Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Sept. 28-Oct. 4. Dates, details and times are subject to change.
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938) 8 p.m. on TCM. The director Frank Capra and his regular collaborator, the screenwriter Robert Riskin (“It Happened One Night”), took this Pulitzer Prize-winning play to the big screen. The comedy explores two families’ conflicting views on money, success and happiness following the discovery of Alice Sycamore’s (Jean Arthur) budding romance with Tony Kirby (James Stewart). In his New York Times review, Frank S. Nugent called it “a grand picture, which will disappoint only the most superficial admirers of the play.” Lionel Barrymore also stars.
EMERGENCY CALL 10 p.m. on ABC. This new series, hosted by Luke Wilson, focuses on 911 call technicians. In this premiere episode, calls come in from a 9-year-old performing CPR on her grandfather, hikers who come across a bear and a woman whose car is stolen with her child in the back seat.
OUR TIME MACHINE (2020) 10 p.m. on PBS. This documentary, part of PBS’s POV series, follows the Chinese multidisciplinary artist Maleonn, who enlists the help of his parents for a new work called “Papa’s Time Machine.” Through his artistic process, Maleonn tries to preserve the past for his father, who struggles with dementia.
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 9 p.m. on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS (check local listings). Donald Trump and Joe Biden will face off in their first presidential debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. The topics will include the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court, the economy and the integrity of the 2020 election.
THE WEAKEST LINK 8 p.m. on NBC. Jane Lynch hosts the revival of this early 2000s game show, offering her own signature take on its famous catchphrase. In it, eight contestants work together to answer general knowledge questions for an increasing amount of prize money, with the option to vote out “the weakest link” at the end of each round.
SOUTH PARK: THE PANDEMIC SPECIAL 8 p.m. on Comedy Central. This long-running animated series has tackled just about every major hot button issue in American culture. Now the satirical comedy is back with a one-hour special, following Kyle, Stan, Cartman, Kenny and Randy as they try to navigate the coronavirus pandemic in their Colorado mountain town.
2020 N.B.A. FINALS 9 p.m. on ABC. The Los Angeles Lakers will play the Eastern Conference champions in the first game of the National Basketball Association Finals. The best-of-seven series continues on ABC with Game 2 at 9 p.m. on Friday, and Game 3 at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
LET’S BE REAL 9 p.m. on Fox. This comedy special from Robert Smigel (the creator of “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog”) imagines politicians as actual puppets. The show will feature the plushy puppet forms of President Trump, Joe Biden and other cultural and political figures, as well as celebrity cameos.
KINGDOM OF SILENCE (2020) 9 p.m. on Showtime. The documentarian Rick Rowley explores the life and murder of the Saudi Arabian dissident Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post writer who disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. The film looks at Khashoggi’s reporting on Osama bin Laden in the 1980s, his work as an adviser to Saudi officials and his relationship with the Arab Spring revolutionaries. It also retraces the moments and events that led up to his death.
CAT PEOPLE (1942) 9:30 p.m. on TCM. This horror film follows a young woman (Simone Simon) who is tortured by the belief that she could turn into a panther when aroused. The movie, directed by Jacques Tourneur, is famed for its reliance on light, shadow and the power of suggestion to create its spooky, unsettling atmosphere. The process “was smart, literate and economical, establishing the gold standard for a particular kind of B-movie,” J. Hoberman wrote of the film in The New York Times.
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS 11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The 46th season of this live music series premieres with a compilation of performances from John Prine, who died in April and appeared on the show eight times. The hourlong premiere will feature an introduction by Jason Isbell and an appearance by Bonnie Raitt.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 11:30 p.m. on NBC. The “S.N.L.” cast will return to Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center for the premiere of the show’s 46th season and the first live episode since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Alec Baldwin will reprise his role as President Trump, while Jim Carrey will step in to play Joe Biden. Chris Rock hosts and Megan Thee Stallion is the musical guest.
THE WALKING DEAD 9 p.m. on AMC. After getting derailed by the pandemic in April, the Season 10 finale of this long-running zombie apocalypse show will finally air, setting things up for six bonus episodes in 2021, and an additional 24-episode final season that will wrap in 2023.
FIRST LADIES 10 p.m. on CNN. Michelle Obama, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson and Hillary Clinton serve as the subjects for this new six-part series that explores the lives of American first ladies. The series, narrated by Robin Wright (who played a particularly devious first lady on “House of Cards”), premieres with an episode focusing on the life and achievements of Mrs. Obama.
BLACK-ISH 10 p.m. on ABC (date and time are subject to change due to the N.B.A. Finals schedule). This two-part special follows the Johnsons as they navigate the upcoming election. When the first-time voter Junior (Marcus Scribner) has trouble at the polls, he looks into the issues around voter registration. Then, in an animated episode, Dre (Anthony Anderson) enlists his family’s help with his campaign for Congress, but quickly encounters thorny issues with fund-raising and public interest groups.