SHOULD-SEE: Presidential debate, 9-10:30 p.m. ET, ABC, CBS, Fox and
PBS, plus CNN. Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, C-SPAN, Telemundo and
The first debate
drew a record 84 million viewers; the second will have one less
channel (NBC is busy with football) and a lot more competition.
Still, it's expected to draw a crowd.
This one has a town
hall format, with a room full of undecided voters. They'll ask half
the questions; the others will come from CNN's Anderson Cooper and
ABC global-affairs chief Martha Raddatz.
“Divorce” and “Insecure” debuts, 10 and 10:30 p.m., HBO.
Just as the debate
is starting (in the Eastern and Central time zones, anyway), HBO
offers top-shelf entertainment. At 9 p.m. is the second episode of
the richly crafted “Westworld”; afterward are two funny and
distinctive new comedies.
At 10, we see Sarah
Jessica Parker in a quietly crumbling marriage with Thomas Haden
Church; then their friends' noisy battle inspires her to seek a
divorce. And at 10:30, relative newcomer Issa Rae scores big --
co-writing, co-producing and starring as someone awash in
ALTERNATIVE: Football, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC; and baseball, 4:08 and 7:38
A half-hour before
the debate starts, NBC has the kick-off of a strong match-up: Eli
Manning and the New York Giants (2-2) visit Aaron Rodgers and the
Green Bay Packers (2-1, after a bye week). Both quarterbacks have
been a Super Bowl most valuable player; indeed, Manning has done it
further, the American League playoffs resume, after a one-day pause.
It's the Cleveland Indians at the Boston Red Sox and then the Texas
Rangers at the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jesse Stone movies,
1-9 p.m., Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Slow, smart and richly
detailed, these Tom Selleck movies are beautifully crafted. Here are
the four most-recent ones.
“Autumn in the
Vineyard,” 5 p.m., Hallmark. Debates would be more fun if we felt
the squabbling people might fall in love. That's a possibility in
this OK film, set amid the beauty of wine country.
“Once Upon a
Time,” 8 p.m., ABC. Storybrooke is overrun with newcomers, as
complications grow. In a flashback, Cinderella goes to the ball and
meets her prince; nowadays, she wants fo find her step-family and
settle scores. Also, Snow White helps Jekyll find a lab, while Regina
tries to bribe Hyde.
8 p.m., Fox. Homer gives his son a valuable lesson in hate – more
specifically, how to hate sports teams from Boston. He even includes
a road trip to the city.
“Son of Zorn,”
8:30, Fox. Here's a rerun of the pilot film – big, broad, goofy
and, at times, funny. Zorn returns to his ex-wife and son in
suburbia; he doesn't fit there, only partly because he's a cartoon.
8:30 p.m., Starz, rerunning at 9:30 and 10:30. Marriage proposals are
a good idea almost any time ... except when you're undergoing a
rectal procedure live on TV. That happens in a busy and erratic
episode that has its moments. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” precedes it at
8, 9 and 10.
Shores” season-finale, 9 p.m., Hallmark. Yes, the Hallmark channels
are doing their best to lure us from the debate. Tonight, Trace
(Jesse Metcalfe) and Abby hope to revive their romance; that's at the
same time as a new “Gourmet Detective” film on Hallmark Movies &
ALSO: Some people
will skip it all and watch a cable movie. The best of the bunch is
“No Country for Old Men” (2007), an Oscar-winner for best
picture, at 8 p.m. ET on IFC. Others include “The Hangover, Part
III” (2013) at 8 p.m. on FXX and “The Blind Side” (2009) at
8:30 on Freeform.