AMC hasn't had many misses since it decided to get into original programming. Its miniseries remake of The Prisoner was not a great idea, but Rubicon developed a solid cult following, and the success of Mad Men and Breaking Bad speak for themselves. Now, just in time for the conclusion of trick-or-treating, AMC is premiering a series that is much more expansive looking than what we're used to from the network: The Walking Dead (Sunday, 10 p.m.)
Executive producer Frank Darabont, best known for the Stephen King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, also wrote and directed the pilot, which begins with a deputy sheriff (Andrew Lincoln) emerging from a coma to find that the world has been overrun by a zombie apocalypse. He and a small group of non-zombies go on the run to keep from becoming food, but also must keep an eye on each other, as the psychological toll of fear and paranoia intensifies. The Walking Dead is pre-sold to a fanboy audience due to the comic series of the same name, but can it also draw in the typical Mad Men viewer? Hey, what can be scarier than watching Don Draper drink away his last shreds of good judgment?
Also this week:
Monday: In Treatment (HBO, 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.): As with last season, new episodes also air on Tuesdays at 9 and 9:30. I am pleased HBO has decided to stick with its least appreciated series, as it's a reward for those viewers willing to take the time. The best known of Paul Weston's (Gabriel Byrne) new patients this season is Debra Winger, playing (how about that) an actress. Amy Ryan takes over for Dianne Wiest as Paul's own therapist.
Tuesday: Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): I think it's time for fans of the show to officially be concerned that Glee is running through all its good ideas a little too quickly. The gang performs music from The Rocky Horror Picture Show after Will learns that Emma loves it. It's likely to go well, but what can they do next Halloween? A Rob Zombie medley?
Wednesday: Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): Claire has big plans for an elaborate Halloween, but they depend on everyone in the Dunphy household playing their part correctly. So much for that bright idea! Also, Cameron reveals why Halloween has always been traumatic for him. No doubt, an evil clown is to blame.
Thursday: S#*! My Dad Says (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Ed (William Shatner) doesn't want Henry writing an article about him. I'd embarrass my own father the same way, but he needs to get a lot funnier first. Also, Vince and Bonnie ride high when they enter the orbit of an elite couple.
Friday: Supernatural (CW, 9 p.m.): Dean and Sam discover that a group of recent suicides are linked to a Goddess of Truth that is forcing its victims to say nasty (if true) things that drive them insane, and learn that Dean is the next intended victim. I have my own Goddess of Truth that makes me want to harm myself: it's called The Mirror.
Saturday: Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m.): Having hosted SNL now in three straight seasons (and twice just in this calendar year), it's safe to say that Jon Hamm has joined the regular rotation. Hopefully we'll get a return appearance for sax-playing hunk Sergio. The woman who never stops releasing singles, Rihanna, is the musical guest, so make sure that mute button is workin'.