Colantoni just resurfaced on the fourth season of “Veronica Mars.”
Fans who want to prepare for Spade’s return by dwelling in the Clinton era can revel in the 1998 remake of “The Parent Trap” (8 p.m., Freeform); “My Cousin Vinny” from 1992 (7 p.m., Starz Encore); the 1990 comedy “Home Alone” (6:30 p.m., Sundance) and its 1992 sequel (9 p.m.); the 1996 Miramax epic “The English Patient” (9:30 p.m., TMC) or Al Pacino’s 1992 overacting showcase “Scent of a Woman” (8:50 p.m., Starz).
There’s also “90s Nation” (8 p.m., MTV Classic).
• The “POV” (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary “Inventing Tomorrow” follows teenagers as they prepare their presentations for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s biggest high school science fair, attracting the best and the brightest from around the globe.
• Three men advance to the finals on the first of a two-night season finale of “The Bachelorette” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG). ABC is promoting this as “history-making.”
• “America’s Hidden Stories” (8 p.m., Smithsonian) goes beyond the legends about Pocahontas to explore “Mystery at Jamestown,” a look at an early English colonial outpost some 400 years after its founding.
• The can’t-miss series “Years and Years” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) concludes with the family uniting in resistance.
• Obstacles abound on “American Ninja Warrior” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• Jamie Foxx hosts “Beat Shazam” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
• The top 10 compete on “So You Think You Can Dance” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Up against a blue wall on “Bull” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
• The staff revolts on “Grand Hotel” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• Syd matures abroad on “Legion” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
• Bitten by a rabid dog, a doctor (Glenn Ford) races against time to find a cure in the Mexican wasteland in the 1966 thriller “Rage” (10 p.m., TCM). Stella Stevens co-stars as a prostitute.
Tropical distractions on “Love Island (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Illusionists audition on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... Eyes are on the prize on “The Big Bang Theory” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... On “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (CW, TV-14), Heather Anne Campbell (9 p.m.), Jeff Davis (9:30 p.m.) ... Taking the fun out of fundraising on “The Neighborhood” (9:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... “Dateline” (10 p.m., NBC).
Dana Carvey appears on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS, r) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Rachel Brosnahan, Carla Gugino, the Fortnite World Cup Solo Champion and Ty Dolla $ign on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC).
John Oliver, CC Sabathia and Mini Mansions visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Jeff Goldblum and Bishop Briggs appear on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” (12:37 a.m., CBS).