TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “The Walking Dead” season-opener, 9
The calendar is adamant, you know: October is Halloween’s
month, stuffing our TV sets with vampires and werewolves and such. And each
October opens a “Walking Dead” season.
To catch up, watch the marathon that continues all day. Rick
and his friends – already plagued by a zombie-ruled world – end up trapped in a
boxcar, with Terminus people outside. That set up tonight’s action hour,
launching a season that will include new locations and rumors of a possible zombie
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE II: “The Simpsons” and “Brooklyn
Nine-Nine,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., Fox.
For years, Fox derailed its line-up each fall, to make room
for the baseball playoffs. Not any more; tonight’s game (San Francisco at St. Louis
at 8 p.m. ET) slides to Fox Sports 1; the big network only takes baseball on
Saturdays and for the World Series.
That leaves more room for its sometimes-splendid shows. On “The
Simpsons,” Marge opens a sandwich shop … then finds the same franchise opening
across the street. On “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Jake launches precinct games while
Holt deals with his nemesis, the deputy chief (Kyra Sedgwick).
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Homeland,” 9 p.m., and “The Affair”
debut, 10 p.m., Showtime.
In two masterful hours, Showtime seizes the quality crown on
TV’s best night. First, “Homeland” follows up on last week’s sensational
season-opener. Carrie is back in Pakistan, running the CIA station and trying
to figure what led to Sandy’s murder; it’s another stunning performance for
Then “The Affair” begins, offering deep (and deeply flawed)
characters in turmoil. Tonight, we see the same pivotal day through the eyes of
a teacher/author (Dominic West) and a waitress (Ruth Wilson). Their versions
vary in small details (even the clothing) and large; it’s a quietly compelling
Other choices include:
“Heavenly Match,” 7, 9 and 11 p.m. ET, UP. At 30, Casey
(Samaire Armstrong) feels her life and career are going nowhere; she’s ready to
quit the ministry. Then complications grow. The result is earnest and fairly
entertaining, despite a couple bizarre plot twists and a lead character whose perpetual
hesitance soon becomes maddening.
“Madame Secretary,” 8:01 p.m., CBS. A Chinese student, seeking
asylum, could sabotage peace talks.
“The Good Wife,” 9 p.m., CBS. After scoffing at the idea,
Alicia ponders running for state’s attorney.
“Boardwalk Empire,” 9 p.m., HBO. Just two weeks from the
series finale, Nucky is out of the loop, drinking with two barflies. Meanwhile,
two foolish ventures conclude: one – Eli and Van Alden try to steal Al Capone’s
ledger – ends oddly; the other – Chalky tries to free his daughter – ends powerfully.
“Mulaney,” 9:30 p.m., Fox. Dating a doula, John panics when
she discusses her duties at births. That brings two very funny scenes (at a
restaurant and involving an air-conditioner) and many lame ones.
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” 10 p.m., CBS. When a
crime-scene is contaminated by a pathogen, Sara and Greg (Jorja Fox and Eric
Szmanda) are quarantined.
“Talking Dead” season-opener, 10 p.m., AMC. Here’s the
return of the talk show for “Walking Dead” fans. There’s a “Dead” rerun at 11
and the return of Kevin Smith’s “Comic Book Men” at midnight.