Tonight's the night! It's been quite an election year, and now's the time to gear up for the Super Bowl of politics.
All the major broadcast and cable networks plan to offer hours upon hours of election returns and analysis. Some anchors hit the air before the polls close to handicap races; others are expected to break down developments into early Wednesday. There are plenty of options, and much more to Tuesday's television coverage than guessing whether Andrew Breitbart will appear on ABC.
[Election Day: Five absolutely partisanship-free voting tips]
So here's a rundown of what you can watch on television and online. (All times are Eastern.)
CBS: Katie Couric leads the network's coverage and hosts "Campaign 2010: Election Night" at 10 p.m. Couric, the anchor of "CBS Evening News," then shifts to anchor a live webcast at 11 p.m. She returns to TV with the political team at 1 a.m. CBS's coverage will include reports from the field, along with analysis from chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer, senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield and CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes. CBS has partnered with Google and YouTube to display data and political videos; CBSNews.com provides coverage through the night and will stream a one-hour "Washington Unplugged" with contributors John Dickerson of Slate and Marc Ambinder of National Journal.
ABC: "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer and "Good Morning America" co-host George Stephanopoulos anchor live coverage throughout the night and host a 90-minute special at 9:30 p.m. ABC senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl, White House correspondent Jake Tapper and "This Week" host Christiane Amanpour will also break down election coverage. Meanwhile, David Muir and Facebook's Randi Zuckerberg moderate a digital town hall at Arizona State University that will stream on ABCNews.com (which will also provide up-to-the-minute election results).
NBC: "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams leads the network's coverage and will be joined by "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory and special correspondent Tom Brokaw. NBC's "Decision 2010" airs from 9 to 11 p.m. and then starts up again at 11:35 p.m., after the local news. NBC's coverage will also include correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Andrea Mitchell, along with Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker. Chuck Todd, who serves as the network's political director and chief White House correspondent, will give his analysis on both NBC and MSNBC.
MSNBC: NBC's sister cable network is planning election coverage for a whopping 12 hours beginning at 6 p.m. MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell will lead the network's coverage Tuesday along with MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. MSNBC's election coverage concludes at 6 a.m., just in time for a live edition of "Morning Joe." And there will be extensive political coverage at politics.msnbc.com.
Fox: Fox News host Shepard Smith anchors two hours on Fox's broadcasting network, from 9 to 10 p.m. and midnight to 1 a.m. He'll be joined by "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace and contributors Nina Easton (Fortune), Stephen Hayes (Weekly Standard), Sarah Palin, Joe Trippi and Karl Rove.
Fox News: Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly co-anchor the cable network's coverage, beginning at 6 p.m. Smith will switch back to Fox News to host "Fox Report" at 7 p.m. before Baier and Kelly resume "America's Election HQ" at 8 p.m. with senior political analyst Brit Hume and panelists including Juan Williams, Rove and Trippi. Top-rated Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren will offer commentary during prime time, and Glenn Beck will take part in his own webcast. Foxnews.com offers continuous coverage and a live webcast of "The Strategy Room."
CNN: Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the cable network's "best political team"—Anderson Cooper, Candy Crowley, John King and Soledad O'Brien—kick off "Election Night in America" at 7 p.m. and keep going into early Wednesday. CNN's digital wizards, who came up with the "Magic Wall" and holograms for past election nights, have a new feature this year: "CNN Election Matrix." A news release says King will use it to "whip through a comprehensive amount of information to better explain to viewers the most competitive House and Senate races." Also on CNN tonight: prime-time hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer and analysts Gloria Borger, David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin. CNN.com provides extensive coverage on its "Election Center."
Bloomberg: Charlie Rose—known more for nightly interviews than political horse-race coverage—co-anchors election night with chief Washington correspondent Peter Cook. Bloomberg's coverage starts at 7 p.m. with looks at the fight for control of Congress; Rose anchors from New York at 10 p.m. Washington executive editor Al Hunt will be on hand to offer analysis, with reporters Lizzie O'Leary, Julianna Goldman and Hans Nichols part of the team covering results.
CNBC: Maria Bartiromo and Carl Quintanilla anchor a live special from 7 to 11 p.m.: "Decision 2010: Your Money, Your Vote." CNBC's Tyler Mathisen and Amanda Drury will pick things up from 11 p.m. to midnight. John Harwood, the network's chief Washington correspondent, will be monitoring results through CNBC's new data wall, the Real-Time Exchange.
Fox Business: Host Neil Cavuto anchors coverage beginning at 6 p.m. and will be speaking with economists, chief executives and other leaders in business and politics. Also on hand: John Stossel, Don Imus, Liz Claman, Charles Gasparino and David Asman.
PBS: Jim Lehrer anchors results coverage from 11 p.m. to midnight, joined by PBS's Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill and David Chalian and columnists David Brooks (New York Times) and Mark Shields. In a first for PBS, a special "NewsHour" will stream online from 10 to 11 p.m.
BBC America: Matt Frei and Katty Kay co-anchor a special edition of "BBC World News America" at 7 pm. Ted Koppel, a BBC contributor and ABC veteran, will provide analysis along with Mike Duffy (Time) and University of Virginia professor (and political quote machine) Larry Sabato.
Univision: Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas will lead coverage with an election-focused edition of "Noticiero Univision" starting at 6:30 p.m. A special program, "Noche de Elecciones," starts at 10 p.m.
Telemundo: The network offers "Tu Voto, Tu Futuro," which it describes as a "multiplatform editorial initiative [focusing] on three key issues of special importance to the Hispanic community: the economy, immigration and education."
Comedy Central: Just days after bringing hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C., Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert return to New York to host Indecision 2010 at 11 p.m, which will include live versions of their two shows.
(Photo of Democrat Jack Conway, left, and Rand Paul preparing for a televised Senate debate in Kentucky: AP/Ed Reinke. Photo of John King and CNN Election Matrix: courtesy of CNN.)