All Times Eastern.
Tuesday, Oct. 18
American Experience: “Tesla”
Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla’s vision that paved the way for today’s wireless world.
Before Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hits theaters Oct. 21, freshen up on the story with 2012’s Jack Reacher on FX tonight. Tom Cruise brings Lee Child’s butt-kicking hero from page to screen in this exciting thriller about an ex-military assassin who is accused of the seemingly random killing of five people.
When a missing MI6 officer is linked to a murdered petty officer, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) sends Quinn (Jennifer Esposito) and Bishop (Emily Wickersham) to Philadelphia to work with MI6 officer Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry). Former NFL player Tony Gonzalez also guest-stars as an NCIS special agent in the new episode “Philly.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Halloween IV”
It’s Halloween in the Nine-Nine, which means it’s time for a heist. This year, the squad pulls out all the stops in their quest to win the new defending title of “Ultimate Detective Slash Genius.” Lines are drawn and plans are made, but there can be only one reigning champion.
FXX, beginning at 8pm
The Simpsons are going to China! FXX has eight straight episodes of The Simpsons, beginning with Season 16’s “Goo Goo Gai Pan,” in which Marge’s sister Selma adopts a baby girl from China. Then in Season 17’s “The Italian Bob,” the Simpsons are going to Italy, where they discover that Sideshow Bob (guest voice of Kelsey Grammer) is mayor of a Tuscan village.
American Housewife: “The Nap”
When the kids keep her up and Greg (Diedrich Bader) comes down with the flu, Katie’s (Katy Mixon) exhaustion leads to a showdown with the school’s bossy crossing guard (guest star Kate Flannery, The Office).
Scream Queens: “Halloween Blues”
Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), Denise (guest star Niecy Nash), and Hester (Lea Michele) devise a plan to catch the Green Meanie by throwing a Halloween party in the hospital. Meanwhile, Chanel (Emma Roberts) celebrates Chanel-O-Ween and tries to make contact with the killer’s latest victim from beyond the grave. Maybe Chanel’ll do a little channeling?
This Is Us: “The Pool”
Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) take Kevin, Kate, and Randall to the community pool on a hot day and quickly realize each child is going through their own struggles. Kevin (Justin Hartley) auditions for his first Broadway play in New York and meets a determined actress who is less than impressed by him. Toby (Chris Sullivan) runs into his ex-wife while at a restaurant with Kate (Chrissy Metz), which sends Kate into a spiral of self-doubt. William (Ron Cephas Jones) is mistakenly reported as a loiterer in Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) predominately white neighborhood, which exposes deep-rooted issues of race.
Channel Zero: Candle Cove: “I’ll Hold Your Hand”
After what happened to Katie, Marla agrees to help Mike investigate the murders. But Marla is horrified to learn a secret about what happened in 1988 that’s been hidden since that time.
NCIS: New Orleans: “Escape Plan”
In the new episode “Escape Plan,” the NCIS team must rescue one of their own after Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich) is kidnapped while at a restaurant with his mother (guest star Wendie Malick) and forced to use his gaming skills in a prison break.
Chicago Fire: “A Real Wake-Up Call”
Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Dawson (Monica Raymund) find themselves unexpectedly caught in the middle of a potential political mess. Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) is left to make a serious decision about her ex-boyfriend. While responding to an auto accident, members of truck and squad find themselves in the middle of a dangerous situation. Elsewhere, Severide (Taylor Kinney) befriends a famous socialite (guest star Scott Elrod) that might distract him from his duties at 51, while Brett (Kara Killmer) and Mouch (Christian Stolte) set aside their writing differences for the greater good.
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Kem Nunn’s novel is adapted to become this psychological thriller about Dr. Eldon Chance (Hugh Laurie), a forensic neuropsychiatrist who reluctantly gets sucked into a violent and dangerous world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness. Chance’s descent into the city’s underbelly begins with his ill-advised decision regarding an alluring patient who may or may not be struggling with multiple personality disorder, which soon puts him in the crosshairs of her abusive husband, a ruthless police detective. Gretchen Mol and LisaGay Hamilton also star in this series that streams weekly.
World War Z
Brad Pitt stars in this 2013 horror film as a U.N. employee who must race around the globe trying to help stop a zombie pandemic that has toppled governments and broken down society. Based on the novel by Max Brooks.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
You don’t have to miss “tricks or treats” to join in as the search for the most sincere pumpkin patch —and the mythic figure that inhabits it — celebrates its 50th year.
Arrow: “A Matter of Trust”
The CW, 8pm
Guest Star Alert!
Wrestling star Cory Rhodes brings the smackdown to Star City as a drug dealer bent on terrorizing the city.
Nature: “My Congo”
Wildlife cameraman Vianet Djenguet returns to the Congo to reveal the beauty and majesty of his homeland. During his journey, he discovers his roots in a vibrant “African Eden” and a jungle tribe who reveres his great-grandfather.
Toy Story of TERROR!
