1) “American Masters: Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip,” 9-10:30 p.m., PBS. An epic story with operatic extremes,this is beautifully told. Growing up poor, Winchell (shown here) left school in 6th grade for vaudeville. He later created a newspaper column and radio show that mixed gossip and news, staccato-style. He was early in attacking Hitler and promoting civil rights; later, however, he became a red-baiter and a Joe McCarthy fan. Long before our time, he savored the impact of insults and innuendo.
2) World Series, 8 p.m., Fox. For the Tampa Bay Rays, this is a huge deal; they’ve only been to one previous Series (in 2008) … and only won one game that time. But they dominated this short season, with the second-best record in baseball. Now they play the team with the best, the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the 21st Series for the Dodgers (they’ve won six times), but they barely got here – trailing the Braves three games to one, they came back to win three straight.
3) “The Voice” and “Transplant,” 8 and 10:01 p.m., NBC. First is the second night of “Voice” auditions. Then “Transplant” starts with Bashir’s latest crisis: Last week’s episode ended when he and his sister returned home and found the landlord had dumped all their stuff outside.
4) “Tell Me a Story,” 9 p.m., CBS. For all of its soapy excess, the first season had energy and urgency; the second episode of this season is mostly just morose. A gorgeous country star (Natalie Alyn Lind) is recovering from a car-bombing that damaged her vocal cords and disfigured her face. Her older sister has a fiance (Paul Wesley) who has writer’s block and a dark obsession. And an orphan confronts her evil step-mother. Like the first season, this turns to the iffy plot device of someone held captive.
5) “Frontline,” 10:30 p.m., PBS. This starts with a chilling look at Wisconsin’s election in April. Thwarted by absentee-ballot rules and decreased polling places, some people stood in line for five hours. “We’re in 2020,” a Black woman says,”but it feels like 1867.” With that, Jelani Cobb looks back at the history that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act … which the Supreme Court weakened in 2013. He brings us to modern issues and to Hans Von Spakovsy saying: “‘Voter suppression’ is a made-up term.”