Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, October 9. All times are Eastern.
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): Ryan Murphy steps to the podium. He clears his throat. “Is this thing on?” The nods from the audience indicate that, yes, yes it is. “Good. I want to tell you about the third season of American Horror Story, which is called ‘Coven.’ The first episode is called ‘Bitchcraft.’ It is a ridiculously sexy story of female empowerment, featuring some of the finest actresses on Earth. It is one of TV’s smartest shows. It features a bullman. It is time for feminism on TV! It is time for us to see women as the complicated, damaged, messed-up people they truly are! It is time for the bullman!” Todd VanDerWerff stands, shrieking, in the audience. “You had me at ‘Bitchcraft!’ You had me at ‘Bitchcraft!’” They race off into the sunset. They get married so Todd can take advantage of Ryan Murphy’s health plan. (Despite not marrying Ryan Murphy, Erik Adams also had some thoughts.)
Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s season premiere is entitled “City Of Heroes.” Silly fools! Don’t they know that the City Of Heroes MMO shut down in a way that seemed to just piss off everybody who was still playing it? Alasdair Wilkins keeps one window open to the game, in hopes it will return to him soon.
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): This week’s episode is called “The Potato,” which makes us so happy. Who wouldn’t love if a walking, talking potato joined the cast of this show, to tell us all the benefits of keeping plenty of starches in our diet? Will Harris would prefer if that potato were mashed.
Revolution (NBC, 8 p.m.): For whatever reason, this show now features magical, supercharged fireflies, which strikes us as the kind of thing that will either be ridiculous or so great that every show will add them. Les Chappell has a long, long list of shows he would add magical, supercharged fireflies to.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is called “One Armed Dude And Three Moms,” which is also coincidentally the name of the next sitcom Chuck Lorre has in development. It’s a pseudo-spinoff of The Fugitive, crossed with Mom, and Carrie Raisler is already signed on to review all 157 episodes of it.
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): Phil and Claire vow to keep skipping Luke’s soccer games until one of them simply can’t live any longer with all the guilt, thus further confirming that they are, in fact, the worst. Actually, What’s On Tonight is the worst. It skips Joe Reid’s soccer games all the time and laughs.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): It’s the 100th episode of this show, which would normally qualify it for the top pick, but it had the unfortunate coincidence of falling on the same night as the American Horror Story premiere. Dennis Perkins wonders when we’ll give this show some respect.
Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): If there’s one thing this season has been missing, it’s several performances of Juliette Barnes’ number one single, “Labrador On The Floor.” Gwen Ihnat similarly wishes that the show was just Hayden Panettiere singing indecipherable lyrics while other people nodded appreciatively.
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): South Park takes on the Trayvon Martin shooting in an episode called “World War Zimmerman,” featuring Cartman becoming convinced Token must be wiped from the face of the Earth. Marcus Gilmer figures this will either be amazing or horrific. Either will be just fine.
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): We’re still early on in this season of Top Chef, so we have yet to figure out which contestants to fear and which to not care about. Sonia Saraiya cares about all of them, because she has a heart big enough to love the entire world. She doesn’t care what you say about that either.
Key And Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Key and Peele are good at sketches where one character taunts another, and many of tonight’s sound like that’s going to be the case. Like the one where a boxer taunts his opponent! Good job, TV Guide summary! You’ve made Brandon Nowalk’s job easier!
The League (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): Taco starts a petting zoo, and just seeing his name reminds us of the wonders of the Doritos Locos Taco. Have you guys ever had one of those things? They’re like weird marvels of food science. Pilot Viruet once ate only food from a co-op until she got a Doritos Locos Taco!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Freaks And Geeks (1 p.m.): With just three episodes left, the show scrambles to introduce plot points it would like to get to before cancellation, like Sam dating Cindy Sanders, a relationship that will surely work out very well for all involved. Todd VanDerWerff doesn’t identify so much with Cindy now.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Airwolf (G4, 8 p.m.): After narrowly surviving a process that was meant to kill it, so it could be reborn, phoenix-like, as the Esquire Network, G4 now lacks a clear reason for existence. Which means it can show Airwolf. Shit yeah, G4! Show us all of Airwolf! We’ll do an Airwolf TV Club Classic! Woo!
Full Circle (DirecTV’s Audience Network, 9 p.m.): Neil LaBute comes to television, complete with many of his famous friends, to do a show that Brandon Nowalk compares to a combination of In Treatment and Web Therapy. You’ll compare it to your new favorite TV show. Okay, you probably won’t.
The Tomorrow People (The CW, 9 p.m.): Erik Adams kinda sorta enjoyed this remake of a British series that was apparently popular with several folks across the pond back when it first aired. Will you? Tonight’s your chance to find out which Amell you’ll be pledging your allegiance to this TV season.
Big Tips Texas (MTV, 10 p.m.): “A brawl breaks out; a boss is stabbed in the back,” reads the first TV Guide summary for this new series about waitresses who collect big tips at an establishment providing food and beverages that happens to be in Texas. What? You were thinking about something else?
The Chris Gethard Show (Blip.TV, 11 p.m.): If you don’t watch this show, you will make David Sims cry and then compare it to many, many other TV shows. The Breaking Bad comparison didn’t work for you? How about Big Love? Hmmm… Futurama? Could we interest you in a comparison to Huff?
Love And Death (TCM, 8 p.m.): Woody Allen makes fun of Russian films in this, one of his last purely comedic films before he started stretching his wings and making more introspective movies. Watch it and then become one of those people who bitches about the “early, funnier Woodys” like a jerk.
Conan The Barbarian (BBC America, 9 p.m.): Not every movie launches a new superstar, but Conan did about as well as any movie could to make Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. And then those of us who lived in California woke up and discovered he’d been our governor. What a wacky twist!
MLB Playoffs: Game 5: Pirates at Cardinals (TBS, 8 p.m.): The only League Divisional Series to go to five games is between these two NL Central powerhouses, who came up with a surprisingly exciting series, given how they traded blowouts in the first two games. We’re pulling for the Pirates. Sorry, St. Louis.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Sons Of Anarchy (Tuesday): What was the scene that made Zack Handlen have to swear off covering the show for a couple of weeks, because he was so tired of all the forced edginess and misery? Well, you’ll have to read his review to find out. Us? We’re just happy that we begged off after the season premiere.