“The Amazing Race” (8 p.m., CBS) enters its 31st season. To celebrate its longevity, it invites “graduates” of other long-in-the-tooth CBS reality shows, “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” to participate in the globe-trotting, along with “Amazing” veterans.
Patrick Stewart lends his powerful voice to “Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World” (PBS, 9 p.m. Channel 10; 10 p.m. Channel 11), an exploration of inventions and devices that transformed human life.
Part one, about the telescope, allows “Breakthrough” to discuss stargazers from Portugal, who built giant rock “observatories” thousands of years before the pyramids. It takes us to ninth-century Baghdad, where a convergence of Greek, Arabic and Persian scholars and mathematicians studied the very nature of light and invented the camera obscura.
No discussion of the telescope is complete without a history of glass-making and lenscraft that includes visits to Murano glassworks in Venice and the studies of the Dutch inventor of the telescope.
We return to Italy to visit Galileo’s Florence, explore a 19th-century real estate bubble in Manhattan that financed an astronomy lab at Harvard that in turn influenced an observatory in California run by the indefatigable Edwin Hubble, whose name was given to the first telescope to operate from outer space.
“Breakthrough” packs a lot of ideas, and travel, into a tidy hour. Later installments discuss cars, rockets, telephones and robots.
A young woman (Anne Hathaway) adjusts to a monster boss (Meryl Streep) in the 2006 comedy “The Devil Wears Prada” (8 p.m., HBO Signature). “Prada” set a template for the theme of millennials as intern/doormats, explored in comedies from “Girls” to “Shrill” and “Special.”
TONIGHT’S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
Legal worries mount on “Empire” (7 p.m., Fox).
New clues about Nolan’s murder on “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” (7 p.m., Freeform).
Scouting for talent on “Star” (8 p.m., Fox).
Frankie takes charge on “Whiskey Cavalier” (9 p.m., ABC).
A bomber pilot (Spencer Tracy) returns as his pal’s (Van Johnson) guardian angel, and even helps him woo his old flame (Irene Dunne) in the 1943 wartime fantasy “A Guy Named Joe” (8:45 p.m., TCM). “Joe” was remade by director Steven Spielberg in 1989 as “Always.”