You might think the fall TV season shot off its big guns weeks ago. But tonight is as big a night for premieres as any in the season, with three new network shows for your perusal.
Chief among them is “Nashville” (ABC, 10 p.m.), a frisky soap ostensibly about an established country music queen (Connie Britton) who is threatened by the ascendance of a younger star (Hayden Panetierre). But there are all sorts of intricate plotlines about songwriters and writers, band members and politicians. Best of all, the music director is T Bone Burnett, who finds great songs for his cast to sing.
Besides all the great reviews, the show also gets a most practical boost: an hour of “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.).
“Chicago Fire” (NBC, 10 p.m.), by contrast, is just another Dick Wolf variation on “Law & Order” except using firefighters instead. Imagine “Rescue Me” without the laughs, the likable characters and the smarts in a firehouse where the guys spend an awful lot of time taking their shirts off. Jesse Spencer of “House” leads the blah cast.
Finally, “Arrow” (The CW, 8 p.m.) is a dark adaptation of the lesser DC comics franchise about a billionaire playboy who gets shipwrecked and presumed lost for five years, all the while sharpening his archery skills (of course), returning as a crime fighter with bow and arrow. Stephen Amell stars in the show, meant to work well with “Supernatural” (The CW, 9 p.m.).
The 31st season starts for “Nature” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) with a film about the elusive Siberian tiger, shot by a Korean cameraman who spent more than five years trying to chronicle three generations of a tiger family. It’s followed by new episodes of “Nova” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), about reproducing a Viking sword, and the tracing of evolutionary traits on “Nova scienceNow” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).
It’s not just the singing; it’s acting cool at the judges’ houses that is part of “The X Factor” (Fox, 8 p.m.).
One team on “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.) is already down to just four players.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, 9 p.m.) doesn’t take long to tip into the “Fifty Shades of Grey” phenomenon.
With NBC announcing this week it is delaying the season of “Community” from its intended Oct. 18 start, Joel McHale can give his undivided attention to “The Soup” (E!, 10 p.m.).
Dave Foley guest stars as a school psychologist on “The Middle” (ABC, 8 p.m.).
A 1,100-pound woman is accused of killing her nephew on “Half Ton Killer” (TLC, 9 p.m.).
Who says Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life? She’s filling in as co-host of “Good Morning America” (ABC, 8 a.m.).
More classic horror from Turner Classic Movies with “The Haunting” (8 p.m.), “The Uninvited” (10 p.m.), “House on Haunted Hill” (midnight), “Dead of Night” (1:30 a.m.), “The Innocents” (3:30 a.m.) and “13 Ghosts” (5:15 a.m.).
Of course there’s always “Halloweentown High” (Disney, 8:30 p.m.).
It’s a big day in postseason baseball with four games: St. Louis at Washington (MLB, 1 p.m.), San Francisco at Cincinnati (TBS, 4 p.m.), Baltimore at Yankees (TBS, 7:30 p.m.) and Detroit at Oakland (TNT, 9:30 p.m.).
Kelly & Michael: Kevin James, Kristin Kreuk, the Script. The View: Marcia Cross, Nick Cannon. The Talk: Jackie Evancho, Steve & Annette Economides, Mary McCormack. Ellen DeGeneres: Eric Stonestreet, Rachel Maddow, Joshua Radin.
David Letterman: Salma Hayek, Nick Offerman, KISS. Jay Leno: Chelsea Handler, Placido Domingo. Jimmy Kimmel: Will Arnett, Chris Elliott, Dwight Yoakam. Jimmy Fallon: Tina Fey, Terry O’Quinn, Ellie Goulding. Craig Ferguson: Nikki Reed, Mitch Albom (rerun). Carson Daly: Sarah Wayne Callies, Joshuah Bearman, Fidlar. Tavis Smiley: Lang Lang. Jon Stewart: Magic Johnson. Stephen Colbert: Naomi Wolf. Conan O’Brien: Mark Wahlberg, Infantree (rerun). Chelsea Handler: Sam Rockwell, Moshe Kasher, Arden Myrin, Greg Fitzsimmons.