TV column for Friday, Oct. 30

“Live From Lincoln Center,” 9-11 p.m., PBS (check local

The dual nature of
Halloween – scary and silly, gory and giddy – has been captured
by Danny Elfman's music. This delightful concert captures his full
range in Tim Burton films, from the whimsy of “Pee-wee's Big
Adventure” to the ominous “Beetlejuice,” “Sleepy Hollow”
and “Edward Scissorhands.”

Film clips are
beautifully blended with an orchestra, chorus and soloists. There's a
sensational violin solo by leather-clad Sandy Cameron, a song from
Ingrid Michaelson and five sung by Elfman.

II: Baseball, 8:07 p.m. ET, Fox, with preview at 7:30.

The World Series
moves to New York now, with the Mets hosting today, Saturday and
(barring a sweep) Sunday. That means the Royals face National League
rules, with pitchers trying to hit.

If needed, this
returns to Kansas City on Tuesday and Wednesday.m with designated

ALTERNATIVE: “Grimm” season-opener, 9 p.m., NBC.

Last season ended
with Nick having a really bad day. Juliette (his ex-lover) attacked
him; she was promptly killed by Trubel, who was then kidnapped. Also,
someone sent Nick's mother's head in a box.

Now he wakes up and
finds no body, no box, no head, no sign that anything happened. What
follows is a high-octane rush, as he races – a bit too frantically
– to find answers. Also, his long-time enemy is having his baby;
it's a busy hour that still leaves us with questions.

Other choices

“Gortimer Gibbon's
Life on Normal Street” new season, anytime,
Prime Video. Entering their teen years this season, Gortimer and his
friends will deal with cloning, an imaginary friend and a brain
literally reaching capacity. The fairly good opener has a simpler
problem: When he wears a suit, Gortimer suddenly gets grown-up
respect and, alas, responsibility.

“Last Man
Standing,” 8 p.m., ABC. Mike and Chuck figure they'll spend
Halloween watching football instead of passing out candy. Soon,
however, they're involved in escalating pranks.

Halloween films, 8
p.m. and later, cable. On the light side, Disney has “Invisible
Sister” (2014) at 8 p.m. and IFC has the delightful “Ghostbusters”
(1984) at 9. On the heavy side, Starz has “Evil Dead” and its
sequel (1981 and 1987) at 8 and 9:30 p.m., getting us ready for
Saturday's “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

“Dr. Ken,” 8:30
p.m., ABC. First, we see Ken's botched proposal attempt, 20
Halloweens ago. Then he tries for a better re-proposal.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. Halloween is no fun for these guys. A serial killer
emulates Frankenstein, a gang has robbed a blood bank and Danny's
daughter lied and snuck out to a party.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. Jamie – the son of the police commissioner and
grandson of a former commissioner – is caught on camera doing what
might be considered police brutality.

“Please Like Me,”
10 p.m. ET, Pivot. This thoroughly likable comedy stars young
producer-writer Josh Thomas. Tonight, he finds that Arnold's parents
are rich and (unlike his own) charming.

TV column for Thursday, Oct. 29

“Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox.

Two opposite shows
have been cleverly stitched together. “Bones” is full of
just-the-facts scientists and FBI folks; “Sleepy Hollow” has
sorcery and a time-traveling Ichabod Crane.

It all fits because
of smart writing. The first hour is a murder case, with Crane and
Abbie trying to retrieve a body; no magic is required and it's fun to
see two know-it-alls (Brennan and Crane) link. The second brings
Booth and Brennan to Sleepy Hollow, but shields them from the magic.
Once they leave, we get to the main event – a spectacular,
modern-Halloween battle, complete with Redcoat soldiers.

“It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” 8 p,.m., ABC.

Some of our
strangest (and, at times, scariest) customs – Halloween and
elections – are eyed here.

The main cartoon is
“Pumpkin,” a classic that turns 50 next year; we again see Linus'
solemn wait in the pumpkin patch. Scheduled to round out the hour is
the 1972 “You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown”; Linus is running
for school president ... but, alas, has Charlie and Lucy running his

ALTERNATIVE: “Project Runway,” 9-10:30 p.m., Lifetime.

Here's the first
half of the season-finale, with the designers creating their
collections and taking them to Fashion Week in New York. There, we
see an all-female finale ... or maybe not.

