Some of the most promising dramas starting new seasons tonight may be the hardest to find.
The fifth and final season of “Damages” (DirecTV, 9 p.m.), the strong series starring Glen Close and Rose Byrne runs for a second year only on the satellite company. Ryan Phillippe is guest star this season, which concerns a WikiLeaks-like case.
Your only hope if you’re not a subscriber is to wait until it comes out on disc several months from now.
Just as intriguing is the new British series “Hit & Miss” (DirecTV, 10 p.m.) which stars Chloe Sevigny, pictured here, as a transgendered hit woman. The high concept series, which has reportedly resulted in a great performance from Sevigny is from Paul Abbott, who previously created “State of Play” and the original “Shameless.”
The new show comes at a time with DirecTV has shed MTV and the Viacom networks at midnight in a fee dispute.
The series that takes a deeper look into a single baseball club, “The Franchise” (Showtime, 10 p.m.), is back and shifting its focus to Miami. There, the Marlins have built a huge new stadium, has a fiery and outspoken manager in Carlos Guillen (who was sanctioned by the baseball commissioner soon after the season started) and has had a terrible season ever since. Still, no shortage of drama to capture.
More winning sports figures will populate the ESPY Awards 2012 (ESPN, 8 p.m.), presented live tonight from the Nokia Theatre in Hollywood. Rob Riggle, the “Daily Show” correspondent, will host.
From the producers of “The Real Housewives” comes “Beverly Hills Nannies” (ABC Family, 9 p.m.), which, like most of the “Housewives” series is initially appalling for its ostentatious and callous ways of living. But it eventually turns into an interesting look at a handful of nannies there negotiating fees and outrageous demands (footrubs for the moms). By the end of the first episode, they’re banding together to create their own agency.
The Top 20 dance on “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox, 8 p.m.) and unlike last week, you can vote for them to stay.
Four of the 12 who performed Tuesday will move on after the results show for “America’s Got Talent” (NBC, 9 p.m.).
A new spinoff of “American Pickers” turns the search into antiques on the road into a competition. Four teams get just $100 to spend on their finds on “Picked Off” (History, 10 p.m.).
Immediately after a new season starts for “Toddlers & Tiaras” (TLC, 9 p.m.) comes a special about another group of parents pushing kids into activities with the Arkansas cheerleader enthusiasts of “Cheer Perfection” (TLC, 10 p.m.).
A woman from Prince George’s County whose husband attempted to burn her is featured on tonight’s “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry” (Investigation Discovery, 9:30 p.m.).
Things are getting about as heated in “Dallas” (TNT, 9 p.m.) as they were last week on the mid-Atlantic seaboard.
“Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” (Travel, 9 p.m.) extends the search to Seattle.
Judy Greer guest stars on “Royal Pains” (USA, 9 p.m.). Edie Falco helps out on “Dogs in the City” (CBS, 8 p.m.).
The usually brainy “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman” (Science, 10 p.m.) looks into the possibilities of zombies.
Don’t bet on the Home Run Derby (ESPN2, 8 p.m.); it’s a replay from Monday.
Stage 10 of the Tour de France (NBC Sports, 8 a.m.) travels from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
A one-day Robert Redford festival on Turner Classic Movies offers “The Sting” (8 p.m.), “The Natural” (10:15 p.m.), “Inside Daisy Clover” (12:45 a.m.), “The Way We Were” (3 a.m.) and “War Hunt” (5:15 a.m.).
Kelly Ripa: Glenn Close, Elijah Wood, Seth Meyers. The View: Queen Latifah, Jose Baez. The Talk: George Lopez, Rita Wilson. Ellen DeGeneres: Seth Rogen, Bethenny Frankel (rerun).
David Letterman: Bryan Cranston, R.A. Dickey, Zac Brown Band. Jay Leno: Morgan Freeman, Ashleigh & Pudsey, Jana Kramer. Jimmy Kimmel: Wanda Sykes, Joel Kinnaman, Serj Tankian. Jimmy Fallon: Elijah Wood, Freida Pinto, James Murphy & Big Jay Oakerson, Doug E. Fresh. Craig Ferguson: Don Rickles, Max Greenfield (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Glenn Frey. Carson Daly: Peter Berg, Young the Giant (rerun). Conan O’Brien: Will Ferrell, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Birdy (rerun).