TV best bets with first presidential debate, Ethan Hawke, Gloria Steinem, Jim Parsons, Chris Rock on ‘SNL’

Ethan Hawke (right) stars in Showtime's "The Good Lord Bird." CR: Showtime
Ethan Hawke (right) stars in Showtime's "The Good Lord Bird." CR: Showtime

Credit: Show

Credit: Show

With just five weeks until the presidential election. President Donald Trump and Democratic contender Joe Biden will face off in their first debate Tuesday.

“Saturday Night Live” also returns to NBC on Saturday, Oct. 3, for its first show in studio since the pandemic began with its entire cast from last season returning. Chris Rock, in the latest season of “Fargo,” will host for the third time where he started his career.

For game show lovers, NBC Tuesday brings back “The Weakest Link” after a nearly 20-year hiatus with Jane Lynch as host.

For martial arts enthusiasts, Netflix Tuesday offers a remake of a 1995 Jean Claude Van Demme movie “Sudden Death” with Micahel Jai White called “Welcome to Sudden Death.”

For history buffs, Amazon Prime provides a scripted look at Gloria Steinem (“The Glorias”) on Wednesday.

For those who prefer historical fiction, there’s Sunday’s Showtime drama “The Good Lord Bird" about a slave who unites with John Brown in Brown’s abolitionist mission and features Ethan Hawke.

For fans of “The Big Bang Theory,” Jim Parsons (who played Sheldon) stars in a remake of a gay drama set in the 1960s called "The Boys in the Band' on Netflix, available Wednesday.

For those who can laugh at the current epidemic, “South Park” on Comedy Central comes out with a special on that very topic.

For those who like a little trickery, CBS brings back a 10th season of “Undercover Boss,” the type of show which makes you think: who can still be fooled by this?

For those who are still watching “The Walking Dead,” the episode that was supposed to end season 10 in the spring is finally airing Sunday, followed by a spin-off show.

This covers Monday, Sept. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.


“Whose Vote Counts, Explained” 3:01 a.m. Netflix - All people are created equal, but what about all voters? The facts of this basic American right may not be as self-evident.

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC - It’s Disney Night. Will Carole Baskin gets another shot?

“The Third Day” 9 p.m. HBO - Sam (Jude Law) is shocked to learn the truth about his connection to Osea and the islanders' intentions for his future. Later, in a fight for his life, Sam tries desperately to escape their clutches and make it back to the mainland in one piece.

“Filthy Rich” 9 p.m. Fox — With no choice but to accept Eugene’s illegitimate children, Margaret finds a way to capitalize on this surprise revelation for the benefit of herself and Sunny Club.

“Emergency Call” 10 p.m. ABC (new series) — 911 call takers from Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Wasilla, Alaska, receive calls. Luke WIlson hosts.


“Welcome to Sudden Death” 3:01 a.m. Netflix – An action movie starring Michael Jai White that is a remake of the Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 90s flick.

“Weakest Link” 8 p.m. NBC (new series) - Emmy winner Jane Lynch hosts a revival of the international phenomenon. Eight strangers work as a team to play a high stakes game of trivia, then vote each other off one-by-one for a chance to win up to $1 million.

“Presidential debate” 9 p.m. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, GPB - Chris Wallace moderates.


“The Glorias” 3:01 a.m. Amazon Prime - Julianne Moore and others play feminist icon Gloria Steinem at various points in her life. This film was originally going to be released in theaters.

“American Murder: The Family Next Door” 3:01 a.m. Netflix - The film tells the story of the 2018 Watts family murders, which took place in Frederick, Colorado. It uses archival footage including social media posts, law enforcement recordings, text messages and home video footage to depict the events that occurred.

The Boys in the Band” 3:01 a.m. Netflix - At a birthday party in 1968 New York, a surprise guest and a drunken game leave a group of gay friends reckoning with unspoken feelings and buried truths. Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer star.

“The 100” 8 p.m. the CW (series finale) - After all the fighting and loss, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and her friends have reached the final battle. But is humanity worthy of something greater?

“South Park” 8 p.m. Comedy Central - An episode focused on the pandemic.

“Voices Magnified: Locked Up In America” 10 p.m. A&E - Part of a campaign to look at policing in America.


