Mulaney (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): So what is the deal with stand-up comedians getting their own sitcoms? Some of the gags and situations in Mulaney’s series premiere will be familiar to fans of Mulaney’s two albums, The Top Part and New In Town, but hardly anyone buys comedy albums, which is partially what’s the deal with stand-up comedians getting their own sitcoms. (It’s a bigger stage than any live tour could afford.) Erik Adams—who’s listened to “The Salt And Pepper Diner” more times than he cares to admit—isn’t the biggest fan of the pilot, but he also thinks Mulaney deserves your attention and patience. Because the writing staff has to take on “The One Thing You Can’t Replace” at some point, right?
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 7:30 p.m.): Battle lines are drawn in the fifth-season premiere: Are you with Gene and his dream of staging a musical based on Die Hard? Or do you side with Tina, whose love of Jimmy Pesto Jr. (and his butt) lands her in a rival all-singing-all-dancing adaptation of Working Girl? You must choose a side, and Alasdair Wilkins will not tolerate waffling.
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.): The series gives Carrie a full two hours to settle into her new role as chief of CIA operations in Kabul. When it comes to Homeland and torture, this isn’t what Sonia Saraiya’s used to writing about. [Tentative rim shot, somehow performed while drummer tugs nervously at collar.]
The Strain (FX, 10 p.m.): Flushed out of their pawn-shop stronghold, our heroes face an unfriendly, vampire infestation outside. LaToya Ferguson reports on the season finale, in between day dreams about The Master stopping into the Pawn Stars shop. (“I’ve got a buddy who’s an expert in capillary worms, so he can tell you if these things are authentic,” she imagines Rick saying, blind to the horrifying proboscis slowly extending toward his sweet, sweet neck juice.)
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): Reviews of vintage Simpsons episodes for all! [Crowd boos.] Very well: No reviews of vintage Simpsons episodes for anyone! [Crowd boos, somehow louder.] Hm—a review of “Treehouse Of Horror VII” (featuring “Citizen Kang”) for Les Chappell, miniature American flags for others. [Crowd applauds wildly.]
Halloween Wars (Food Network, 9 p.m.):
I write to apologize for my hasty retreat from your parent’s estate, but I regret to inform you that the All Hallows’ Day Peace Accords of 2013 have been rent asunder, plunging these damnable Halloween Wars into their fourth year. Oh when will men learn that it is our differences that make us human? The only way we can live in peace, dear Martha, is if we acknowledge these truths, and treat the holiday-related work of all pastry chefs, “sugar artists,” and pumpkin carvers as equal.
Manzo’d With Children (Bravo, 9 p.m.): New Jersey Real Housewife Caroline Manzo gets a new show with a terrible title. What is this new verb, “Manzo”? And what does it mean to be Manzo’d? Can one be Manzo’d without children? With any luck, the premiere of Manzo’d With Children will clear up these and other burning questions.
Witches Of East End (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Thus ends the season of the Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitches. Another season of the Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch-es. Another season of Witches.
Tethered (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Take one part Survivor Man with the basic premises of the odd-couple-shackled-together films The Defiant Ones and Black Mama, White Mama, and presto: A new survival series that doesn’t have to cram “naked” into its title.
Take a trip with us, won’t you? A trip back in time, where our first destination is the reign of the Vikings, and how the customs portrayed in the History Channel original series make Ragnar Lothbrok the last true TV antihero. Noel Murray, meanwhile, ha memories of the bizarro single-season show Now And Again lodged in his brain, and only a One Season Wonders, Weirdos, and Wannabes can help. Finally, we’ll go back to the faraway era of last week, when How To Get Away With Murder took America by storm—but what does Bonney Teti think of it? Mom On Pop investigates.
Saturday Night Live: Did Sarah Silverman’s first hosting gig go better than her brief time as an SNL cast member? Dennis Perkins investigates.