President Obama and the Democrats get their chance to respond to last week’s Republican convention, as their own three-night infomercial kicks off Tuesday night in Charlotte. The Republicans had to deal with a hurricane that spared Tampa but flooded the Gulf Coast. The Democrats have their own sideshow problems: The NFL season kicks off Wednesday night.
If you’re already conventioned out, and the first blitz of football fever makes you twitch, there’s still plenty of top-notch entertainment to consume, beginning with tonight’s Breaking Bad and culminating with the premiere-packed opening weekend at the Toronto Film Festival.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 2
Breaking Bad, AMC, 10 p.m.
The best show on television is going away for the rest of 2012. Take it away, Ken Tucker…
MONDAY, SEPT. 3
Coma miniseries, A&E, 9 p.m.
A&E’s two-night, four-hour medical thriller, based on Robin Cook’s 1977 novel, stars Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose as a medical student puzzled by the unusual number of hospital patients falling into a coma. Geena Davis, Richard Dreyfuss, and a creepy Ellen Burstyn co-star.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 4
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, by “Mark Owen,” released
By now, you already know that Mark Owen is a pseudonym for one of the Navy SEALS who participated in the Pakistan raid that resulted in the death of America’s most-wanted terrorist mastermind. The Pentagon is not pleased with some of the book’s revelations, which seem to contradict several important official details about Bin Laden’s last moments alive. But that’s also likely the reason the book knocked Fifty Shades of Grey from the bestsellers’ list.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 5
NFL Football: Giants vs. Cowboys, NBC, 8:30 p.m.
How important is the NFL to the networks? Well, former President Clinton is speaking Wednesday at the DNC, and every major channel will be covering his speech live — except NBC. It’s not personal, it’s business. More than 25 million people are sure to tune in to watch the Cowboys bang heads with the defending Super Bowl champions, about four times as many as they could expect for an hour of the convention. Maybe the Dems should consider asking Clinton to pepper his speech with scoring updates?
THURSDAY, SEPT. 6
President Obama accepts his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention, 10 p.m.
Obama gave his acceptance speech in 2008 in a football stadium, so he’s hoping that staging will prove good luck again in Charlotte. Joe Biden will set the table (which will likely not include any empty chairs), and the president will then make his case that he deserves another four years.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 7
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection Blu-ray and DVD box set
Maybe you can’t build Hogwarts treehouses in your backyard, but with just a small Gringotts fortune, you can prove your Harry Potter fandom with the ultimate Wizard’s Collection. It has all eight movies on 31 discs, and 37 hours of special features. It weighs 19 pounds. It costs $499 (though Amazon and other online outlets are offering it for around $345). If you purchase it, no need to bother reading the weekend entries of this post.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 8
World premieres at the Toronto Film Festival
The Toronto Film Festival is the unofficial launch of Oscar season, and its first weekend is traditionally crammed with promising premieres featuring big Hollywood stars. On Friday night, Ben Affleck presents Argo for the first time, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master makes its North American debut. On Saturday night, the Wachowski’s unveil their ambitious curiosity, Cloud Atlas, featuring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence connect in Silver Linings Playbook.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 9
U.S. Open men’s tennis final, CBS, 4 p.m.
The ladies play Saturday night, and the guys wrap things up Sunday afternoon. In the last four years, the final Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season has yielded four different champions, and the three who are competing — Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Roger Federer — are still alive after the first three rounds. Toss in Olympic champion Andy Murray and American Andy Roddick — who’s retiring after the Open — and you’re virtually guaranteed a competitive final with star power.
[All times Eastern, unless otherwise noted.]