Underwatched 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' returns on CW

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By Kevin McDonough

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) returns for a third season. Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) has every reason to be even more unhinged. Season two ended with her wedding ruined when she was left at the altar by her band-camp boyfriend and obsessive crush, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III). The fiasco also allowed her a chance to confront her father and all the abandonment issues he embodied.

While "normal" comedies have characters returning from such disastrous cliffhangers eager to move on as if nothing ever happened, "Crazy" is committed to Rachel's vow to absolutely destroy Josh, a goal worthy of her plus-sized compulsions.

And, yes, there will be musical numbers.

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is a perfect example of a growing trend: a show that receives near-universal critical praise while at the same time attracting a microscopic network audience.

A hybrid comedy/musical, "Crazy" debuted to viewership numbers that barely cracked a million, and the second season ended with an audience that reached three quarters of that low number. Those ratings would probably spell cancellation on every other network (and quite a few cable outfits). "Crazy" seems like a show all but made to be streamed and binged. Its first two seasons can be found on Netflix.

• Also streaming on Netflix, "Mindhunter" explores the early days of criminal profiling at the FBI. Jonathan Groff ("Glee") stars as a handsome FBI agent who, in the late 1970s, tries to understand the thinking of serial killers, at no little cost to his own peace of mind.

A darkly lit, brooding series, this may appeal to fans of the serial-killer-profiling genre that stretches from "Silence of the Lambs" to CBS's "Criminal Minds."

"Mindhunter" also complements "Manhunt," the limited series about the profiler who helped find the Unabomber back in the 1990s.

• Netflix also begins streaming "The Meyerowitz Stories." Directed and written by Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale"), the film follows an estranged brood gathering to offer testimonials to its patriarch (Dustin Hoffman). An impressive cast includes Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson and Candice Bergen. The film was acclaimed at the Cannes film festival. Critics have singled out Sandler's performance as a departure from his usual routine and worthy of attention.

• Also streaming, Amazon launches "Lore," an anthology series based on a popular podcast that dramatizes real-life events that have inspired scary stories, urban legends and campfire tales.

CULT CHOICE

The second wife (Melina Mercouri) of a Greek tycoon embarks on a doomed affair with her stepson (Anthony Perkins) in the 1962 melodrama "Phaedra" (10:15 p.m., TCM), directed by Jules Dassin. And you thought Perkins' mommy issues were confined to "Psycho."

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

"SpongeBob SquarePants" (7 p.m., Nickelodeon, TV-Y7) celebrates Halloween with the special "The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom."

• Shellfish motivations on "Hell's Kitchen" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).

• Shiver me timbers on "Once Upon a Time" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

• A scary figure from childhood returns in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of "Stephen King's It" (8 p.m., Spike).

• Carlos Watson hosts a topical conversation on "Third Rail With Ozy" (8:30 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• A Seattle girl seems possessed on "The Exorcist" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• Rival teams place a friendly wager as "Gold Rush" (9 p.m., Discovery, TV-14) returns with a two-hour eighth-season opener. This is the network's most-watched series.

• A judge's death throws Erin's case into doubt on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

SERIES NOTES

Arms bartering and jewel thieves on "MacGyver" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * An arms deal seems imminent on "The Brave" (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14) * A botched drug bust leaves a canine witness on "Hawaii Five-O" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * Medusa tracks down Black Bolt on "Marvel's Inhumans" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG)) * Jane meets her first crush on "Jane the Virgin" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

LATE NIGHT

Conan O'Brien, Tig Notaro and Derek DelGaudio are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Blake Lively, Gabrielle Union and Wu-Tang Clan on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Tina Fey, Kevin Millar & Sean Casey, Matt Goldich and Gene Hoglan visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) * Lin-Manuel Miranda and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).

© 2017, United Feature Syndicate