A novel written as a warning that seems more relevant than when it first appeared, Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) has been given the premium-cable treatment.

Published in 2004 as a reaction to the authoritarian excesses of the post-9/11 era, Roth’s novel imagines an alternate history where Franklin Roosevelt is denied a third term in 1940 and defeated by aviator hero Charles Lindbergh, who steers the country toward an isolationist foreign policy that gives Hitler’s Germany a free hand in its efforts to subject most of the world to Nazi ideology.

The notion of American collaboration in a German victory in World War II has inspired a shelf of novels, from Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” to “Fatherland” by Robert Harris. While both of those works are intriguing in their own way, Roth’s plot keeps the focus on family matters and an evocation of Jewish life in Newark, N.J., where Roth was raised and where he has set several of his novels.

Morgan Spector (“Boardwalk Empire”) stars as Herman Levin, a proud father and husband to Bess (Zoe Kazan). Herman’s opinionated bluster offers an ongoing take on the gathering political storm.

At first, most of the family’s drama is very personal. After devoting years to the care of her mother, Bess’ older sister Evelyn (Winona Ryder) fears that time has passed her by and rushes into a fruitless affair with a married man and then a dalliance with a proud older rabbi (John Turturro), who thinks that if he throws his support to Lindbergh he can dissuade him from his more extreme positions. Herman’s nephew Alvyn (Anthony Boyle) careens from working for a very minor gangster to volunteering to fight Hitler on European soil.

But the heart of the story belongs to 10-year-old Philip, very much a stand-in for Roth as he moves from innocence to awareness of evil forces in the world both at home and abroad. Not unlike Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” Philip’s antics ground the harrowing story in a sense of wonder and humor.

Philip shares a bedroom and awkward bull sessions with his older brother, Sandy (Caleb Malis), a gifted artist who hides his hero-worshipping cartoon renderings of Lindbergh, lest their father find them.

A gripping combination of political nightmare and intimate family melodrama, “Plot” is a beautiful evocation of late Depression America. Its production holds its own with “Boardwalk Empire” in terms of historic re-creation. Setting up the political backdrop and complicated family dynamics burdens some characters, mostly Herman, with long-winded explanations. “Plot” makes the most of its source material, a gripping novel that blends the dynamic action of genre fiction with the kind of deeply observed characters that distinguish great literature from mere fiction.

Other highlights

• “My Brilliant Friend” (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) enters its second season as Elena and Lila become young women in the early 1960s.

• Blind auditions continue on “The Voice” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

• A skydiving trip goes badly on “9-1-1” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Contestants move to Hollywood on “American Idol” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• Lola’s hard-charging ways irk the brass on “All Rise” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

• A grim case inspires a reunion on “Prodigal Son” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Liz decides to leave town on the second season premiere of “Roswell, New Mexico” (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).

• A client may have masterminded an anthrax attack on “Bull” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

• Grace’s delicate condition complicates matters on “Manifest” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Kim’s surprise move on “Better Call Saul” (9 p.m., AMC, TV-14).

• Fredwynn needs help on “Dispatches from Elsewhere” (10 p.m., AMC, TV-14).

• The 2017 “Independent Lens” (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary “I Am Another You” explores the fine line between the freedom of the open road and abject homelessness.

Series notes

Youth basketball on “The Neighborhood” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A frantic call on “Supernatural” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Bob’s ex needs a nurse on “Bob Hearts Abishola” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A grief-stricken Shaun confronts matters of the heart on “The Good Doctor” (10 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).

Cult choice

Now appearing in “Stranger Things” and “The Plot Against America,” Winona Ryder portrayed Jo March in the 1994 adaptation of “Little Women” (8 p.m., TMC).

Late night

Zach Woods appears on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS, r) ... Reese Witherspoon, Tracy Letts and Ali Sultan are the guests on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon is scheduled to welcome Armie Hammer, Evan Rachel Wood and Conan Gray on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Hank Azaria, Retta and Hailey Whitters visit the set of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC).