At her holiday concert for iHeartRadio on Thursday night, Idina Menzel claimed she was “schvitzing”—sweating profusely—but that didn’t seem to affect her mien or her commanding performance.
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The opening days of fall TV season are always exciting — catching up with our favorites from last season and discovering new must-see gems. If last week was any indication, our DVRs are going to be overloaded for the next few months. This week brings new episodes of the Showtime hit Homeland, a music fest to rock out to in your living room, a groundbreaking PBS documentary, James Bond himself on SNL, and the well-cast all-black rendition of Steel Magnolias on Lifetime. Have a great week!
Homeland, Showtime 10 p.m.
FINALLY. If you’re as excited as we are about the return of the freshly Emmy-crowned Homeland, get ready for tonight’s premiere. We left off with Brody, the POW-turned-traitor/vigilante nearly blowing up the vice president and Carrie seeking electric-shock treatment for bipolar disorder. Will Carrie’s suspicions about Brody be proven in season 2?
iHeartRadio music festival, CW, 8 p.m.
The Las Vegas pop-music fest to end all pop-music fests, which was held in Sin City Sept. 21-22, will be broadcast as the CW’s kickoff to the fall TV season. The concert featured antics from guitar-smashing by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to Flavor Flav mixing up Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani, plus performances by No Doubt, Usher, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and many more.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide , PBS, 9 p.m.
The second half of PBS’ groundbreaking four-hour documentary follows the authors of Half the Sky, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn, around the world exploring women and oppression through stories of hope and success. Hollywood stars including Meg Ryan, America Ferrera, Diane Lane, and Eva Mendes joined the authors on their journey and the result is this film, accompanied by a social-media effort and educational programs.
First Presidential Debate, all major networks, 9 p.m.
President Barack Obama will face off against Republican candidate Mitt Romney at the University of Denver. PBS’ Jim Lehrer will moderate, asking questions that will focus on domestic policy. Expect more than a few zingers from both sides on hot-button issues like healthcare and immigration.
30 Rock season premiere, NBC, 8 p.m.
30 Rock’s bittersweet seventh and final season starts with an episode titled “The Beginning of the End,” but don’t get nostalgic just yet — Liz and Jack haven’t lost an ounce of chemistry. Check out an exclusive clip from this week’s episode.
Paperboy, Frankenweenie open in theaters
With this weekend’s success of Looper at the box office and a number of Oscar buzz-worthy movies on their way in the next month or so, things finally seem to be picking up for the studios. This week, check out the wacky, talked-about-for-one-certain-scene effort from Lee Daniels, Paperboy, starring Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron. For the kids (and grown up ones), Tim Burton’s animated Frankenweenie also opens Friday.
Saturday Night Live, NBC, 11:35 p.m.
Bond, James Bond is hosting SNL this week, so shake yourself a martini and settle in for a late night full of Brits, with Daniel Craig and musical guest Muse. Hot off their Olympics song and with a new album out this week, Muse is sure to rock the SNL set and Craig is only a little over a month away from the latest Bond release, Skyfall.
Steel Magnolias, Lifetime, 9 p.m.
The 1989 weepie, which starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton, among others, about the intertwining lives of six female friends in Louisiana gets a makeover on Lifetime this weekend with an all-African American cast, including Queen Latifa and Phylisha Rashad. The made-for-TV reboot is produced by Oscar broadcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and directed by Kenny Leon.
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