Thursday TV: Nat Geo Activates

ActivateWhen National Geographic takes up issues, it usually has to do with conservation, species preservation or climate change. That focus widens with the new show “Activate” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.) in which, working with Global Citizen, they’ll also tackle extreme poverty, justice, health and education.

I asked Nat Geo chief Courteney Monroe about the shift. She said, “a planet in balance is also about ensuring that the human population is in balance, and the episodes and the issues that we tackle in this show and that Global Citizen more broadly tackles are really big, global, urgent, humanitarian issues, and those are very aligned with issues that National Geographic cares about.”

It also involves the participation of celebrities like Common, Usher, Hugh Jackman, Pharrell Williams and Uzo Aduba.

Football season starts with Green Bay at Chicago (NBC, 8:30 p.m.).

An unplanned trip on the “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” (MTV, 8 p.m.) may be visiting Mike in jail.

No big cliffhanger is planned for the season one finale of “Spin the Wheel” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

“The Outpost” (CW, 8 p.m.) is besieged.

Winter approaches for “Alaskan Bush People” (Discovery, 9 p.m.).

Cliff and Jessica are on the block but a double eviction on “Big Brother” (CBS, 9 p.m.) will leave just five houseguests.

An ex is also sent home on “Ex on the Beach” (MTV, 9 p.m.).

Ann Curry is still “Chasing the Cure” (TNT, TBS, 9 p.m.).

A prison break scheme is hatched on “Reef Break” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

On the first of two “Two Sentence Horror Stories” (CW, 9 p.m.), a grandma moves in with her strange, estranged son.

It’s classic ’60s James Bond on Turner Classic Movies all night with “Dr. No” (8 p.m.), “From Russia With Love” (10 p.m.), “Goldfinger” (12:15 a.m.), “Thunderbolt” (2:15 a.m.) and “You Only Live Twice” (4:45 a.m.). During the day, it’s stories of the South with “The Southerner” (6:45 a.m.), “The Phenix City Story” (8:30 a.m.), “Intruder in the Dust” (10:15 a.m.), “God’s Little Acre” (11:45 a.m.), “Baby Doll” (1:45 p.m.), “Ode to Billy Joe” (3:45 p.m.), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (5:45 p.m.).

Baseball includes San Francisco at St. Louis (MLB, 1 p.m.), Angels at Oakland (MLB, 4 p.m.) and Cubs at Milwaukee (MLB, 7 p.m.).

The U.S. Open (ESPN, 7 p.m.) reaches the women’s semifinals.

In the WNBA, it’s Las Vegas at Atlanta (CBS Sports, 7:30 p.m.) and Seattle at Los Angeles (CBS Sports, 10 p.m.).

Soccer has Italy vs. Armenia (ESPNews, 11:50 a.m.) and Switzerland vs. Ireland (ESPNews, 2:30 p.m.) in UEFA Euro qualifiers.

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Constance Wu, Me Ra Koh. The View: Wendy Williams. The Talk: Fran Drescher (rerun). Ellen DeGeneres: Taylor Swift, José Andrés (rerun). Wendy Williams: Monica (rerun). The Real: Remy Ma, Papoose, Yvette Nicole Brown (rerun).

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Pete Buttigieg, Graham Norton. Jimmy Kimmel: Kirsten Dunst, June Diane Raphael, Clairo. Jimmy Fallon: Kendall Jenner, Desus & Mero, Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile. Seth Meyers: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Julio Torres, DeRay McKesson, Carter McLean. James Corden: Orlando Bloom, Yvonne Strahovski, O-Town. Carson Daly: Killer Mike, Lucy Dachs, Shane West (rerun). Trevor Noah: Gov. Steve Bullock, Tracee Ellis Ross. David Spade: Anthony Jeselnik, J.B. Smoove, Annie Lederman.

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