Featuring every form of awkward communication except silence, the new comedy “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” (8:30 p.m., Freeform, TV-14) debuts tonight.
Josh Thomas (“Please Like Me”) stars as Nicholas, a socially inept, 20-something Australian visiting his divorced father and American half-sisters. Nicholas feels compelled to nervously spill at all times. So, at a time when he is trying to woo a cute boy (Adam Faison), he reveals that his father, Darren (Christopher May), left his mother for an American woman and then abandoned them for good when she had a baby. According to Nicholas, the fact that the daughter, Matilda (Kayla Cromer), was on the autism spectrum allowed his father to pass off his selfish departure as a noble act.
Nicholas isn’t the only one to focus on the first-person singular and to trade in TMI. All of the characters talk too much. All of the time.
The writers use Matilda’s autism as an excuse for her to speak in whole paragraphs or to blurt out questions, bullet-point style. Her sister, Genevieve (Maeve Press), is a garden-variety adolescent, but even she has to announce her every feeling, often tinged with nervous anger. They attend a high school where cruel queen bees seem cursed with a need to audition for the umpteenth remake of “Heathers.”
“Gonna” is propelled forward by the fact that Darren has terminal cancer and that, rather than return to Australia, Nicholas decides to remain to become an adult guardian for Matilda and Genevieve.
Spoiler alert, Dad does die. Everybody else gets to live precociously ever after.
• What movies stand the test of time? Kids’ films are particularly ephemeral and easily forgotten. Critically savaged when released in 1996, the family farce “Dunston Checks In” (7 p.m., HBO Family) was also a box office flop, and considered an embarrassment for star Faye Dunaway. It was a harbinger of decades of subpar vehicles for “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander.
For reasons mysterious, it became a hit on VHS tape and a staple of cable programming, entertaining generations of parents and children. Credit Sam the Orangutan in the title role.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Past champions contend on “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
• Mike gives Vanessa some space on “Last Man Standing” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
• Payback time on “Deputy” (10 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• “The Last Days of Richard Pryor” (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) profiles the popular and influential comedian and may make casual viewers wonder if they’ve confused ABC with the Reelz channel.
• Kristin returns to the witness stand on “Evil” (11 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
• An victim finds a novel way to get attention on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (11 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
• Director Martin Scorsese followed up his disturbing drama “Taxi Driver” with the 1977 musical drama “New York, New York” (9 p.m., TCM, TV-PG), a love letter to the postwar Big Band era, starring Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli. Neither a critical nor a box office success, the film is best remembered for its title song, popularized by Frank Sinatra.
Body glitter on “Young Sheldon” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Mourning Myrtle on “Superstore” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... Hard truths on “Supernatural” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Advice from a surprising source on “The Unicorn” (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Michael runs tests on “The Good Place” (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
A moving reunion on “Mom” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... A rebound ends up as a bad dribble on “Will & Grace” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... Messing with the Necromancer on “Legacies” (10 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... A defensive posture on “Carol’s Second Act” (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... A visit from a Princeton peer makes Arthur reflect on his situation on “Perfect Harmony” (10:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
JB Smoove is booked on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (12 a.m., Comedy Central) ... Ilana Glazer appears on “Conan” (12 a.m., TBS) ... Lizzy Cooperman, Guy Branum and Joel McHale appear on “Lights Out With David Spade” (12:30 a.m., Comedy Central).
Josh Gad and Tamron Hall are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (12:35 a.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes the cast of “Schitt’s Creek,” Finn Wolfhard and Justin Willman on “The Tonight Show” (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Al Pacino, Florence Pugh and Nicky Jam featuring Daddy Yankee appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (12:35 a.m., ABC) ... Robert De Niro, Guy Pearce and Joe Pera visit “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (1:35 a.m., NBC, r).