Thursday TV: Obama Speaks, NFL Kicks Off

It’s an indication of his presidency that Barack Obama caved to Republican criticism that his planned jobs speech to a joint session of Congress was scheduled the same day as a GOP presidential debate Wednesday – only to have Republicans saying now that they won’t watch the rescheduled event Thursday anyway.

Nevertheless, Obama will give his Presidential Speech (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, 7 p.m.) to the joint session and a national audience to outline some action that has been already been criticized by his single-minded foes even before it’s given.

He’s giving a second concession – to the opening of the NFL season – by planning his speech earlier than usual, at 7 p.m. Nevertheless, in markets like Green Bay, hosting the game, they’ll be going with their own, planned pre-game coverage. Jobs are important and all, but these are the Packers!

The first game features the two past Super Bowl winners, with the New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (NBC, 8 p.m.).

It’s preceded by the usual hype and hoopla of the NFL Kickoff 2011 (NBC, 7:30 p.m.).

There’s also a college game on, Arizona at Oklahoma State (ESPN, 8 p.m.).

Another fall tradition comes in a couple of weeks – the start of the new TV season. One network promotes its plans in a “Fall Preview” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.).

Because of a premature eviction on Wednesday (of Kalia) it’s unclear what the plans are for tonight on “Big Brother” (CBS, 9 p.m.). But they’re down to the final four of Rachel, Jordan, Porsche and Adam and they have to wrap up next week, so maybe another one will go.

It’s a finale for one of the best comedies around, “Louie” (FX, 10:30 p.m.) that has really risen to distinguish itself in its second season. This despite the most open ended episode descriptions, such as tonight’s: “Louie has a bad time in general.” It’s also the end for the daring but not entirely successful “Wilfred” (FX, 10 p.m.).

Another cable network brings two of its series to their mid-season finales – “Burn Notice” (USA, 9 p.m.) and “Suits” (USA, 10 p.m.).

Designers get to create their own fabrics on tonight’s “Project Runway” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.). Guest judges include designer Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrne.

A mother of eight wants to be a cowboy on “CMT Made” (CMT, 8 p.m.), and no, it’s not Kate Gosselin.

The season finale of the resurrected “Futurama” (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.) comes in three distinct animation styles – early black and white, early arcade and present day anime.

Let’s give it up for the famel firefighters, cops and EMS workers in “Beyond Bravery – The Women of 9/11” (CNN, 9 p.m.).

A high school musical theater awards show in New Jersey is the basis of the documentary “Most Valuable Players” (OWN, 9 p.m.).

A month-long, 21-film, Thursday night salute to Merchant Ivory on Turner Classic Movies continues with a pair of Henry James adaptations,“The Europeans” (8 p.m.), “The Bostonians” (9:45 p.m.) before moving to “Roseland” (midnight), “Quartet” (2 a.m.) and “Savages” (4 a.m.).

Kat goes to Austin with Jesse and probably start wildfires on “LA Ink” (TLC, 10 p.m.).

Just as the Beatles are not in the current boxoffice hit, “The Help,” nor is The Who in “The Kids are All Right” (HBO Signature, 9 p.m.).

A three-part, three hour special,“Who Was Jesus”? (Planet Green, 8 p.m.), raises a second question: Why on Planet Green?

It’s a kidnapping situation in the season finale of “Rookie Blue” (ABC, 10p.m.)

Daytime Talk

Regis and Kelly: Salma Hayek. The View: Helen Mirren, Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The Talk: Jules Naudet & James Hanlon, Tanya Villanueva Tepper, Ling Young, Donald Young. Ellen DeGeneres: Justin Timberlake, Graeme Taylor (rerun). Wendy Williams: Felicity Huffman, Kim Fields (rerun).

Late Talk

David Letterman: Michael J. Fox, John Doe. Jay Leno: Will Arnett, Tinie Tempah. Jimmy Kimmel: Khloe Kardashian, Gabe Dixon. Jimmy Fallon: Tom Selleck, Cameron Crowe, Pearl Jam. Craig Ferguson: Bill Bailey. Tavis Smiley: Benjamin Barber, Reza Aslan. Carson Daly: Jason Eisener, Shane Smith, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (rerun). Jon Stewart: Marion Cotillard. Stephen Colbert: Tom Brokaw. Conan O’Brien: Charlie Day, Jeb Corliss, Foo Fighters. Chelsea Handler: James Marsden, Ben Gleib, Sarah Colonna, Chris Hardwick.

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