It’s the beginning of the end for this beloved British soap. As the final season opens, there’s anxiety in the air. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) faces a blackmail threat, Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) is nervous about her impending marriage to Carson, and Violet (Maggie Smith) is upset over a possible change at the hospital. On top of it all, the fiscal realities of 1925 may force Downton to – gasp! – downsize. 9 p.m. Sunday, PBS.
SUNDAY: Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life is a new comedy about a post-college 20-something (Jack Cutmore-Scott) and his pals. Seems they have a habit of careening from one disaster to the next. 8:30 p.m., Fox.
MONDAY: A new season of The Bachelor begins tonight, and you know the drill: Ben Higgins hands out roses – a ritual followed by lots of drama and tears, followed by a proposal, followed by plenty of tabloid dirt and a messy breakup, followed by an appearance on Dancing With the Stars. 8 p.m., ABC.
MONDAY: Superhuman is a competition that has people with extraordinary abilities in areas such as memory, hearing, touch, taste, smell and sight vying for a big prize. 8 p.m., Fox.
MONDAY: The battle of the bulge begins anew as The Biggest Loser launches its 17th season. The 16 contestants include two reality TV stars – Survivor’s Richard Hatch and The Voice’s Erin Willett. 9 p.m., NBC.
TUESDAY: Uh-oh. As New Girl begins, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) plans an elaborate engagement party for Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) without realizing that Cece’s mom (Anna George) is unaware she is engaged. 8 p.m., Fox.
WEDNESDAY: The swan song for American Idol begins, as the reality series that gave us Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and more kicks off its 15th and final season. 8 p.m., Fox.
WEDNESDAY: More than 72 million votes were cast for tonight’s People’s Choice Awards. We’re guessing that Taylor Swift probably got a few of them. 9 p.m., CBS.
THURSDAY: Angel From Hell is a new sitcom that has Jane Lynch trying to be the wing woman for a young doctor (Maggie Lawson). But is she really a guardian angel – or just a nut job? 9:30 p.m., CBS.
THURSDAY: Whether you’re drawn to the new crime drama Shades of Blue probably depends on how seriously you take Jennifer Lopez as a hard-nosed Brooklyn police detective. … Yeah, that’s what we thought. 10 p.m., NBC.
FRIDAY: Things are getting a little weird on Hawaii Five-0. McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) head to Maui, not to kick back or play golf, but to attend a couples retreat to work on their issues. 9 p.m., CBS.
SATURDAY: Unfortunately, we can’t debunk this one: After nearly 250 episodes and 3,000 gonzo experiments, MythBusters launches its final season. 8 p.m., Discovery Channel.
Contra Costa Times