TV scares up an extra dose of tricks and treats during Halloween week

Posted Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Halloween week! Today: Halloween-themed TV shows Friday: Where to find favorite candies of yesteryear Saturday: DIY party decorations Sunday: Readers show us their inner villains Monday: Last-minute, no-carve pumpkin creations Tuesday: How much do you know about black cats? Wednesday: Tricked-out treats using leftover candy Thursday: Our annual amazing Halloween maze

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It’s Halloween almost every night of the week on television these days.

The lineup opens with Zombie Sunday (AMC’s The Walking Dead, cable’s top-rated show). Then you get Ghost Story Monday (Fox’s Sleepy Hollow), End of the World Tuesday (CW’s Supernatural), Evil Witch Wednesday (FX’s American Horror Story: Coven), Bloodsucker Thursday (CW’s The Vampire Diaries) and Monster Friday (NBC’s Grimm). Take Saturday off and then start up anew with Good Witch Sunday (Lifetime’s Witches of East End).

There also are teams of reality-show ghost hunters all over the TV landscape, scouring the country for the last unexplored haunted building.

With so much creepy, scary, bloody, gory programming on the airwaves all the time, there’s only one way for the actual Halloween to stand out on the calendar: Amp it up to sensory-overload levels.

So consider yourself warned: The next week of television will be bursting at the seams with trick-or-treat screams. Here are some of the highlights.

Drac is back

The original bad-boy vampire just got a makeover. Jonathan Rhys Meyers gives new bite to the toothy Prince of Darkness in Dracula, which premieres 9 p.m. Friday on NBC, right after the Season 3 return of Grimm.

The 10-episode drama opens with Dracula arriving in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who claims to be bringing modern science to Victorian society. His secret agenda, however, is to wreak vengeance on those who doomed him to immortal hell.

Only one thing can potentially thwart his plan: his fixation on Miss Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw), a beauty who appears to be the reincarnation of his dead wife.

She’s got hex appeal

Catherine Bell returns as Cassie Nightingale in Hallmark Channel’s highest-rated original movie series, The Good Witch’s Destiny, at 8 p.m. Saturday. It’s Bell’s sixth “Good Witch” flick.

This time, as a birthday approaches for the raven-haired enchantress, an age-old curse descends upon the town of Middleton. Can Cassie save the day? Given that Lifetime has canceled Bell’s long-running Army Wives and that the actress has expressed interest in doing The Good Witch as a weekly series, a happy ending is likely.

Before the premiere, there’s a marathon of the first five movies, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Whatever happened

to … ?

Zombie Night is a Syfy movie, premiering 8 p.m. Saturday, that brings back three “Where are they now?” stars (Daryl Hannah, Anthony Michael Hall and Shirley Jones) and pits them against the living dead

The story involves two families in a small town facing a long night of horror, torn between helping each other and saving themselves. Our money’s on Mrs. Partridge; she’s a tough old bird.

It’s part of Syfy’s annual 31 Days of Halloween, a monthlong scare-a-thon that includes a marathon of six new Scare Tactics episodes (7 p.m. Monday) and a Ghost Hunters Halloween special (8 p.m. Wednesday).

Back from the dead, French edition

The Returned is an eight-episode series that premieres 8 p.m. Halloween Thursday on Sundance Channel.

The French drama involves a group of people, dead for many years but now inexplicably alive and normal, returning to their homes in an idyllic mountain town.

As they struggle to reintegrate with their families, buried secrets emerge and a new mystery involving a serial killer from the past unfolds.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Say the words “Bloody Mary” three times into a mirror at your own peril, because you might just conjure up a murderer. Bloody Marys is an Investigation Discovery special about four real-life Marys driven to kill out of anger, jealousy, greed or thrill.

It premieres 11 p.m. Halloween Thursday.

Oldies but goodies

AMC, the network that gave zombies their marching orders in The Walking Dead, fittingly devotes all of Halloween Thursday to the films of Michael Myers.

He’s the infamous babysitter killer in the “Halloween” movie franchise that started in 1978, when he terrorized Jamie Lee Curtis. The original, a classic, airs at 11 p.m.

The network also has an all-day “Friday the 13th” movie marathon that airs inexplicably on Tuesday and a four-feature “Alien” movie marathon beginning 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Elsewhere, Ovation does the Time Warp again, turning back the clock to 1975 with a presentation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 7 p.m. Halloween Thursday.

Turner Classic Movies, meanwhile, devotes the day to a lineup of B movies such as The Curse of Frankenstein (5 a.m.), The Mummy (6:30 a.m.), Castle of the Living Dead (9:30 a.m.) and The Devil’s Bride (12:45 p.m.).

And ABC revives another age-old trick-or-treat favorite, 1966’s It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Prime-time terror

It wouldn’t feel like Halloween without The Simpsons and the animated show’s annual “Treehouse of Horror” episodes, a tradition for more than two decades. This year’s edition premiered two weeks ago, but it gets an encore showing 8 p.m. Friday on Fox.

More new Halloween-themed sitcoms and dramas: Shark Tank (8 p.m. Friday, ABC); The Goldbergs (8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC); Trophy Wife (8:30 p.m. Tuesday, ABC); The Middle (7 p.m. Wednesday, ABC); Back in the Game (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC); Criminal Minds (8 p.m. Wednesday, CBS); The Millers (7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, CBS); Grey’s Anatomy (8 p.m. Oct. 31, ABC); Hawaii Five-0 (8 p.m. Nov. 1, CBS).

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