"Blackout": U.S. Premiere
Monday, October 22 at 8pm on Ovation
This three-part British miniseries stars Christopher Eccleston as a corrupt, alcoholic council official who wakes up from his latest binge to signs he may have murdered someone. His attempt at redemption, ironically, earns him public acclaim and brings new life to his career and the potential to salvage his marriage, while a detective (Andrew Scott, Jim Moriarty on "Sherlock") is hard at work on the case and threatens to bring everything crashing down. Ewen Bremner ("Trainspotting"), Dervia Kirwan and MyAnna Buring also star in the series, which was written by Bill Gallagher ("Blood," "The Prisoner") -- parts two and three air on subsequent Mondays.
"Into The Abyss": Broadcast Premiere
Tuesday, October 23 at 8pm on Investigation Discovery
Werner Herzog's phenomenal documentary about the perpetrators, victims and survivors of a triple homicide in a small town in Texas comes to television via the unlikely out of the true crime-focused Investigation Discovery channel, the network that also premiered the director's spin-off series from the film, "On Death Row."
"Secrets of the Dead": Season Premiere
Tuesday, October 23 at 9pm on PBS
PBS's longrunning series looking at major moments in history through the lens of investigative techniques and forensic science returns for a new season with "The Man Who Saved the World," an episode that goes back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 years ago to this month. The installment tells the unheralded story of Soviet naval officer Vasili Arkhipov, a commander on a submarine who refused to fire a nuclear missile and because of it averted World War III and nuclear disaster.
ABC's rumpled, grounded 2010s answer to "Friends" returns for a third season with "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires," an episode that finds Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) laying groundrules as they start dating again while Max (Adam Pally) cares for Penny (Casey Wilson) after an accident lands her in a full body cast. Airing immediately after is the season premiere of "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," which finds James Van Der Beek (playing himself) contemplating a "Dawson's Creek" reunion.
"Mockingbird Lane": Broadcast Premiere
Friday, October 26 at 8pm on NBC
NBC assembled a lot of high-end elements for its planned series "Mockingbird Lane." The "Munsters" reboot had a talented showrunner in "Pushing Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller; a name director for the pilot in Bryan Singer; Eddie Izzard, Portia de Rossi and Jerry O'Connell as stars; and a reported $10 million budget. But the project, once one of the biggest on the fall schedule, has been pulled from a planned premiere, prodded and reworked and seemingly abandoned to this airing as a Halloween one-off. If the special gets stunning ratings, there's always a chance it'll make it to series, but with Fuller now working on "Hannibal," this Friday's broadcast will probably just be an interesting look at a failed network splurge.
Also worth a look: It's "Hollywood Squares" with rappers! "Hip Hop Squares" returns to MTV2 for a second season on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11pm with guests Common, Biz Markie and more; journalist, comedian and former "Daily Show" correspondent Mo Rocca shows off his culinary side in the new Cooking Channel series "My Grandmother's Ravioli," premiering Wednesday, October 24th at 8:30pm; and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" hits its 300th episode on NBC on Wednesday, October 24 at 9pm, bringing us ever closer to the dream of an all-"Law & Order" channel.