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.
2) “Magnum P.I.,” 9 p.m., Friday, CBS. Hey, crime shows get to have Halloween episodes, too. This one revolves around a holiday bash. Magnum and Jin are there, looking for a bail-skipper; an escaped killer is also headed there, with Katsumoto in pursuit. Meanwhile, Higgins and Rick plan to spend the night at an old house, to debunk the notion that it’s haunted. And TC and Kumu try to protect a sacred Hawaiian burial ground. That follows a “Hawaii Five-0” (8 p.m.), with a Halloween home invasion.
3) World Series, all week, Fox. This has been Fox’s goal – fewer scripted shows (which viewers time-shift), more sports. Now that reaches an extreme, with baseball at 8:09 p.m. ET Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday … and (barring a sweep) 8:15 p.m. Sunday. Pre-game shows start at 7:30. In between is football. The pros are 8:20 p.m. ET Thursday (Redskins-Vikings), then 1 and 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday; on Saturday, college has Wisconsin-Ohio State at noon., Texas-TCU at 3:30 p.m.
4) “Life From Above” opener, 10 p.m. Wednesday, PBS. This show is truly global; at times, it pulls back to view all of Earth. In theory, the hour has satellite views of life. There’s a fine example early – gorgeous, aerial views of thousands of young kung fu students, in synchronized splendor. The sky views are rare after that, but we get some fascinating ground-level glimpses. In Kenya, a baby elephant feels its first rain; on India’s coast, leashed otters herd fish toward a net, then receive part of the take.
5) “Catherine the Great” opener, 10 p.m. today, HBO, rerunning at 11. Helen Mirren has already played three queens — Charlotte and both Elizabeths. Now she’s elevated to empress. Catherine was 32 when her husband became the Russian emperor in 1762 … and 33 when she ousted him via a coup. She ruled for 34 years, an era of modernizing and conquest. She’s been played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Marlene Dietrich. Now Mirren has a four-parter filmed in palaces in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
6) “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 11:35 p.m. weekdays, ABC. Kimmel spent his first nine years in Brooklyn, before his family moved to Las Vegas. Now this is the fifth time he’s taken his show there, landing top guests. This week, they include Bernie Sanders (who grew up in Brooklyn) and Benedict Cumberbach (who definitely didn’t). Others are Eddie Murphy, Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Ripa , Ellie Kemper and John Kraskinski, with music from Alicia Keys, David Byrne, Paul Shaffer, Sugarhill Gang and more.
7) “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” 8 p.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Sunday, ABC. Poor Linus will be sitting in that pumpkin patch forever. This special debuted in 1966 and keeps returning. On Tuesday, it will be followed at 8:30 by “Toy Story of Terror,” a fairly good 2013 special that saw some of the toys go missing in a creepy motel. And on Sunday, it’s followed at 7:30 by “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown,” a 1972 special that had Charlie and Lucy managing Linus’ campaign for school president.
8) “Mom” 9 p.m. Thursday, CBS. Few comedies have dealt with death as well – or as often — as “Mom.” It’s already killed Bonnie’s mother, Christy’s dad, Marjorie’s husband and a teen addict. It’s managed to bring a healthy amount of laughs, while offering genuine warmth. And now? CBS says only: “Following the sudden death of a friend, Christy and Bonnie look for ways to honor her.” That collides with NBC’s “The Good Place,” which now has the clever Michael and dim Jason hatch a plan.
9) Charmed,” 8 p.m. Friday, CW. As Halloween nears, this show – about three witches and their mentor – fits neatly. All four were chased by demons and whisked to an alternate world, where only Macy still has her powers … and where Maggie has stolen a crucial key card. Now come new crises: Mel and Harry visit exotic dimensions; Macy is snatched and finds herself imprisoned alongside an intriguing new character. Some of this – well, a lot of it – sounds silly, but it’s smartly written and beautifully filmed.
10) “The Walking Dead,” 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC, rerunning at 11:04 p.m. and 1:08 a.m. Yes, TV has lots of Halloween Lite – sitcoms, Charlie Brown, a “Good Witch” movie (6 p.m. Tuesday, Hallmark) and every night on Freeform. But serious scares fill the week on AMC and Syfy, topped by this ratings-leader. At 6:49 and 7:52 p.m. are reruns of the recent episodes; as the Whisperers create their herds, fear grows in Alexandria. Then a new episode sees paranoia peak, with people taking it out on Negan.