Ready or not, The Michael Richards Show (8 p.m., NBC) finally debuts, after numerous rewrites and reshoots. Richards plays a goofy private eye working for an investigative firm run by William Devane. Tim Meadows, Bill Cobbs and Amy Farrington costar. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer (8 p.m., WB), a time-traveling nemesis keeps Buffy busy, but also has some interesting information about Li’l Sis. The new animated series Pelswick (8 p.m., Nickelodeon) follows the adventures of a 13-year-old boy who gets into plenty of trouble, even though he’s quadriplegic. 3rd Rock from the Sun (8:30 p.m., NBC) creaks into its sixth season with a visit from Mary’s scheming sister (guest Megan Mullaly). Frasier (9 p.m., NBC) begins its new season with a one-hour episode that picks up after Niles and Daphne re-enacted the last scene from “The Graduate” in a Winnebago. The 27th season opener of Nova (check local times, PBS) examines “Lincoln’s Secret Weapon,” the armored battleship the Monitor. On Angel (9 p.m., WB), our boy finally meets Darla outside of his dreams and, man, is she dangerous. Frontline (check local times, PBS) presents “The Future of War,” a report on efforts to speed the response time of the U.S. Army. Once and Again (10 p.m., ABC) opens another season of furtive post-divorce sex and teen angst.
Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (8 p.m. ET/ 8:30 PT, Turner Classic Movies) profiles the makeup-happy actor who starred in the silent classics “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” David Macauley’s series Building Big (check local times, PBS) continues with an episode on dams.
The World Series:
Yankees at Mets, Game 3 (8 p.m., Fox)
Rosie O’Donnell (syndicated) Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Rice
David Letterman (CBS) Denzel Washington, Mark Knopfler (rerun)
Jay Leno (NBC) Greg Germann, Patti LaBelle
Politically Incorrect (ABC) Terry Farrell, Carrot Top
Conan O’Brien (NBC) Calista Flockhart, Busta Rhymes
All times Eastern unless noted.