Off the wall: Halloween comes early
Diane WertsDiane Werts
Diane Werts writes about television for Newsday. Werts previously was
Off the Wall gets creepy and kooky.
TUNE TIME Music highlights this week include Saturday's WLIW/21 season premieres of "Live From the Artists Den" (10 p.m.), with Norah Jones, and "Austin City Limits" (11 p.m.), with Radiohead. A country legend lives again in the new series "Johnny Cash: Song by Song" (Sunday at 8 and 8:30 p.m., Ovation), featuring interviews with Merle Haggard, George Jones, Chris Isaak and others. Carly Rae Jepsen guests on the season return of "90210" (Monday at 8 p.m., CW/11). And Neil Patrick Harris leads the cast of Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (Tuesday at 9 p.m., CW/11). Get the lyrics at drhorrible.com.
HATFIELDS & McCOYS If you watched History's hit miniseries, take a fact-based look at the cross-border feud in a new outing of "How the States Got Their Shapes" (Saturday night at 10:30, H2). It follows another new "Shapes" half-hour titled "Hillbilly vs. Redneck" in the second week of host Brian Unger's second season. Video, games, more at history.com/shows.
HAPPY (EARLY) HALLOWEEN It's never too soon for TV to spook us. Syfy's annual 31 Days of Halloween is already presenting daily frights, as is Disney Channel's Monstober theme. Look for silly new scares on "The Cleveland Show" (Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Fox/5; unless football runs long, of course), plus other Fox animation. Halloween show construction heats up on "Making Monsters" (Sunday at 8 and 9 p.m., Travel). There's fresh comedy in "Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters" (Sunday at 9 p.m., Comedy Central). The series "Halloween Wars" (Sunday at 9 p.m., Food) stages competitions in pumpkin carving and candy crafting. The hour special "Halloween Crazier" (Sunday at 10 p.m., Travel) visits ghostly locations like a mental hospital turned haunted house. In a matchup of new movies, musical teen turns monster hunter in the family film "Girl vs. Monster" (Friday 8-9:30 p.m., Disney), while heart-stopping chills are promised in the creepfest "Dead Souls" (Friday at 9 p.m., Chiller), featuring Jesse James, Bill Moseley and Magda Apanowicz.
TITANIC MINISERIES Chris Noth, Derek Jacobi and Neve Campbell headline the new "Titanic: Blood and Steel" (Monday-Saturday 8-10 p.m., Encore), revisiting the massive ship being built in Belfast. If nightly viewing isn't your thing, catch the whole thing in marathon form Oct. 14. More at starz.com/promotions/bigminiseriesshowcase.
SECRET ACCESS WEEK NatGeo goes inside national security, customs and more, every night at 8, starting with protecting the president on "Secret Service Files" (Monday at 8 p.m., NatGeo). Other nights cover covert labs, cocaine trafficking, money vaults and the Rockefeller mansion. See natgeotv.com.
CLASSIC HORROR Turner Classic Movies lines up terror titles on October Wednesday nights. This week's slate includes 1963's "The Haunting" (8 p.m.), 1944's "The Uninvited" (10 p.m.), 1959's "House on Haunted Hill" (midnight) and three overnight offerings. Oct. 17: Hammer Studios horror from England. Schedule at tcm.com/schedule.