The major networks brought us some October-related programming, but there were other big events in the TV world.
Halloween was well-represented on TV as ABC aired the classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, while NBC went with the more modern Monsters Vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space. Also adding to the spooky fun was ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween specials.
Also, AMC’s October 31st debut of The Walking Dead was a ratings hit. The zombie-themed series aired only six episodes before it was announced that the show would return in 2011, for its second season.
PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre airs Sherlock, a three-part modern take on the Sherlock Holmes character that originally aired on the BBC. Holmes comes off as a cross between The Mentalist and House in murders that involve new technologies like DNA results and GPS tracking. If you haven’t seen it yet, at least rent the DVD.
National news coverage turned to the incredible rescue of 33 Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground. It is believed that over 1 billion viewers worldwide watched all or some part of the rescue.
Many programs and specials celebrating what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday aired this and the next month. Perhaps the most notable were PBS’ American Masters documentary, LENNONYC and TV movie Lennon Naked.
The five most watched new series of the fall season are Hawaii 5-O, Blue Bloods, Mike & Molly, $#! My Dad Says, and The Defenders, and they all aired on CBS.
The Discovery Kids channel became The Hub, as the Hasbro toy company took part ownership of the network. As a result, many toy-themed series were added to the schedule, including Pound Puppies, The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Family Game Night, and Pictureka!.
The voice of Dora the Explorer, Caitlin Sanchez, sued Nickelodeon for $7 million. Sanchez, who was twelve years old when she took over the role from a previous voice actress, accused the network of pressuring her into signing an unfair contract. The suit was later dropped.
Several new reality series debuted, including NBC’s School Pride, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, VH1’s Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, and the DIY Network’s The Vanilla Ice Project.
The deaths of TV legends like Leave It To Beaver’s Barbara Billingsley, Happy Days’ Tom Bosley, and the original Hawaii Five-O’s James MacArthur were well-publicized, but we also lost such TV personalities as Falcon Crest’s Simon MacCorkindale, Captain Kangaroo’s James Wall, The Sopranos’ Denise Borino-Quinn, and producer Arthur Bernard Lewis.