Today is Election Day, so let’s look back at five of TV’s most memorable (fictitious) political contests.
v Batman vs. the Penguin (“Batman,” Nov. 11-12, 1966): When the fiendish fowl decides to run for mayor of Gotham City, the incumbent Mayor Linseed realizes he has no chance to beat him. So Batman is drafted to run in his place.
v Pat Paulsen vs. Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace (1968): The deadpan, double-talking editorialist/comedian from the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” ran for the White House on the STAG (Straight Talkin’ American Government) Party ticket in 1968. He also ran in 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992 and 1996, but since he wasn’t regularly seen on TV anymore, few people paid attention.
v Greg vs. Marcia Brady (“The Brady Bunch,” Dec. 12, 1969): On the “Vote for Brady” episode, the step-siblings ran against each other for student body president. The Brady household is divided, with the other kids supporting the candidates strictly along gender lines.
v Matt Santos vs. Arnold Vinick (“The West Wing.” 2005-06): These two pols — Democrat Rep. Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Republican Sen. Vinick (Alan Alda) were running to succeed President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) during the drama’s final season.
v Leslie Knope vs. Bobby Newport (“Parks and Recreation,” 2011-12): Most of last season’s episodes concerned the attempt by Amy Poehler’s earnest public servant to win a seat on the Pawnee City Council.
ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE: If the polls are correct, TV viewers across the country could be in for a long, tense night on Tuesday as we wait to see if Barack Obama or Mitt Romney occupies the White House over the next four years. Naturally, the major networks, cable news channels and PBS will go all-out to provide results, crunch numbers and spew exhaustive analysis. In addition to the presidency, 33 Senate seats, all of the House of Representatives and 11 governors’ offices are up for grabs. (Coverage varies; consult listings for times and channels).
“prank my mom” (lifetime, 10 p.m.): On this hidden-camera series, sons and daughters play outrageous tricks on their mothers. In tonight’s episode, a woman is asked to take her kid’s drug test for a job interview, while another is offered a chance to sell her daughter to a billionaire for one year.
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