“Nature: Pets: Wild at Heart,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local
Sure, our pets are
descended from centuries of indoor living. Still, they have the
skills and instincts their ancestors needed to survive in the wild.
This fun two-parter offers dandy, hidden-camera proof.
their pack-attack skills by tearing at pillows. A gerbil dives into a
tunnel, because that's how his kin survived in the desert. A cat
obsesses on hunting rats ... even though he has no desire to eat
them; instead, he brings them inside, alive, as his living-room
TONIGHT'S MUST AND
MUSTN'T SEE: “Empire” (9 p.m.) and “Rosewood” (8 p.m.), Fox.
As the intra-family
duel between record labels grows, “Empire” remains thoroughly
intriguing. On one side is Lucious Lyon's Empire label, with his son
Jamal working on new material with Ne-Yo. On the other is the upstart
Dynasty label, led by Lucious' ex-wife Cookie. Hakeem (Jamal's
brother) is creating its anthem and romancing the lead singer of its
new girl group.
Oddly, this smart
show is paired with the lunk-headed “Rosewood.” Last week had the
worst traditions of bad cop shows, including an unforced confession
and a boss who doesn't care about catching crooks.
ALTERNATIVE: Pre-Halloween deluge, cable.
In a previous
millennium, AMC and ABC Family introduced “Fearfest” and “13
Days of Halloween,” showing that the holiday can be frightful or
fun. Now they're in their 19th and 17th years,
AMC stays scary with
“The Amityville Horror” (1979) at 8 p.m.; ABC Family goes light
with the lame “Casper” (1995) at 5 p.m., the excellent “Addams
Family” (1991) at 7 and its sequel (1993) at 9. Other
networks range from
the pleasant “Twitches” (2005, with young women learning they are
twins with magic powers) at 7 p.m. on Disney to the fierce “American
Horror Story” at 10 p.m. on FX.
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. People lose many things (notes, inhibitions, virginity) in
college. Only Sue, however, can manage to lose a brother. Brick is
visiting when she becomes distracted by a guy.
debut, 8 p.m., Game Show Network. Game shows keep finding nasty fates
for people who fail; they slime them or shoot them down a trap door
or whatever. This one traps them in an elevator.
“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 9 p.m., NBC. Andy Karl is known for
musicals, on Broadway (eight of them, with a Tony nomination for
starring in “Rocky”) and the movie “Joyful Noise.” Now he
arrives as the new poliuce sergeant, in a case that involves Rollins'
9 p.m., ABC. Claire finds it's not easy to bring Haley and Alex to
“Take Your Daughter to Work” day. Meanwhile, Gloria's jury duty
leaves Jay with pre-school duties.
p.m., ABC. This family usually devotes its Sundays to sports and to
preparing for SAT tests. Now an invitation to go to church leads to
“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. Cress Williams (“Hart of Dixie”) arrives as the
surgeon. After getting the job (with the help of his estranged dad,
Dr. Guthrie), he soon clashes with Leanne. Meanwhile, Christa (Bonnie
Somerville) is performing a procedure on an infant, for the first
time since her own son's death.
10 p.m., NBC. Cases range from the trivial – an upscale dognapping
– to the tense: Voight is convinced that an attempt to kill him was
done by someone he put behind bars long ago.