Thursday, October 31, 2002
You know it's Halloween when even the probing and intelligent news magazine "Frontline/World" (9 p.m., PBS) runs a story on Dracula. Essayist Andrei Codrescu returns to his native Romania, where entrepreneurs are trying to turn the legendary vampire into the next Mickey Mouse.
Tourist-minded Romanians hope that westerners will flock to eat at Dracula-themed restaurants, sleep in an ersatz Dracula castle and spend dollars at a yet-to-be-built Dracula theme park. Codrescu examines a society that is still recovering from four decades of communist rule and adjusting in strange new ways to the forces of free enterprise. "The marketing of the vampire myth to Western tourists," Codrescu observes, "is really a metaphor for everything that's right, and wrong, with the new Romania." Two other segments examine the legacy of Cambodia's genocidal Khmer Rouge and profile Dr. Sugata Mitra, a generous Indian software tycoon.
ï¿½ "Behind the Fame" (9 p.m., TLC) reflects on two ghoulish sitcom favorites, "The Munsters" and "The Addams Family." Both shows debuted in the fall of 1964 and were canceled two years later. Despite their brief run, both comedies remain favorites in reruns.
ï¿½ Other Halloween-themed highlights include a 13-hour "Friday the 13th" movie marathon on TNN. The slasher film's many sequels run from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.
ï¿½ Armchair globetrotters can visit "Mansions of Mystery" (7 p.m., Travel) showcasing three historic houses that were reportedly visited by unsettled spirits.
Tonight's other highlights
ï¿½ An attempted political assassination is not what it seems on the two-hour repeat of the pilot episode of "Monk" (7 p.m., ABC).
ï¿½ A staged magic act proves fatal on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
ï¿½ A businessman vanishes in an airport on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).
ï¿½ A Halloween fire floods the hospital with costumed wounded on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC). Don Cheadle guest stars as a visiting intern.
ï¿½ Scheduled on "Primetime" (9 p.m., ABC): television's psychic mediums; the "Amityville Horror" house; an eccentric British adventurer's attempt to drive across the Bering Straits.
Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn and Teri Garr star in "Young Frankenstein" (7 p.m., Comedy Central), director Mel Brooks' hilarious and affectionate parody of Universal horror films from the 1930s.
Exotic elimination on "Survivor: Thailand" (7 p.m., CBS) ï¿½ The gang tries to gather for Phoebe's birthday bash on "Friends" (7 p.m., NBC) ï¿½ Crazy amateur acts on two consecutive episodes of "30 Seconds to Fame" (7 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., Fox) ï¿½ Wrestling on "WWE Smackdown" (7 p.m., UPN) ï¿½ Tricks and treats on "Family Affair" (7 p.m., WB).
Elliot falls for J.D.'s brother (Tom Cavanagh) on "Scrubs" (7:30 p.m., NBC) ï¿½ Joel returns to a fateful kiss on "Do Over" (7:30 p.m., WB).
Halloween in the country on "Will & Grace" (8 p.m., NBC) ï¿½ Bridal bloopers on "Funniest Wedding Outtakes" (8 p.m., Fox) ï¿½ A kiss and a case of mistaken identity on "Good Morning, Miami" (8:30 p.m., NBC) ï¿½ Improvisation on "Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (8 p.m., WB) ï¿½ A shift in accents on "Off Centre" 8:30 p.m., WB).
Jerry Seinfeld and the Foo Fighters appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ï¿½ Jay Leno hosts Tim Allen and Justin Timberlake on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).
Salma Hayek and Bill Bellamy appear on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ï¿½ Owen Wilson and Elizabeth Berkley are on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).