THE CHOICE — In the week when the vice presidential candidates wage their only debate (9 p.m. Thursday), Frontline opens its 31st season with rigorous profiles of the main men in the race, from Barack Obama’s early days in Indonesia and Hawaii to Mitt Romney’s missionary work in France. Hundreds of hours of research and dozens of original interviews went into the two-hour documentary with the goal to uncover fresh insights not found in the campaign narratives. 9 p.m. Tuesday, PBS.
TODAY: Queen Latifah heads an impressive all-black cast in a lovingly faithful remake of Steel Magnolias. Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott, and Alfre Woodard also appear. Our advice: Bring your tissues. 9 p.m., Lifetime.
TODAY: The Season 2 opener of Curiosity is a complete wreck. Seriously. Experts use a remote control system to crash a full-sized passenger jet in the desert to learn more about chances of surviving a real air disaster. 9 p.m., Discovery.
TODAY: Downton Abbey doesn’t return until January, but you can appease your appetite for British period drama with Season 2 of Upstairs, Downstairs. The action resumes in the year before World War II. 9 p.m., PBS.
MONDAY: The Voice is about to get even more brutal as the show’s battle rounds begin. And in a new twist, coaches can steal a defeated singer from a rival team. 8 p.m., NBC.
TUESDAY: Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was a sensation online. Now the hilarious musical comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion gets some prime-time love. 9 p.m., The CW.
TUESDAY: Keyshia & Daniel: Family First captures the further adventures of R&B star Keyshia Cole. This time the emphasis is on her life as wife to NBA player Daniel Gibson and mom to 2-year-old son, D.J. 10 p.m., BET.
WEDNESDAY: Hunky Stephen Amell hits the target in Arrow, a new action series about a shipwrecked castaway who returns home after five years of isolation and takes on the persona of a vigilante crime fighter. 8 p.m., The CW.
WEDNESDAY: Nashville is a great new drama with a twangy beat. Connie Britton shines as a fading country star whose throne is coveted by a cunning young phenom (Hayden Panettiere). 10 p.m., ABC.
THURSDAY: As Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries opens, Elena (Nina Dobrev) faces a harsh reality. Waking up from her car crash, she realizes she died with vampire blood in her system. That’s not good. 8 p.m., The CW.
FRIDAY: Halloween Tricked Out is a fun special that features extravagant home and yard displays from across the country. Included: a West Virginia man who carved 3,000 pumpkins. 8 p.m., HGTV.
SATURDAY: There’s no better way to prepare yourself for Sunday’s Season 3 of The Walking Dead than with a marathon gore fest of past episodes that begins this morning and leads right up to the premiere. Sounds epic. 10 a.m., AMC.