As if to reassure viewers it really is late night on Cinemax, its new action series “Hunted” (Cinemax, 10 p.m.) begins with a sex scene. Immediately after, we have to figure out the exact relationship between Melissa George’s character Sam Hunter is to the guy she was with.
It turns out she’s a spy working for the other side, but then her own side seems to put a hit on her and suddenly we’re in the confusing spy and counter spy business, a deadly business that hardly leaves time for any more sex, so hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.
“Hunted” is actually a step up from Cinemax’s first Friday night series, “Strike Back.” The eight episode season is from Frank Spotnitz, the writer and producer from “The X-Files” and includes writers from such series as “MI-5” and “Luther.” The big international cast and settings seem well suited for the genre and George herself is a striking figure, although she’s another one of those petite women who lose their credibility not only by successfully defending herself from any number of beefy attackers, but hardly gets a scratch either.
Speaking of action women, “Nikita” (The CW, 9 p.m.) returns for its third season with a promotion, with both Ryan and Nikita taking charge of Division.
And speaking of cable drama, “Boss” (Starz, 9 p.m.) reaches its second season finale, showing the power of a press expose (remember this is fiction).
With the Tigers sweeping the Yankees Thursday, there’s just one league championship to be determined. It’s Giants at Cardinals (Fox, 8 p.m.), with San Francisco on the brink; St. Louis leads the series 3-1.
The planned return of “Community” and “Whitney” were originally scheduled for tonight; the network changed that plan, saying the shows needed more promotion (and possibly a better night). So tonight there’s a rerun of “Grimm” (NBC, 8 and 9 p.m.) followed by a new one.
The changes on CBS happened a week ago, so there’s a repeat of “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 8 p.m.) before a new “CSI: NY” (CBS, 9 p.m.), in place of the canceled “Made in Jersey.” It might be an interesting episode of “CSI: NY” though, as music is provided by Green Day and there will be no dialogue for the first half hour.
Gary Hirshberg, Boris Epshteyn, John Fund, Goldie taylor and Mat Tiabbi are the scheduled guests on a new “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.).
More political content tonight concentrates on race: The special “Second Coming? Will Black America Decide 2012” (BET, 9 p.m.) opposite a repeat of the documentary “Race 2012” (PBS, 9 p.m.).
The American women selected by the “Secret Princes” (TLC, 10 p.m.) now decide whether royalty suits them in the series finale.
Here’s another chance to see the most watched scripted hour of television this fall: Last Sunday’s season premiere of “The Walking Dead” (AMC, 10 p.m.).
Tiffani Thiessen shows up on “Fashion Police” (E!, 10 p.m.). Maybe she’s turning herself in.
It’s time for the go-sees on “America’s Next Top Model” (The CW, 8 p.m.), the episode that always shows that while some hopeful models can take directions, very few of them have good directions.
A new squad is announced on “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” (CMT, 9 p.m.).
Cousins from Maine want investors for a lobster-roll food truck on “Shark Tank” (ABC, 8 p.m.).
A visiting Central American president needs protection on “Blue Bloods” (CBS, 10 p.m.).
The struggles of poet-playwright Lemon Andersen are recounted on “Voces on PBS” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).
The differences for gold prospectors in Alaska depicted on “Yukon Men” (Discovery, 9 p.m.): Grizzly bears steal their food. Speaking of UConn men: It’s Connecticut at Syracuse (ESPN, 8 p.m.) in college football.
A female vigilante is on the loose on a new “Haven” (Syfy, 10 p.m.).
See where “American Horror Story: Asylum” steals most of the ideas for next week’s episode tonight with a screening of the 1973 “The Exorcist” (IFC, 8 p.m.).
The Friday night series of political films on Turner Classic Movies continues with “A Face in th Crowd” (8 p.m.), “The Glass Key” (10:15 p.m.) and “Flamingo Road” (11:45 p.m.), along with a replay of the original documentary “A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington” (1:30 p.m.).
Running very late are a couple of odd police movies from the early 1970s, “The Super Cops” (2:30 a.m.) and “Cops and Robbers” (TCM, 4:15 a.m.).
In game 3 of the WNBA Finals, it’s Minnesota at Indiana (ESPN2, 8 p.m.). In preseason NBA, get another look at that crazy new herringbone floor during Philadelphia at Brooklyn (NBA, 7:30 p.m.). It’s followed by Golden State at Portland (NBA, 10 p.m.).
Kelly & Michael: Michelle Obama, Brandy. Katie Couric: Amy Grant. The View: Tyler Perry, Emeril Lagasse, Bristol Palin, Cee-Lo Green. The Talk: Viola Davis, Peter Krause, Pat Harvey. Ellen DeGeneres: Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, PSY (rerun).
David Letterman: Tina Fey, Rick Santorum (rerun). Jay Leno: Justin Timberlake, Steve Nash, Ryan Bingham (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Ben Affleck, Demi Lovato, Ben Howard (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Jake Gyllenhaal, Penny Marshall, Bobby Womack with Damon Albarn and Richard Russell (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Chelsea Handler, Allen Stone, Nina Conti. Carson Daly: Adam Carolla, Murs, fun. (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Michael Chiklis. Chelsea Handler: Jennifer Aniston, Heather McDonald, Loni Love, Ross Mathews (rerun).