Long before “Twin Peaks” created the template for small-town America as the epicenter of weirdness, Stephen King had his Maine. The master of popular horror fiction inspires television once again with “Haven” (9 p.m., Syfy), based on his 2005 novel “The Colorado Kid.”
Emily Rose stars as FBI agent Audrey Parker, sent to Haven, Maine, to track down an escaped convict.
We soon learn that Haven is home to eccentric weather and even more peculiar people. It’s not giving too much away to reveal that one has much to do with the other.
We also discover that Audrey, a rootless orphan given to wisecracks, may have more in common with Haven’s harbor of emotional misfits than she anticipated.
Like many series of this kind, the FBI interloper must mingle with handsome and suspicious local cops like Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant).
Eric Balfour, who has been in a parade of series since “Six Feet Under,” appears here as the town’s charming rogue.
For all of its Stephen King pedigree and supernatural atmosphere, “Haven” often feels like a slightly creepy Hallmark soap opera about a sassy city type finding her way home.
Unlike other Syfy series from “Warehouse 13” to “Eureka” that put much emphasis on quirky types and pop-culture quips, “Haven” plays it straight in all the worst ways.
“Eureka” (8 p.m., SyFy) enters its fourth season with the small town of geniuses about to celebrate its 60th birthday.
The festivities get a tad too real when a time machine from 1947 gets reanimated and sends most of the gang back to Eureka before it was Eureka.
Look for actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy to guest star on “Eureka” this season. A repeat of the third-season finale (7 p.m.) precedes this episode.
• IFC will air repeats of “Freaks & Geeks” (10 p.m., IFC) every Friday. The hip and touching series was canceled quickly in 1999, but not before introducing us to creator Judd Apatow and a cast including James Franco, Linda Cardellini, Martin Starr, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Robin Williams, Elle Macpherson, Tim Minchin and Mark Ronson appear on “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross” (7 p.m., BBC America).
• Tom Cruise stars as a Nazi officer plotting against Hitler in the 2009 drama “Valkyrie” (8 p.m., Showtime), based on a true story.
• Taylor mulls a new management strategy on “Friday Night Lights” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Cuddy takes on a health insurance giant on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).
• The Gossip, the Mars Volta and Friendly Fires appear on “Live from Abbey Road” (7 p.m., Sundance).
• On two episodes of “Flashpoint” (CBS), a historic site becomes a shooting gallery (8 p.m.), a prison riot may be part of an escape plan (9 p.m.).
• Sam and Dean feel trapped in a TV rerun on “Supernatural” (8 p.m., CW).
• The Sea Shepherds locate the floating factory on “Whale Wars” (8 p.m., Animal Planet).
• Ringo Starr, who just turned 70 on Wednesday, appears on “Live from the Artists Den” (8:30 p.m., PBS, check local listings).
• A bungle in the jungle on “Dual Survivor” (9 p.m., Discovery).