ABC (4:30 p.m. ET)
Afterschool Special, TV’s best dramatic series for children, opens the new season with this sensitively acted show about a teenager, Melissa Sue (Little House on the Prairie) Anderson, who has been living happily for six years with foster mother Marion (Happy Days) Ross and family. When her natural mom, who abandoned her 10 years before, appears, Anderson movingly portrays the girl’s emotional turmoil. The ending, alas, cops out just as a prime-time show would.