PLEASE NOTE: President Biden plans to have a televised address tonight (8 p.m. ET, Oct. 19), to discuss the Ukraine and Israeli wars. That is expected to push back the regular schedules of some networks, in some time zone, by about 22 minutes. These are the Thursday highlights prior to that change.
1) “The Challenge: USA” finale (shown here), 10 p.m., CBS. “Survivor” alumni have thrived, with four of seven contestants reaching the finals – Chris Underwood, Desi Williams, Michaela Bradshaw and Chanelle Howell. By comparison, Faysal Shafaat is the lone finalist among nine from “Big Brother.” It’s two (Johnny “Bananas,” Cory Wharton) of four for “Real World,” zero of two for “Amazing Race,” one (Tori Deal) of two for “Are You the One?”
2) “Wolf Like Me” second season, Peacock. It may be fortunate that most werewolves are guys. In this Australian tale, Mary (Isla Fisher) is a wolf with a problem pregnancy. Her boyfriend (Josh Gad) and his daughter try to help. This seven episode season start with a gory dream, ends with a wild chase and manages to scatter in some dabs of comedy, something Fisher and Gad excel at.
3) “Transplant,” 9 p.m., NBC. Summing up a colleague, a doctor says: “He’s not good at personal stuff.” That could pretty much describ ALL her colleagues. These quiet Canadians tend to bungle communication with each other and with the patients … who have some huge problems this week. The hour does start and end with the newfound joy of one likable couple. In between, however, troubles escalate unnecessarily.
4) Baseball. These are the playoffs that decide who will be in the World Series. It’s the Phillies and Diamondbacks at 5:07 p.m. ET on TBS and the Astros and Rangers at 8:07 on Fox Sports1. There’s also college football, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN (James Madison at Marshall) and ESPN2 (Rice at Tulsa).
5) “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (8 p.m.) and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (9 and 9:30), CW. It’s changeover time for the mini-network. “FBoy Island,” the Thursday show, has moved to Mondays; the Monday comedies will move to Thursdays … but not until next week. In the meantime, these shows (offering magic and improv comedy) fill the void.