Food Network, 7 p.m.
Sometimes the best food shows involve the simplest recipes. Devoid of nattering host and the usual faux cooking-competition drama, this sharp new series takes viewers right to the production lines of popular snacks, beverages and baked goods to show the creation process from raw materials to final packaged product. The reason to watch stems entirely from the diverse range of foodstuffs on display. Tonight’s first episode documents the production of slow-cooked bagels, multigrain chips and organic vegan carrot cake. The second show chronicles the brewing of pilsener beer, along with the factory production of chocolate-covered blueberries and the tiny rolled candy known as Rockets.
Emily Owens, M.D.
MuchMusic, 8 p.m.
Is the great acting gene hereditary? Judge for yourself with this new medical drama starring Mamie Gummer, the lookalike daughter of three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. Hailing from The CW, the show’s premise casts Gummer as the titular Emily, an earnest rookie medic whose first day at a bustling Denver hospital comes with mixed blessings. She’s thrilled to be working with her med-school crush Will (Justin Hartley) but less happy that her high-school nemesis Cassandra (Aja Naomi King) is also on staff. To offset the personal plotlines, Emily also has to serve as healer for a little girl with heart problems and two brothers recovering from injuries received in a drunk-driving accident. It’s no Grey’s Anatomy, but Gummer makes it work with her plucky portrayal. (Michael Courtney)
2012 Presidential Debate
CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CBC News Network, 9 p.m.
Get ready for the rubber match. Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney was unanimously declared the winner of the first televised debate and most pundits agreed that the sitting U.S. president Barack Obama handily won the second, all of which makes tonight’s third debate must-see TV. The third mano a mano showdown will broadcast live from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and will revert to the more formal format of the first debate. Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer serves as moderator and the debate will focus exclusively on foreign policy. The presidential election, by the way, takes place two weeks from today.
My Shopping Addiction
Slice, 10 p.m.
Even in this hard-times economy, some people just can’t stop shopping. Debuting tonight, this new series from the U.S. Oxygen cable channel profiles individuals whose shopping and overspending addictions have reached extreme levels. Tonight’s opener focuses on Roshanda, a seemingly normal woman who simply can’t stop stocking up on items purchased at her local dollar store. By her own estimation, Roshanda has stockpiled enough dishwashing liquid to last several lifetimes. The same episode introduces viewers to Heather, who is slowly frittering away her million-dollar inheritance on designer clothing and purses. Both women receive a hard reality check from financial advisers. (Oxygen/Oxygen)
The Straight Story
Best known for his bizarre films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet and the even stranger series Twin Peaks, director David Lynch took the more traditional storytelling route in this memorable 1999 feature. Veteran character actor Richard Farnsworth earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the ailing widower Alvin, who resides on an Iowa farm with his mentally-challenged daughter Rose, played by Sissy Spacek. Alvin’s quiet existence is disrupted when he learns his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke and may not be long for this world. Since Alvin has failing eyesight and no driver’s license, he hitches up a trailer to his John Deere lawn tractor and sets out on the 240-mile journey to see his brother one last time, traveling under five miles per hour.