The discussion topic for the media hour this Halloween week will be "What really
scares you." By that I mean, what real stuff, not ghosts or goblins, are
you afraid of and why.
Friday, October 24
"Second Opinion with Doctor Oz: Healthy Joints" (Discovery Channel, 5-6 p.m.
E/P) You're not too young to be finding out about your body's joints
work. Everyone experiences the occasional pain of a back out of whack, a twisted ankle, an injured knee or even arthritis. In this program, Dr.
Oz offers his spin on skeletal remedies, from chiropractics and orthopedic
surgery to yoga.
"Now With Bill Moyers" (PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) The lead story in this newsmagazine is about money
-- and the struggle to get it. In Jefferson, Wisconsin, there's a battle going on to protect workers' wages from being cut at-processing giant Tyson Foods. This
labor strike pits a small town against the world's largest meat and poultry
producer-and may foretell a bleak future for American labor and the survival of
the middleclass. The next item in the program is an interview with Joseph C. Hough, president of the Union Theological Seminary who thinks it is the duty of Christians, Jews and Muslims to join together and fight growing economic inequality in America.
He has sharp words for politicians who tout their religions, but don't apply its
teachings to actions that could help those in need.
Saturday, October 25
"Horseracing Breeder's Cup Classic" (NBC 1-5 p.m. ET, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. PT)
Here's something for horse lovers -- live coverage of the 20th annual running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. One of the main competitors will be 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide (not a typo) ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone who has come out of her retirement to compete in this
$4 million contest. Krone's story will be serialized in feature segments woven in and out of the
day. The Breeders' Cup brings together brings together the world's best horses, jockeys and trainers to determine thoroughbred racing's year-end champions. The event features eight consecutive championship races, with a minimum $1 million purse each, culminating with the $4 million Classic for a grand total of more than $14 million
-- the racing circuit equivalent of the Super Bowl. For a complete schedule of the events being telecast, log on to
Sunday, October 26
"CBS News Sunday Morning" (9-10:30 p.m. E/P) This newsmagazine includes a report on a couple, Ken and Ellen Barnes of Maine, who
are retiring and passing along the family business to their son. In this
case, it isn't a farm, a store or a small company, but rather a famous
windjammer, which has been designated a national landmark. Another story is about architect Samuel Mockbee
who believes that architecture could be a force for changing society. He has
created a program called The Rural Studio, where Auburn University architecture
students have the opportunity to spend the school year creating houses and civic
buildings for very poor people. The students use ingenuity and creativity
to find an inexpensive way to build their projects -- utilizing such materials
as car windshields, hay bales, carpet tiles and even car tires.
"60 Minutes" (CBS, 7-8 p.m. E/P) Two stories included in this
newsmagazine are about nuclear waste and tricky marketing. First, Nevadans aren't the only ones affected by the government's plans to store 70,000 tons of nuclear waste under Yucca Mountain in their state; millions of Americans line the routes the deadly material will probably take to get there. In the other story, entitled "Undercover Marketing," 60 Minutes cameras recorded recent
efforts of marketers to skirt laws by secretly selling to people who don't know
they're being sold to.
Monday, October 23
"Kratts On: Halloween" (National Geographic Channel, 8-9 p.m. ET, 5-6 p.m. PT) Each day this week until Halloween , the Kratt brothers will present one of their documentaries about a different dreadful creature. Today's, entitled "Year of The Locust", is about the threat this insect poses to Australians. It's a time bomb that could destroyed their farms and ranches. This film follows the campaign to fight this insect plague
-- people trying to combat a threat beyond their resources to beat. These are REAL scary things
-- and in the rest of the shows this week the Kratts will expose you to even more fangs, claws, jaws and stingers. Do you dare to watch?
"Rats, Bats, & Bugs" (History Channel 9-11 p.m. E/P) The mere mention of these creatures sends shivers up the spine.
They scurry in the dark and in our imaginations. Through the ages, we've
feared them and worshipped them???and they couldn't care less. Tonight,
rats, bats and bugs each star in a separate hour long documentary focusing not
on habits and habitats but rather on the influence these creatures have had on
society. Covering ancient myths to modern misconception, these programs show the complicated relationship between mankind and
certain nasty little beasts.
"Ken Burns American Stories -- The West: The Speck of the Future" (PBS, 9-10:30
p.m. E/P) This is a documentary about gold lust. It recalls the California
Gold Rush era through the stories of those who lived it: These were "49ers" who
struggled across vast distances for the chance to strike it rich; entrepreneurs
who discovered the best way to a fortune was through the pockets of the miners;
and Indian tribes whose lands were invaded in the frenzy for gold.
"Born Rich" (HBO, 10-11:15 p.m. E/P, Rated PG for adult language) This is a documentary about what it's like never have to work a day in your life. First-time First-time filmmaker Jamie Johnson -- the 23-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson empire -- captures the rituals, desires, worries and social customs of his mega-wealthy peers. In search of candid insights into what it's like to inherit millions of dollars without ever really "earning" it, he persuaded young members of some of America's most affluent families to share their thoughts, including S.
I. Newhouse IV, Ivanka Trump, Josiah Hornblower.
Tuesday, October 28
"Nova: The Elegant Universe: Einstein's Dream/The String's the Thing" (PBS, 9-11
p.m. E/P) These two documentaries looks like "Matrix" movies. Based on the Brian Greene book "The Elegant Universe" , they offer a fascinating look at the surreal world of string theory and general relativity These are
two incompatible theories of modern physics: general relativity and quantum mechanics. As is the case when you try to figure out what's really going on in a Matrix movie, this
TV show is not for the stupid. Hints about all this available at
Wednesday, October 29
"Great Performances: The Los Angeles Philharmonic Inaugurates Walt Disney Concert Hall" (PBS , 8-9:30
p.m. E/P) If you are considering a career in architecture or music here's a show for you. It's coverage of the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry
-- an architectural wonder and the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Included are performances from the first 3 star studded concerts and documentary reports about the design and construction of the building. You can see it
(a rather Whyvillian building, I think) at
Thursday, October 30
"Frontline/World" (PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P -- check local schedule) This is a story about a top reporter who switched to becoming an aid worker in Afghanistan. Sarah Chayes, an American NPR reporter who covered the fall of the Taliban traded her tape recorder for a pickaxe and shovel to help rebuild a war torn country. The report chronicles her bumpy transformation from objective journalist to impassioned aid worker, battling bureaucratic red tape and dangerous warlords in her quest to rebuild a village outside Kandahar.
Friday, October 31
"Spy Kids II" (Showtime Channel, 7:15-9 p.m. E/P Movie Rated PG for mild violence)
Here's a scary (sort of) science themed (sort of) alternative to the usual
Halloween night stuff on TV. And if you can't find it on your TV, it's available in video stores. In this sequel to the hit movie about super-spy siblings, the twins are back to rid the world of another villainous menace. This time, the Cortez kids
-- now official government agents -- are assigned to find and stop the evil energy-draining plans (like those that cause massive blackouts) of
a mad scientist.