MONDAY October 28
SYNDICATED* HOLLYWOOD SQUARES (TV-G) No, you’re not hallucinating – that is Vicki Lawrence dressed up as Mama.
*CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
5-5:30PM AROUND THE HORN (ESPN) Former cable-access nobody Max Kellerman now has his own talk show on ESPN. Former cable-access nobody Dalton Ross tries to suppress his jealousy.
8-9PM PAGE TO SCREEN (Bravo, TV-PG) Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are qualified to talk about The Silence of the Lambs’ journey from book to movie blockbuster because not only do they both star in the film, but they can both read, too.
9-11PM FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN (History Channel, TV-G) When 14 firefighters died in a Colorado brushfire, an official report said they had only themselves to blame. Sounds to us – and the History Channel – like someone’s blowing smoke.
10-10:30pm ROCK THE HOUSE (VH1, TV-PG) He can’t drive 55, but Sammy Hagar can play the role of interior designer, kicking off this new series that lets rock stars like Tommy Lee, Paula Abdul, and Snoop Dogg secretly remodel the home of one of their biggest fans under the watchful eye of host Lisa Snowdon (right). Yet another Trading Spaces rip-off? Sure, but who wouldn’t want their living room redone in the style of Cabo Wabo? You know what – don’t answer that. C+
TUESDAY October 29
8-10PM GREMLINS (ABC Family, TV-PG-LV) Awww, look how cute Gizmo is. Let’s give him a little midnight snack.
9-9:30PM LIFE WITH BONNIE (ABC) Life with Bonnie is a whole lot funnier when she’s at work. Maybe her family should just magically disappear like Richie’s older brother on Happy Days.
9-11PM SPEED: WITHOUT LIMITS (TLC, TV-G) Maverick needed it, and Goose just had to have it. We’re referring, of course, to the ever-elusive ”speed.” Host Jeremy Clarkson investigates the fascination.
10-11PM REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL (HBO, TV-PG) A former NFL player comes out of the closet.
10-11PM NYPD BLUE (ABC, TV-14-DLV) Clark worries his dad may have turned into an Internal Affairs snitch – or, in ABC parlance, the mole.
8-9PM THAT ‘70S SHOW (Fox, TV-14-DL) In these back-to-back eps, Kelso finds out about the fling between Jackie and Hyde. And, oh yeah, Kitty thinks she’s pregnant. Watching an hour’s worth of this dried-up series, I’m struck anew how good Topher Grace and Laura Prepon are, even when reduced to standing around as others deliver limp punchlines. Best moment: Grace’s artful discomfort sitting on a sofa between his grandparents, guest stars Betty White and Tom Poston (left with Grace). C – Ken Tucker
WEDNESDAY October 30
8-9PM DAWSON’S CREEK (The WB, TV-14-DL) Dawson believes he’s seeing a ghost. We believe we’re seeing Arthur Fonzarelli on water skis taking flight over a very hungry shark.
8-8:30PM MY WIFE AND KIDS (ABC) Here’s your chance to see if guest star Serena WIlliams acts as well as she plays tennis.
8:30-9PM GEORGE LOPEZ (ABC, TV-PG) Former baseball star and tighty-whitie model Jim Palmer gives George some tips on playing ball. Baseball, that is.
9-10PM BIRDS OF PREY (The WB, TV-PG-V) Life is too short, especially when you only have three days to live it, as one rapidly aging baby is soon to find out.
9-10PM THE BACHELOR (ABC, TV-PG) How many times must they say ”it’s our most shocking rose ceremony ever”? Because they are simply not all that shocking.
9-10PM WORST-CASE SCENARIO (TBS, TV-PG) It’s the question that’s been plaguing you for years: Did those lifeguards from Baywatch really have any idea what the hell they were doing? The answer is finally revealed tonight when Nicole Eggert and Traci Bingham face off in a ”celebrity lifeguard challenge.”
