God in America(Monday, PBS, check local schedules)
Is that Benjamin Linus in Puritan drag? Michael Emerson is among the familiar faces in historical recreations (as John Winthrop) as two of PBS' most prestigious franchises, American Experience and Frontline, team for a six-part (over three nights) survey of American history as seen through the prism of religion. From the nation's origins, built on the principal of religious freedom, the series winds its way through wars and social revolutions including the civil-rights movement, exploring the part religion has played in shaping this country's melting-pot nature.
The Good Wife(Tuesday, 10/9c, CBS)
This compelling legal drama welcomes veterans of stage and screen to the guest roster this week, including Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (the Dreamgirls movie, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) as a lawyer in nemesis Glenn Childs' office as Alicia gets caught up in a multi-million dollar malicious prosecution case. Dallas Roberts, so memorable as one of the twitchy analysts on AMC's Rubicon, makes his first appearance as Alicia's gay brother, whose online remarks about her controversial husband spark a confrontation. Keep an eye out for Tony winner Priscilla Lopez (A Chorus Line) as a judge and rising star Bobby Steggart (Tony nominee for Ragtime) in the guest cast. The New York talent pool strikes again.
The Middle(Wednesday, 8/7c, ABC)
Hate when this happens. Little Brick makes the TV remote disappear while practicing his magic, and darned if he can't figure out how to make it reappear. Meanwhile, older brother Axl accompanies his dad to work at the quarry, and likes it so much he considers quitting school. Never to late to join in the antics of this hilarious family on one of ABC's less heralded comedy gems. Later in the night, on Cougar Town (9:30/8:30c), Grayson tells Jules about the incident with Laurie. Can their friendships survive?
30 Rock(Thursday, 8:30/7:30c, NBC)
Live, from New York, it's... Thursday night? If any sitcom should be able to handle the pressure of a live broadcast — with the cast doing it live all over again for the West Coast three hours later — it's 30 Rock with so many veterans of Saturday Night Live and live theater. In the show's first-ever live telecast, it's Liz Lemon's 40th birthday, which no one seems to remember. And as TGS goes live, Tracy decides it would be funny to keep breaking character and cracking up, which Jenna isn't likely to find funny. Break a leg, everyone.
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