Lifetime gets into the Halloween spirit with the haunted-mansion drama "The House Next Door" (8 p.m., Lifetime). Like the best and worst of the supernatural genre, "House" touches on profound subjects and strikes deeper chords than its chilling subject matter and improbable body count indicate.
A childless couple, Col (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Walker (Colin Ferguson), find their rural-suburban isolation ruined when a rich couple decides to build a house in the woods right across the street. But feelings of invasion give way to awe when the stately modern glass masterpiece rises from the trampled wilderness. And Col can't help but feel inspired by, and somewhat attracted to, the architect (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) behind the stunning edifice.
It doesn't take long for folks to suspect that all is not right in the big showcase, and tragedy soon befalls the perfect new couple next door. New neighbors arrive only to discover that the house invites and incites extreme inclinations that lead to evil. But the house turns one husband into a finicky perfectionist of the Martha Stewart variety - living proof that sometimes exacting good taste can be ghastly.
More provocative than truly terrifying, "House" works better as a metaphor for real suburban horrors - feelings of anxiety, envy and of not really fitting in a world you've tried so hard to make perfect.
¢ Robbie Coltrane returns to the influential role he made famous in the feature-length crime drama "Cracker: A New Terror" (8 p.m., BBC America).
¢ "The Great Fever" on "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS) examines efforts in 1900 to eradicate yellow fever, the most deadly contagious disease in 19th-century America.
¢ The reality series "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" (9 p.m., A&E;) concludes with the thick-skinned rocker contemplating surgery for his kisser and his wife facing a pregnancy scare.
¢ An irreverent scholar tries to demystify the Bible and ancient history with his new series "The Naked Archeologist" (8 p.m., History International).
¢ The documentary "Angel Rodriguez" (8 p.m., HBO) chronicles a pivotal day in the lives of a troubled teenager and his counselor.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ Michael approaches Mahone's wife on "Prison Break (8 p.m., Fox).
¢ The Vikings host the Patriots in NFL action (7:30 p.m., ESPN). Last week's Monday-night game reached the largest audience in cable-TV history.
¢ The group discovers strength in numbers on "Heroes" (8 p.m., NBC).
¢ A plane crash inspires ugly litigation on "Justice" (8 p.m., Fox).
¢ An aging bulldog needs friends on "The Dog Whisperer" (8 p.m., National Geographic).
¢ The team's savior proves anything but on "Friday Night Lights" (9 p.m., NBC). "Studio 60" returns next Monday.