9-11PM THE LOST BOYS (VH1, TV-PG-V) Vampires attack everyone named Corey.
8-9PM* MYSTERY OF THE BLACK DEATH (PBS, TV-PG) Connecting 17th-century Brits who miraculously survived the bubonic plague to their HIV-immune Yankee descendants (like Steve Crohn, above), this science-saturated Secrets of the Dead installment may be too academic for an audience regularly schooled by the likes of Marg Helgenberger and David Caruso. But with a Halloween-eve airdate, dramatic fog-shrouded re-creations, narration by arguably spooky actor Liev Schreiber, and an opening straight out of the David Fincher School of Title Sequences, Death may just creep the bejesus out of you. A treat. B – Joshua Rich
*CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
THURSDAY October 31
2PM-3AM FRIDAY THE 13TH MARATHON (TNN, TV-14-V) They’re not showing the first one, but, on the plus side, you do get to see Horshack bite it in Part VI: Jason Lives.
8-9PM SURVIVOR: THAILAND (CBS) If Mark Burnett wants us to keep watching, he’s just gotta come up with better challenges than sorting fish.
8-9PM LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (Turner Classic Movies) A picture is worth a thousand subtitles as Lon Chaney’s 1927 film (destroyed in a fire) is reconstructed via 200 still photos.
8:30-9PM SCRUBS (NBC, TV-14) In a piece of inspired casting, Zach Braff look-alike Tom Cavanagh guest-stars as J.D.’s brother.
10-11PM BEHIND THE FAME: MUNSTERS/ADDAMS FAMILY (TLC, TV-G) Halloween seems an appropriate enough night to look back at these two dueling 1964-1966 campy comedies. But outside of straight-up nostalgia and some humorously overdone narration (”Unforgettable performances define great television, and Hollywood veteran Jackie Coogan’s role as Uncle Fester continues to inspire laughter generation after generation”), there’s nothing much to scream about. C+
FRIDAY November 1
7:30-8PM JOHN WAYNE MADE ME CRY: OUR WESTERN HEROES (Turner Classic Movies, TV-G) Billy Bob Thornton, Luke Perry, and Dwight Yoakam sit around and talk about how much they love Westerns.
8-9PM BIOGRAPHY: ANDRE THE GIANT (A&E, TV-G) Beware: According to widely distributed stickers, he has a posse. (R)
8:30-9PM SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (The WB, TV-PG) Sabrina magically enters a computer and meets up with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. (Either that, or I’ve been hitting the Scooby Snacks a little too hard.)
9-11PM GLADIATOR (ABC, TV-14-V) Yes, we’re entertained, for crying out loud. Now go stab someone! (Concludes Nov. 2)
9-10PM UNDERGROUND SHORTS: WARHOL’S FACTORY (Sundance Channel, TV-PG) A trio of short films shot by Andy Warhol’s friends and coworkers capture the pop artist (above) in habitats both professional (an early Velvet Underground gig) and personal (perusing the papers on a Sunday morning in the Hamptons). And with its casual, handheld camera work, even the most amazing Factory moments – such as a ”dumpling party” attended by John and Yoko – have a stunning simplicity to them. B – Brian M. Raftery
SATURDAY Nov. 2
6AM-6:30AM SUNDAY THE EVERY GREAT WESTERN (EXCEPT SHANE) FILM FESTIVAL (Turner Classic Movies) I’ve tried to find a flaw with the title of TCM’s monthlong Westerns marathon, but haven’t had much luck. Stagecoach? It’s here. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance? Check. Rio Bravo? High Noon? The Searchers? Yep, yep, yep. So, if you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of John Wayne (above) calling people pilgrim, or Walter Brennan flashing that million-dollar toothless grin of his, then saddle up, pardner. Today’s tribute to Wayne gets the wagon rollin’.
8-9PM WORLD’S GREATEST CLASSIC BLOOPERS (ABC, TV-PG-D) Now, let me get this straight – world’s greatest and classic? I’m not sure anyone can really afford to miss that.
