Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

To hell with it, we’re watching Murder, She Wrote

Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
Photo: Ron Galella (Getty Images)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, September 22. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Murder, She Wrote, “Murder Takes The Bus” (Peacock): Normally, this would be the moment of the season when new TV is at its peak, but this isn’t a normal year. Oh, sure, there are still new things premiering every week, and shows from smaller or streaming networks or from abroad will suddenly get a second wind. But some days, the pickings will be slim. Today is one such day. So, screw it: The top pick is Murder, She Wrote. Why? Because it’s Murder, She Wrote and it’s Tuesday and Dancing With The Stars just feels weird, all right? If you’re just dying to watch Carole Baskin dance the Viennese waltz to “What’s New, Pussycat,” then that’s out there for you! Enjoy! More on that below! But for the rest of you, let’s get trapped at a bus station with Angela Lansbury and special guest stars Rue McClanahan, Linda Blair, and Michael Constantine, shall we?

“Murder Takes The Bus,” the 18th episode of the first season of Murder, She Wrote, first aired on March 17, 1985. In it, a big Maine thunderstorm (a Mainestorm?) forces a bus to pull over and wait for clearer skies at a diner, not long after it had stopped to pick up a few mysterious passengers. Then one of them dies. It’s one of the most Agatha Christie-inspired episodes of the show, so expect a big cast of characters, all with secrets of their own, and at least one twist you won’t expect. And it takes place on a dark and stormy night! Who doesn’t love those?
Can you binge it? Oh, can you ever. We know this to be true because some of us are already in season seven. Peacock has all 12 seasons, and you’ve got time. Enjoy. Maybe next time we’ll watch one of the episodes where Lansbury also plays Jessica’s British cousin who’s living a daring life on the stage.

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Regular coverage

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Fine, here’s Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars (ABC, 8 p.m., special night and time): Tonight’s two-hour episode will include the first elimination of the season. As long as it’s not Justina Machado, we’ll be fine. Go get ’em, Justina!

For kids

Mighty Express (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): The makers of Paw Patrol proudly present trains with teeth!

Wild cards

The Playbook (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): This LeBron James-produced docuseries (one of two things LBJ is producing today, in addition to field goals, since it’s also game three of the NBA Western Conference Finals) profiles five storied coaches who offer “life lessons that transcend sport.”

Kal Penn Approves This Message (Freeform, 10:30 pm, series premiere): This “smart, irreverent unscripted comedy series [will explore] issues relevant to Millennial and GenZ voters.” Based on Freeform’s description, it sounds like it’s in the Klepper mold, including both field pieces and “a sit-down interview with Kal and a featured guest.” Whatever the case, it’s got to be a better use of Penn’s talents than Designated Survivor.

Time100 (ABC, 10:02 p.m., one-hour special): Time unveils its annual list of the year’s most influential people in this ABC special that’s just begging for a few good “pivot to video” jokes.

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