TV highlights for the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available.
SUNDAY - 10/26
Jaws & Claws - Fierce Felines (Discovery, 10-10:30 a.m.): Kids will love this. The question that threads this episode is: Are these big cats just arrogant, fierce beasts? With simple storytelling, the narrators unlock the world of felines, and it's not just about which cats hunt during daytime and which at night. It's also about the pros and cons of the mane. Funny.
The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror VIII (Fox, 8-8:30 p.m.): This eighth-annual Halloween treat features three 10-minute parodies. In "The Homega Man," Homer must battle mutants after a nuclear blast; Bart morphs with a fly in "Fly vs. Fly"; and Marge is accused of being a witch in "Easy-Bake Coven," set in 1649. (TV-PG)
Masterpiece Theatre (PBS, 9-11:30 p.m.): It may have shocked Victorian sensibilities when first published in 1848, but "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," a tale of a single mother (Tara Fitzgerald) fleeing her past, now sounds like something that should be starring Tori Spelling. Fortunately, the "Masterpiece Theatre" pedigree, not to mention fine acting and the literary talents of Anne Bront, makes this an enjoyable exploration of 19th-century mores and a triumph of personal morality. (TV-PG)
MONDAY - 10/27
Wolves at Our Door (Discovery, 8-9 p.m.): In this absorbing and gorgeously filmed documentary, cinematographer Jim Dutcher and his wife, Jamie (who recorded the wolves' language), take us to the remote area of Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. There they lived and worked with a pack of wolves for six years at their tented camp. In order to capture the wolves in a relaxed state, the husband-and-wife team gained the pack's trust by caring for them when they were puppies. They dispel the myth that wolves are vicious beasts by showing their gentle, nurturing side. (TV-G)
NFL Football (ABC, 9 p.m.-midnight): In their first regular-season meeting since the last Super Bowl, champions Green Bay Packers will play the New England Patriots. Both teams have five wins and two losses each this season. Since this is midseason, this game is not just about bragging rights.
TUESDAY - 10/28
Home Improvement (ABC, 9-9:30 p.m.): Ghoulish goings-on when Mark (Taran Noah Smith) has the Taylor clan star in his Halloween film and Tim (Tim Allen) participates in a pumpkin-mobile contest. (TV-G)
Frasier (NBC, 9-9:30 p.m.): The literati turn out for the Crane Halloween bash with Martin as Sherlock Holmes, Frasier as Geoffrey Chaucer, and Niles as Cyrano de Bergerac. (TV-PG)
On the Brink of Peace (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): An engrossing dissection of the Arab-Israeli peace process. The 1993 Oslo agreement forms the crux of this debate, but the context is historical. In interviews with a wide spectrum of key leaders in the region, former Israeli diplomat Abba Eban explores the past and the prospects of peace in the Middle East. Rarely shown footage enlivens a serious subject. A balanced presentation.
WEDNESDAY - 10/29
It Ain't Love (Cinemax, 8-9:15 p.m.): The stage is a teen theater company. The topic: date rape. In the workshop, teenagers reenact the abusive relationships they experienced, both physical and mental, in real life. Performed before high school students and other groups, it seeks to induce discussion and healing to a troubling issue. (TV-14)
THURSDAY - 10/30
Nick at Nite Halloween Marathon (Nickelodeon, 8:30 p.m.-midnight): Nickelodeon has a whole night's worth of Halloween goodies with this marathon of scary specials from "Happy Days," "The Munsters," and "The Addams Family." Earlier, the network serves up a slew of animated treats for the little ones starring Inspector Gadget, Beetlejuice, and others. (TV-G)
FRIDAY - 10/31
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): Will the orange-orbed one choose Linus's pumpkin patch this year? Will Charlie Brown ever get anything besides rocks in his sack? Celebrate Halloween with the Peanuts' 1966 classic. (TV-G)
NBA Basketball (TNT, 8-10:30 p.m.): The top meets the bottom. As the National Basketball Association kicks off its 51st season, champions Chicago Bulls play the Boston Celtics, who had the worst record in the league last year. The Bulls with Michael Jordan will continue to receive the usual high-profile reception. But the microscope will be on the Celtics: How will the NBA's winningest team fare under new coach Rick Pitino?
SATURDAY - 11/1
Big Night (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): Make sure you have plenty of snacks before sitting down to this delicious tale, set in the 1950s, about two Italian brothers (Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci) who stake their restaurant's future on a visit from Louis Prima. This feast for the eyes is sure to whet even the most jaded gourmet's appetite. (TV-PG)
PICK OF THE WEEK
Wolves at Our Door
Monday, Oct. 27, 8-9 p.m.