SHOULD-SEE: Presidential debate, 9-10:30 p.m. ET, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox,
PBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CNBC, Fox Business Network, Telemundo and Univision.
After a long and
bizarre campaign, things get serious. Three events – tonight, Oct.
9 and Oct. 19 – will play a big part in choosing a world leader.
NBC's Lester Holt will moderate this one, splitting the topics
between “America's direction,” prosperity and security. Rebuttals
will follow two-minute answers.
networks plan to continue coverage until at least 11 p.m. ET; the
cable channels can go on endlessly. And yes, there will be
alternatives, which we'll get to in a minute.
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.
In its 10th
season – a time when shows are either creaky or gone -- “Big
Bang” keeps improving. Last week's season-opener was one of its
best episodes; it also opened a key plot door.
The military tried
to contact Howard about the gyroscope invention. He ducked, even when
an officer (in imposing, top-brass uniform) showed up at the door.
Now he has relented and agreed to a meeting. Meanwhile, Penny draws
gripes after revealing a secret to Bernadette's co-workers.
ALTERNATIVE: “Supergirl,” 8 and 9 p.m., CW.
As the only major
broadcaster to skip the debate, CW can boost the above-average showit
inherited from CBS. The first year's final four episodes air today
and Oct. 3, leading to an Oct. 10 season-opener.
Both of tonight's
hours eye Siobhan (Italia Ricci), the Silver Banshee; in the second,
the Flash arrives to help fight her. The first episode also ponders
secret identities: Kara considers revealing hers to someone; J'onn
J'onzz reveals how he assumed Hank Henshaw's identity.
ALTERNATIVE II: Football, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, with preview at 6.
Oddly, two of this
year presidential debates will collide with pro football games. Only
the middle one and the Oct. 4 vice-presidential one are on any of the
four days each week that the pros skip.
This game is in New
Orleans, currently forlorn after losing the first two games by a
combined four points. Arriving are the Falcons, who evened their
record at 1-1 with a big night from Matt Ryan.
(NBC) and “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC), 8 p.m. Both shows trim
their Monday in half, because of the debate. They'll each have two
p.m., Fox. Everyone wants to find Hugo Strange, whose work at the
asylum brought havoc. Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) takes the
search into her own hands; Gordon reluctanly links with journalist
Valerie Vale. Meanwhile, the Penguin's popularity grows and Ivy
Movies, 8 p.m.,
cable. For those who simply want to skip the debate, there are plenty
of choices, led by the deligtful “Ghostbusters” (1984) on AMC.
Others include Bradley Cooper's “Limitless” (2011) on TNT and, at
8:30, “Pitch Perfect” (2012) on Freeform.
More movies, cable.
It's a two-choice night for fans of Mel Gibson or Angelina Jolie. He
has “What Women Want” (2000) at 6 and 9 p.m. on Oxygen and the
rousing “Road Warrior” (1981) at 8 p.m. on Sundance. At 8 p.m.,
she has “Salt” (2010) on Syfy and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”
(2005) on FX. In the latter, ironically, she and Brad Pitt keep
trying to kill each other.
“Cake Wars,” 9
p.m., Food. On Sept. 13, fans celebrated the 100th
anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl, whose books led to such
movies as “Willy Wonka,” “Matilda” and “The BFG.” Here,
four bakers try to create the perfect cake.
Many shows, including “The Daily Show” (11 p.m., Comedy Central)
have day-after humor. Indeed, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
(10:30 p.m., TBS) has a rerun tonight and a debate special on
Wednesday. But there are exceptions: Stephen Colbert (11:35 p.m.,
CBS) and Seth Meyers (12:37 a.m., NBC) plan live shows tonight.