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TV or not TV
Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Lynn University students A.J. Mercincavage, stand-in for Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Eric Gooden, stand-in for President Barack Obama, right, shake hands on stage during testing for Monday's presidential debate, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Monday on Utah TV: The presidential debates end tonight, thank goodness

I'm really excited about this Presidential debate (7 p.m., Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 13, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, FNC, FBN, MSNBC).

To clarify, I'm really excited that this is the third and final featuring President Barack Obama vs. former Gov. Mitt Romney.

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Not because Bob Schieffer will be the moderator, although I'm actually a fan of his. Not because I'm looking forward to anything Obama or Romney will say.

Because after tonight, this will be over.

Before we let it go, however, let's think for a minute about the way television is covering these debates. Not to pick on CNN, which does a less partisan job than MSNBC or Fox News Channel, but that on-screen graph featuring moving approval lines during the debate is maddeningly stupid and irrelevant.

We're supposed to believe that this tiny, non-representative sample of "undecided voters" turning dials up and down tells us who's winning.

For that matter, all the coverage of all the supposed "undecided voters" on all the networks is ridiculous. There are the people who, this late in the game, can't decide between Obama and Romney despite the gulf between the two.

I get that these are the people who will decide who wins the election. And that's sort of scary.

There's a reason it was funny when "Saturday Night Live" parodied undecided voters with a bit that featured faux undecideds asking:

"When is the election?"

"What are the names of the two people running? And be specific."

"Who is the president right now? And is he or she running?"

At any rate, no more debates after tonight.

Elsewhere on TV ...

National League Championship Series (6 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Game 7 - St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants

90210 (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): A detective questions Liam about Vanessa's whereabouts.

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars (7, 8:40 and 10:20 p.m., Logo): The drag competition begins.

Gossip Girl (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): There's a scandal on the runway of Blair's first fashion show.

Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The competition continues.

The Voice (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): The battle rounds continue.

Switched at Birth (9 p.m., ABC Family): The trial concludes; Bay and Zarra sneak away. (Season finale)



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