'Simpsons' is up first with Halloween episode


On The Weekend Watch:

A HEAP OF HAUNTINGS -- What do you bet will be the leading costume for trick-or-treaters on Halloween next week? It has to be Bart Simpson, or others from his cartoon brood. Thus it's appropriate that tonight's episode of "The Simpsons" (at 8, Channel 45) appears to be the first of an assortment of eerie

series tie-ins to the horror holiday in coming days. Tales of a haunted house scare Bart and Lisa, and there's even a recital of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven."

UNWELCOME CHOICES -- The networks have done it again. A schedule change tonight pits two of last spring's funnier late-season tryout shows competing for the same viewers, just as likely spawning more viewer irritation with the ratings game. The situation arises because CBS' "Doctor, Doctor" moves into the 9:30 p.m. slot (Channel 11) opposite NBC's "Grand." It is a more suitable time period for "Doctor, Doctor," whose pretty adult content jarred earlier this fall in an 8:30 Tuesday time. But "Grand," whose Pamela Reed stands out as one of network sitcoms' most interesting female characters, can be habit-forming too, especially with a "Cheers" lead-in that has put "Grand" in the ratings top 20 so far this year.

CROSSED NETWORKS -- In a relatively rare break from form (if you can't say something nice about your own network don't say anything at all), ABC is giving some air time tonight to NBC. Specifically, "Prime Time Live" (at 10, Channel 13) has scheduled a lengthy look at "Murphy Brown," the hit series on NBC Mondays. Star Candice Bergen and creator Diane English are among the interview subjects. (Do you think a "Murphy" reference in a recent show to "Prime Time" host Sam Donaldson had anything to do with this?)

A FINAL ENTRY -- The season's last premiere, just beating some pending mid-season replacements onto the air, appears Friday on CBS. Delayed by the World Series, the show is "Over My Dead Body," with Edward ("The Equalizer") Woodward as a crime novelist who solves crimes, in a two-hour premiere at 9 on Channel 11.

LOCAL ACCESS -- Two local stations have worthwhile public service specials over the weekend. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Channel 13 offers "How to Beat Cancer," an hour-long report on the latest treatments. And at 5 p.m. Sunday, Channel 2 screens "Take Me To Your Leaders," with James Garner profiling inspiring young leaders around the country.

KING OF EGOS? -- In a business with many rivals for the title, interviewer Larry King may be the leading contender. The promotional hype for his NBC special, "Sunday Night With Larry King" (at 8, Channel 2), makes it seem that some pretty famous people, from Donald Trump to Sylvester Stallone, were lucky to get an audience with this immodest guy.

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