Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, September 20th. All times are Eastern.
67th Primetime Emmy Awards (Fox, 8 p.m.): Once again, it’s time to roll out the red carpet for the annual parade of glitz and glamour, insufferable bits that go on too long, and resentment that truly worthy shows are snubbed in favor of picks the Academy phones in. That’s right, it’s the Emmys! Will fresh-faced newcomers Transparent and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt be enough to dislodge Modern Family from its five-year winning streak? Is Mad Men’s final (half) season enough to qualify for a victory loop of awards, or does Better Call Saul keep the Breaking Bad momentum going? Can Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany follow her improbable nomination with an improbable win, or will Empire’s Taraji P. Henson show her how the Cookie crumbles competitors?
To be honest, the fact that Jane The Virgin’s Latin Lover Narrator didn’t win the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Narrator means we’ve given up on these awards before they even start. But despite this snub and the usual glaring omissions (Rectify, The Leftovers, Penny Dreadful, etc.) there’s still a lot of talent represented in this year’s nominations and an open question as to how some various rule changes will play out on awards night, which could keep things interesting. And while unfortunately they didn’t listen to Joshua Alston’s complicated yet incredibly reasonable proposal to fix the Emmys, there’s some new blood involved in the ceremony: Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andy Samberg is a first-time host, and the show’s writing room includes Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Scott Aukerman and Neil Campbell.
As always, The A.V. Club will be pairing this annual event with our annual livechat to snark, grumble, and maybe even cheer our way through the proceedings. Join us, won’t you?
Sunday Night Football, Seahawks at Packers (NBC, 8:20 p.m.): Your What’s On Tonight correspondent is a Wisconsin native and long-time Packer fan, and can’t wait to see the latest installment of a rivalry that’s only gotten more heated in the years since the infamous “Fail Mary” call. As Aaron Rodgers and Packers look to avenge last year’s NFC Championship loss to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, please bow your cheeseheads and offer your prayers for the coming of the Giant Spider Invasion Prophecy:
Fear The Walking Dead (AMC, 8 p.m.): The National Guard is taking control of the situation in Los Angeles, if anyone can be said to have control over this situation. Given the track record of this franchise with people in positions of authority, Josh Modell is pegging the time it takes the National Guard to become a worse threat than the zombies at an episode and a half.
Project Greenlight (HBO, 10 p.m.): Matt Damon got more than a little egg on his face in the season four premiere for his answer to a question about diversity, which mostly served to illustrate how badly Hollywood continues to handle diversity. Scott Von Doviak is more than a little dubious that Not Another Pretty Woman will be the answer to this problem as it goes through development.
The Strain (FX, 9 p.m.)
Masters Of Sex (Showtime, 10 p.m.)
Rick And Morty (Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons (3 p.m.) Dan Caffrey’s hoping to bring in the rubes for his review of “Bart Carny,” and is doing whatever it takes: sweet talk, insults, slang from the ‘30s that no one uses anymore. Now you’re on the trolley, Dan!
The end of Emmy awards can mean only one thing: Fall television is back, baby! So before you commit your time to new programming in this exhausting environment of peak TV, be sure to check out our various pre-air reviews. Alex McCown will have thoughts on NBC’s tattoo-tastic Blindspot, while Erik Adams is testing out his precognitive abilities on Fox’s Minority Report and his love for family wackiness on CBS’s Life In Pieces. (Be sure to stay tuned after Blindspot and Life In Pieces air their premieres for weekly coverage from Joshua Alston.)
And if the explosion of new TV has you throwing up your hands in defeat and retreating to the classics, we’ve got you covered there too. Bob Sassone has grown a luxurious mustache and thrown on a Hawaiian shirt for a TV Club 10 on Magnum, P.I., and Erik Adams breaks into the Jim Henson Workshop to look at Muppet commercial failure The Jim Henson Hour.
Ray Donovan (Showtime, 9 p.m.): As a Hollywood fixer Ray’s certainly busy as hell tonight, doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make sure the right trophies go to the “right” people.
Doll & Em (HBO, 10:40 p.m.): Olivia Wilde and Evan Rachel Wood are interested in starring in Doll and Em’s play. One wonders if Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells are now scared that HBO would offer these actresses the Doll & Em lead roles if they asked.
The Great British Baking Show (PBS, 7 p.m.): This week’s concoctions are trifles, floating islands, and petits fours. Look them up! They’re delicious.
Arthur & George on Masterpiece (PBS, 8 p.m.): The third and final part of this miniseries has Arthur and Woodie closing in on the Wyrley Ripper, something likely made hard by the fact that there’s no clue how to pronounce it. Wirey? Wryly? Wire-ly?
Keeping Up With The Kardashians (E!, 8 p.m.): We’re sorry, but we just can’t keep up with the Kardashians anymore. We’ve tried so hard, but we just don’t have anything left. We know we’ve let you down, America.
Sister Wives (TLC, 8 p.m.): “Kody prepares to marry Robyn now that he’s legally divorced from Meri, but no one is sure of the protocol for inviting the other wives and their children.” This sounds like a situation that doesn’t have a protocol, Kody.
The Great Food Truck Race (Food Network, 9 p.m.): Teams are stripped of their phones and Internet. How are they supposed to tweet the location of the trucks?! How are we supposed to get our Korean fusion tacos now?!?!
Ice Road Truckers (History, 9 p.m.): One driver “attacks a mud-covered mountain.” Yes, it’s probably metaphorical and he’s only driving on it, but wouldn’t it be something if he just started swinging an axe into the mountain?
30 For 30 (ESPN Classic, 9 p.m.): Those of you who want to watch a competition that doesn’t involve acting awards can check out this replay of “Of Miracles And Men,” a documentary about the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament. Noel Murray reviewed it a few months ago and greatly enjoyed the way it managed to humanize the Soviet opposition.
Cutthroat Kitchen (Food Network, 10 p.m.): “White chocolate macademia drives the two finalists nuts.” No point in trying to top that.
Pitch Perfect (ABC, 7 p.m.): Anna Kendrick mixes it up at an all-female a cappella group, but it’s Rebel Wilson who steals the show.
Goodfellas (Sundance, 7 p.m.): As far back as your What’s On Tonight correspondent can remember, he always wanted to be a What’s On Tonight correspondent.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Comedy Central, 7:45 p.m.): One of those films where the title says it all.
Face/Off (IFC, 8 p.m.): As Jason Mantzoukas said in a recent How Did This Get Made? episode, “Thank God this got made.” It is perfect scenery-chewing nonsense of the highest caliber.
NFL Football, Cowboys at Eagles (Fox, 4 p.m.)
MLB Baseball, Yankees at Mets (ESPN, 8 p.m)
MLS Soccer, Philadelphia vs. Houston (Fox Sports, 7 p.m.)
In keeping with the Emmys theme, the nominees for “Outstanding Watch This for Award Show-Centric Episode of TV” are:
- Emily L. Stephens on The Office’s “The Dundies”
- Gwen Ihnat on NewsRadio’s “Awards Show”
- Joshua Alston on The Comeback’s “Valerie Gets What She Really Wants”
- Erik Adams on The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s “Put On A Happy Face”
- Will Harris on SpongeBob SquarePants’s “Kracked Krabs”