Here's what's up in the world of TV for Wednesday, October 12, 2011. All times are Eastern.
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Axl tries to pass the SATs, Sue tries to become a cheerleader, and Mike wants Brick to defend himself against bullies. So it's a, "None of this will ever happen" episode then? Will Harris can answer that.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Isn't Brandon Hantz just the worst person alive? Carrie Raisler can explain in intimate detail just why he is as the stalwart continues through its 23rd season.
Up All Night (NBC, 8 p.m.): The title of this episode is "Mr. Bob's Toddler Kaleidoscope," so clearly Erik Adams has won the "best episode title of the evening" sweepstakes, which means he gets to wear an awesome hat.
The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): The judges begin training the contestants in the ways of singing. Because they couldn't before. (Actually, if they couldn't, this show would be a whole lot more interesting.) Emily Yoshida's sings it out. (Heh. Sings. Music!)
Suburgatory (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): What might be the funniest (and/or creepiest) new comedy of the fall does the old "protagonist turns school newspaper into tabloid rag" bit. Just like on Step By Step! Ryan McGee has the scoop. (Heh. Scoop. Journalism!)
America's Next Top Model (The CW, 9 p.m.): The episode description says, "The girls are given direction by La Toya Jackson." Sadly, that probably won't be as fun as it is in our imaginations. Margaret Eby will hopefully live to tell the tale.
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): Our guess: Everyone will act annoyed with each other, then they'll realize how much they love each other, and someone will say something moving. Anything different happen, Donna Bowman?
Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist (Bravo, 9 p.m.): John Teti knows art when he sees it, and he's quite certain that none of the crap on this reality show, returning tonight for its second season, is "art." Dogs playing poker? Now that's sublime!
Happy Endings (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): To our eternal puzzlement, none of you seem to be watching this winning, pop-culture-savvy show. It's about young people! You're young people! You hang out in apartments! Except for David Sims, who has to write about it.
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): Home invasions? The strings from Psycho? It must be everybody's favorite "let's do a horror movie homage just cuz" TV drama! Todd VanDerWerff will battle Ryan Murphy for supremacy.
Luther (BBC America, 10 p.m.): The most preposterously enjoyable crime-solving show this side of Wiseguy continues through its preposterously enjoyable second series, and Scott Tobias has the story.
Revenge (ABC, 10 p.m.): Do you hear the dulcet tones of Emily VanCamp weeping in the sand, kneeling, rain pouring over her, fist shaking at the sky? Then it must be time for Carrie Raisler to review another episode of REVEEEEENNNNGGGEE!
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The boys play "Texans vs. Mexicans," and Cartman pretends to be a border patrol agent. Your "Respect my authori-tay!" gags will be relevant again, Ryan McGee!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Sopranos (1 p.m.): Tony's got a Feech LaManna problem, and he knows just how to handle it. Todd VanDerWerff knows that if this were 2004, this would be a spoiler. But it's not, suckers.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Sun Come Up (HBO2, 8 p.m.): Rising sea levels, spurred by climate change threaten the population of the Carteret Islands in the Pacific Ocean, in this Oscar-nominated documentary. Boy, First World problems, right?!
Sex Robot (DFH, 8 p.m.): A British professor explains why love between humans and sex robots may be possible within 10 years in this special. Some of you will make sex robot jokes in comments; all of you will check to see if you get Discovery Fit & Health.
Psych (USA, 10 p.m.): It's time for the debut of the sixth season of the show that's either "fun" or "incredibly irritating," depending on just what you think of that James Roday. Kevin McFarland checks in to see how the show's coming along.
Let The Right One In (Showtime 2, 8 p.m.): It's October. What better way to celebrate than with young girls who just might be vampires? (Actually, there are lots and lots of better ways, now that we think about it.)
The Manchurian Candidate (TCM, 8 p.m.): Really into Showtime's Homeland? Then check out the original classic from director John Frankenheimer about a possibly brainwashed soldier returned home from overseas.
Brewers at Cardinals (TBS, 8 p.m.): We're totally unbiased about which team should win the NLCS (it's the Brewers), because we don't want to antagonize any of you (who don't like the Brewers), and we value all of our readers (just not the ones in St. Louis). It's game three, with the series tied up 1-1.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Parenthood (Tuesday): Todd VanDerWerff takes us through a magical journey of life, arguing, and people who are undergoing the adoption process not so subtly bringing their pregnant, unmarried friends over to their houses and saying, "HINT, HINT!"