TV column for Saturday, Oct. 14


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m. ET, NBC.

This wraps up a
stretch that “SNL” announced for the start of the season –
three straight new episodes, each with a top music guest. It was
Jay-Z in the opener (hosted by Ryan Gosling), then Sam Smith (with
Gal Gadot hosting) and now Pink.

The host, Kumail
Nanjiani, was relatively unknown until recently; he's co-starred as
computer guys in two cable series, “Franklin & Bash” and
“Silicon Valley.” But then he co-wrote and starred in “The Big
Sick,” an autobiographical delight that's both warm and funny; now
comes the “SNL” spotlight.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Will & Grace,” 8 p.m., NBC (or after “SNL” on the
West Coast).

Here's another
chance to see Thursday's episode, the third in the revived series. It
doesn't match the hilarity of the first two, but is still way funnier
than almost anything on TV.

Grace is
hospitalized and her emergency contact is still her ex-husband Leo
(Harry Connick). It's a chance to bring up old issues ... and a
chance for Will to fume that he's not the contact. Also, Jack and
Karen are in the unfamiliar situation of doing good for others.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Halt and Catch Fire” series finale, 9 p.m., AMC,
rerunning at 11:14.

This ambitious tale
of computer pioneers has had an odd arc. At first, it was slow and
grim and impersonal; then, in this fourth and final season, it began
to have deep character moments.

And now? The story
sort of peaks during the first half of this two-hour-plus finale. It
drifts into a long, quiet goodbye ... then has some final minutes
worth catching. Most of its characters end up surprising us, which is
the sign of a good – albeit frustrating – series.

Other choices
include:

Sports, everywhere.
There's lots of college football, of course, including ABC's 8 p.m.
ET game, with Southern California (ranked No. 13) hosting Utah. But
baseball is starting its league play-offs. It's the National League
on TBS and the American League on Fox or Fox Sports1, with World
Series spots at stake. Also, there's boxing at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox
and 10 p.m. on Showtime.

“MacGyver,” 8
p.m., CBS. Riley, the young computer whiz, has disappeared, shortly
after hacking into the National Security Agency and possibly
triggering world war. This is not a good thing, so Mac tries to find
her. Also in this rerun, Bozer has his first mission.

“Superstore,”
8:30 p.m., NBC (or later, West Coast). In a rerun, the store is
adding new employees – including Amy's daughter. Amy turns to Jonah
for advice about adjusting her parenting style.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. In this rerun, an NSA agent has disappeared
while tracking an ISIS cell. To find him, Callen must go undercover
as a patient in a mental hospital.

“The Wonder List,”
9 p.m. ET, CNN (barring breaking news). Last week, this series opened
with a fascinating look at Patagonia. Tonight is Madagascar.

“School of Rock”
(2003), 9-11:30 p.m., Bravo. Dewey (Jack Black) is drifting through
life as a rock guitarist, with little money or ambition. Then he lies
his way into a substitute-teaching job ... and finds he has a knack
for encouraging music. That might sound merely OK, but it's
surprisingly good. Mike White (who co-stars) wrote a sharp script and
Richard Linklater directed it perfectly.

Hip-hop Awards, 10
p.m. to midnight, BET. Here's a rerun of the Tuesday event. Even if
you already know who won, you can catch music by DJ Khaled (who
hosts), Flo Rida, T-Pain, Trina and more.