It's that magical time of year again. Decorations go up, there is a chill in the air (unless you live in Los Angeles), and strangers are nicer to each other. Yes friends, it is Halloween, and the "mainstream" media wants to capitalize on the scares. I'm okay with that. Besides the traditional genre shows and monster movie marathons, all the big network shows roll out special Halloween-themed episodes. Because I know you can never get enough Halloween-themed goodies, I have rounded up the non-genre TV shows that have a little something spooky planned.
Monday, October 24th
Castle, 10pm on ABC
The cult hit starring Nathan Fillion (Firefly) as a mystery novelist who teams with the NYPD to help them investigate murders always does fun stuff for Halloween. This year, Castle and his partner Beckett investigate the murder of a ghost hunter while investigating a haunted mansion.
Tuesday, October 25
Last Man Standing, 8pm on ABC
Tim Allen's new comedy gets off to the right foot with a Halloween episode. Allen's character, Mike, sneaks his two-year-old grandson out for some trick-or-treating (against Mike's daughter's wishes). Elvira guest stars.
Wednesday, October 26
Glee, 8pm on Fox
A replay of last year's "Rocky Horror Show" episode. The kids decide to do their own version of the cult classic, and the production is met with opposition by conservative parents groups. Meatloaf and Barry Bostwick guest star.
The Middle, 8pm on ABC
This dysfunctional family comedy set in small-town Indiana sees eldest son Axl plotting Halloween tricks on the neighborhood kids, and mom Frankie attempting to take youngest son Brick's "social skills" class trick-or-treating. Hilarity - presumably - ensues.
Suburgatory, 8:30pm on ABC
City girl Tessa and her single dad George prepare for their first Halloween in suburbia. She plans a costume that shocks and offends her cookie-cutter classmates, while he tries to scare the fun into a neighborhood mom. Alan Tudyk (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) co-stars.
Modern Family, 9pm on ABC
A rerun of last year's fabulous Halloween episode, anal-retentive mom Claire has an elaborate haunted house planned. But with her family, nothing ever goes right.
Happy Endings, 9:30pm on ABC
Described as a "less-white Friends," Happy Endings sees one couple house sit in the suburbs on Halloween night while the rest of their friends hit a wild warehouse party.
Psych, 10pm on USA
Shawn and Gus investigate a murder that they are convinced is the work of a vampire. Naturally, this means dressing up as their favorite vampires. Corey Feldman (Lost Boys) and Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deadly Friend) guest star.
Thursday, October 27th
The Big Bang Theory, 8pm on CBS
In the geekiest show on television, the king of the nerds, Sheldon, tries to scare his fellow geeks in an attempt to get into the Halloween spirit.
Community, 8pm on NBC
The folks over at Community do Halloween right. Last year's zombie episode was epic, so I have no reason to believe that this year's will disappoint. Britta administers an anonymous personality test to the study group and discovers that one member of their group might be a sociopath. The best way to lure out a sociopath is apparently to start telling horror stories.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, 8pm on ABC
A timeless holiday classic.
Parks and Recreation, 8:30pm on NBC
I'm not sure how Halloween-y this episode will be. It sounds like business as usual for the small-town Indiana government office, set against a Halloween party thrown by young couple Andy and April.
The Office, 9:00pm on NBC
Receptionist Erin struggles to make sure that the office Halloween party is exactly how managers Andy and Robert California want it, while Jim and Pam argue about the existence of ghosts.
Friday, October 28th
CSI: NY, 9pm on CBS
Halloween and fraternities are a dangerous mix. The CSIs in New York investigate when a pledge master is left for dead in an open grave, and an entire pledge class is suspected.
Sunday, October 30th
The Simpsons, 8pm on Fox
The 22nd (!) installment of the Halloween classic includes three tales of questionable scariness. First, Homer is paralyzed by a venomous spider and can only communicate via gas. Next up is a Dexter spoof, casting Ned as the vig-diddly-ante. Rounding out the episode is an Avatar spoof with Milhouse and Bart.
Family Guy, 9pm on Fox
The episode doesn't sound particularly spooky: Quagmire lands in the hospital and his sister, Brenda, and her boyfriend, Jeff, rush to Quahog to nurse him back to health. As Glenn recovers he quickly realizes that Brenda is the one who needs help. But the good people at Fox promises us that it is spooky... so we'll see.
The Cleveland Show, 9:30pm on Fox
Donna makes Cleveland and Rallo spend the night in a haunted house to prove their bravery; a new neighbor greets rejection with a murderous rampage; and Roberta is the third side in a werewolf-vampire love triangle.
CSI: Miami, 10pm on CBS
A body found in an abandoned mansion looks to have been murdered by vampires, and a Charlaine Harris-type author of vampire novels is involved. Johnathon Schaech (Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, Prom Night) and Orlando Jones (From Dusk Till Dawn 3, Primeval) guest star.
Monday, October 31st
How I Met Your Mother, 8pm on CBS
Following up on a previous Halloween episode, Ted finally discovers who the girl in the slutty pumpkin costume is. It's Katie Holmes (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark).
Mike & Molly, 9:30pm on CBS
Mike hates Halloween, so it is with dread that he attends a Halloween party with Molly.