Manhattan (WGN America, 10 p.m.): There was once a time that the Chicago-based superstation run by the World’s Greatest Newspaper (that’s where they get the call sign, don’cha know?) was only good for Cubs games and eerie signal hijackings. But then, like some kind of world-altering flashpoint that cleaved history in twain, Salem showed up and proved that WGN America could broadcast flashy trash as well as any other network in your cable package. Now the cable outlet enters its Mad Men phase, debuting a World War II period piece from former Masters Of Sex hand Sam Shaw. It’s about the secretive development of a technological device with explosive potential for change—but unlike Ulysses, Fat Man and Little Boy wound up doing more harm than good.
The Assets (ABC, 4 p.m.): This is a new one on us: ABC is burying its canceled spy drama in a timeslot typically reserved for golf. Stay tuned for the playoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, broadcast live from the Cold War Country Club.
The Leftovers (HBO, 10 p.m.): According to early reports, this is the make-or-break episode for Damon Lidelof’s new mystery series. Apparently, you’re either fully onboard with the post-Rapture drama after tonight, or you’re writing it off as too bleak and flipping over to something more heartwarming—like a character drama about the development of the fission bomb.
Poirot (PBS, 9 p.m.): Agatha Christie’s famed sleuth begins taking his final Stateside bow, in a 13th season based on the final Poirot novel, Curtain. David Suchet has been playing Hercule Poirot for a quarter of a century, and he’d really appreciate if people stopped telling him that the butler did it.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Farscape (11 a.m.): When Crichton gets bonked on the noggin, Farscape follows him down a mental rabbit hole—a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-hole, to be precise. Alasdair Wilkins eagerly awaits the astronaut’s dark “Duck Amuck” of the soul.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): Following Dennis Perkins’ “Summer Of 4 Ft. 2” review, the Simpsons will be staying at Flanders’ summer house in order to let the students of Clone High take their place for a few weeks. Not that you’ll have a hard time finding The Simpsons while they’re gone…
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Wipeout (ABC, 7 p.m.): We suppose that two episodes of The Assets could’ve gone in the double-sized timeslot being occupied by Wipeout tonight. But The Assets lacks something Wipeout has always possessed: Huge balls.
Sharkmania: The Top 15 Biggest Baddest Bloodiest Bites (Syfy, 9 p.m.): Imagine your surprise when this turns out to be a travel show in which sharks talk about their favorite restaurants across the U.S. Jaws highly recommends stopping at Girl And The Goat the next time you’re in Chicago.
Escaping Alaska (TLC, 10 p.m.)/Ice Lake Rebels (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.): Dueling premieres that combine all of the final reality frontiers: Frigid settings in the Pacific way north west, with Breaking Amish-style get aways to unfamiliar settings (that’s be Escaping Alaska), and weirdos living on the fringes of society (that’d be Ice Lake Rebels). Throw in a beauty-pageant element, and you’d have an unscripted-TV bingo (provided you’ve used the free square).
Bridesmaids (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): ABC Family is proud to present a new kind of family—the type that shits in the sink. (How is this ever going to be cut into a form that meets ABC Family standards?)
Cat People (TCM, 8 p.m.): Val Lewton presents some of horror cinema’s moodiest scares, which later inspired an even moodier David Bowie song (for the 1981 remake, but let’s just pretend he wrote it about the original).
MLB Baseball: Dodgers at Giants (ESPN, 8 p.m.): California, declare your baseball allegiance now—and no fair picking the Angels. That’s the cowards way out. (And since they’re technically the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” now, you’d just be throwing your rooting interest behind the Dodgers anyway.)
TOMORROW IN TV CLUB
Monday marks the beginning of The A.V. Club’s annual Comics Week, so before comics completely swallow the site, enjoy an Inventory of one-off TV superheroes. And remember: There’s no cycling mishap too large to be fixed by Bicycle Repairman.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Legend Of Korra: Hastily brought back to air in recent weeks, Nickelodeon’s Last Airbender prequel is now being hastily shipped off to the network’s streaming platforms. Join Oliver Sava as he enjoys watching Korra without the aid of a computer one last time.