Walking Dead Walking Dead

The Walking Dead
10/9c AMC
The title characters, flesh-eating zombies, stalk the living (human and animal) in this chilling new series. It's a gory, ghoulish goulash of horror, action-adventure and drama, with a sprinkling of macabre humor. Andrew Lincoln stars as sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma into a nightmarish, apocalyptic world overrun with these rapacious, stumbling, staggering "walkers." They are quite the scary bunch. Rick wants to find his wife and son, so he heads to Atlanta, which is rumored to be a safe haven. And the game is on. — Ray Stackhouse

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Ghost Hunters Halloween Live

7/6c Syfy
Just as Thanksgiving would seem incomplete without turkeys and Christmas would be lacking without a carol or two, Halloween would feel frightfully deficient without the Ghost Hunters spending the night someplace spooky. This year TAPS taps into a New York state of mind as Jason, Grant and the team lug their gear to an all-nighter at the abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal. — Michael Chant

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
8/7c ABC
Ty and his team take on another mission of mercy, this time to help out the 140-year-old Oregon School for the Deaf. The venerable institution relies, in part, on its famous annual haunted house, The Nightmare Factory, for fund-raising. The attraction is set up in the basement of the boys' dormitory, but the basement has become unsafe. The team will renovate the basement, and, with a little help from horror maven Rob Zombie, set up the best haunted house yet. Marlee Matlin makes a guest appearance. — Fred Mitchell

Sunday Night Football
8:15/7:15c NBC
With its traditions of costumed revelry, New Orleans is as good a spot as any for a Halloween night matchup, as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Saints in a battle between the last two Super Bowl winners. The Steeler defense has been scary good so far this season, leading the NFL at stopping the run. The Saints offense has been downright frightening at times, with injuries to running backs coupled with inconsistent play from the offensive line. Last weekend even Drew Brees looked ghoulish, throwing four interceptions in a loss to Cleveland. — Dave Roeder

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Boardwalk Empire9/8c HBO We got a glimpse of Nucky's curmudgeonly father (Tom Aldredge) at the St. Patrick's debacle a few weeks ago. Tonight we get a better sense of their strained relationship after the elder Thompson is injured in a fall, and Nucky's unpleasant stroll down memory lane helps him decide what to do with his childhood home. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Jimmy's hospital visit introduces him to another wounded vet whose particular skill could assist Jimmy getting even with Charlie Sheridan's gang once and for all. —

Joe FriedrichDesperate Housewives9/8c ABC It's Halloween on Wisteria Lane, just as it is everyplace else, and everyone's in costume. There are even two Marilyn Monroes, and neither is happy about it. But Paul Young ought to be wearing horns after what he did to Susan last week, and so she'll have to come clean to Mike about her, er, housecleaning job while Paul's trying to make up to Beth for neglecting her while plotting all that revenge.  Meanwhile, Juanita Solis begins to wonder why her mom has taken such an interest in Grace Sanchez. And Lynette begins to wonder whether Tom's forgetful mom (Lois Smith) is up to being Paige's nanny. — Paul Droesch

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Dexter9/8c Showtime In this riveting episode, Dexter zeros in on a serial killer whose "casual encounters with innocent men" have a tendency to turn deadly. But before Dexter can bring this "homicidal situation" to a conclusion, he has to literally clean up a mess that was the result of a rape-revenge scenario initiated by the vengeful Lumen (Julia Stiles). Does she have the right perp or not? That question looms large over the hour and will keep you guessing until the end. — Ray Stackhouse