TV best bets with the presidential debate, 'Criminal Minds,' 'Elementary,' 'Shameless,' 'Westworld'

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Sunday, September 25, 2016

The presidential election is less than seven weeks away and the first debate happens on Monday night at 9 p.m. TV analysts are expecting huge collective numbers since this is the first time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are squaring off face to face.

Otherwise, this is mostly week two for many broadcast TV shows. CBS is bringing back the 12th season of "Criminal Minds" on Wednesday and "Elementary" and "Madam Secretary" for third seasons Sunday.  Showtime brings back "Shameless" for a seventh season Sunday. Plus, AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead" concludes its second season that same night.

And "Saturday Night Live" returns for its 42nd season on NBC. And watch for Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris in the latest HBO series "Westworld" Sunday.


“The Big Bang Theory” 8 p.m. CBS — The guys heads are in a spin when an Air Force bigwig approaches them about their revolutionary gyroscope invention.

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Second elimination week after a low-level Disney child star left last week.

“Gotham” 8 p.m. Fox — Gordon teams with reporter Valerie Vale to find Fish Mooney.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC  — So far, Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus are enjoying tormenting Adam Levine.

“Kevin Can Wait” 8:30 p.m. CBS  — Kevin rearranges the house to his liking after his buddies convince him that Donna makes all their decisions.

“First presidential debate” 9:01 p.m. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, GPB  — The first face off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.


“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” 8 p.m. Fox  — Jake and Holt end up on the other side of the interrogation table after being caught plotting an attack on Figgis.

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC  — Rick Perry survived last week. Can he do so again?

“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS — NCIS uncovers a bomb plot and a long-running theft ring while investigating a death at a Quantico reunion

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC — The blind auditions continue.

“New Girl” 8:31 p.m. Fox  — Jess and Cece bet Schmidt they can rustle up voters for the Presidential election.

“Frontline” 9 p.m. GPB — Profiles of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Scream Queens” 9:01 p.m. Fox— A patient with a horrible ailment checks into the hospital with hopes of a cure, but instead finds a love interest.

“Halt and Catch Fire” 10 p.m. AMC — Joe and Ryan deal with the consequences of Joe's decision.

“Atlanta ” 10 p.m. FX — Celebrities visit, including Justin Bieber.

“Aftermath ” 10 p.m. Syfy (new series) — A married couple and their three children attempt to survive in the series premiere amidst apocalyptic events.

“Marvel’s Agents of Shield ” 10 p.m. ABC — Daisy battles Ghost Rider, but at a big cost.

“NCIS: New Orleans ” 10 p.m. CBS — Pride faces backlash from the FBI after helping a former Navy intelligence analyst who is the prime suspect in a multiple-homicide case.

“This is Us ” 10 p.m. NBC  — Toby helps Kate relax in the midst of her fervent quest to lose weight.


“Blindspot” 8 p.m. NBC  — A series of bombings occur throughout New York City, and Weller and the team race to stop them.

“The Goldbergs” 8 p.m. ABC — Erica and Lainey try to find Bill a love match using some new dating technology.

“Lethal Weapon” 8 p.m. Fox  — A noise complaint at a boxer's home leads Riggs and Murtaugh to a case involving illegal gun runners.

“Survivor” 8 p.m. CBS — One castaway dons his "love goggles" when he's struck by another's beauty. Also, heat exhaustion takes the air out of one player.

“Criminal Minds” 9 p.m. CBS (12th season debut) — Agent Luke Alvez, a new recruit from the FBI's Fugitive Task Force, joins the team as they try to capture a killer who escaped from prison along with 13 other convicts.

“Empire ” 9 p.m. Fox — Jamal tries to turn his being shot into something positive when he teams up with a businessman to talk about gun violence and host a summit for awareness.

“Law & Order: SVU” 9 p.m. NBC — Newly tested DN evidence leads to the exoneration of a prisoner who served 16 years for a rape conviction.

“Modern Family” 9 p.m. ABC— A new family moves in across the street from the Pritchetts and Jay wants to make a good impression.

“Black-ish” 9:31 p.m. ABC  — Dre undergoes a crisis of faith after discovering that Zoey has been questioning her belief in God and turns to his family and coworkers for advice

“Chicago PD” 10 p.m. NBC  — Intelligence investigates when a young man is beaten and his fiancée is apparently abducted.

“Code Black” 10 p.m. CBS (second season debut) —Col. Ethan Willis, from the Department of Defense, joining the team at Angels Memorial and taking Dr. Mike Leighton on a harrowing helicopter ride to save shark-bite victims in Malibu.

“Designated Survivor” 10 p.m. ABC — Hours after the attack on the Capitol, President Kirkman steps into his new role as commander-in-chief.

“Younger” 10 p.m. TV Land (third season debut) — Liza sends Caitlin off to college and weighs her feelings for Josh and Charles.

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” 10:30 p.m. TBS (special night) — TBS moved this show to Wednesday this week because the presidential debate happened on its usual night.


