Just how long is Halloween, anyway?
It used to be one day; some cable networks seem to think it’s an entire month. But for most TV viewers, it’s one crowded week: From Oct. 25-31, Halloween overruns our TV sets.
The Disney properties (ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel) lead, but others jump in. Here are some highlights of what’s new; the days listed refer to the 25th through 31st:
— “Agatha Raisin & the Haunted House,” any time starting Monday, www.acorn.tv. The British have perfected dark mysteries, ones in which the palette (visually and emotionally) ranges only from grey to black. But this is an exception: Agatha has a few such moments (shown here), but she’s given to bright clothes and noisy emotions. Now she must prove a mansion isn’t haunted;, bodies are falling, both pretend (there’s a war re-enactment) and real. The result isn’t a great mystery, but it’s light, bright and entertaining.
NEW COMEDY EPISODES:
— All 10 ABC comedies. That starts Friday with “American Housewife” and “Fresh Off the Boat” at 8 and 8:30. Then come four-comedy blocks (8-10 p.m.) on two nights. Tuesday starts with “The Conners,” Wednesday with “The Goldbergs” and a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” theme; Barry Bostwick, who starred in the “Rocky Horror” movie, guests as a professor.
— Two of the NBC comedies on Halloween night. On “Superstore” (8 p.m.), Amy creates a haunted house that Glenn is reluctant to enter; on “Perfect Harmony,” Wayne fears he and his son are drifting apart, after the boy opts out of their Halloween tradition.
NEW DRAMA EPISODES:
— “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.,” 8 and 9 p.m. Friday, CBS. First, a Halloween-night home invasion turns deadly after a “monster” escapes from a basement. Then Magnum finds a bail-skipper and an escaped killer both heading to a Halloween party.
— “9-1-1,” 8 p.m. Monday, Fox. As usual, bizarre calls arrive on Halloween. They include a flock of crows terrorizing a field trip and a ghost-like girl wandering a neighbohood.
— “Grey’s Anatomy,” 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC. On Halloween night, we see a patient bitter about missing the holiday. Also, Teddy tries to make costumes … and skeletons are found on the construction site.
— “Castle Rock,” any time Wednesday (Oct. 30), Hulu. It’s the second season of “Castle Rock,” but with a completely new story. Now Lizzy Kaplan is Annie Wilkes, the evil nurse in Stephen King’s “Misery”; she’s younger here, has a teen daughter and works at the Castle Rock hospital. This debuted Oct. 23, one day before Netflix launched “Daybreak,” a zombie comedy with Matthew Broderick.
NEW HORROR/FANTASY EPISODES:
— “Charmed,” 8 p.m. Friday, CW. With three witches and their mentor stuck in an alternate world, this neatly fits the holiday mood. And Friday’s episode is smartly written and beautifully filmed. Mel and Harry visit exotic dimensions; Macy finds herself imprisoned alongside an intriguing new character
— “Van Helsing,” 10 p.m. Friday, Syfy. This one, by comparison, is hard to watch if you’re not already a zealot. The episode focuses on an evil warden, some horrific torture,an escape attempt and the evil scheme of Hansen. Neal McDonough is terrific (as usual) as Hansen, but it’s still a tough watch.
— “The Walking Dead,” 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC, rerunning at 11:04 p.m. and 1:08 a.m.. Launched on Halloween a decade ago, this fits the holiday. On Sunday, it reruns the previous episodes at 6:49 and 7:52 p.m., then has a new one with people in Alexandria bracing for a Whisperers attack.
— “American Horror Story,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX. This year, it’s a summer-camp slasher tale.
MORE NEW EPISODES:
— More obsession on ABC. On Monday, “Dancing With the Stars” (8-10 p.m.) has costumes. On Thursday, “General Hospital” has a town Halloween party and Jimmy Kimmel (11:35 p.m.) has his own party, complete with the “Half & Half Halloween Costume Pageant.”
— “The 13 Scariest Movies of All Time,” 8 p.m. Thursday, CW. On Halloween, CW rests its holiday-worthy shows (“Supernatural” and “Legacies”) and inserts this special, hosted by Dean Cain.
— And lots of ghost-hunting. The Travel Channel is filling its month with it. A&E has a new “Ghost Hunters” at 9 p.m. Wednesday … preceded by a rerun marathon from 1 p.m. Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday (plus more reruns on Halloween morning, from 7-10 a.m. and at noon). Then CW has its “Mysteries Decoded” season-finale at 9 p.m., probing vampire stories in New Orleans.
AND A FEW KEY RERUNS
— “The Simpsons,” FXX. The “Treehouse of Horror” episodes tend to be strange, witty, perverse and clever; they’re not for everyone, but delightful for many people. FXX reruns them from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight Monday and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Then a Halloween marathon is Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight, with the 28 episodes, through 2017.
— “It’s the Great Pumpkins, Charlie Brown,” 7 p.m. Sunday, ABC. Here’s a much gentler cartoon.
— And lots of movie reruns. The heaviest tend to be on AMC and Syfy. Freeform does have one serious night, with the “Scream” trilogy at 3:10, 5:40 and 8:20 p.m. Monday. Mostly, Freeform has an amiable blend of “Addams Family,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Scooby Doo” movies, plus “Hocus Pocus” — which has a Halloween Day marathon at 12:30, 2:35, 4:40, 6:45 and 8:50 p.m.