MID- OR LATE-SEASON entries tend to be the weakest. Or the weirdest. Last week, NBC introduced “Abby’s,” a saloon-centered comedy with all of the bite of a watered-down beer.
The CW closes out its season with “In the Dark” (9 p.m., TV-14), a noir mystery update with a twist or two.
Meet Murphy (Perry Mattfeld). She’s sassy and surly to her co-workers. She drinks to excess, to the point of blacking out. She sleeps around and stumbles through her days in a perpetual hangover.
Did I mention she was blind?
If you thought the notion of a promiscuous, foul-mouthed sightless leading lady was audacious enough, just wait. While walking unsteadily through the city streets, she happens upon the dead body of a friend — a drug dealer. She reports the crime to the police, only to become a suspect herself.
So, she does the only sensible thing. At least on television. She resolves to solve the crime, with the help of her guide dog, Pretzel.
You have to hand it to “In the Dark” for updating pop cultural attitudes. More than 50 years ago, Audrey Hepburn played the ultimate victim as a beautiful blind woman beset by drug-dealing thugs in “Wait Until Dark.” Murphy isn’t waiting for anybody’s help!
Her demons and addictions also challenge popular notions of using a blind character as inspiration (Helen Keller) or ironic poignancy (the blind hermit who welcomes Frankenstein).
The notion of a blind, alcoholic, promiscuous sleuth may seem preposterous, but the makers of “In the Dark” know that television isn’t about presenting the realistic, but selling us aspirations. Murphy’s a girl who dreams big. We’ve just got to believe!
• The eight-part unscripted series “The American Farm” (10 p.m., History, TV-PG) follows several family farms at work. Not available for review.
• “Ghost Bait” (10 p.m., Travel, TV-PG) may sound like an overlooked Abbott & Costello comedy, but it’s really ... therapy?
Producers find people with an intense fear of the paranormal and isolate them in a spot well known for spectral activities. Sounds reasonable!
Apparently, their fear helps draw the ectoplasm out of hiding, enabling the subjects to face and conquer their fears. Gosh, it’s a win-win situation.
• Speaking of the undead, “Wife Swap” (9 p.m., Paramount, TV-PG) has been exhumed.
• Gordon creates a haven for refugees on “Gotham” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
• A surprise visit on “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p.m. ABC, TV-14).
• Ed crash-lands on a hostile planet on “The Orville” (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
• A tragic accident makes Vic take stock on “Station 19” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
A patient crashes her therapist’s wedding to accuse him of abuse on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
• Sandra wants Kate to challenge a crooked judge on “For the People” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
The emergence of a rival (Mila Kunis) rattles the fragile nerves of a star ballerina (Natalie Portman) in the 2010 psychological thriller “Black Swan” (8 p.m., Cinemax).
Competitors arrive “The Big Bang Theory” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Amy misses a rung on the corporate ladder on “Superstore” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... A friend in need on “Supernatural” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... A dress rehearsal for college on “Young Sheldon” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Murder mystery night on “A.P. Bio” (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Maternal urges on “Mom” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... A wedding detour on “Will & Grace” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... Recycling on “Fam” (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Bill challenges a bar rule on “Abby’s” (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) ... A fellow Marine may betray Hondo’s trust on “S.W.A.T.” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Sen. Bernie Sanders is booked on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Daniel Radcliffe appears on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS, r).
Sandra Oh, Zachary Levi and Nina Nesbitt are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Kit Harington, Elle Fanning and Khalid on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Seth Rogen, Mike Tyson and Iggy Azalea appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (11:35 p.m., ABC).
Sen. Kamala Harris, Henry Winkler, Conleth Hill and Aaron Comess visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Matthew McConaughey, Reba McEntire and Jimmy Buffett appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (12:35 a.m., CBS).