Election nights are the main events for network news divisions, the primary tests of an anchor's ability to carry a very long, live broadcast and of the quality and depth of a network's reporters and pundits. It also helps if you can make the big calls first without eventually having to (cough Florida 2000 cough) retract them.
While the CW and The Shield will be new on Tuesday (are there any CW viewers of voting age?), everyone else, pretty much, will be running election returns beginning at 7 PM (earlier on the cable news channels) and continuing into the wee hours and possibly beyond if we haven't yet been blessed with a new president. This will be a transition election for the big networks as well as for America: since 2004, Dan Rather has been exiled, Tom Brokaw has left the anchor chair, and Peter Jennings and Tim Russert have died.
Also this week:
Monday: Raising the Bar (TNT, 10 PM): A successful (at least ratings-wise) first season ends with Roz defending a firefighter charged with acting inappropriately on the job, Jerry discovering a secret about Bobbi's husband, and more complications in the Kessler/Charlie relationship.
Wednesday: Private Practice (ABC, 9 PM): The least distinctive show in the ABC Wednesday lineup is the one that seems to have the best chance of still being around in three months. Addison's (Kate Walsh) efforts to straighten out the business side of the practice go drastically wrong, while Sam and Naomi realize they have raised the hopes of their daughter regarding a reconciliation.
Thursday: CSI (CBS, 9 PM): What do you do if you're a bug expert/crime scene investigator who is also dealing with relationship uncertainty? Why, pay a visit to your friendly local dominatrix, naturally. Melinda Clarke returns as Lady Heather, helping Grissom deal with the possible S&M-related murder of a man who had not been known to be involved in the scene.
Friday: Survivorman (Discovery, 9 PM): A new season finds Les Stroud attempting to deal with the Sierra Nevadas, which despite being mostly located in America's most populous state are remote and dangerous enough to require the deployment of a search-and-rescue team.
Saturday: My Bare Lady 2: Open for Business (Fox Reality, 10 PM): Four adult film stars open up a business. In this awful environment? I'm guessing that some local bankers might be getting a "favor" or five. These contrived "semi-famous people who go into business" shows are much more sitcom that any sort of reflection of reality.
Sunday: Summer Heights High (HBO, 10:30 PM): This miniseries imported from Australia stars Chris Lilley in multiple roles: as a juvenile delinquent, a stuck-up exchange student, and a hyper drama teacher. Any qualms about how this will translate to America should be mitigated by the knowledge that kids are the same everywhere, even if satire isn't.