Syfy, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON PREMIERE: This is one of those rare competition series – Project Runway is another – where, on good weeks, you can actually witness, and sometimes even be blown away, by the demonstration of talent on hand, creating amazing things under intensely difficult conditions. Every season, the makeup-and-prosthetics-loving contestants on Face Off have arrived with more impressive resumes and/or gifts, and it’s a one-stop-shopping TV destination for those interested in seeing imagination running wild, and made real. Regarding the initial challenge in tonight’s “Life or Death” season theme, a few of the finished designs are good enough to build a Hollywood horror film around – and the show’s just getting started. McKenzie Westmore hosts.
TCM, 9:45 p.m. ET
Joel McCrea has the title role in this 1944 movie, but the person to watch is Maureen O’Hara, who plays a woman Buffalo Bill Cody first rescues, then marries. Every Tuesday this month, it’s O’Hara’s night on TCM. Another reason to watch this particular movie biography: It spends time establishing not only Cody’s battles with Native Americans, but his respect for them.
PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET
Poor, little children, desperate for a better life than the one in which they find themselves. It's the hottest of topics right now at the U.S.-Mexico border – but it also affects kids deep within our country, native born or not, as this timely new Frontline establishes. Check local listings.
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
In tonight’s fictional story line, unrest in the city leads to demonstrations in the public square (pictured), and threats of revolution. In real life, this series found its shooting locations, in Tel Aviv, so volatile because of real-life political clashes and violence that producers have moved their cameras, crew and actors to Istanbul for the duration of the season.
HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET
Real Sports is one of those nonfiction cable shows that delivers installment after installment, as reliably and entertainingly as any of its fictional scripted counterparts. Bryan Gumbel hosts – and tonight, one of the pieces he presents focuses on some eye-opening gimmicks the powers that be in the golf world are thinking about adopting to increase the sport’s popularity in this new century. One idea: foot golf, allowing soccer balls on the fairway and greens, opening up the valuable real estate the way ski resorts eventually did with snowboards. Another idea: what Gumbel calls “pizza-pie-sized holes”: 15-inch cups to make pitching and putting a lot, lot easier, and to speed up the average round of golf by an hour. That sound you hear is that of TVWW contributor Gerald Jordan spinning in his grave - and he's not even dead yet.