1) “Ghosts” debut, 9:01 and 9:30 p.m., CBS. The Thursday comedies often fit a formula: Most are from Chuck Lorre, the “Big Bang” producer; most (except “Young Sheldon”) are done in front of a studio audience. Now comes a bold step – giving the best slot to a non-Lorre show that’s filmed movie-style (no audence), awash in sight gags and special effects. Rose McIver (“iZombie”) is terrific; at first (shown here), she and her husband don’t see the ghosts in her house. Then a near-death experience changes everything; big laughs ensue.
2) “United States of Al,” 8:31 p.m., CBS. “Al” has always had a strong blend of humor and warmth, as a former Afghan translator adjusts to life in Ohio. When Afghanistan crumbled last month, the show rushed to write a topical episode. Al is desperate to get his sister to safety. Riley, a veteran who struggled for three years to get Al out, helps, along with his father (also a vet) and sister.
3) “Scream” (1996) and more. Cable channels are in their October mode, which means the best Halloween-type movies, over and over. AMC has the terrific “Scream” (1996) at 7 p.m. and its sequel (1997) at 9:30. Freeform has Tim Burton’s superb “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005) at 3:30, with the original “Ghostbusters” films at 6 (1984) and 8:30 (1989). And “What We Do In the Shadows” is always Halloween-ready. Today (10, 10:34 and 11:08 p.m.), it has a shipwreck and a runaway doll.
4) Baseball. The American League play-offs begin on Fox Sports1 and the MLB Network, with the times pending. The White Sox will be at Houston and Tuesday’s winner (Yankees or Red Sox) will be at Tampa Bay. Those games face tough competition from pro football. At 8 p.m. on Fox, the Rams (3-1 with new quarterback Matthew Stafford) face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks (2-2).
5) ALSO: Two more shows start their seasons today, while another ends. It’s the series-finale for “The Outpost” (9 p.m., CW); Talon and friends battle the gods and a new ruler is crowned. And CBS has the season-openers of “Young Sheldon” (8 p.m.) and “Bull” (10). “B Positive” opens its season next week.