The Assets 10 p.m., ABC
ABC returns to the Cold War in this eight-part miniseries based on the book “Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed” by retired CIA officers Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille. The year is 1985 and Jodie Whittaker portrays counterintelligence officer Grimes. She and partner Vertefeuille (Harriet Walter) were on a mole hunt and turned up Ames (Paul Rhys), the most notorious traitor in US history. Given the buzz around shows like “The Americans” on FX and “Homeland” on Showtime, ABC is no doubt hoping to tap into a current thirst for spy stories.
Elementary 10 p.m., CBS
You can’t keep a good nemesis down, so you just knew that Irene Adler, a.k.a. Moriarty, would be back. As played by the gifted Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”) she makes a worthy adversary for Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). She returns to haunt him as a consultant to a kidnapping case.
The Taste 8 p.m., ABC
Another season of blind appreciation.
The Big Bang Theory 8 p.m., CBS
Corporate synergy: Penny gets a gig on “NCIS.”
Ridiculousness 10 p.m., MTV
Living up to its name, season four guests include Snoop Lion and Guy Fieri.