Where to be & what to watch…

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Monday, Oct. 13

The election is top of mind for everyone—even the kiddies, it appears. Yes, Nickelodeon is throwing its splat into the political ring—their metaphor, not ours—with some presidential coverage. Nick's “Kids Pick the President” campaign kicks off today, as the moppets conduct their own vote over the next week. For the grownups, Sundance premieres Return of the War Room, a peek inside the strategy sessions involving the likes of James Carville and George Stephanopolous, at 9 p.m. ET. And RTNDA celebrates the best reporting, presidential and other, by giving out some Murrows at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joins the likes of CBS News ace Maggie Rodriguez and ABC News vet Bob Woodruff at the bash; ABC is cited for Overall Excellence, while CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric claims the Best Newscast bauble.

Tuesday, Oct. 14

Time Warner holds its Politics 2008 Summit at the Time Warner Center in Gotham. CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour chats about “Defining the American Experience,” and Dan Rather discusses whether the media is “Biased and Elitist.” Elsewhere in New York, the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) holds its Future Leaders Awards dinner at The 3 West Club following the ISCe Satellite Investment Symposium. For the literary-minded, author/The Wire scribe Richard Price speaks at NYU's Kimmel Student Center, and Maureen McCormick reads from Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice at Barnes & Noble in Midtown Manhattan.

Wednesday, Oct. 15

The HD World Conference is underway at the Javits Center on the Way West Side of Manhattan. The opening keynote comes from Scott Teissler, executive VP/CTO at Turner Broadcasting and CNN. And a day after Rather dishes on media bias, David Alan Grier positively wallows in it. Chocolate News—“a hilarious take on pop culture events that makes no apologies for its biased approach”—debuts on Comedy Central at 11. Also premiering is the second season of Parking Wars on A&E at 10, while the early run of Friday Night Lights on satellite offers up the call-in fan show Live From Dillon after FNL airs on DirectTV's The 101. Dillon debuts at 10.

Thursday, Oct. 16

The Cable Hall of Fame Celebration kicks off at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, toasting former Hearst Senior VP Raymond E. Joslin and Scripps Networks Brand Outreach President Susan E. Packard. Back East, the Media Financial Management Association holds its “Follow the Money—Give Advertisers What They Want” confab at the Penn Club, while former SNL contributor Alan Cross conducts the Mediabistro class “Writing Comedy for TV” at a SoHo venue to be named.

Friday, Oct. 17

If you sorely miss Mandy Patinkin in Criminal Minds, you can see him as Prospero in The Tempest at the Classic Stage Company in lower Manhattan. Hurry up before it closes Sunday. Finally, can Best Picture Oscar-winner Crash work as a series? Find out when Starz debuts the 13-episode drama at 10. “Disparate souls, different paths” teases the PR material. “All destined to collide.” Really, all they had to do was mention Dennis Hopper is in it to get us to watch.

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