NO SERIES IS SAFE from rebooting. “Friends” had its reunion. A “new” version of “Frasier” is in the works, and even “iCarly” is returning.
To these retreads, add “Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty” (8 p.m. Saturday, BBC America). Like many around the globe, I was transfixed by the turf war of these desert rodents, scratching out a rough existence in the blasting heat of the Kalahari Desert.
While nature documentaries had grown more objectively scientific over the years, eschewing the frolicsome cartoonification of natural creatures found in old Disney efforts, “Meerkat,” which ran from 2005 to 2008, was unabashedly anthropomorphic, grafting character development and dynastic struggles to its observation of life and death, feast and famine, drought and deluge. The struggles of Flower, her brood and meerkat rivals took on the trappings of Greek drama, Shakespeare and even “The Sopranos,” a mob melodrama that had its controversial conclusion roughly around the time that “Manor” took a bow.
With “Dynasty” we return to the Whiskers clan, under the leadership of Swift, the great-granddaughter of Flower, the meerkat matriarch whose struggles galvanized viewers of the original. As desert rodents go, Swift and her offspring are leading the lush life. Their little mound of earth has more than its share of water and vegetation, offering a bounty of lizards and bugs to devour.
Not far away, conditions aren’t so rosy for Flint and her Hakuna Matata gang. They live in a dust heap and must travel far for their forage. To make matters worse, nature has endowed Flint with a predominantly male brood. That forces her to do most of the nursing and babysitting for the young. Swift has many daughters to act as both caretaker and wetnurse, allowing her to explore, and in the logic of this series, strategize.
One subplot emerges early, when one of Flint’s many males comes sniffing around Swift’s camp. Will he find a life mate? Or sudden death at the hands of protective brothers? This Kalahari variation on “Romeo and Juliet” has just begun.
• Another tale of a powerful female using her wiles to survive and thrive in a cauldron of violence and uncertainty, “Domina” (10 p.m. Sunday, TV-MA) debuts on Epix. Kasia Smutniak stars in the title role as the fetching Domina, a daughter of Rome’s most powerful family who loses everything after the assassination of Julius Caesar plunges Rome into civil war. After 10 years in exile, she’s willing to marry her way back into power.
Produced in Italy for Britain’s Sky TV, “Domina” becomes the latest dynastic series to try to attract viewers of “Game of Thrones.”
• Also produced for Sky, the limited series “Little Birds” (9 p.m. Sunday, Starz, TV-MA) stars Juno Temple as a sheltered American debutante who arrives in Tangier in 1955 to discover a hotbed of hedonism and decadence.
• COVID continues to scramble the TV calendar. Normally, CBS would present the Tony Awards ceremony on the first Sunday in June, inspiring an appreciation of Broadway’s best and another discussion of just how few TV viewers really care. Canceled entirely last year, the Tonys will return Sept. 26, to air partially on CBS and stream for four hours on Paramount+.
Another postponed celebration, “The Kennedy Center Honors” (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS) is generally held in early December and broadcast a few days after Christmas. This year, it was taped in May, with singer Gloria Estefan hosting. Honors go to folk singer and activist Joan Baez, country star Garth Brooks, actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke.
Owing to COVID concerns, the ceremonies were taped in segments, with only a few parts taped before a small and socially distanced audience. Returning to tradition, the honorees met with the president and first lady.
• Check your listings for regional MLB action (7 p.m., Fox).
• The New York Islanders host the Boston Bruins in NHL playoff action (7:15 p.m., NBC).
• A man becomes a target of investigation after his wife vanishes in the 2021 shocker “Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos” (8 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
• Satellite imagery uncovers a 19th-century Irish prison with a grim history on “What on Earth?” (8 p.m., Science, TV-PG).
• “Kindred Spirits” (9 p.m., Travel, TV-PG) opens the door to a New Hampshire bed and breakfast with spectral guests who never check out.
• Travel hosts clash in a lush locale in the 2021 romance “You Had Me at Aloha” (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (7 p.m., CBS): the origins of COVID-19; ransomware; David Attenborough.
• Gymnastics championships (7 p.m., NBC).
• The Yankees host the Red Sox in Major League Baseball (7 p.m., ESPN).
• The docuseries “The Kings” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA) offers overlapping profiles of boxers Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard.
• Sean plays matchmaker on “The Moodys” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Sessions continue on “In Treatment” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
• Blanca fights to get more people of color enrolled in clinical trials for HIV medication on the emotional finale of “Pose” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
• Eviction woes on “Flatbush Misdemeanors” (10:30 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
Director Ken Russell offers over-the-top profiles of famous composers in his 1974 effort “Mahler” (2 a.m., early Monday, TCM), followed by “Lisztomania” (4 a.m.), from 1975.
Urgent undertakings on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... “Celebrity Family Feud” (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14) ... Two episodes of “48 Hours” (9 p.m. and 10 p.m., CBS, r) ... “The Chase” (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
“Small Fortune” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG) ... A cyberattack shuts down the hospital on “The Good Doctor” (10 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).
Lisa hurts Marge’s feelings on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) ... “Celebrity Family Feud” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) ... Mere mortals on “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... Judy’s crush loves another on “The Great North” (8:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
“America’s Got Talent” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG) ... “The Chase” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Luke’s condition sparks soul searching on “Batwoman” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... An escaped con threatens Sebastian on “NCIS: New Orleans” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... “To Tell the Truth” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).