In this award-winning, half-hour Halloween special, the Toy Story gang sets out on a road-trip adventure, but a flat tire leads to a night at a roadside motel. As the toys begin to go missing Woody and Buzz must get to the bottom of the mystery. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their voice roles.
ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, 9pm Live
In the third and final presidential election debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump will meet at the University of Las Vegas-Nevada. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will serve as the moderator.
The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands
AXS TV, 10pm Live
Turn the Page, out of Fullerton, Calif., perform a tribute to Bob Seger.
Thursday, Oct. 20
Grey’s Anatomy: “Both Sides Now”
Things get tense when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) both have patients in need of liver transplants. Owen (Kevin McKidd) taps the other doctors for help when he babysits little Harriet — while Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) struggles to share some important news.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
The 1975 cult classic gets a modern makeover in this two-hour musical event. The all-star cast is led by Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, in a role that Tim Curry made famous. Curry also appears in the music spectacular, a fact that thrills Cox. “The whole experience is like, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this!’” the Emmy-nominated actress says. “Actually my whole life right now, I can’t believe I’m living what I’m living now!”
When the house next door to Mac and Kelly Radner goes up for sale, the young couple waits with anticipation for their new neighbors. Nothing can prepare them for the frat house that moves in. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne star in this 2014 comedy.
Superstore: “Dog Adoption Day”
After new parents Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Bo (recurring guest star Johnny Pemberton) get into a fight, Amy (America Ferrera) and Glenn (Mark McKinney) take vastly different approaches in giving them advice. Meanwhile, Mateo (Nico Santos) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) get assigned to handle dog adoptions in the store and work feverishly to get all of the dogs adopted once they find out what will happen to the dogs if they don’t.
NFL Football: Chicago at Green Bay
CBS & NFL Network, 8:25pm Live
Legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., hosts this Thursday Night Football matchup of old rivals as the Chicago Bears visit the Packers.
The Good Place: “The Eternal Shriek”
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) set off on a quest with Janet (D’Arcy Carden) as their guide. Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) attempts to show Michael (Ted Danson) how much he is appreciated.
When a surrogate is abandoned, Jake (Daniel Sunjata) and Julia (Piper Perabo) search for the unborn baby’s biological parents. Oscar (Kevin Zegers) discovers the truth about Sarah (Dilshad Vadsaria) and Jake. Julia worries that a scathing LHL interview triggered a horrible incident.
CMT Artists of the Year
Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett have been selected as the premier country artists of 2016 and will be honored with an incredible evening of star-studded performances and celebration. Also during the 90-minute special, Kelsea Ballerini will receive the second annual Breakout Artist of the Year honor.
Supernatural: “Mamma Mia”
The CW, 9pm
Guest Star Alert!
Rick Springfield guest-stars a rock star whose body is taken over by Lucifer.
Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay
Food Network, 9pm
Two Food Network hits collide in one exciting, four-part event! Twelve returning Chopped champions bring their bravado back to the Chopped kitchen, hoping for a chance to take down legendary chef Bobby Flay and take home $40,000, too! In three preliminary battles, Bobby serves as a judge while the competitors work from baskets featuring a surprise ingredient that he has selected. The winners advance to the grand finale, where one Chopped champion will win $15,000 plus a chance to go head-to-head against Bobby in a bonus round where both chefs create the challenger’s signature dish — with the added twist of Chopped basket ingredients. If the challenger beats Bobby, he or she scores an additional $25,000!
Chicago Med: “Extreme Measures”
A car accident that occurs at the Chicago Marathon leaves a victim in critical condition and tests the mettle of Dr. Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss), April (Yaya DaCosta) and her fourth-year medical resident brother Noah (guest star Roland Buck III), who must perform a difficult procedure in the field.
How to Get Away With Murder: “It’s About Frank”
The mystery of the Annalise “killer” flyers takes a surprising twist. Meanwhile, Frank’s (Charlie Weber) troubled past is exposed, and a shocking new discovery about the night of the fire changes everything.
The Blacklist: “The Lindquist Concern”
Liz’s (Megan Boone) loyalties are tested as Red (James Spader) takes action on an operation to intercept Alexander Kirk. Meanwhile, the task force races to find a killer who targets inventors of revolutionary technology. Christine Lahti guest stars.
Friday, Oct. 21
Charlie Brooker’s outstanding, six-episode anthology series taps into our collective unease with the modern world. Each stand-alone episode is a sharp, suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia.
ESPN & ESPN2, beginning at 7pm Live
Primetime college football matchups tonight are South Florida at Temple (ESPN), San Jose State at San Diego State (ESPN2) and Oregon at California (ESPN).
Last Man Standing: “Trick or Treat”
The Baxter family is excited for their annual Halloween party — except for Mike (Tim Allen), who’s also been tasked with choosing the theme. Hoping to put the kybosh on the tradition, Mike tells everyone to dress like another member of the family — then he shows up as Donald Trump. Can Vanessa’s (Nancy Travis) setback bring the bickering clan back together?
