Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 8. All times are Eastern.
Frontline (PBS, 9 p.m.): Such is the power (in clout) of the National Football League that ESPN backed out of its involvement in this Frontline special about football-induced concussions, presumably as to not anger a highly lucrative business partner. Yet such is the power (in contact) of the NFL that pros are indisputably suffering for years due to head injuries suffered on the field, so Frontline pushed forward. Did the show’s drive get this report into the endzone? Linesman Kevin McFarland will have the ruling.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 8 p.m.): The agents track down a missing scientist—is it, perhaps, the scientist whose experiments in radiation inadvertently created Spider-Man? (No.) Is it Hank McCoy? (No.) Bruce Banner? (Definitely not.) David Sims wants you to know he considers himself a scientist of words, so maybe he’s the target of the search. (No he’s not.)
The Originals (The CW, 8 p.m.): In an effort to differentiate itself from the season’s other New Orleans-set horror show—as well as the other show about munching on the local flavors of the Big Easy—The Originals moves to its regular night and time. This is where you can find it every week from now on, Rowan Kaiser gha-rawn-tees.
30 For 30 (ESPN, 8 p.m.): The documentary series presents a look at the Spirits Of St. Louis, pretty much the closest the already lively American Basketball Association came to producing its own Harlem Globetrotters. Kevin McFarland just likes watching footage of players using that distinctive red-white-and-blue ball.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): A fetching medical examiner (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) catches Jake’s eye—a plot that catches Molly Eichel’s eye, because if Ellis’ work elsewhere has illustrated, this is the sort of attraction that could keep a Peralta-Santiago pairing on ice for good.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): Vengeful angels are after the Winchesters in the show’s ninth-season premiere. Eric Thurm learned the hard way not to mess with an angel—maybe he’ll tell you all about it in the stray observations.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Schmidt immediately makes good on his threat to break up Nick and Jess. Considering at how good Schmidt is at destroying his own relationships, Erik Adams doesn’t see this as much of a challenge.
Trophy Wife (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): With the axe having already fallen on Lucky 7, and the ready-to-mingle singles of Mixology waiting in the wings (and prepared to wait there for the entire run of the show ugh that premise still bugs your What’s On Tonight?), this week could be the moment of truth for Trophy Wife. Brandon Nowalk implores you to sample the surprising comedic talents of Marcia Gay Harden (and humbly requests a stay of execution that’s long enough to get Natalie Morales to come back.)
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): The show temporarily throws the one thing it’s sure about (Mindy) at the one thing that really makes it laugh (Morgan) and waits for the sparks. In case the onscreen chemistry gets really hot, Katherine Miller stands by with a fire extinguisher.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): There’s a “chameleon playboy” being monitored by the the machine this week, and if that doesn’t get you interested in Person Of Interest, then debonair iguana Phil Dyess-Nugent doesn’t know what will.
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): This week’s episode title touts the emergence of “The Mad King,” which Zack Handlen reads as a promise that the show is due to include a lot more executions by wildfire.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Big Break (Golf Channel, 9 p.m.): The Golf Channel is making a big publicity push for the 20th season of this competition series, a wise investment seeing as this is the first What’s On Tonight? has heard of The Big Break, let alone that it has 19 seasons under its belt.
World’s Deadliest (Nat Geo Wild, 9 p.m.): The wildlife series kicks off a new season with an episode title “Hunger Games,” which just seems in poor taste. (The pun “Seems in poor taste,” meanwhile, is in poor humor.)
Ink Master (Spike, 9 p.m.): $100,000 and the chance to say “Hey, Dave Navarro called me a ‘winner’” are at stake in this two-hour season finale—a running length during which viewers can probably finish off their own at-home tattoos.
Criss Angel Believe (Spike, 11 p.m.): A hooded figure approaches the camera. With a flamboyant display of writhing and moaning, he appears to extract an object from within his cartoonishly toned abdominal muscles. He holds the object to the camera: “Is this your preview of a new series starring street magician/sentient leather-goods mannequin Criss Angel?”
The Witches (The Hub, 8 p.m.): A smoothing of the source material’s edges almost led Roald Dahl to remove his name from this Jim Henson-produced adaptation. But take it from a reliable source: It was still plenty terrifying to those who were children at the time of the film’s release.
Rebel Without A Cause (TCM, 8 p.m.): The film that cemented James Dean as the poster boy for postwar disillusionment—in addition to getting his face on actual posters, one of which is likely on display at the nearest greasy spoon.
NHL Hockey: Lightning at Sabres (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Tampa Bay makes a visit to Buffalo at an early enough point in the season that the harsh, nearly Canadian climate of the city won’t mess with the delicate, tropical sensitivities of the Lightning squad.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Hart Of Dixie: Myles McNutt takes The A.V. Club’s semiannual trip to Bluebell, ramblin’ and amblin’ about, taking in all of the smalltown charm and marveling at the many ways to cover up Jaime King’s pregnant belly. Oh, and there’s a review, too.