Plenty of variety this week, with a new TV series version of the Transporter movie franchise, a musical docuseries from Foo Fighters, a new approach to doing a science series on PBS, another romantic sitcom (but a promising one), and a dramedy inspired by telenovelas.
Monday, October 13
Jane the Virgin (9-10 pm, CW)
Like The Flash, CW’s other new fall show is getting a lot of advance buzz and praise. Based on a Mexican telenovela, Jane is the titular young woman who is accidentally artificially inseminated during a visit to her doctor.
Also tonight: the premiere of Star Wars Rebels (9-10 pm, Disney XD). (Perhaps Reuben will have more to say about this show?)
Tuesday, October 14
Marry Me (9-9:30 pm, NBC)
The most promising of NBC’s new fall comedies, Marry Me is a relationship romcom from creator David Caspe (who also created Happy Endings), starring Casey Wilson (who’s married to Caspe, and was on that show as well) and Ken Marino, who’s been in everything from Party Down to Children’s Hospital. The debut is followed at 9:30 by the season two premiere of About a Boy.
Wednesday, October 15
How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (9-11 pm, PBS)
In this six-part series (two parts will air each week), science author and host Johnson explores where ideas come from and how discoveries in the past reverberate in the present. Tonight: the pursuit of clean water and shaping our concept of time.
Thursday, October 16
Thursday Night Football (8:25-11:30ish pm, CBS)
Jets vs. Patriots, from Foxborough.
Friday, October 17
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (11 pm-12 am, HBO)
The band recorded its latest album in eight different American cities, and this series, directed by Dave Grohl, explores the musical and cultural history of those places.
Also tonight: Comedy Bang! Bang! and The Birthday Boys return for new seasons (11 and 11:30 pm, IFC)
Saturday, October 18
Transporter: The Series (9-11 pm, TNT)
Fans of the movie franchise will probably want to check out this TV adaptation, with the caveat that Jason Statham is not involved. The role of Frank Martin has been assumed by Chris Vance, and the show promises plenty of action and suspense, filmed on location in exotic spots around the globe. The entire notion of this character and story has been kind of silly since the first film, but in a winking way that acknowledges the audience knows it’s silly. If the show can get the tone right, this could turn into a nice, mindless weekend diversion in the vein of Cinemax’s Strike Back. (Two-episode premiere)
Sunday, October 19
The Simpsons (8-8:30 pm, FOX)
Treehouse of Horror XXV, arriving early due to FOX’s postseason baseball coverage.
What began as a seeming homage to/copycat of The X-Files—an FBI division investigating paranormal events and phenomena—evolved into a fully-formed and at times exquisite exploration of a parallel universe. The show never quite recovered from the choice the creators made for the direction the story took in season four, but the final season managed to (mostly) salvage the longer arc and bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. John Noble, currently on Sleepy Hollow, is consistently fantastic as scientist Walter Bishop, and it’s a real shame he never got an Emmy nomination for this work. (Five seasons, 100 episodes total.)
(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.)