What's Worth Watching: The Contenders: 16 for ’16, The Mindy Project, Atlanta, The Flash and more for Tuesday, October 4

Matt Roush
The Contenders
Marc Piscotty/© 2015

The Contenders: 16 for ’16 (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Before there was Barack Obama, there was Jesse Jackson pleading to “Keep Hope Alive.” Before there was Bill Clinton, there was Gary Hart, who was unable or unwilling to weather the media firestorms over his indiscretions. As a warm-up to the debate between Vice Presdential contenders Tim Kaine and Mike Pence (all major broadcast and cable news networks, 9/8c), the PBS series looks back at the failed runs of Jackson and Hart for their party’s nomination at the Democratic conventions of 1984 and 1988, respectively.

The Mindy Project (streaming on Hulu): “Here I am, caught in a love triangle, the sexiest of shapes,” Mindy (Mindy Kaling) announces as a fifth season of her wacky rom-com gets underway. Torn between her ex and baby daddy, Danny (Chris Messina), and her Southern gentleman of a business partner, Jody (Garret Dillahunt), Mindy is in her usual state of fluttery, frantic romantic panic. Complicating matters: her recent bout of elevator sex with Danny, who has yet to tell her that he’s engaged.

Atlanta (10/9c, FX): Creator-star Donald Glover directs a strong episode that puts the focus on Earn’s sometimes girlfriend/forever baby mama Van (the terrific Zazie Beetz), who faces a work crisis after a night out with a glam girlfriend who tries to tell this proud single mom, “Black women have to be valuable.” Oh, Van’s valuable all right: to Earn, to their child, to Atlanta.

Inside Tuesday TV: Turner Classic Movies kicks off a second year of movies devoted to “Trailblazing Women” (on Tuesdays and Thursdays through October), starting with silent-era superstar Mary Pickford as 1925’s Little Annie Rooney (8/7c). … The CW’s The Flash (8/7c) opens its third season with an arc inspired by the Flashpoint series from DC Comics, with Barry (Grant Gustin) living in an alternate and happier timeline, with both parents still alive. But the Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher) is still around to remind him that there could be hell to pay if he doesn’t run back to his real life, and soon.