One Direction

A few quick thoughts about tonight's TV playlist:

You know the Obama campaign has to be counting on the youth demographic to once again "rock the vote," as they used to say, so the timing is curious for MTV's annual Video Music Awards extravaganza from L.A.'s Staples Center to encroach on the climactic night of the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, where President Obama's speech is the main event.

Maybe there will be cutaways? At any rate, the VMA show starts early, at 8/7c, and is scheduled to wrap by 10 p.m./ET, well before the president speaks. But it's still going to be a big draw for the 18-34 crowd, including for the instant replay that starts immediately afterward. (Which means there's no Awkward this week, which is OK, because this whole juxtaposition is awkward enough.)

On the VMAs, look (or listen) for live performances from Rihanna, who opens the show, plus Taylor Swift, One Direction, Pink, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Frank Ocean (who's also Saturday Night Live's opening-night musical guest next weekend), Green Day and more. Among the presenters: from the Olympics, the gold-medal-winning U.S. women's gymnastics team. Kevin Hart is the host.

Meanwhile, let's hope no singers advance to the final round of NBC's America's Got Talent when the last three acts are announced tonight (8/7c). It's not like we won't be getting our fill of musical hopefuls very soon, with The Voice and The X Factor both premiering next week. ... Another sign that the summer season's just about over: the season finale of ABC hit Rookie Blue (9/8c), with many of the characters facing career and relationship crossroads, as tends to happen at cliffhanger time. Not to worry. They'll be back next summer. Blue has already been renewed for a fourth season. (Isn't it about time to stop calling them rookies?)

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