9-11PM THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (Sundance Channel, TV-R) When used in film nowadays, black and white can be arty and pretentious, but sometimes, as in the case of this 2001 Coen brothers flick, it just works.
8-10PM SLAMBALL (TNN) This new league combines the sports of basketball and trampolining. Wait, is trampolining even a sport? In any event, Slamball is pretty ridiculous, but also mildly addictive in the sense that you have people bouncing around like lunatics and dunking on each other.
10:30PM-12:30AM BILLY ELLIOT (The Movie Channel, TV-R) Dance. Dance, you crazy fool. Dance like the wind!
SUNDAY November 3
8-9:30PM I’M WITH LUCY (Starz Encore’s Love Stories, TV-14) Jesus, do I even have this channel? I think it’s somewhere in the 400s on my digital-cable system. Whatever. In this new film, Monica Potter dates anything that moves, including David Boreanaz, Anthony LaPaglia, and E.T.’s best buddy, Henry Thomas.
8-9:40PM DON’T LOOK UNDER THE BED (Disney Channel, TV-PG) Why, what’s the big deal? It’s just a bed for crying out…OH MY GOD!!!
8-10PM ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (ABC Family, TV-PG-DL) Yo, Romy and Michele. Have a blast at your reunion, but when you get home, whatever you do – don’t look under the bed!
8:30-9PM KING OF THE HILL (Fox, TV-PG) Hank has boy-band fever, which is odd because (a) he’s not a boy, and (b) it’s not 1999.
8:30-11PM THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (CBS) So, what, you want Mars, too? Fine, take it! All it’s ever given us is bad sci-fi flicks like Red Planet.
9-11PM TV LAND LEGENDS: THE 60 MINUTES INTERVIEWS (TV Land, TV-G) Ed Bradley hosts this collage of entertainment-related 60 Minutes segments. Tonight: Jackie Gleason, Jerry Seinfeld, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, and Gallagher. Okay, not Gallagher.
9-9:30PM MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (Fox, TV-PG-L) The family manages to have an awful time at the zoo, which leads one to ask, how can you have an awful time at the zoo? I mean, all those wild animals removed from their habitat and put in cages just for our enjoyment? What’s not to love?
9-10PM THE SOPRANOS (HBO, TV-MA) Furio takes a trip home when it dawns on him that he left beautiful Italy to live in scenic New Jersey.
10-10:30PM CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO, TV-MA) Am I the only one who can’t sit still while watching this show? Tonight, Larry goes beyond infuriating Wanda. He infuriates Wanda’s boyfriend.
10-10:30PM THE ANNA NICOLE SHOW (E!, TV-MA) What a long, strange, utterly depressing trip it’s been. Tonight, Anna finally goes out on a date…with a guy…who’s alive…and not 90.
10:45-11PM THE FINKEL FILES (Cartoon Network, TV-PG) And you thought your school was insane in the membrane. Just check out the crazy cats at the Zitter-Millstein Rabbi Training School for Boys. Oy vey!
8-8:30PM THE SIMPSONS (Fox, TV-PG-V) Only The Simpsons can get away with airing a Halloween episode after Halloween. And only The Simpsons can get away with having their first episode of the new season not be considered the official season premiere (for some strange reason that will be next Sunday’s ep). So, outside of those oddities, what’s brewing with the 13th ”Treehouse of Horror” installment? Segments featuring Homer cloning himself and the family being mutated into half-human/half-animals in an Island of Dr. Mor-eau spoof are both funny, but not quite Simpsons-level funny, if you know what I’m saying. However, the middle entry (in which Lisa convinces the town to do away with all firearms – with disastrous results) is where the show’s sly and subversive humor really shines through. (”It’s always made me feel like a man,” says Lou the cop remorsefully upon turning over his gun. ”Now all I got is my enormous genitals.”) This cartoon has been so good for so long, it truly is scary. A-