Last week's episode
(rerunning in shortened form at 8 p.m.) saw three people advance –
Ashley Nell Tipton, 24; Candice Cuoco, 27; and Kelly Dempsey, 31. But
that episode never actually showed Edmond Newton, 37, being
dismissed; Tim Gunn still could use his “save,” so anything is

Other choices

“The Addams
Family” (1991) and “Addams Family Values” (1993), 7 and 9 p.m.,
ABC Family, The ABC networks keep trying to remind us that Halloween
can be no-gore family fun.

Football preview,
7:30 p,m., and game, 8:30, CBS. Tom Brady and the New England
Patriots are one of six pro teams that remain unbeaten after six
games. Now they host the 3-3 Miami Dolphins. It's the last of CBS'
Thursday games for now, with comedies and “Elementary” returning
next week.

“Heroes Reborn,”
8 p.m., NBC. As a “sweeps” ratings period begins, we see a
convergence of stars from the original “Heroes.” Noah (Jack
Coleman) gets Hiro (Masi Oka) to propel a return to the day of the
tragic attack. Mohander (Sendhill Ramamurthy) gets a dire note from
Angela (Christine Rose).

“Away From Her,”
8 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. Once a child star in Disney's
“Avonlea” series, Sarah Polley has become an extraordinarily
gifted writer-director. This moving film drew Oscar nominations for
Polley's script and for Julie Christie, as a woman facing early
Alzheimer's disease.

“The Blacklist,”
9 p.m., NBC. There's a huge bounty for Liz, with potential assassins
everywhere. Red and her old FBI colleagues scramble to keep her

“Scandal,” 9
p.m., ABC. The president and Olivia hear an extreme proposal that
could solve their problems. Also, his wife faces some sharp questions
about her fractured marriage.

“How to Get Away
With Murder,” 10 p.m., ABC. Annalise takes the case of a
transgender professor, accused of killing her husband. Working the
other case, her students find a surprising suspect.

TV column for Wednesday, Oct. 28

“The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC, and more.

Back when “Roseanne”
arrived 27 years ago, ABC comedies began offering dandy Halloween
episodes. Here's the sixth edition for “Middle,” with tales in
the “Twilight Zone” style.

That starts a busy
night. At 8:30, “The Goldbergs” learn Adam wants to spend the
holiday with his girlfriend, not his mom; his enthusiasm dims when
she loses her ring inside a scary house. At 9, the lone rerun sees
Phil insisting on cheery decorations for “Modern Family.” At
9:31, “Black-ish” has Dre's less-prosperous kin converge, because
he lives in a “good candy” neighborhood.

II: “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).

When it's 3 a.m., do
you really know where your hamster is? Maybe not. Footage here shows
one cleverly slipping out of his cage at night, romping about ... and
following his scent back to the cage.

That's in the second
half of a special that uses delightful, hidden-camera footage to show
pets delicately balancing wild instincts and domestication: Dogs hide
their treasures in the yard, so that others won't get them ... but
sometimes settle for a sofa-cushion burial. In Peru, dogs are allowed
to roam free by day; they carefully follow the rules of the pack ...
but return to their homes at suppertime.

ALTERNATIVE: “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” (1949),
8:45 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies.

Even while owning
four cable channels, the Disney people don't seem to have any room to
show Disney classics. Fortunately, TCM steps in tonight with a
Halloween marathon.

That includes old
cartoon shorts starting at 8 p.m. ET, plus Tim Burton's
“Frankenweenie” (1984) at 1:15 a.m. and the terrific “Escape to
Witch Mountain” (1975) -- starring Kim Richardsm then 10 and now on
“Real Housewives” mess. But the real gem is this animated movie:
The second, based on “Sleepy Hollow,” is pretty good; the first,
from “The Wind in the Willows,” is drolly brilliant.

Other choices

(1978) and “Halloween II” (1981), 7 and 9 p.m., AMC. John
Carpenter directed the first film, produced the second, added music
for both and provided a craftsmanship that many of the copies have
lacked. And Jamie Lee Curtis is around for both films, screaming and
surviving skillfully.

