The families of Modern Family think you should spend Halloween at a yard sale
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Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, October 31. All times are Eastern.
Please note that Hurricane Sandy may change program airtimes and coverage assignments.
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): ABC apparently forgot how the calendar works and aired all of its comedy Halloween episodes last week. (Well, it’s that or they just figured nobody would be watching TV tonight because of the holiday and all.) So that means you can celebrate Halloween with the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan by having a… yard sale? Donna Bowman would like to participate. If you’ve been looking for a complete set of E.T. The Extraterrestrial Pizza Hut collectible cups, well, she’s got a great deal for you.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): The cracked theory that Jenna Maroney will decide the next president of the United States is put to the test in the second half of this two-parter. Boy, won’t Pilot Viruet be surprised when Jenna throws the weight of the Electoral College behind dark-horse candidate “Jenna Maroney.” (Please note this is airing tonight, instead of Thursday.)
Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): Moira withdrew $2.6 million without Walter’s knowledge, and now, he’s going to get to the bottom of it! See, this is the kind of exciting superheroics that Alasdair Wilkins signed on to cover this show for. If you can’t have discussions about bank withdrawals, it ain’t a superhero show!
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Somebody’s figured out that Lisa’s a former child star, and now they’re going to confront her about her sordid past. Carrie Raisler knows that if you spot a former child star in the wild, the best step you can take is to make yourself as big as possible and back away slowly. Do not approach!
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): They’re creepy and they’re kooky/ mysterious and spooky/ they’re altogether ooky/ the cast of Supernatural! (Actually, Phil Dyess-Nugent would beg to differ on the “ookiness” of Jensen Ackles, but he’s always had a bit of a schoolboy crush on the young fellow.)
Suburgatory (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): We’ll always enjoy the weird love song of Ryan and Tessa, so we’re hopeful tonight’s episode will be dominated by scenes of her being vaguely disgusted by her attraction for him. Brandon Nowalk thinks there should be more “Sam and Diane as teenagers” on TV right now.
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): In a bit of vaguely creepy serendipity, tonight’s episode is all about a violent storm ravaging the East Coast. Todd VanDerWerff, still in mind of the long line of airplanes hoping to fly out of JFK ahead of Sandy, wonders how all of this storminess is going to play. We’ll see!
Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): Teddy decides to run an ethical campaign. Outside of the fact that probably nobody cares as much about the mayor’s seat in Nashville as these people do, what good does he think that’s going to do? Todd VanDerWerff knows Nashville politics is nasty. Get dirty, Teddy! Swing at ‘em!
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Trey Parker and Matt Stone take on the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, as the series’ characters start cutting off their symbolic bracelets when an icon is revealed to have been less honorable than he said he was. Marcus Gilmer has, like, 500 Livestrong bracelets to sell.
Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): The sketch comedy series heads for genre-town for Halloween evening, with sketches that include racist zombies and a struggling public school for wizards. Steve Heisler can’t believe the wizards of our great nation aren’t even talking about charter schools.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Sopranos (1 p.m.): After a brief hiatus, Todd VanDerWerff is back for eight straight weeks of Sopranos reviews, heading toward the final plunge of the series. Today, we all learn what “Stage 5” is, and then we learn that, actually, there’s no such thing. Also: Chris has finished his horror movie!
WHAT ELSE IS ON
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC, 8 p.m.): ABC pre-empts The Middle to show you good ol’ Charlie Brown going to all that effort to make a terrible ghost costume and only getting rocks for his troubles. At least this will be the year that the Great Pumpkin finally shows up! We just know it.
Pumpkin Wars (HGTV, 9 p.m.): Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again/ Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock/ Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline/ Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan/ Wheel Of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide/ Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz/ Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law/ Cable TV Pumpkin Wars, I can’t take it anymore!
Couples Therapy (VH1, 10 p.m.): This Halloween, let VH1 remind you that the true horrors come when we’ve spent decades with the same person, and we realize that we don’t know them at all, that every human heart is a collection of secrets and spiderwebs, a haunted house filled with unkillable ghosts.
The Real Exorcist (Lifetime, 11 p.m.): Or you could just check out the adventures of a “real” “exorcist,” who will help you get rid of all of your inner demons, one session at a time. Hey, we figure a reality show about exorcism was probably inevitable at this point, so why not one from the network of Dance Moms?
Frankenstein (TCM, 8 p.m.): A night full of classic Universal horror movies kicks off with James Whale’s classic tale of the mad doctor and the man he builds from spare parts of corpses, then reanimates. Boris Karloff is wonderfully sympathetic as the Monster, and there are fun scenes throughout the picture.
The Shining (BBC America, 8 p.m.): Or if more modern horror is your bag—and you can handle Kubrick getting chopped up by commercial interruptions—then you might want to check out what happens once the Torrance family checks into the Overlook Hotel. The answer is: Nothing good happens. Ever.
MLS Soccer Playoff: Chicago vs. Houston (ESPN2, 9 p.m.): Sure, the NBA season is in full swing, but it’s not like it’s popping up anywhere on TV, outside of ESPN occasionally airing a special about the start of the season. So, instead, you can watch this MLS “knockout round” game. Whatever that may mean.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
New Girl (Tuesday): Erik Adams lays out the costume hierarchy in an attempt to explain just why the various New Girl characters have seen their relationships go south. Also, he talks at length about sitcom Halloween episodes. Also, there might be a sonnet or two in there. We’re not even sure anymore.