Even MPT gets into the swing of a pre-Halloween weekend


And they're off! Thoroughbred racing's biggest money day gets four hours of coverage from NBC, while Halloween happenings haunt the nighttime lineup.

* "1995 Breeder's Cup Championships" (11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Maryland's large horse-racing community will be watching the 12th annual race day from Belmont Park in New York, with $10 million at stake in seven races. NBC.

* "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Yes, they celebrated Halloween in olden days. Dr. Mike (Jane Seymour) dresses up as Cinderella for a party and tries to talk Sully (Joe Lando) into coming along as Prince Charming. CBS.

* "The Preston Episodes" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- In a quick turn-around from the recent papal visit to the United States, tonight's episode finds David (David Alan Grier) at a Halloween party trying to return the pope's hat. Fox.

* "Maybe This Time" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Cloris Leachman makes a guest appearance as Logan's (Craig Ferguson) visiting Scottish grandmother, who does not approve of Julia (Marie Osmond). ABC.

* "Hocus Pocus" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This 1993 comedy went nowhere at the box office, but the star lineup is

good enough for the Saturday before Halloween. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play witches transported to modern-day Salem, Mass. ABC.

* "Outdoors Maryland: Halloween Special" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Re-packaged segments from previous shows feature bats, vultures, crows, cave exploration and other things associated with the October holiday. MPT.


* "VH1 To One, Melissa Etheridge" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., VH1) -- The rock singer's new album, "Your Little Secret," is the occasion for this backstage interview.

* "A Streetcar Named Desire" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., American Movie Classics) -- Film buffs have a chance this weekend to compare and contrast treatments of the Tennessee Williams classic. This 1951 version, with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, is the definitive example to date -- but Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange star in a new version premiering tomorrow (8 p.m. on CBS).

* "Rivals! Frankenstein and Dracula" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., The Discovery Channel) -- Did you know that Bela Lugosi, already a success from "Dracula," was offered the role as Dr. Frankenstein's monster? He said no, however, and Boris Karloff got the "Frankenstein" part instead, as we learn in tonight's Halloween-inspired edition.

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