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Archive for Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween sweeps onto TV channels

October 30, 2009

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Halloween eve brings more tricks than treats to fans of the Fox series “Brothers,” “’Til Death” and “Dollhouse.” All three have been pulled from the schedule for the November Sweeps period. Friday nights continue to be cursed for Fox. The network hasn’t had a hit Friday show since “The X-Files.”

In their place, Fox will air the excellent two-hour season 6 premiere of “House” (7 p.m., Fox), guest-starring Andre Braugher as the head of the psychiatric facility where our doctor is trying to address the issues that have left him delusional, miserable and alone. The supporting actors cast is uniformly strong. Lin-Manuel Miranda stands out as House’s motor-mouthed roommate, a would-be rapper who admires the doctor’s rebel stance. Or so he thinks.

• November Sweeps bring predictable tricks, showoff-y episodes meant to stand out from the ordinary. In tonight’s “Medium” (8 p.m., CBS), Allison’s dreams are informed by the plots of classic horror movies.

• No two-word phrase perks up a subject like “on ice.” Add it to anything and it’s guaranteed to bring a certain cheesy satisfaction. CSpan — On Ice! takes it to a whole new realm.

Along those lines, Hallmark celebrates tomorrow’s holiday with “Halloween on Ice” (7 p.m.). Olympic medalists Olympic medalists Nancy Kerrigan, Todd Eldredge and Elvis Stojko; eight-time British champion Steven Cousins; three-time Israeli national champion Tamar Katz perform in silly and scary costumes.

• Speaking of scary, “Ghost Adventures” (7 p.m. through 2 a.m., Travel) invites you to a live, seven-hour investigation into reported paranormal activity in an abandoned mental institution in West Virginia. If you were to take a drink every time somebody says, “Did you hear that?” you will probably pass out and sleep through Halloween.

• A sweet and inspirational film, “Zombie Girl” (7 p.m., Documentary Channel) follows Emily Hagins, a confident and determined 12-year-old girl as she writes, directs and edits a feature length monster movie, “Pathogen,” starring her classmates, family members and eccentric neighbors from Austin, Texas. “Zombie” looks at how modern technology has allowed anyone to become a filmmaker. It also celebrates a unique young woman’s particular vision and drive.

The central narrative explores the dynamic between Emily and her mother, a woman who pushes the boundaries between tireless support and artistic interference. It’s a delight to see something about a young girl that does not celebrate her as a shopaholic, a future beauty queen or sorority sister. It’s hard to watch Emily at work and not feel proud of her.

• A determined woman sets up a farm to rehabilitate dogs and rescue an entire breed from its largely undeserved bad reputation on the six-part series “Pit Bulls and Parolees” (9 p.m., Animal Planet).

Tonight’s other highlights

• Death in the rag trade on “Law & Order” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Adrian adopts a dog that leads him to a mystery on “Monk” (8 p.m., USA).

• Reports of a paranormal visitor culminate in a murder on “Numb3rs” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Fashion week gives way to a criminal conspiracy on “White Collar” (9 p.m., USA).

• A duo perform their popular hits on “Invitation Only: Brooks & Dunn” (9 p.m., CMT).

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