With less than a week to go before Election Day, “The Campaigns That Made History” (8 p.m., History) asks viewers to look back at a half-century of electioneering. It focuses on the winners and many of the also-rans whose candidacies changed the trajectory of American politics. In many ways, the losing campaigns are more instructive.
Ronald Reagan won roughly 60% of the vote in 1984. Twenty years earlier, conservative Republican Barry Goldwater was on the receiving end of a similarly one-sided landslide. Yet the ruins of the Goldwater campaign contained elements that would lead to a Reagan majority two decades later.
Similarly, Gary Hart’s brand of Democratic politics did not prevail in 1984 and were engulfed by scandal in 1988. But his campaigns pointed the way toward Bill Clinton’s wins in 1992 and 1996.
“Campaigns” pays similar attention to Ross Perot’s eccentric effort in 1992 and to the raw emotions that Sarah Palin’s place on a losing 2008 ticket evoked and her role in turning the GOP into a party that might eventually look to Donald Trump.
Tonight’s other highlights“Cosmos: Possible Worlds” (7 p.m., Fox) recalls Carl Sagan in his youth.
CBS goes for game shows with “The Price is Right at Night” (7 p.m., CBS) and “Let’s Make a Deal Primetime” (8 p.m., CBS).
“This Is Us” (8 p.m., NBC) enters its fifth season. A second episode (9 p.m.) follows.
A family relocates to a lake shore in Arkansas on the second season premiere of “Fixer to Fabulous” (8 p.m., HGTV).
The “2020 Hip Hop Awards” (8 p.m., BET, MTV2, VHI, TV-14).
Dartmouth may hold the key to the escaped AI on “Next” (8 p.m., Fox).
Historian John Meacham looks at the roots of contemporary problems in “The Soul of America” (8 p.m., HBO).
“The FBI Declassified” (9 p.m., CBS) profiles a career con woman.
Cult choice A ski resort becomes the setting for the 1957 Norwegian comedy “Fools in the Mountains” (8:15 p.m., TCM). Directed by Edith Carlmar, it is one of the most popular films in Norway’s history.
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