On TV this Tuesday: It’s Election Day, so go vote! And after you do, settle in for a long night of speculation and waiting that’ll make the American Idol finale seem like a study in instant gratification. Here’s our guide to the broadcast networks’ coverage of the event, as well as a few suggestions for other fare (like Covert Affairs and Sons of Anarchy) to keep you entertained until the returns are all in.
ABC | The alphabet net’s election coverage begins at 6:30 pm with a special edition of World News with Diane Sawyer. Then, George Stephanopoulos, Katie Couric and Barbara Walters (among others) will be on hand throughout the evening to analyze state-by-state results.
CBS | CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley kicks off the evening at 7 pm, joined by Face The Nation‘s Bob Schieffer, CBS This Morning‘s Norah O’Donnell, CBS News Political Director John Dickerson and others.
NBC | “Democracy Plaza” (AKA the Rockefeller Center skating rink tricked out like a giant American map) is the focal point of the Peacock network’s coverage, which starts at 7 pm and is led by Brian Williams with assists from Meet the Press‘ David Gregory, Today‘s Savannah Guthrie, special correspondent Tom Brokaw and others.
FOX | Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith will anchor live coverage starting at 7 pm. He’ll be joined by Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, Carl Cameron and others from the cable network.
MTV | The channel is partnering with the Power of 12 election campaign to broadcast live political newsbreaks – with reporters in New York, Chicago and Boston — throughout the evening.
8 pm WWE Smackdown (Syfy) | If you’re sick of the political slugfest, why not tune into a real-ish one? This live two-hour wrestling event features appearances by Randy Orton, Sheamus, Alicia Fox and many others.
9 pm Hard Time (National Geographic Channel) | A cellblock “mom” at Las Vegas’ Clark County Detention Center gets in trouble for having contraband in her cell.
10 pm Covert Affairs (USA) | A crucial CIA asset disappears from protective custody, so Annie and Eyal work to find her – pronto.
10 pm Ink Master (Spike) | Ooh la la! The artists left in the competition create tattoos of pin-up girls.
10 pm Chopped (Food Network) | Four do-good foodies known for making their communities better places compete against each other.
10 pm Sons of Anarchy (FX) | Jax gets closer to the truth, but there are still obstacles in his way.
11 pm The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) | The fake news show puts on a very real, live broadcast of “Election Night 2012: This Ends Now.”
11:30 pm The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) | Just like The Daily Show, the Report will put out a live edition of “Election 2012: A Nation Votes, Ohio Decides; The Re-Presidenting of America: Who Will Replace Obama? ‘012!” Political blogger Andrew Sullivan will make a guest appearance.
Which of the above is must-see for you? Also, hit Comments to offer your own tune-in suggestions.