What’s on television this Election Day?
That’s a small joke, friends — along the lines of who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? (Grant, I think).
Election coverage is on TV on Election Day — on the broadcast networks, PBS and cable news channels, of course. The party begins at 8, and there will be no escaping it.
Or will there be? In a spirit of diversity, or generosity, or gimmickry, or (much more likely) election coverage fatigue, there will be a little something more out there. Yes, you may have to surf a little harder than usual to find some of these unusual offerings. But do read this list for guidance first:
The Weather Channel In a nine-hour marathon that promises to replace the Scotch or your numbing agent of choice, TWC is forsaking weather coverage for “the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, and calming weather video and scenery ever caught on tape.” Reasons for soul-easing and mind-erasing are self-evident (or if they are not, check out all the other channels for that evidence.) The excitement and thrills start at 3 p.m., and for the actual weather conditions, you are advised to look out the window.
“The View” In this 9 p.m. prime-time live special on Lifetime, “The View” promises an especially busy, packed, and long (2.5 hours) edition with panelists Joy Behar, Jedediah Bila, Candace Cameron Bure, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin. The guest list is a long one, too — Alicia Machado, Kathy Najimy, Vivica A. Fox, Mario Cantone, D.L. Hughley and Donald Trump impersonator Anthony Atamanuik (of Comedy Central’s “@midnight with Chris Hardwick,” the best Trump impersonator out there.) And this part will be fun/odd: former host Raven-Symoné, who said she will move to Canada if Trump wins, will be assisted in her Canadian house search by “Tiny House Nation.”
C-SPAN Typically your wallpaper choice on Election Night — no frills, no talking heads, no color, no manufactured drama — C-SPAN is finally letting its hair down Tuesday. The network will take viewer calls Tuesday and comments from social media will be posted too.
Viceland If you’ve never checked out V-land’s late night, um, hosts, Desus and Mero, now’s your chance. In a live 11 p.m. “Desus & Mero” special, these guys — loose, profane, unbound by conventional rules of fairness and accuracy — will rip a hip-hop overview of Tuesday’s election action. (Desus Nice and the Kid Mero, of the “Bodega Boys” podcast, joined the network in October).
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” A live “Democalypse 2016” Election Night special at 11, but what’s unique here is that the Comedy Central show will also be simulcast on MTV, VH1, Spike, TV Land and MTV2.
Chris Gethard Off-Broadway star, and host of the Dadaist late night Fusion series, “The Chris Gethard Show,” Gethard will orchestrate a 12-hour marathon via local cable access channel Manhattan Neighborhood Network — which Long Islanders, if you are of a mind, can watch on MNN.org. Gethard — who will be joined by a couple of dozen standups — suggests you should lower your expectations: Viewers will “get all the news you need coupled with twelve straight hours of hastily planned and poorly executed comedy!”
“Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This [expletive]?” Because “Late Show” will be scrubbed Tuesday — along with much of the rest of the broadcast networks’ late-night schedule — CBS came up with a novel alternative: For one night only, hand it off to corporate sibling Showtime. As the title indicates, this will indeed be live (at 11 p.m.), and as it also indicates, it will be uncensored. In a much recycled quip, Colbert has said, “It’ll be all the political comedy you love from my CBS show, with all the swearing and nudity you love from Showtime.” So let that be both your promise and warning.