1) Presidential debate, 9-10:30 p.m. ET, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and news channels. This final match-up gained extra importance when the previous one was canceled: Unsure if Donald Trump had been infectious during the first face-off, the commission planned a virtual debate from separate locations. Trump refused; he and Joe Biden ended up in simultaneous town halls. Now the two have their second and last confrontation, 12 days before the election; alternatives include football (shown here) and movies.
2) Football, 8:15 p.m. ET, Fox. Last week, Fox expected a big payday – an NFL game, while everyone else was showing the debate. Alas, the game was postponed, the debate was canceled and nothing worked out. Now Fox tries again. Carson Wentz (shown here) and the Philadelphia Eagles — with a 1-4-1 record a year after going 9-7 and winning the division title — host the New York Giants, 1-5.
3) “Connecting,” 8 p.m., NBC (or after the debate in some zones). Last week, a genial episode turned somber: Friends (linking on Zoom) saw the George Floyd video. Now this episode finds Michelle (great work by Jill Knox) in a multi-task swirl. She’s working from home, while cooking and fielding calls from white friends who offer well-meaning time-wasters. Her husband (Keith Powell, Knox’s real-life husband) is missing, but her mom (Loretta Devine, in a terrific scene) offers some wise words.
4) “The Witches,” any time, HBO Max. Roald Dahl’s novels have already led to such brilliant films as “Matilda” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Now this tale of witches, mice and a little boy – first filmed in 1990 – is remade, with great talents. Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”) directs and wrote the script with Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), Kenya Barris (“Black-ish”) and Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity,” “Roma”). Octavia Spencer and a villainous Anne Hathaway star.
5) More movies. Debate-skippers can choose their superhero – Marvel (“Captain America: Civil War,” 2016, 8 p.m., TNT) or DC (“Aquaman” 2018, 9 p.m., HBO). There are light films aimed at Christmas (“The Holiday,” 2016, 8 p.m., Lifetime) or Halloween (“Hocus Pocus,” 1993, 8:55 p.m., Freeform). And at 8 ET, Turner Classic Movies has the 1964 remake of Hemingway’s “The Killers.” One of the villains (Lee Marvin) went on to big things; the other (Ronald Reagan) never made another movie.