Summer series like Outlander and Under the Dome are nearing their end, meaning it’s time to find something else to populate your DVR queue. Thankfully there’s plenty to chose from this week, so you should be able to find plenty of excuses to vegetate in front of your TV screen, regardless of your tastes.
Craving some comic-book action on the small screen? You’ve got Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning to ABC and hopefully not squandering the goodwill it earned at the end of an uneven first season. More of a DC kind of person? Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait for the premieres of Arrow and Flash to get your fix. You can check out a pre-Batman Gotham in, well, Gotham. The pilot isn’t bad, but it seems like a concept that doesn’t have the legs to sustain itself in the long run. We shall see.
Fox’s Sleepy Hollow was a surprise hit last season, and while it isn’t science fiction, it does involve time travel, and it’s had our goodwill ever since that scene where Ichabod consoles an Onstar operator. If you prefer artificial intelligence to headless horsemen, CBS’ Person of Interest has improved hugely since its first season, and it’s back for another round Tuesday night.
Gotham (Fox, 8/7c) — “Pilot”
Rookie detective James Gordon battles villains and corruption in the premiere of this action-adventure series set in pre-Batman Gotham City.
Scorpion (CBS, 9/8c) — “Pilot”
Computer genius Walter O’Brien and his equally brilliant friends investigate high-tech crimes. In the opener, Walter and his misfit colleagues are hired by the government to solve a crisis at the Los Angeles airport that leaves dozens of planes unable to land.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9/8c) — “This Is War”
In the Season 2 premiere, Ichabod is buried alive in a coffin; Abbie’s in danger of spending an eternity in purgatory; Katrina is a reluctant guest of the Headless Horseman; Capt. Irving is in jail on a murder charge; and Jenny is in a car accident.
Under the Dome (CBS, 10/9c) — “Go Now”
Season 2 ends with the discovery of a potential exit from the Dome, just as the citizens trapped in Chester’s Mill face imminent danger.
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Scared Silly”
The eight remaining artists are tasked with taking their worst childhood fears and using them as inspiration for evil clown characters that will have to withstand a nightmarish circus performance.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9/8c) — “Shadows”
In the Season 2 premiere, Coulson settles into his new role as head of S.H.I.E.L.D.. as his team expands to take on new threats.
Person of Interest (CBS, 10/9c) — “Panopticon”
The fourth season opens with Finch, Reese, Shaw and Root adapting to the new identities created to protect them from Samaritan. Meanwhile, the Machine continues to send out numbers, potentially putting the entire group in danger of detection.
Nova (PBS, 9/8c) — “Rise of the Hackers”
The experts battling to protect data from hackers are spotlighted. Included: the men who discovered an advanced cyber weapon; the computer expert who figured out how to hack ATMs; and scientists who think they can store passwords in unconscious brains.
Secrets of the Dead: Resurrecting Richard III (PBS, 10/9c)
Scientists study the bones of King Richard III (1452-85), the infamous English monarch. (The remains were discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, in 2012.) Included: whether the curvature of his spine would have hindered him in battle.
Z Nation (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Philly Feast”
The survivors make their way through the mean streets of Philadelphia, where they cross paths with a group of psychotic outlaws with ties to one of their own.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9/8c) — “The Caretaker”
The terrifying Skovox Blitzer prepares to destroy mankind. Meanwhile, Danny Pink and the Doctor are on a course to meet.
Intruders (BBC America, 10/9c) — “Bound”
Rose confronts Jack to explain the cause of Amy’s recent strange behaviour. Amy’s past — one which she has worked so hard to suppress and deny — has come back to haunt her and the only way to protect Jack may hurt him the most. Meanwhile, Richard discovers a secret about Rose that could destroy her ascent onto The Nine. Shepherd himself is skating on thin ice as Madison continues to evade his grasp.
Outlander (Starz, 9/8c) — “Both Sides Now”
Claire attempts to adapt to her new marriage, while Frank undertakes a desperate search for his missing wife. Later, a fate-changing opportunity presents itself to Claire, placing her in an emotional quandary.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30pm/10:30c)
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt is hosting!
The Lottery (Lifetime, 10/9c) — “In Extremis”
The president announces the winners of the Lottery, as the mystery behind the infertility crisis comes to a head.
Manhattan (WGN, 10/9c) — “The Understudy”
An unexpected visitor arrives on the Hill.
Masters of Sex (Showtime, 10/9c) — “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
Season 2 ends with Masters and Johnson passing the results of their studies on to the world.
Resurrection (ABC, 9/8c) — “Revelation”
Season 2 begins with Bellamy facing another shocking turn of events when he awakens alone and abandoned at Arcadia’s outskirts unable, at first, to account for a week of his life. As his memory returns, the town welcomes back from the dead powerful matriarch Margaret Langston after more than a 30-year absence.
The Strain (FX, 10/9c) — “Last Rites”
Dutch returns with a plan to broadcast Eph’s warning about the vampiric plague. However, they face a new threat when Eichhorst launches his own attack against the pawn shop. Palmer receives a special visitor, and Gus gears up for the on-coming fight but discovers there’s another mysterious factor involved.