Ah, it must be fall. The air is cooling. The leaves are turning. Shows are swapping timeslots or being carved neatly from network lineups. And one of the early casualties is the man so badass, James Cameron tried to kill him in three separate films (but only succeeded twice).
Yes, HAWAII, NBC's attempt to capitalize on lingering MAGNUM P.I. nostalgia has been tossed down the volcano as a sacrifice to the cruel cancellation gods. A few moments of silence for Michael Biehn, shall we?
That's about enough, I think.
Meanwhile, JACK & BOBBY leaps out of the killing zone opposite DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and lands opposite the THE WEST WING. Which fictitious President will survive? Bartlett's got the wisdom of age, but that Bobby's a spry little devil when his asthma isn't acting up.
And now FARSCAPE: PEACEKEEPER WARS has come and gone. Sci Fi's press release glowed about the ratings...so will we see more of Crichton and crew? The mini capped things off with the bang the series finale lacked, but if they do return again in some format, let's hope they don't fall prey to that pesky law of diminishing returns (otherwise known as the Berman/Braga Phenomenon). In the meantime, let's cross our fingers for the resurrections of FIREFLY (Universal's upcoming SERENITY) and BABYLON 5 (THE MEMORY OF SHADOWS).
In honor of next Sunday's All Hallow's Eve, channels all over the dial (Should that phrase be retired? Does anybody still have dials?) are offering up programming in the vein of creepy, cooky, mysterious, and/or spooky. I've highlighted a few for your enjoyment.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25
FEAR FACTOR (7 PM CST, NBC) An "all-gross" Halloween episode. Because one segment of vacuous contestants shoveling down pureed cow eyes just isn't enough.
THE HOLLOW (7 PM CST, ABC Family) An unwitting descendant of Ichabod Crane moves to Sleepy Hollow and runs afoul of that headless fellow. Staring that dreamy Nick Carter (who will, sadly, probably not end up decapitated).
DRACULA (7 PM CST, TCM)
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (7PM CST, AMC) James Brolin and Margot Kidder are tormented by the supernatural. Which is arguably better than being tormented by Margot Kidder.
CSI: MIAMI (9 PM CST, CBS) A baseball player on trial for the murder of his wife gets a meat cleaver to the noggin while visiting the original crime scene.
DAGON (10 PM CST, Sci Fi) Castaways stumble upon an island whose inhabitants worship the titular bad-nasty under the sea. One of the better cinematic treatments of H.P. Lovecraft's charming oeuvre.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26
IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN (7 PM CST, ABC) It's that time of year again, kiddies.
GILMORE GIRLS (7 PM CST, WB) "Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant." Norman Mailer guests as himself. Which makes the Molly Shannon appearance over on SCRUBS somewhat less impressive.
VERONICA MARS (8 PM CST, UPN) "You Think You Know Somebody." Troy turns to Veronica for help after his car is stolen after a trip to Mexico. Oh yeah, and his buddy Luke might have smuggled some steroids over the border, too. Bet Nancy Drew never tackled that one.
SCRUBS (8:30 CST, NBC) "My Last Chance." J.D. has a fling with Dr. Molly, while Molly Shannon guests as a paramedic who gets on the nerves of Dr. Cox.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27
LAX (7 PM CST, NBC) "Out of Control." A disgruntled former air-traffic controller returns to the tower brandishing a gun. Then again, it might just be Michael Biehn upset about losing his timeslot.
LOST (7 PM CST, ABC) "House of the Rising Sun." The non-English-speaking Jin and Sun are the only ones who know who attacked Michael. Plus, the survivors are split over where to camp -- on the beach, where they're more easily seen; or inland, near fresh water.
SMALLVILLE (7 PM CST, WB) "Transference." Clark switches bodies with Lionel Luthor after an accident. As opposed to if this were fan fiction, in which case he'd switch bodies with Lana.
PROOF POSITIVE: EVIDENCE OF THE PARANORMAL (7 PM CST, Sci Fi) Bizarre lights in Texas, a haunted Nevada bordello, and volunteers testing their psychic abilities.
THE WEST WING (8 PM CST, NBC) "The Birnam Wood." Bartlet has convinced Israel and Palestine to visit Camp David for peace talks. Meanwhile, Leo gives the official okay to strike a terrorist training camp in Syria. And they're done with Syria, they're sending the Green Berets after JACK & BOBBY.
JACK & BOBBY (8 PM CST, WB) "Valentino."
