Seasonal programming open to debate


What's the Halloween equivalent of humbug? Even though every other TV show seems to be geared to the holiday somehow, CBS has not made room on its schedule for what, until this year, was virtually an annual tradition: a repeat of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." CBS programmers must be out of their gourds.

* "Gubernatorial Candidates Debate" (8-9 p.m., Channel 22) -- A repeat of the debate between Democrat Parris N. Glendening and Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey that was aired last week, in which Maryland voters asked candidates questions. PBS.

* "My So-Called Life" (8-9 p.m., Channel 13) -- Angela (Claire Danes) is haunted by the memory of a dead high school student. ABC.

* "50 Years of Soaps: An All-Star Celebration" (8-10 p.m., Channel 11) -- I watched all two hours of this. Don't make the same mistake. CBS.

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- Like a recent episode of "Ellen," this week's "Seinfeld" takes place, in part, at a book-club meeting. If it were set at the library, I could advise you to check it out. As is, I'll just suggest you peruse it at your leisure, and return it within three weeks if not fully satisfied. NBC.

* "Madman of the People" (9:30-10 p.m., Channel 2) -- Remember the way Jackie Gleason would shout "Jane Kean!" during the closing credits of his later-years variety specials? Tonight, guest starring as Jack's mother-in-law, she settles for a silent credit. NBC.


* "Biography: Edgar Allan Poe" (8-9 p.m., A&E;) -- Halloween week is a Poe excuse for a documentary about the author of "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Raven," but those are only two of the works covered in tonight's installment of "Biography."

* "Leonard Maltin's Animation Favorites" (9-11 p.m., A&E;) -- Mr. Maltin is a well-versed, truly enthusiastic historian of animated films, and he approaches this two-hour retrospective of shorts from the National Film Board of Canada with appropriate appreciation for technique, individuality and innovation.

One major highlight is a repeat of the 1980 animated film "The Sweater." Even though it's all about hockey and Canadian sports heroes, it's about as universal, and charming, a story about childhood as you're likely to find. Don't miss it.

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