• Future historians studying our weird times might do well to pore over “Ghosted: Love Gone Missing” (9 p.m., MTV, TV-14). Combining heartbreak and social media forensics, “Ghosted” returns for a second season.
Faced with a plague, “Ghosted” has been shot remotely. Strangely, that doesn’t seem to matter. For the uninitiated (or merely old, like me), to be ghosted is to be suddenly abandoned by a loved one (or presumed loved one). One moment you’re sharing intimacy and continually texting, and the next minute, he or she simply vanishes — blocks your calls and unfriends you on social media.
It doesn’t have the high stakes of Showtime’s new series “Love Fraud,” about the search for a sociopathic bigamist embezzler. But nobody likes to get dumped and then treated like they don’t exist. So they call Rachel Lindsay and Travis Mills, the hosts and sleuths behind “Ghosted.” Rachel “calls in” to the show from her apartment in Miami, and Travis shares an apartment with his dog in Los Angeles. But once they’re on Zoom, they are a team.
In this season opener, they try to console Joanna, a single mother from New Jersey, who invited her Uber driver into her life and who was won over by his affection for her son. At times she seems more hurt that her son has been “ghosted” as well.
From their respective coastal perches, Rachel and Travis search out friends and social media “friends” of the couple to check out Joanna’s story and discover the veracity and consistency of what she has shared. And what she hasn’t. It would be unfair to reveal too much more.
While this looks and sounds like every other reality series, “Ghosted” offers a sadly revealing look at what it’s like to seek affection and companionship in the era of smart phones and social media, a time when the very means of “communication” keep people at a remote distance that has nothing to do with COVID. It’s a view of life and love lived almost entirely as a virtual experience, a “reality” that can vanish at any moment. As someone whose MTV-watching days are decades behind me, I was both bemused and rather shocked to hear Rachel and Travis greet each other with, “Yo” and “Wassup?” Isn’t that something their grandparents used to say?
• Speaking of grandparents, characters from “Meet the Browns” graduate to the new series “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living” (9 p.m., BET, TV-PG). Senior citizen humor is tricky territory. “Golden Girls” remains a beloved classic.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Talent moves into the semi-finals on “America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• “Koko — The Gorilla Who Talks” (8 p.m., PBS, r, TV-G, check local listings) profiles a primate who entranced a generation.
• A teacher and a tycoon fall in love in the 2018 romance “Marrying Mr. Darcy” (8 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
• A champion emerges on a two-hour “Tough as Nails” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) finale.
• “Super Factories” (10 p.m., Science, TV-PG) visits the world’s most productive steel mill.
• Roy Scheider portrays chain-smoking director/choreographer Bob Fosse in the 1979 musical fantasy “All That Jazz” (10:45 p.m., TCM). A must for fans of the FX series “Fosse/Verdon.”
Eccentric bowlers (Jeff Bridges, John Goodman) stumble into a kidnapping case right out of a film noir thriller in the peculiar and beloved 1998 Coen brothers comedy “The Big Lebowski” (7:30 p.m., Vice, TV-14).
Julie Chen Moonves hosts “Big Brother” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Deglazing critics’ pans on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) ... On two helpings of “The Goldbergs” (ABC, r, TV-PG): the magic kingdom (8 p.m.), camping (10 p.m.) ... A new enemy emerges on “The 100” (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) ... A quarrel over schools on “black-ish” (8:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
On two helpings of “The Connors” (ABC, r, TV-PG): Dan emotes (9 p.m.), Halloween (10:30 p.m.) ... One tough turkey on “Coroner” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Rory Scovel appears on “Conan” (11 p.m., TBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Michael Che, Megan Rapinoe and Angel Olsen on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC, r) ... Paula Pell, John Lutz and John Berman visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) ... Niall Horan and Thandie Newton appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (12:37 a.m., CBS, r).