Tonight nobody at any network really cares what is on, because they are all going to be giving each other handjobs for the 66th Annual time in a row, so they haven't really counterprogrammed much, which is smart because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy in a lot of ways: Nobody's watching because there's nothing to watch, we all just wanna see what the Television Arts & Wizardry & Witchcraft Academy has to say about who should live and who should die.
At 7:30/6:30c. the long dark night of the soul known as the Emmys begins, with NBC's (and e!'s) preshow antics that will run until 8/7c. and then there will be the awards themselves, which will thenceforth run forever and ever, until you are drunk. At my old job they always wanted you to give a letter grade to the episode of television that you were talking about, and in twelve years I could never quite figure out how people do that. I think it must be some kind of Myers-Briggs thing where I am not wired that way. What I can tell you is that awards shows are the same thing to me: We conflate "I Like it" with "it is Good," and then... get really invested in what other people think about that.
I don't understand it; I don't judge it but I just literally don't get it. It's like sports, you are rooting for laundry. Or in this case, you are rooting to see if some random group of people who only care about money and haven't seen half of the things on the list agree with you about a bunch of things you probably also have not seen. It's incomprehensible to me. But just like sports, I see the joy in other people's eyes when they talk about awards shows, so I know it is real and not just a phantom, and I salute you for gettin' out there and involving yourself in a group activity.
At 8/7c. otherwise, you are talking about Masterchef's Top 7, Bachelor in Paradise, or Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. So basically the universe is like, "Yeah we know you're going to watch the Emmys. Go with God."
Alternately, you could watch last night's shitty True Blood finale, superlative penultimate Leftovers, or very challenging/rewarding Masters of Sex. That's probably something like what I will do, despite having already in fact done them once, in the recent past. (Or maybe I'll just watch Zach's ouster from the Big Brother House for the fifth time, as some kind of aversion therapy thing where I train myself not to cry full-on, scratchy-throat, hot-eyed unglamorous sobs because of dumb reality shows. A lesson I apparently have yet to learn.)
At 9/8c. there's the second America's Next Top Model, another Dallas on TNT, Hotel Hell, and two events: The summer premiere of TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle on VH1, and the first part of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion, which I honestly thought would never come. How many episodes of that show have there been, this year alone? Easily three dozen. (Nah, just 18, but that means it started in mid-April! Who were you that long ago? Where did you live? What kind of music were you into? Can you even remember?)
At 10/9c. it's mostly your basic: The very weird Jersey Belle on Bravo, the very stupid Under the Dome that I will make you stop watching if it's the last goddamn thing I do, and there's Mistresses which I don't watch but fully support. Over on PBS, though, there's a very interesting and I think pretty important documentary called Big Men about oil industry exploitation in Ghana, and how it has changed and evolved over generations (featuring Brad Pitt as a relatively small, but important man).
At 11/10c. is the e! afterparty for whatever went down, which is sure to be bleak as hell that late in the night, even by PST time, or—most confusingly and vexingly—the Wolf Watch aftershow connected to last night's weirdly timed shitstorm/episode of Teen Wolf, which itself appeared at that strange time because of another awards ceremony I can't figure out. It's going to be so weird too, because those things are filmed ahead of time, so DJ Cole Plante is going to be really feeling last night's revelations but to us—to we happy mad few who've watched at least 12 hours of award ceremonies in the last two days alone—it will seem like he is overdoing it, and the show's already so hard to handle as it is.