“Hustle &
Flow” (2005), 7:26 p.m., BET. There's no “Empire” tonight, so
fans will have to settle for something fairly close. Like “Empire,”
this movie has Terrence Howard (as a pimp who wants to be a rapper),
Taraji Henson and music. It won an Oscar for “It's Hard Out Here
For a Pimp.”

Baseball, 7:30 p.m.
ET preview and 8:07 start, Fox. This is scheduled to be the second
World Series game, with the Mets at the Kansas City Royals. On
Friday, the third game is in New York.

“Mysteries of
Laura,” 8 p.m., NBC. When a gym-owner is killed in his own sauna,
Laura probes the world of the super-fit.

“Chicago P.D.,”
9 and 10 p.m., NBC. After an undercover job is botched, Ruzek's
future with the unit is iffy. Meanwhile, Burgess and Price find the
body of a security-company owner; Sophia moves ahead in her
relationship with Halstead.

“Nashville,” 10
p.m., ABC. Juliette's fight with a fan hits the Internet. Meanwhile,
Maddie is grounded and misses Colt, who's on tour with his dad. Also,
her mom has artistic differences with Markus.

“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. The focus tonight is on Neil Hudson (Raza Jaffrey). His
mother has a myserious illness that forces the unit to be
quarantined; he and his dad, a neurosurgeon, soon clash.

TV column for Tuesday, Oct. 27

World Series, 8:07 p.m. ET, Fox, with preview at 7:30.

The baseball classic
begins with the Kansas City Royals (in their second straight Series)
hosting the New York Mets, who haven't been there in 15 years.

The Royals had a
95-67 record during the season, the best in the American League; the
Mets were 90-72, gaining strength late, when young pitchers blossomed
and outfielder Yeonis Cespedes arrived.

II: “Secrets of the Dead” season-opener, 9 p.m., PBS (check local

We kind of hope the
1897 “Dracula” novel was sheer whimsy, born of Bram Stoker's odd
imagination. But researchers – including Stoker's great-grandnephew
– say it was based on ancient beliefs.

Archaeologists find
corpses that were beheaded, had their legs twisted or were covered
with rocks – all to keep them from rising anew. Most of that was in
Medieval days, when disease seemed supernatural – but some
incidents were more recent. One was in New England, around 1900; and,
in a fascinating segment, a man proudly tells of maiming a “vampire”
corpse in a Romanian village in 2004.

ALTERNATIVE: “Wicked City” debut, 10 p.m. ABC.

Over the next 10
weeks, a serial killer (Ed Westwick of “Gossip Girl”) will be
pursued by an honest cop (Jeremy Sisto of everything) in 1982 Los

This is a tough show
to like, partly because of the awful dialog between Sisto and his
colleague and partly because the targets are emotionally vulnerable
young women. But just as we're ready to hate it, “Wicked” offers
a fascinating supporting character (Erika Christensen) and visually
powerful moments.

ALTERNATIVE II: “Manhattan,” 9 p.m., WGN, rerunning at 10 p.m.
and midnight.

Like the world's
toughest physics test, this is demanding and difficult ... and
(maybe) worth it. Part of the problem involves leaping between 1939
(Frank's brilliant wife is in a mental institution and he's trying to
push an atomic-bomb project) and '45 (he's imprisoned, she's heavily
guarded in Los Alamos).

And part of the
problem is simply a thick story. Tonight has great moments for
newcomers Mamie Gummer (as a WAC recruit with her own agenda) and
Neve Campbell (as wife of project head Robert Oppenheimer). There's
also a fun romantic twist, plus rage by a physicist left off the
test-group roster.

Other choices

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. A petty officer was killed by a serial killer or a copycat.
Also, McGee and Delilah need compromises before moving in together.

“The Muppets,” 8
p.m., ABC. Good deeds don't come naturally to Miss Piggy. While
volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, her feud with Reese
Witherspoon escalates.

“Fresh Off the
Boat,” 8:30, ABC. Eddie's dad makes another stab at assimilating in
suburban Florida. This time, in an OK episode, he wants his
neighborhood to have the best Halloween decorations.

“Face Off”
season-finale, 9 p.m., Syfy. Two aspiring Hollywood make-up people –
Ben Ploughman, 34, and Evan Hedges, 29 – face Nora Hewitt, 25, a
former bartender fresh from film-makeup school. Afterward, last
week's episode and this one rerun at 10 and 11 p.m.