GHOST HUNTERS (8 PM CST, Sci Fi) The Coast Guard brings the boys in to investigate an allegedly haunted lighthouse. In other news, the Coast Guard apparently keeps track of haunted lighthouses.
CSI: NY (9 PM CST, CBS) Mac investigates the murder of a hip-hop deejay, while Stella dips into the case of a fashion designer found dead in her penthouse swimming pool.
DRAWN TOGETHER (9:30 PM CST, Comedy Central) Series premiere. Eight archetypal cartoon figures share a house in this animated "reality show." Sure to be more interesting than FATHER OF THE PRIDE.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28
LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (8 PM CST, ABC) "Partly Cloudly, Chance of Sex." Dino quits the hockey team, prompting his dad to confront him about what's really bothering him. Ms. Young encourages Ben to audition for the school play. I'm betting the encouragement involves nookie.
STEPHEN KING'S 'SILVER BULLET' (7 PM CST, AMC) All you need to know is that it involves Corey Haim, Gary Busey, and a werewolf.
WITHOUT A TRACE (9 PM CST, CBS) "American Goddess." Elizabeth Berkley (of SAVED BY THE BELL and SHOWGIRLS "fame") guests as an extreme-makeover reality contest winner who vanishes at the height of her popularity. That's a trick Berkley probably wishes she had thought of.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29
JOAN OF ARCADIA (7 PM CST, CBS) "Wealth of Nations." Joan helps out with a church clothing drive. I hear the crew of WONDERFALLS could use some warm clothes. (I only kid because I'm bitter...)
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (7 PM CST, UPN) "Borderland."
THE OMEN (7 PM CST, AMC) If you haven't been sufficiently freaked out by that creepy cat-kid from THE GRUDGE, celebrate the Halloween season with the Spawn of Satan himself.
THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS (8:15 PM CST, TCM) A murder victim's severed hand seeks revenge! Think of it as "When Good Things Go Bad."
MEDICAL INVESTIGATION (9 PM CST, NBC) "Alienation." The team deals with an Anthrax attack on Philadelphia. I'm presuming that's the toxin, not the band.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30
JEKYLL AND HYDE: THE TRUE STORY (7 PM CST, Discovery) A profile of Brodie, a respected member of Edinburgh's society in the mid-1700s, who was secretly the leader of a burglary ring. Wonder if they'll cover the part where he eats the leader of the invading Martian army? (ALAN MOORE REFERENCE ALERT!)
GARGOYLES (8 PM CST, Sci Fi) CIA operatives versus carnivorous gargoyles. I kid you not.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31
CHARMED (7 PM CST, WB) "Someone to Witch Over Me." Agent Brody convinces Paige that guardian angels are being abducted to further a demonic agenda. You'd think guardian angels would see that one coming.
THE X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE(7:30 PM CST, FOX) Fox presents Scully and Mulder's big-screen adventure as their Halloween night treat. See strange aliens, black oil, killer bees, frozen UFOs and Gwyneth Paltrow's mom as a FBI Assistant Director. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (8 PM CST, ABC) "Come In, Stranger." A break-in on Wisteria Lane stirs up trouble. Just wait till the neighbors from THE 'BURBS move in. BOSTON LEGAL (9 PM CST, ABC) "An Eye for an Eye." Ricardo Montalban guests as an opposing attorney who nearly vaporizes Denny Crane's law firm. Just kidding. Actually, Shatner's Crane takes on a drug firm on behalf of a group of seniors. But we can dream, can't we? BOOGEYMEN II: MASTERS OF HORROR (9 PM CST, Sci Fi) Bruce Campbell hosts a spotlight on cinematic horror icons. That's it for this week. Somebody cue the Star-Spangled Banner. TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (8 PM CST, ABC) "Come In, Stranger." A break-in on Wisteria Lane stirs up trouble. Just wait till the neighbors from THE 'BURBS move in.
BOSTON LEGAL (9 PM CST, ABC) "An Eye for an Eye." Ricardo Montalban guests as an opposing attorney who nearly vaporizes Denny Crane's law firm. Just kidding. Actually, Shatner's Crane takes on a drug firm on behalf of a group of seniors. But we can dream, can't we?
BOOGEYMEN II: MASTERS OF HORROR (9 PM CST, Sci Fi) Bruce Campbell hosts a spotlight on cinematic horror icons.
That's it for this week. Somebody cue the Star-Spangled Banner.
TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.