Best-bets for Oct. 20: A treehouse of clever gore

1) “The Simpsons,” 8 p.m., Fox. It’s the 30th annual “Treehouse of Horrors” and, in a nifty bonus, it’s “Simpsons” episode No. 666. That’s considered Satan’s number and this has lots of devilish fun. Homer trades a second son for an evil female spawn; he also keeps getting a new body for himself … and promptly ruining it. Milhouse hits a “Stranger Things” portal. And Selma (shown here has an affair with a fish creature. Parts of this are too harsh for some viewers; much of it is hilarious. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Oct. 21: Zombies, witches & baseball

1) “American Housewife,” 8 p.m. Friday, ABC. It’s time for an ABC tradition: Each comedy has a Halloween tale for its last episode before the holiday. That peaks with eight of them on Oct. 29-30, but “Housewife” is first: Greg tries a pumpkin contest (shown here) and advises Katie to avoid the zombie maze; naturally, she ignores the advice. And on “Fresh Off the Boat” at 8:30, Louis is still trying to convince his wife that this odd American holiday is fun; also, people try to agree on a family costume. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 19: A classic country tale

1) “Patsy & Loretta,” 8-10:03 p.m., Lifetime. Two near-opposites merged beautifully. Patsy Cline was big, brash and confident; since childhood she was intent on stardom; Loretta Lynn was backwoods and shy, with four kids and a belated career. Both had great talent, warm hearts and heavy-drinking husbands; in the two years before her death in a plane crash, Cline guided her friend. This sprawling story is told with a fairly good script, skilled direction and gifted stars, Megan Hilty (shown here) and Jessie Mueller. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 18: Grammy greats and splendid streaming

1) “Great Performances: Grammy Salute to Music Legends,” 9-11 p.m., PBS. “I had no idea (songs) would last this long,” Valerie Simpson (shown here) says. Or that singers would last. Simpson, 74, is in great voice; so are other honorees – Dionne Warwick, 78; and Sam Moore, 83. Songwriters Lou Adler, 85, and Johnny Mandel, 93, show up. But PBS isn’t afraid to get heavy (Rival Sons with a great Black Sabbath tribute) or funky (George Clinton). There are great bits from Garth Brooks, Jessie Mueller and more. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 17: Great comedies collide

1) “Perfect Harmony,” 8:30 p.m., NBC. These people are determined to win the next choir contest. They’ll practice relentlessly; nothing will get in the way … except, of course, deer season (shown here). In this Kentucky town, everything stops for hunting. Arthur, the crabby choirmaster, reluctantly joins the hunt. Tempers fray, friends fight; it’s another funny episode of the best new show on broadcast TV. Read more…

‘Modern Love’ revives un-modern anthologies

TV used to savor anthologies
.There were high-profile, high-prestige ones — “Studio One” and “Playhouse 90” and more. They drew praise and awards; some episodes (“12 Angry Men,” “Requiem For a Heavyweight,” “Days of Wine and Roses”) became acclaimed movies.
Then anthologies faded away … for a while .Now one streamer, Amazon Prime, has been nudging them back. Last year, it had the steeply ambitious “Romanoffs”; that’s been cancelled, but on Friday (Oct. 18) is the splendid “Modern Love” (shown here with Anne Hathaway). Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 16: It’s all-night Chicago

1) “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.,” 8-11 p.m., NBC. It’s time for a crossover, flipping the order of the first two shows. Firefighters and paramedics rush to a Bears game, where there’s a bacteria outbreak (shown here); then a fire causes Sevaride to suspect there’s something bigger. “Med” follows the outbreak, putting an apartment complex under quarantine; Will faces a bioterrorism suspect. That sets up “P.D.” and a massive manhunt; Voight fears it’s just a wild goose chase. Read more…

Best-bets for Oct. 15: Vampires and politicians

1) “The Resident,” 9 p.m., Fox. At first glance, this is a Halloween episode – vampires … and rising from the dead … and The Raptor (shown here) and Mina stranded in a creepy town, filled with angry stares. Stick around, though; there’s a medical basis for each story. The two hospital ones are heavy-handed, despite terrific work from Jonathan Lipnicki (the former child star) in the “vampire” tale. But the third, in creepyville, is beautifully written and filmed, with an important story at its core. Read more…