“Code 404” 3:01 a.m. Peacock (new series) - DI John Major (Daniel Mays, “White Lines”) and DI Roy Carver (Stephen Graham, “Boardwalk Empire”) are the best of the best at an elite police unit in London. After Major’s cover is blown and meets an untimely death, he is brought back to life with some glitchy AI technology. Now, he’s better than ever — or so he thinks.

“Gangs of London” 3:01 a.m. AMC+ (new series) - Set in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic and multicultural cities, this tells the story of a city being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.

“Soulmates” 3:01 a.m. AMC+ (new series) — The six-part episodic anthology series that wryly examines the nature of romantic love.

“A World of Calm” 3:01 a.m. HBO Max (new series) - A timely antidote for our modern lives, each half-hour episode takes audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Each relaxing tale is designed to transform how you feel. Viewers will be transported into tranquility through scientifically engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage to naturally calm the body and soothe the mind. Narrators include Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman.

“Celebrity Family Feud” 8 p.m. ABC - Joel McHale vs. Ben Feldman; Jesse Palmer vs. Cee Lo Green.

“This Old House” 8 p.m. GPB (19th season debut) - Take a tour of the evolution of kitchen design concepts.

“Let’s Be Real” 9 p.m. Fox - A half-hour election-themed satirical puppet special executive produced by Robert Smigel.


“Emily in Paris” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (new series) - When ambitious Chicago marketing exec Emily unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris, she embraces a new life as she juggles work, friends and romance.

“Monsterland” 3:01 a.m Hulu (new series) - Encounters with mermaids, fallen angels and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts in this anthology series based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s “North American Lake Monsters”

“Dick Johnson is Dead” 3:01 a.m. Netflix - As her father nears the end of his life, documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson stages his death in inventive and comical ways to help them both face the inevitable.

“Vampires vs. the Bronx” 3:01 a.m. Netflix - The horror comedy comes from director Oz Rodriguez (“A.P. Bio,” “Saturday Night Live”) and tells the story of a group of young friends from the Bronx fighting to save their neighborhood from a band of vampires.

"Ted Lasso″ 3:01 a.m. Apple TV+ (first season finale) - After a series of mistakes on the pitch, pressure mounts to bench Roy. Rebecca finally reveals the truth to Ted.

“Undercover Boss” 9 p.m. CBS (10th season debut) - Ray Blanchette, chief executive officer of TGI Fridays, who started at the company as a manager in training on Oct. 2, 1989, finds out if he can still stand the heat in the kitchen and behind the bar, as he attempts to cook up extra business at a couple of locations.

“Match Game” 10:01 p.m. ABC - James Van Der Beek, Cheryl Hines, Thomas Lennon, Sherri Shepherd, Dr. Oz and Laura Benanti.


“Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC (46th season debut) - Chris Rock will host as the cast returns to Rockefeller Center.

“Power Book II: Ghost” 8 p.m. Sunday Starz (first season finale) - The show has been renewed for next year.

"The Good Lord Bird″ 9 p.m. Sunday Showtime (new series) - Ethan Hawke, Daveed Diggs and Joshua Caleb Johnson star in a humorous, dramatic and historical tapestry of antebellum America based on the award-winning novel by James McBride.

“Lovecraft Country″ 9 p.m. Sunday HBO - Not much info on this upcoming episode, but expect more of the series' blend of the supernatural and racial injustice.

“The Walking Dead” 9 p.m. Sunday AMC - This was the finale that was supposed to air in the spring but the pandemic delayed post-production work.

"Fargo″ 10 p.m. Sunday FX - Deafy and Odis join forces, Josto seeks revenge, Oraetta finds new employment, Gaetano makes a move and Zelmare and Swanee help the Smutnys with their debt.

“Black-ish” 10 p.m. Sunday ABC - The Johnsons are navigating the upcoming election, with Junior embarking on his journey as a first-time voter and Dre launching an exploration into local politics.

“First Ladies” 10 p.m. Sunday CNN (new series) - The six-part docuseries, narrated by Golden Globe-winning actress Robin Wright, profiles Michelle Obama, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The Walking Dead: The World Beyond” 10:06 p.m. Sunday AMC (new series) - On the eve of a celebration, an unexpected message upends Iris and Hope’s worldview

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