A beautiful mind

Want to change the world? Then find yourself some fierce competition. That's the theme that drives "American Genius," a new series that utilizes talking heads and re-enactments to capture great rivalries that led to great innovation. Night 1 tracks Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates, as well as the Wright Brothers vs. Glenn Curtiss, two gladiator fights that resulted in two of the most important inventions in modern life. 8 p.m. National Geographic Channel

The dating game

Go behind the scenes of dating competition series in "UnReal," a new fictional drama that suggests that producers manipulate contestants to get more outrageous results. Next thing you'll tell me is that there is no Santa Claus. 9 p.m. Lifetime

They're here

In the past, the small screen has rarely been able to induce fear, but horror has taken a step up in recent years thanks to series such as "The Strain" and "American Horror Story." The latest entry is "The Whispers," which ups the ante by making children vulnerable to mysterious sources. Steven Spielberg is one of the executive producers. 9 p.m. KSTP, Ch. 5

Neal Justin