All Hallows’ Eve might not be for another week, but judging by the number of “fun-size” candy bags on sale, pumpkin patch photo shoots on Instagram and Halloween-inspired television offerings, it appears this quintessential fall holiday is already upon us.
AMC’s annual Fearfest features horror staples like the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises, The Exorcist and Alien screening nightly through Halloween. For more family-friendly seasonal shows and movies (Teen Witch, Beetlejuice, The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow), ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween also continues daily through Oct. 31. TCM also offers some classic scary films (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy) Friday and Saturday nights.
Here are this week’s shows, with Halloween picks noted:
WEDNESDAY OCT. 23
American Horror Story: Coven (10 p.m., FX) – Fiona keeps Delphine around, disguising her as a maid, as she continues her quest to become ageless; Zoe continues to aid zombie Kyle; Madison causes trouble with the new neighbors moving in next door.
South Park (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – If you’ve wondered how South Park remains so topical, it’s because episodes are written within a week before airing, so the content is always super-timely. However, this down-to-the-wire nature backfired last week when a power outage at South Park Studios prevented the Oct. 16 episode from reaching completion in time. Check out “Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers” this week instead.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10 p.m., FXX) – Game of Thrones series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss penned this episode based on Flowers for Algernon. Let that sink in for a minute. Charlie becomes the subject of an experiment that leaves him able to use his brain like never before. Meanwhile, The Gang is left doing the undesirable chores formerly known as “Charlie Work.”
The League (10:30 p.m., FXX) – In “Flowers for Taco,” a clear nod to Sunny’s preceding ep, Taco goes without weed and quickly realizes the terrors of hanging with the guys while not stoned.
THURSDAY OCT. 24
Project Runway All Stars (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime) – Forget the fact that having three seasons of “All Stars” may diminish the designation. It’s just exciting to have another couple months of Project Runway. This season, Alyssa Milano hosts as 11 PR alumni — including past winners, for the first time — compete for a second shot on the catwalk. Tune in at 8 p.m. for a Season 12 reunion.
FRIDAY OCT. 25
The Carrie Diaries (Season Premiere, 8 p.m., CW) – Peep the introduction of 1980s-era Samantha Jones.
Dracula (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., NBC) – Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as the vampire more famous than Edward as he poses as an American trying to bring electricity to Victorian London.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (10 p.m., IFC) -– Scott, Reggie and guest Pee-wee Herman get in the holiday spirit with costumes and magic spells.
SATURDAY OCT. 26
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) --– Edward Norton hosts — surprisingly, for the first time — with musical guest Janelle Monae.
SUNDAY OCT. 27
Roseanne (3 p.m., TV Land) – The Conners knew how to celebrate Halloween. Watch six of the best Roseanne spooky specials in order, starting with 1989’s inaugural holiday episode, “BOO!.”
The Walking Dead (9 p.m. Sundays, AMC) – While more of the group fall victim to this mystery virus, some of the remaining survivors head out in search of supplies, only to stumble upon the BIGGEST ZOMBIE HERD EVER — 7500, to be exact.
Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – Narcisse continues to rear his sneaky, ugly head; Nucky’s shipment from Tampa comes with a little something extra — a certain blonde speakeasy owner. Despite Knox’s recent setback, he finds new evidence against the Thompsons and zeroes in on Eli.
Homeland (9 p.m., Showtime) – Carrie must play dual roles on her new mission, which usually tends to end terribly for her. Meanwhile, Saul goes hunting!
MONDAY OCT. 28
Superheroes (10 p.m., Logo) – While costumes abound this time of year, some people don a mask and cape on the regular. The latest in the network’s What?! documentary series follows real-life costumed crime fighters. Which reminds me ... Has anyone heard from Shadow Hare lately?
CONTACT JAC KERN: email@example.com or @jackern