“Grey’s Anatomy 8 p.m. ABC — Alex faces consequences for his actions.

“Rosewood 8 p.m. Fox — A murder victim's death certificate turns out to be 3 years old.

“Superstore 8 p.m. NBC  — Amy tries to wow corporate, but a workplace accident jeopardizes her efforts.

“The Good Place 8 p.m. NBC — Eleanor faces a tough test in her bid to remain in hiding.

“Pitch 8:59 p.m. Fox — Ginny tries to fit in with the team despite the resurfacing of a sexist comment made by Al.

“Chicago Med” 9 p.m. NBC  — Two complex cases involving sick babies may have a surprising connection.

“Notorious” 9 p.m. ABC — Oscar goes off the rails as Sarah's funeral approaches.

“The Blacklist” 10 p.m. NBC  — Red and the task force track an infamous bounty hunter who may have knowledge about criminal mogul Alexander Kirk's next move.

“How to Get Away With Murder” 10 p.m. ABC  — Annalise's job is in jeopardy as she clashes with the university's board.


“Marvel's Luke Cage” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) — Mike Colter stars as Luke Cage, a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who now fights crime.

“Hell’s Kitchen” 8 p.m. Fox  — The contestants race in the first annual Crepe Grand Prix challenge for the chance to win a luxurious dining experience on a yacht in Santa Barbara.

“Last Man Standing” 8 p.m. ABC — A bear wanders into Outdoor Man after Kyle leaves a door open on the loading docks.

“MacGyver” 8 p.m. CBS — Jack's ex-girlfriend goes missing after securing evidence against an international arms dealer in Venezuela.

“Dr. Ken” 8:30 p.m. ABC  — Allison's first day at Welltopia starts off with a bang when she and Ken disagree on a diagnosis.

“Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse” 9 p.m. OWN (fifth season fall debut) — Angela and Leslie try to mend their frayed friendship with Jennifer.

“Hawaii Five-O”— Five-0 works with rogue MI-6 agent Harry Langford to find a terrorist planning to cause nuclear reactors across Europe to melt down.

“Doomsday” 10 p.m. History (new series) — Program that examines the possibility of different calamities that could wipe out the human race begins with a look at a killer asteroid.


“My Husband is Missing” 8 p.m. Saturday Lifetime  — The wife of an MIA serviceman goes to Vietnam to learn her husband's fate.

“Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC (42nd season debut) — Margot Robbie hosts. Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah were cut.

“The Simpsons” 8 p.m. Sunday Fox — Mr. Burns' search for a clan to play his virtual-reality family leads him to hire the Simpsons.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” 8 p.m. Sunday CBS — The team investigates an abduction case while down two members.

“Ash vs. Evil Dead” 8 p.m. Sunday Starz (second season debut) — Ash, Pablo and Kelly, summoned back to Ash's hometown by Ruby.

“Blunt Talk” 8:30 p.m. Sunday Starz (second season debut) —  Walter rekindles a romance with a former flame who is investigating an important story.

“Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown” 9 p.m. Sunday CNN  — Bourdain absorbs the tastes and sounds of Nashville, from chef Josh Habiger's Catbird Seat and Bolton's famous hot chicken, to a night of cooking, drinking and rocking with singer Alison Mosshart.

“Family Guy” 9 p.m. Sunday Fox  — When Brian and Lois push Chris into working out his anger issues by taking up a sport, they are completely surprised when he becomes an ace baseball pitcher.

“Secrets & Lies” 9 p.m. Sunday ABC  — Cornell hones in on Eric following the revelation of an alarming misdeed from his past

“Fear the Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC (two-hour second season finale) — Travis is blindsided by new refugees at the hotel. Meanwhile, Nick must make the decision to leave the Colonia or stay with Luciana.

“Madam Secretary” 9 p.m. Sunday CBS (third season debut) — Elizabeth asks President Dalton to risk change in an election year after a storm destroys a naval base in Bahrain.

“Shameless” 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime (seventh season debut) — Eight months have elapsed. Debbie has joined the Army and left the area. On his fiftieth birthday Frank saves librarian Libby from being run over and believes she is the one for him,despite her narcolepsy and interfering mother.

“Westworld” 9 p.m. Sunday HBO (new series) — This sci-fi drama is set in an Old West theme park where guests interact with automaton "hosts.'

“Elementary” 10 p.m. Sunday CBS (third season debut) — Holmes and Watson join the NYPD manhunt for a serial bomber who is active again after being dormant for six years

“Master of Sex” 10 p.m. Sunday Showtime — Johnson, Masters, Libby and Keller wind up together at a party thrown by Art and Nancy

“The Strain” 10 p.m. Sunday FX — Fet strikes the strigoi army at its heart and Justine tries to drive it out of Manhattan for good.

“Quantico” 10 p.m. Sunday ABC — The recruits practice counter-surveillance at the Farm while Alex and Ryan navigate their new relationship.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.