VETERANS DAY specials put the focus on history and military service. “The Warrior Tradition” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-14, check local listings) examines the unique history of Native Americans in the American military. As the title implies, the film explores ancient tribal rituals and rites that dovetail with intense feelings of patriotism, pride and duty.
The film also explores centuries of racism and the denigration of “Indians” as something less than American or even human. During World War I, not all Native Americans were considered citizens and could not be drafted. Nevertheless, more than 12,000 volunteered for duty. Generations later, during the Vietnam War, a controversial conflict involving very bitter feelings about the military draft, more than 90% of the 42,000 Native people who served were volunteers.
“Warrior Tradition” makes the most of the ironies and paradoxes of history of a people subject to genocide and cultural annihilation yet who served their country in disproportionately high numbers.
“Warrior” interviews veterans from every war since World War II and from every branch of the Armed Forces, and from tribes including the Comanche and Apache of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Choctaw, the Navajo nation and the Menominee, among many other tribes and nations.
• PBS follows this up with the “Independent Lens” (10 p.m., TV-PG, check local listings) documentary “The Interpreters,” profiling Iraqis and Afghans essential to the American missions in those countries and whose cooperation with our military have put them and their families in extreme peril.
• “The Battle of Midway: The True Story” (8 p.m., Smithsonian) offers an hour-by-hour recounting of the 1942 naval engagement that changed the course of the war in the Pacific.
• As holidays go, Veterans Day has not lent itself to the big screen. But last year, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson applied 21st-century movie technology to grainy black-and-white footage that had been in storage at the Imperial War Museum in England for nearly a century.
He created dialogue and sound for ancient silent movies by incorporating interviews with WWI veterans as well as hiring lip-readers to revive the voices of the men on the screen. The resulting effort, the 2018 documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” (9 p.m., HBO Signature) has been hailed as a masterpiece that re-creates and celebrate the service of the millions who fought and died on the Western Front between 1914-18.
• Acorn begins streaming season three of “The Good Karma Hospital,” an offbeat U.K. comedy set in gorgeous locations in India. Clearly inspired by the multicultural whimsy of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” movies.
• Netflix begins streaming the Korean TV drama “Chief of Staff,” set in the world of political aides and assistants who often do most of the work and wield more influence than their lawmaker bosses.
• The top 20 perform on “The Voice” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• A self-driving car accident raises many questions on “9-1-1” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• “Dancing With the Stars” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) celebrates the Boy Band era.
• Fake bills, real charges on “Bull” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
• A suspect has a link to a shared past on “Prodigal Son” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Lyra adjusts to London as “His Dark Materials” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-14) continues.
• A crime scene visit might have biased the jury on “All Rise” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG).
• Emerson’s mother arrives with a crucial case on “Bluff City Law” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
• Shaun bonds with a patient on “The Good Doctor” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• Diplomatic woes on “Catherine the Great” (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
Stoners (Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong) stay one step ahead of the law (Stacy Keach) in their magic van in the 1978 comedy “Up in Smoke” (10:30 p.m., Starz Encore, TV-MA).
An awkward Thanksgiving on “The Neighborhood” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... Layla’s false front on “All American” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... Breakup blues on “Bob Hearts Abishola” (8:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... Family tragedy on “Black Lightning” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Kevin Nealon appears on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS) ... Will Smith and Andrew Scott are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS, r) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Michael Shannon, Jenna Bush Hager, Barbara Pierce Bush and Pete Yorn on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Whoopi Goldberg, Thomas Middleditch, Doja Cat & Tyga and Chris Johnson are set to visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC).