With the return of The Originals (Monday), Supernatural (Tuesday), and Arrow (Wednesday), most of the CW’s fall lineup is in place alongside new series The Flash; several other new shows make their first appearances this week, and American Horror Story reboots itself yet again.
Monday, October 6
Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia (9-10 pm, HBO
British filmmaker Ben Steele explores the current climate of intolerance in Russia by spending time with both gay-rights activists and members of antigay groups.
Tuesday, October 7
The Flash (8-9 pm, CW)
The CW doubles down on shows based on DC Comics characters with the story of scientist Barry Allen, who after being struck by lightning becomes the fastest man alive and uses his ability to fight crime.
Wednesday, October 8
American Horror Story: Freak Show (10-11:30 pm, FX)
This season’s story is about a traveling carnival of oddities, one of the last remaining “freak shows,” that arrives in Jupiter, FL in the early 1950s. Many members of the AHS company of players return (in new roles, of course): Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, and Frances Conroy, joined this season by Michael Chiklis.
Also tonight: the season three premiere of Arrow (8-9 pm, CW), followed by a repeat of the Flash premiere. (And contrary to my prior assertion, Netflix opted to delay making season two of Arrow available for streaming until today, which is kind of unhelpful to those of us who are trying to get caught up.)
Thursday, October 9
The This Old House Hour (8-9 pm, PBS)
All those renovations shows on HGTV and DIY owe their existence to This Old House, which started its 35th season last week. This fall’s project is an 1850s brick rowhouse in Charlestown that is being extensively renovated inside and out.
Friday, October 10
Cristela (8:31-9 pm, ABC)
Sitcoms fronted by comedians are nothing new, but the talent fronting them is changing. As part of its efforts to present greater diversity in its programs, ABC is launching this comedy starring Cristela Alonzo as a Latina woman working her way through law school and dealing with her family.
Saturday, October 11
SNL Vintage (10-11 pm, NBC)
This is Saturday Night Live’s 40th season, and while the actual anniversary isn’t until September of next year, NBC wanted to begin celebrating early for publicity purposes. The network has been running repeats of recent episodes (cut down to one hour) in the Saturday 10 pm timeslot for a few years; in recognition of the show’s long run they’re digging into the vault and airing older shows. The first two choices were Richard Pryor from 1975 and Steve Martin from 1978. This week’s selection is
supposed to be Christopher Walken one of Alec Baldwin’s many appearances.
Sunday, October 12
The Affair (10-11 pm, Showtime)
Some of the most emphatic critical praise of the fall’s new shows has been for this new drama examining the aftereffects of an adulterous relationship from Hagai Levi and Sarah Treem, who worked as producers and writers on HBO’s In Treatment. The story’s point of view shifts back and forth between the two parties involved in the affair of the title. They are played by Dominic West and Ruth Wilson, and their spouses are played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson.
Also tonight: the season five premiere of The Walking Dead (9-10:01 pm, AMC) followed by Talking Dead, and then at midnight (after a rerun of the TWD season premiere) season four of Comic Book Men premieres.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey
A 15-part immersion in the history of moviemaking is probably too much of a commitment for some and too much like schoolwork for others, but for those who are interested in the subject, it’s well worth the time.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)