Election night projections, prognostications, analysis, results and second-guessing take center stage, pre-empting all prime-time programming on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS. Political affairs also will consume the attention of cable news outlets CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all day and well into the night, perhaps extending to the year 2016.
Presidential election night coverage always involves a balancing act between real drama and manufactured tension, and between news that gets reported and information that is withheld out of deference to those still voting. On election night 2008, the networks did not project Barack Obama as the winner until polls closed in California. That did not happen in 1980, when the networks announced a Ronald Reagan landslide victory on the East Coast early in the evening, before many in the Pacific time zone had cast their votes. Of course, no electoral drama lasted quite as long as the nail-biting, hanging-chad election of 2000, which took more than a month to decide (and still inspires arguments to this day).
• Horrified that your candidate didn’t win? Few scary movies hold up as well as the 1968 shocker “Rosemary’s Baby” (8 p.m., Sundance). John Cassavetes stars as an insecure actor who makes a deal with the devil for a good part. This takes its toll on his naive wife (Mia Farrow), who retaliates with one of the more shocking coiffure changes in cinematic history.
Based on a book by Ira Levin, “Rosemary’s Baby” was the first in a spate of popular movies to deal with satanism and the devil. The novelist would come to regret the popularization of satanic themes.
Tonight’s other highlights:
• Way up north on “Alaska: The Last Frontier” (8 p.m., Discovery).
• Officers can’t tell lying inmates from honest ones on “Hard Time” (8 p.m., National Geographic).
• New Jersey shoplifters face the music on “Caught Red Handed” (8:30 p.m., TruTV).
• Jax gets closer to the truth on “Sons of Anarchy” (9 p.m., FX).
• “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” (9 p.m., OWN) visits with “Long Island Lolita” victim Mary Jo Buttafuoco, a young plastic surgery addict and conjoined twins.
• Sports clips take center stage on “Viral Video Showdown” (9:30 p.m., Syfy).