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Free-to-air TV: Thursday, June 27

Wonders of Life, ABC1, 8.30pm

The story ''button'' that starts Professor Brian Cox's magnificent show is initially disconcerting for a science show: the spirits of the dead, who, some believe, inhabit our everyday world. But as the eloquent, passionate and movie-idol-handsome presenter launches into his five-part investigation of how the laws of physics have shaped the creation of the universe and everything that has happened since, his opening gambit starts to make a great deal of sense. As he delves into 4 billion years of evolution, proton gradients and laws of physics, Cox manages to make complex science not just straightforward but exciting. This is a glorious piece of TV. Disconnect the phone, grab a drink and settle in.

twentysomething, ABC2, 8.30pm

''The best thing about going away is being a mini-celebrity when you get back,'' pronounces the brazen Jess (Jess Harris) in the opening moments of the return season of this bouncy and witty comedy. For those coming in late, Harris and Josh Schmidt play what one assumes to be vague versions of themselves in this deft comedy that they created and wrote. Despite the title, they haven't taken upon themselves the dreary task of ''speaking'' for their generation. Rather, they've nicely set up a robust comedy of manners about a monstrous narcissist and her soppy bestie, who wreak havoc on others as they push back against social norms, the imperatives of settling down, finding jobs and fading into adulthood. The rules of drama demand that Jess will get her comeuppance but, like David Brent in The Office or Kath Day-Knight and her horrid daughter Kim, it's no less satisfying watching this character's descent into mirth. Filled with witty pop-culture gags, energetic performances and well-cast guest roles (Hamish Blake, Glenn Robbins, among others), it's a welcome addition to a thriving slate of locally made comedies.

Law & Order: SVU, Channel Ten, 8.30pm

SVU, the survivor of Dick Wolf's Law & Order factory, ends its 24th season with a cliffhanger, ostensibly about a grifter who has managed to remove every trace of his background and turns out to be far more cunning and dangerous than he appears. His deeds seem to coincide with some gross incompetence on the part of the SVU detectives. Meh.

One Born Every Minute Special, SBS One, 9.35pm

The joy of multiple births.