Inside the Actors Studio
Host James Lipton welcomes Emmy winner Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") in this new episode. While the actress is best known for her current role as Olivia Benson on the long-running NBC police drama, she also opens up about her late parents, Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay, and working with George Clooney and Anthony Edwards on "ER."
The Big Bang Theory
The sitcom will return to Thursdays once CBS' run of NFL football on that night ends, but it temporarily moves back to Mondays to start its eighth season with back-to-back episodes. "The Locomotion Interruption" finds Leonard and Amy (Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik) retrieving Sheldon (Jim Parsons, recently an Emmy winner again) in Arizona. Then, "The Junior Professor Solution" finds Howard (Simon Helberg) a student in a class that Sheldon is teaching.
Chefs Francesco Palmieri, Jennifer Cole and Timothy Witcher are the competitors in a new episode called "Let Them Eat Koffee Kake," in which one of the dishes during the Innovate round is -- and we are not making this up -- Wagyu steak with a Tastykake Koffee Kake Junior beurre blanc sauce. Yum? Judges are Marc Summers, Shelley McDonnough and Grace Choi.
Earlier days of many fixtures of the Batman saga are traced as this stylish adventure series premieres. Young detective James Gordon, who eventually will become Gotham City's police commissioner, is at the heart of the "Pilot" as played by Ben McKenzie ("Southland"). Donal Logue also stars as his ethically murky partner. The villains include precursors of the Riddler and the Penguin, but an instant standout is Jada Pinkett Smith as a spicy crime vixen.
The seventh season of the singing competition begins with "The Blind Auditions, Premiere," as two notable newcomers -- Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams -- join returning coach/judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Stevie Nicks, Alicia Keys, Little Big Town and Gavin Rossdale (Stefani's husband) are slated to be among the advisers to the aspiring talents who vie to win a record contract and $100,000. Carson Daly, also a producer of the show, continues as host.
A new three-part program taped in Knoxville, Tenn., begins with an emphasis on Appalachian culture as host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Ken Farmer survey related musical instruments. However, there's also room for the appraisal of a Tiffany vase that was bought for $75 ... and now has a value of up to $12,000. Also considered is a shoe that belonged to Robert Wadlow, who may not be a household name but has a place in history: He was the tallest person ever.
Two teams with postseason aspirations do battle tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where Geno Smith and the New York Jets welcome in Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. After a surprising 8-8 season the Jets hope Smith, with a year's experience under his belt, can become a force to be reckoned with. The Bears, also 8-8 in 2013, added ex-Jet Santonio Holmes to an elite receiver corps, but a questionable secondary could prove to be an Achilles' heel.
Misfit geniuses work with a federal agent (Robert Patrick) to stop high-tech crimes as this loosely fact-inspired drama series premieres. Katharine McPhee ("Smash") has a non-singing role as a waitress whose young son also has special gifts, with Elyes Gabel and Eddie Kaye Thomas ("American Pie") as members of the brainy group. There's still room for action, though: Just witness the well-staged car-and-plane stunt at the end of this "Pilot."
America's Next Top Model
Someone who's quite familiar with unscripted series, "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon, turns up in the new episode "The Girl Who Got Five Frames." His presence has a purpose, since he's launching an advertising campaign - and he gives the models an opportunity to be the star of it. The contestants also have a potentially bad hair day when they get only five photo frames in which to look "perfect," while wind is whipping their follicles around.
The reimagining of Washington Irving's tale starts Season 2 with "This is War," which begins where the first round left off -- with much still to be resolved. Ichabod (Tom Mison) remains buried alive while Katrina (Katia Winter) is in the clutches of the Headless Horseman, and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) is stuck in purgatory as Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) becomes a car-accident victim. Henry's (John Noble) true identity is a huge factor in all of the crises.
Season three wraps with two new back-to-back episodes, starting with "Endgame," in which Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) desperately races to find Elena (Jordana Brewster), even as the cartel is double-crossing Bobby (Patrick Ewing). Elsewhere, Nicolas (Juan Pablo Di Pace) tries to prove himself to Elena with a gesture that puts both him and John Ross (Josh Henderson) in grave danger. The season finale, "Brave New World," immediately follows.
In the season finale, a new episode called "The Lake House," Danielle and Bart get still more downbeat news about their chances of her getting pregnant. She and Jaime bond over their mutual frustration when Arden invites the ladies to her family's lake house. Luci confides to Scarlett and Haley that she is still flirting with Jeff. Bad news from work leads to tension between Jaime and Luci. Everyone lets down their hair over moonshine at a juke joint.