MUST-SEE: “Empire,” 9 p.m., Fox.
“Dynasty” to “Real Housewives,” we've learned that dinner
parties are dangerous; drinks get thrown, tables get tipped. Tonight,
Cookie (Taraji Henson) tops that spectacularly,.
rage grows as her new record label struggles. At the core is Hakeem,
a gifted but unreliable rapper and producer who's trying to mold a
sexy (and dysfunctional) girl group. Her ex-husband's label (where
son Jamal is weighed down by administrative duties) has its eye on a
fiery female rapper. In the “Empire” style, strong music links
with deep drama and moments of “Dynasty”-style excess.
MIGHT-SEE: “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
are the cartoon characters of the bird world – giant bodies, tiny
heads, a bizarre inability to fly or sing. Collectively, they're
called ratites; they range from the hard-to-see kiwi (small and
nocturnal) to the hard-to-miss ostrich (nine feet high, 300-plus
pounds, yet running 40 miles per hour).
ancestors knew how to fly, David Attenborough tells us, but when the
dinosaurs vanished, there was no incentive. They became bigger,
terrestial ... and thoroughly entertaining.
ALTERNATIVE: “American Horror Story: Hotel” debut, 10 p.m., FX'
rerims at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m.
going to give this place a bad review on Yelp,” a gorgeous tourist
vows. That seems fair: The hotel clerk is rude, there's no Wi-Fi and
creepy, “Shining”-type kids are in the hallways. Also, an
almost-dead guy is inside the mattress. Consider this any traveler's
first, “Hotel” is just a series of nasty and pointless (albeit
brilliantly crafted) scenes of gore, sex and Lady Gaga. Belatedly, we
meet a cop (Wes Bentley) who's deeply decent and deeply hurt; a story
takes form. By then, some viewers will have fled; others will
consider it their favorite show ever.
any time, Hulu. Michaela Watkins plays a therapist who feels life's
burdens; Tommy Dewey plays her brother, who doesn't. As her life
falls apart, she moves into his bachelor pad with her teen daughter.
The result has its funny moments.
8 p.m. ET, TBS. The Cubs visit the Pirates, in a one-shot fight for
the National League's wild-card spot. These teams only had the
second- and third-best records in their division. Then again, they
also had the second- and third-best records in all of baseball. It's
been a weird season.
season-opener, 8 p.m., CW. Neil McDonough has already been a chilling
villain on “Justified”; now he's this season's prime nemesis, as
Davien Darhk. That chops away at the blissful state of Oliver, who
set his Arrow persona aside, to vacation with Felicity.
9 p.m., CW. When this show began, few people would have predicted it
would reach its 11th season – one more than “Friends”
and “Murphy Brown,” two more than “Seinfeld” and “X-Files,”
10 more than “Manimal.” But here it is, with the brothers
battling the forces of darkness.
Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. This season started with Haley's parents
reluctantly nudging her back with Dylan. Now comes the next, tricky
step: Can he live with her – in the family home? Also, Mitchell
needs a job and accepts one with his dad's competitor.
10 p.m., ABC. Scarlett faces the painful question of whether to take
her mother off life-support. And with Juliette continuing to be
self-destructive, Avery is ready to file for divorce.
Black,” 10 p.m., CBS. Christa (Bonnie Somerville) has saved a
woman's life, but can she convince the by-the-books Neal (Raza
Jaffrey) to perform surgery to save the patient's reproductive
future? Also, Mario's diagnosis gets him into a fight with a hockey