“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.
For the second
straight year, TV's best comedy is spending two months in exile. CBS'
early-season football games will take over seven Thursdays; “Big
Bang” slides to Mondays, then returns to Thursdays – alongside
some well-rested shows – in November.
There's still a “Big
Bang” rerun this Thursday, but CBS decided to start the Monday move
early. In tonight's rerun, someone arrives claiming to be Wolowitz's
II: “Empire,” noon to midnight, FX.
Just as some people
were ignoring the broadcast networks last year, “Empire” soared.
It jumped to the top of the Nielsen ratings and got quick honors. The
Television Critics Association named it program of the year; Taraji
Henson received awards (Critics Choice, BET) and nominations (Emmy,
Now here's a chance
to see (or record) the 12-hour first season, before the second starts
ALTERNATIVE: “The Civil War” debut, 9-11 p.m., PBS.
It was on Sept. 23,
1990 – 25 years ago, minus a couple weeks – that PBS had a
breakthrough moment, debuting this series. Ken Burns had been doing
splendid documentaries for a decade, but nothing like this, a
sprawling, 10-hour epic that still captured deeply intimate emotions.
Burns has returned
with more gems on subjects light (jazz, baseball) and heavy (the Dust
Bowl, Prohibition, World War II), elevating PBS' profile. Now, in
this 150th-anniversary year of the war's end, the network
replays the film over five nights. It opens with a look at why it all
ALTERNATIVE II: “So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.
Last week, viewers
ousted Megz Alfonso, a hip hop dancer, and Jim Nowakowski, an
impressive ballet star. Now the final four will each do three numbers
– one solo, one with another finalist and one with an “all-star”
from the past. Viewers will vote and a champion will be named next
The “Team Stage”
finalists are from places that are steady sources of great dance --
Miami (Gaby Diaz, 19) and Utah (Hailee Payne, 20). “Team Street”
has finalists who have already soared: Virgil Gadson, 28, had a year
on Broadway; Jaja Vankova, 23, was in an “America's Best Dance
of Orange County,” 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Bravo. In a change, Bravo has
a rerun marathon. That leads to a new episode at 9 p.m. (the
aftermath of Tamra's sex party) and to the “Ladies of London”
season-opener at 10 (the aftermath of Annabelle's accident).
“Z Nation,” 1
p.m. to 2 a.m., Syfy. Lest we feel there just aren't enough zombies
on TV, Syfy gives us this entire first season, setting up the
second-season debut Friday.
Warrior,” 8-10:01 p.m., NBC. The two-Monday finale begins in Las
Football, 8 p.m. ET,
ESPN. Last year, the only blemish on Ohio State's championship season
was a loss to Virginia Tech, as its back-up quarterback was breaking
in. Now here's a shot at revenge, at Tech.
Preview,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. Jane Lynch hosts this special, which may
claim that CBS' new shows are very good. Surprisingly, some
(especially “Code Black” and “Life in Pieces”) really are.
Paradise” finale, 9 p.m., ABC. Couples get their final chance to
try the overnight “fantasy suites.” With “The Whispers”
concluded, this show and its “After Paradise” follow-up (10:01
p.m.) were nudged back an hour; a “Shark Tank” rerun taks the 10
“Running Wild With
Bear Grylls,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. Football star Drew Brees tries the