Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, October 1. All times are Eastern.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Vampires! They keep diaries. That is what we’ve learned from five full seasons of the The Vampire Diaries, and by the way, that is like, totally inaccurate. Fortunately, What’s On Tonight isn’t covering tonight’s sixth-season premiere—that honor goes to the far more qualified Carrie Raisler, who’s returning to her old stomping grounds to drop in on the premiere before letting the vampires keep their own diaries for a while. The main thing here in the season-six opener is that Damon is dead and everyone is stressed out about it but also going back to school. And then we tried to parse the other sentences in the summary and failed, so uh, Carrie? Whenever you’re ready?
Bad Judge (NBC, 9 p.m.): Sexy-woman-who-threatens-men-from-a-position-of-power-in-a-funny-and-mostly-cute-way show starts tonight. Sonia Saraiya reviewed the pilot and found it wanting; now it’s your turn to judge Bad Judge, objection, overruled, other legal joke!
Gracepoint (Fox, 9 p.m.): Broadchurch For America debuts tonight, with David Tennant For America in the lead, and Anna Gunn Of America as his partner. We hear the pilot is a note-for-note remake of the original, and Myles McNutt confirmed as much with his review of the first several episodes. Now Gwen Ihnat takes on Britain For America on a weekly basis, because she is a true patriot.
Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.): And the second-season premiere of this teen soap opera that is literally about Renaissance-era France and Mary, Queen of Scots returns to grace our screens tonight, and we cannot deny being absurdly excited about the whole thing. Caroline Framke, our regular reviewer, will return to the show in November, so until then Megan Follows enthusiast Genevieve Valentine will be holding down the fort. Or taking the reins. Of Reign. (Laughs at own joke)
A To Z (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): And after Bad Judge comes this new comedy, about a love story, the alphabet, and the weirding of the romantic-comedy template. Molly Eichel took the pre-air, and saw its potential; now Brandon Nowalk will be covering this curiosity week-to-week, while laboriously relearning the alphabet.
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.): Did you hear 20 million people watched the premiere of this show? Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya was one of them, is the point. Were you?
Battlestar Galactica (2 p.m.): Did Sonia Saraiya just write 2500 words that vaguely allude to Shakespeare and then berate Ellen Tigh for existing? Why yes, yes she did. Will any of it make sense? Well, we really don’t know yet. But this is what happens when you’re writing a review in an eight-hour window with a nuclear bomb threat on one hand and death-by-airlock on the other. Oh yeah, by the way, Sonia is a Cylon. Sorry.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): It’s time for another round of the secret sister hour! This show perplexes us, but we watched the premiere for some reason, and damn, Alex is still in it? What if he and Meredith end up hanging out in each others’ beds all the time? What will it mean?
The This Old House Hour (PBS, 8 p.m.): We were this close to making this show the top pick for tonight, but there’s all kinds of scripted stuff happening, and look, those of you faithful that read through all of What’s On Tonight are the same sorts of people that will be excited about The This Old House Hour. Tonight, the 13th season debuts. TV Guide’s summary promises a Boston 1850s-era Greek Revival house and an examination of rust staining, the installation of a pass-through in a load-bearing wall, and the replacement of a poorly built fence gate. And I quote: “Also: NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio joins the fun when the guys play ‘What is it?’”
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is ominously titled “The Highest Bidder.” Nein, Heidi, Nein!
Black Jesus (Adult Swim, 11 p.m.): Jesus decides to unite with his friends from the ’hood. TV Guide placed “hood” in quotes, like that.
Thursday Night Football (CBS, 8:25 p.m.): Sports! The Vikings play the Packers in a face-off between one Midwestern place and another! On the one hand is Minnesota, which has several lakes and the patronage of Garrison Keillor; on the other hand is Wisconsin, which, cheese, and also, have you heard of this thing called cheese? Unfortunately football will be about neither cheese or lakes or A Prairie Home Companion, but then again, football has always betrayed us.
The Bridge: THIS TIME IT IS THE FINALE. Molly Eichel is all like, “Okay, now you can read about it, and also What’s On Tonight, you need to keep up with my Works.” And What’s On Tonight is all like “Yeah sorry, we know.”