In the new episode “Toothpick,” MacGyver (Lucas Till) must fix a sabotaged train in order to protect a whistleblower who has proof that her boss is selling weapons to U.S. enemies.
The Vampire Diaries: “Hello Brother”
The CW, 8pm
The eighth, and final, season kicks off months after Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) mysteriously vanished from the armory vault. Stefan (Paul Wesley) searches tirelessly for them, while Bonnie (Kat Graham) struggles to hold onto hope that they will be found.
Dr. Ken: “D.K.’s Korean Ghost Story”
Allison (Suzy Nakamura) is disappointed that Halloween doesn’t seem scary to Dave (Albert Tsai) anymore. But after D.K. (Dana Lee) tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story — featuring members of the Park family and the Welltopia gang bringing the tale to life — she discovers her little boy might not be as grown-up as he seems.
Hawaii Five-0: “Ke Kū ’Ana (The Stand)”
When a cache of guns is stolen from a gun range, Five-0 discovers the culprit is intent on making a dramatic and potentially deadly statement on gun violence in the new episode “Ke Kū ’Ana (The Stand).”
The CW, 9pm
In the Season 1 finale of the quirky musical comedy, Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) told her longtime crush Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) that she moved to West Covina to be with him. Yikes! Now that the stalker-y cat is out of the bag, we can’t wait to see what Rebecca does — and sings about — next.
The Exorcist: “Chapter Five: Through My Most Grievous Fault”
We had a feeling that The Exorcist was gonna pull out all of the stops for Halloween.
As the storm of the century descends upon Chicago, Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) and Marcus (Ben Daniels) engage the demon in scary, spiritual warfare.
Great Performances: “Hamilton’s America”
Great Performances follows the creation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pop culture Broadway phenomenon Hamilton and the history behind the show. Includes interviews with Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Questlove, Jimmy Fallon, Nas, Stephen Sondheim and more.
Z Nation: “Doc Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Doc is captured by the residents of a mental hospital and must help them escape.
Blue Bloods: “For the Community”
Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and Anthony (guest star Steve Schirripa) try to prevent the deportation of a prominent community activist (guest star Judy Reyes, Devious Maids) who isn’t a citizen, in the new episode “For the Community.”
Van Helsing: “Nothing Matters”
Vanessa and Susan are pursued through the sewers by mutated feral vampires and arrive back at the safety of the hospital only to find the aftermath of a hostile takeover. Vanessa then hatches a plan to take it back by force.
Saturday, Oct. 22
Transformers Rescue Bots: “Upgrades/Transformations”
Discovery Family Channel, 8am
In the first of two back-to-back episodes, the evil genius Doctor Morocco returns to wreak havoc when Optimus Prime splits the Rescue Bots into different teams for new assignments. Then, Doctor Morocco hatches a bold new plot to defeat the Rescue Bots by becoming one of them.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “To Where and Back Again”
Discovery Family Channel, 11am
In Part 1 of the two-part season finale, Starlight Glimmer assembles an unlikely team of heroes to defend Equestria from the return of one of its greatest threats. In Part 2, she leads an unlikely squad of rescuers against one of the ponies’ oldest and greatest foes.
Death of a Vegas Showgirl
Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids) and her husband Eric Winter (Witches of East End) executive produce this new Lifetime movie, based on a true story of sex and betrayal. In Las Vegas, two ultra-talented dancers, Jason “Blu” Griffith (Danso Gordon, Saving Hope), and showgirl Debbie Flores (Sanchez), become involved in a tumultuous romance that spirals into obsession and spins out of control. On the eve of achieving her dream — a starring role on the Vegas stage — Debbie vanishes without a trace. The investigation into her disappearance reveals the twisted depth of this tragic love story that ends in a sordid murder that shocked the world with its gruesome details.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
BBC America, 9pm
Based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), this dramedy stars Elijah Wood as a lovable loser who lands in the middle of a bizarre murder investigation led by socially inept psychic Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett, Penny Dreadful).
Discovery Channel, 9pm
Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary is both enlightening and terrifying as he turns his cameras on those nasty little varmints — rats. Inspired by Robert Sullivan’s New York Times best-selling book, Rats goes deep beneath the surface to explore the lives of man’s greatest parasite. Spurlock goes inside parks, subway tunnels and sewers, but also travels the globe to give us new perspectives on infestations, revered rats and more.
Good Witch: Secrets of Grey House
Hallmark Channel, 9pm
A popular fantasy author is inspired to hold the launch party for her latest book in Middleton. But as the town comes together to prepare for the event, Cassie (Catherine Bell) comes to an important realization.
Shadows of the Dead
A group of teenagers tries to escape a creature that lives among the shadows and is hunting them down.
Versailles: “Bow to Your King”
Philippe returns victorious from the front, while attacks continue outside Versailles. The king invites the biggest noble families to Versailles to celebrate the peace treaty.
Saturday Night Live
NBC, 11:30pm Live
Tom Hanks hosts SNL for his ninth time, joined by musical guest Lady Gaga, who will be making her third appearance on the show.