“Dusk Till Dawn”
season-finale, 9 p.m., El Rey. Here's the second straight episode
with Robert Rodriguez (El Rey founder) directing and Demi Lovato
playing the tough girlfriend of Carlos Madrigal (played by Wilmer
Valderrama, Lovato's boyfriend). Now Carlos tries to steal Malvado's

“Limitless,” 10
p.m., CBS. After starring in the movie version, Bradley Cooper is
producing this series and had a small role in the pilot film, as the
original character (now a senator). He returns tonight, trying to
persuade Brian to betray his FBI handler.

“Frontline,” 10
p.m., PBS (check local listings). As swarms of refugees leave Syria,
Martin Smith looks at what life is like for the people who remain in
government-held areas.

TV column for Monday, Oct. 26

“Supergirl” debut, 8:31 p.m., CBS.

TV's best night just
got better. Monday already has the superb “Fargo,” the
wonderfully original “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the
Virgin” and (for the last time tonight) “Big Bang Theory.” But
now it adds an action-adventure show that gets everything right.

Forget about the
brooding, reluctant heroes. Kara – like Hiro in “Heroes” --
savors her chance to so big things. She's a joyous hero, neatly
played by Melissa Benoist and aided by a domineering boss (Calista
Flockhart), an adoptive sister (Chyler Leigh) and a sharper version
of James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks).

“Gotham,” 8 p.m., Fox.

This is the extreme
in mismatched siblings -- dueling shows, both based on DC comics, yet
total opposites. “Supergirl” is sunny; “Gotham” is as dark as
anything this side of “American Horror Story.”

We saw that last
week, when Penguin chopped off an underling's hand, to make an
undercover scheme more believable. Tonight has one fatal strangling,
two near-fatal stranglings, four immolations, one woman in handcuffs
and many women in chains. Also, the hero cop beats up a suspect. The
visuals and music continue to be superb, but the savage sadism makes
this a tough hour to watch.

ALTERNATIVE: “Fargo,” 10 p.m., FX.

Like “Gotham,”
this has moments of sudden, stark violence. Unlike it, that's against
the backdrop of warm characters, quirky humor and a sweet, small-town

Rye Gerhardt killed
three people in a Minnesota diner, then was accidentally hit by Peggy
Blomquist (Kirsten Dunst). She drove home and made dinner, with Rye
still on the car's hood; her mild-mannered husband had to fight and
kill Rye. Now everyone searches for Rye (who's been chopped up) and
city mobsters try to take over the Gerhardts. It's an odd hour and,
as always, a brilliant one.

Other choices

“The Voice,”
8-10 p.m., NBC. The “knock-out round” begins. Coaches must decide
between two singers, after each chooses and performs a song. The
winner moves on; the loser can be “stolen.”

“Dancing With the
Stars,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Last week, three stars – Bindi Irwin,
Andy Grammer and Tamar Braxton – had perfect scores; the
far-from-perfect Paula Deen was sent home. Now the eight surviving
stars will be split into two freestyle teams, as part of a
Halloween-themed night.

“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Here's one more Monday episode, before TV's
best comedy returns next week to its Thursday spot. Tonight, a
shortage forces Sheldon and Leonard to buy helium in the black
market, for an experiment. Also, Amy's friends introduce her to
Internet dating.

“Jane the Virgin,”
9 p.m., CW. Just as she's adjusting to stay-at-home motherhood, Jane
is accepted into the graduate program. That follows a “Crazy
Ex-Girlfriend” (8 p.m.) in which Rebecca heads into turf that's
totally foreign to her – throwing a party.

“Roanoke: Search
for the Lost Colony,” 9-11 p.m., History. Settling this country was
a deadly task, it seems. Next month, PBS' “Secrets of the Dead”
views Jamestown's dark winter of 1609; first, History views the North
Carolina island colony that mysteriously disappeared around 1590.

“Scorpion,” 9:31
p.m., CBS. Expanded to 89 minutes, this episode sees things go
tragically wrong with a computer-controlled “smart” building. A
virus in Walter's computer turns it into a fiery death trap.

“Blindspot,” 10
p.m., NBC. An app lets criminals track government vehicles. Now the
team must work with the app's surprising creator.