Bill O'Reilly is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
The two men have been guests on each other's shows before. And they will probably spend some time promoting their live-streaming debate, "The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium," scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday in Washington, D.C. (It's viewable for a fee at www.therumble2012.com.) It's a sign of our times that the meeting of two men from opposite sides of the media/political divide should be considered an event. For more than 30 years, noted conservative author, publisher and media personality William F. Buckley Jr. hosted the weekly
debating series "Firing Line," which appeared in syndication and on PBS from 1966-1999.
More than a talk show, it celebrated the academic "sport" of debate, focusing on a cerebral, even witty exchange of ideas and
The Buckley series thrived in the era of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," when broadcasters where obliged to air both sides of controversial issues. Since the Federal Communications Commission eliminated that doctrine in 1987, broadcasters have opted for strenuously one-sided political broadcasts -- most notably, talk radio's Rush Limbaugh and his many imitators. In place of a robust discussion of ideas, we have been given shows with hosts who are dug into partisan and ideological foxholes.
A debate between Stewart and O'Reilly may not change the tone of our national conversation. But any meeting that encourages collegiality and humor over rancor is worth noting.
---The goofy, witty, absurd "30 Rock" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) enters its final season. As ever, "Rock" trades in-house jokes. In tonight's epi-
sode, Liz lambastes Jack for his dreadful new fall lineup of shows.
---"Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution" (10 p.m., Comedy Central, TV-14) returns for a second season. The irrepressibly cheerful comedian, better known as Fluffy, introduces a number of stand-up talents from around the world, including South African Trevor Noah, whose mixed-race status made his conception and birth an illegal act in his native country. He lampoons that savage absurdity and others with a light touch. And that seems to be the whole point of this series dedi-
cated to creating comedy out of racism and tragedy while maintaining a loose party vibe.
---Boot camp continues on "The X Factor" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---A flotilla comes near to challenge the rogue crew on "Last Resort" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG). The crew may survive this week, but the real danger to "Resort" is its early time slot. A show this dark and paranoid should air later in the evening.
---A new case brings Reese closer to Finch on "Person of Interest" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---A winner emerges on "The Next" (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
---A change of location proves inspirational on
"Project Runway" (9 p.m.,
---Fishermen enter rough waters on "Nor'easter Men" (9 p.m., History, TV-14).
---Leslie fights for expanded pool hours on "Parks and Recreation" (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---Watson sees an ex-boyfriend on "Elementary" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---A politician takes a compromising position on "Scandal" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---A teen faces a death sentence despite exonerating evidence in the documentary "Give Up Tomorrow" on "POV" (10 p.m., PBS, TV-14).
---"Jersey Shore" (10 p.m., MTV, TV-14) enters its final season.
The voices of Woody Allen and Sylvester Stallone can be heard in the 1998 animated bug comedy "Antz" (7 p.m., HBO Family). Years before "Rocky," a young Stallone briefly appeared in Allen's 1971 comedy "Bananas."
---Sheldon plays cupid on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---Walden snaps on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Chris and Reagan have something to prove on "Up All Night" (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---Andy makes a discovery about his ancestors on "The Office" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
descend upon New York on "Glee" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Survivors take stock and take action on "Grey's Anatomy" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---Jenny McCarthy, J.J. Abrams and Slash appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Jennifer Garner, John Caparulo, Ali Wong and Ben Gleib are booked on "Chel sea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Dr. George Church sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Craig Ferguson and the Raveonettes appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Ben Affleck, Octavia Spencer and Neon Trees on "The To night Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Zac Efron, Jack Black and Kyle Gass appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (midnight, ABC).
---Daniel Craig, Archie Panjabi and Animal Collective visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Roseanne Barr and Keke Palmer on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@g mail.com.