Leading up to the first presidential debate, the morning show will travel to cities in four battle­ground states, examining their culture and assessing how the two campaigns are faring there. On Monday the program will be broadcast from Philadelphia; Tuesday from Tampa; Wednesday from Norfolk, Va.; and Thursday from Detroit. Sept. 22–25 at 7 a.m., NBC

The Mentalist
Simon Baker (The Guardian) stars in this new police drama as a former TV psychic who is now a consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation. As in USA’s Psych, the sleuth has no real powers, but simulates them through shrewd observation. Though the premise is derivative, Baker gives an intriguingly layered performance as a character who is glib and charming on the surface but actually quite dark. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 9 p.m., CBS

Flight of the Jet Man
On Sept. 24, Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy will attempt to fly across the English Channel at 120 mph, using a homemade jet wing. Combining footage from cameras on the launch plane, a helicopter, and Rossy’s jet pack, this special will document his flight that same night. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel. If weather interferes, the special will air Thursday at 9 p.m. or Friday at 8 p.m.

Presidential Debate
The first of three scheduled debates between John McCain and Barack Obama will take place at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center in Oxford, Miss. Moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS’ The NewsHour, it will focus on foreign policy and national security. Friday, Sept. 26, at 9 p.m., various networks

Little Britain USA
Comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams launched many catchphrases in the U.K. with their sketch series Little Britain, in which they played a teeming gallery of grotesques. Those characters (including a double-talking teenage girl and a receptionist who answers “Computer says no” to virtually all requests) accompany them to this American version. They’re joined by new, equally bizarre ones. Sunday, Sept. 28, at 10:30 p.m., HBO

Other highlights
Boston Legal
The Emmy-winning comedy-drama returns for its sixth and final season. James Spader and William Shatner star. Monday, Sept. 22, at 10 p.m., ABC

Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger
This stand-up special blends performances by Rock in South Africa, London, and New York City. Saturday, Sept. 27, at 9 p.m., HBO

Show of the week
You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story
The filmmakers at Warner Bros. in the 1930s and ’40s had “a vision of the world that was darker, more cynical, and more problematic than any other studio,” film scholar Neal Gabler remarks in this three-night documentary. This comprehensive look at one of Hollywood’s most adventurous film factories—lavishly larded with classic clips, engaging anecdotes, and incisive commentary—is as brisk and piquant as Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, and the other great films produced at Warner in its heyday. The five-hour overview by film critic Richard Schickel traces the studio’s history from the silent era (when its only star was Rin Tin Tin) through the advent of sound, the Depression, World War II, and the coming of television. Clint Eastwood narrates. Tuesday­–Thursday, Sept. 23–25, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Sept. 22
Once (2006)
This low-budget sleeper about the romance between a Dublin street musician and a young Czech immigrant won last year’s Oscar for Best Song. 3:05 a.m., HBO

Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
A drifter with a camcorder transforms the sexual triangle among a lawyer, his wife, and her sister. James Spader stars in Steven Soderbergh’s directorial debut. 8:15 p.m., Showtime 2

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Eight Emmys went to this powerful drama, which traces an African-American woman’s long life, from slavery through the civil-rights era. Cicely Tyson plays the title role. 8 p.m., Flix

First Lady (1937)
In this vintage political satire, 1930s superstar Kay Francis plays a president’s grand­daughter who connives to put her husband in the White House. Midnight, TCM

Soldier of Fortune (1955)
Clark Gable is a mercenary out to rescue a prisoner from Communist China in this adventure drama. A letterbox format helps show off its Hong Kong locations. Noon, FMC

The Pianist (2002)
Star Adrien Brody and director Roman Polanski both won Oscars for this poignant drama about a Jewish musician’s struggle to survive in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. 11 p.m., IFC

Jerry Maguire (1996)
Five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Actor (Tom Cruise), went to this comedy-drama about a high-powered sports agent. Cuba Gooding Jr. won for Best Supporting Actor. 8 p.m., Encore