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How Television Networks Are Celebrating Halloween in 2021

Gracie Gillam as Rebecca-Superhost_Photo Credit: Shudder
Shudder

Television networks are unveiling slates of Halloween-themed content including new and classic horror films, reality competition shows, live specials and more.

Among this year’s programming options is Freeform’s annual “31 Nights of Halloween,” with up to 10 films a day including many family favorites from “Shrek” to “Casper,” plus an in-person event in Los Angeles called Freeform’s Halloween Road. Additionally, horror streaming service Shudder has kicked off “61 Days of Halloween,” with weekly film and series premieres, 24-hour jack-o-lantern stream “The Ghoul Log” and a “Halloween Hotline” where every Friday in October, subscribers can call Shudder’s head of programming Samuel Zimmerman to discuss horror favorites and receive new recommendations.

TNT will air the network TV premiere of “It: Chapter Two” on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m., followed by “Insidious” at 11:45 p.m. and “Insidious: Chapter 3” immediately after, on Oct. 25 at  2 a.m. The cabler will keep the Halloween-themed content going leading up to the holiday itself, with an airing of “Hotel Transylvania” on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. “Hotel Transylvania” will also air on TBS on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. In addition, TBS has “Poltergeist” on its schedule, set for Oct. 30 at 10 a.m., a marathon of the four-part “Resident Evil” film series beginning Oct. 20 at 12 p.m., “Shaun of the Dead” on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. and the network TV premiere of “The Witches” Oct. 31 at 8 p.m.

Tubi is also celebrating Halloween with its programming “Terror on Tubi,” offering more than 5,000 horror titles for the month of October, including “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Dracula” (1931). Among these titles are also four Tubi Originals listed in the programming below.

Also among this year’s Halloween programming options is the second season of 20th Digital Studio’s “Bite Size Halloween,” a short film series that ranges from horror comedy to psychological thrillers. These films are available to screen across digital and broadcast platforms Freeform, FX on Hulu’s Huluween platform hub and YouTube channel. “Bite Size Halloween” features 18 filmmakers who represent a spectrum of identities and backgrounds, covering topics such as race, gender, motherhood, sexuality, the environment and workplace safety. Writers and directors include Ann Marie Pace, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Tamar Bird, Faride Schroeder, Ken Ochiai, Troian Bellisario and Charles Gould. Yalitza Aparicio, Eric Roberts, Robert Yeoman, Rachel Sennott, Virginia Newcomb, Andrea Londo, Brianna Baker and Caitlin Gerard are also featured.

MeTV’s own Halloween programming returns this year with their annual program “Scream with Me,” a slate of Halloween-themed episodes of classic favorites, airing Oct. 29 through Oct. 31 on MeTV. On Oct. 29, “My Three Sons” episode “Ghost Next Door” will air at 6:30 a.m.; MeTV morning show “Toon In With Me” episode “Billoween” airs 7 a.m.; “Leave It To Beaver” episode “Beaver’s Long Night” airs 8 a.m. and episode “Haunted House” airs at 8:30 a.m.; “Perry Mason” episode “Case of the Dodging Domino” airs at 9 a.m.; “The Waltons” episode “The Changeling” airs at 12 p.m.; “The Addams Family” airs at “Halloween with The Addams Family” airs at 6 p.m.; “Happy Days” episode “Haunted” airs at 6:30 p.m.; “M*A*S*H” episode “Trick or Treatment” airs at 7 p.m.; “The Andy Griffith Show” episode “Haunted House” airs 8 p.m. and “Green Acres” episode “The Ballad of Molly Turgis” airs at 9:30 p.m. On Oct. 30, the lineup kicks off with “The Beverly Hillbillies” episode “Trick or Treat” at 6 a.m. and episode “Ghost of Clampett Castle” at 6:30 a.m.; “The Rifleman” episode “Hostages To Fortune” airs at 5 p.m.; Svengoolie’s showcase sci-fi cult feature “Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster” airs at 8 p.m. and “Star Trek” episode “Catspaw” airs at 10 p.m. On the last day of programming Oct. 31, “Saved By The Bell” episode “Mystery Weekend” airs at 9:30 p.m.; “The Flintstones” episode “Haunted House Is Not a Home” airs at 10 a.m.; “The Brady Bunch” episode “The Great Earring Caper” airs at 1 p.m. and episode “Fright Night” at 1:30 p.m.; “Gilligan’s Island” episode “Ghost-a-Go-Go” airs 2 p.m. and episode “Up at Bat” airs at 2:30 p.m.; “The Love Boat” episode “Ship of Ghouls” airs 5 p.m.; “Monk” episode “Mr. Monk Goes Home Again” airs 9 p.m.; “Carol Burnett” episode “Gust Vincent Price” airs 10:30 p.m. and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” episode “Ghost of a Chantz” airs 11 p.m. as well as episode “Uhnv Uftz” which airs 11:30 p.m.

Read a full list of Halloween programming below. (More programming will be added to the list as networks announce titles.)

“Superhost”(Shudder, Sept. 2) – As travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) notice their internet fame dwindling, they pivot from sharing their experiences at vacation homes to creating viral content around their most recent host, Rebecca (Gracie Gillam). But soon enough, something goes very wrong. Brandon Christensen writes and directs. Barbara Crampton also stars.

“Martyrs Lane” (Shudder, Sept. 9) – A ghost visits 10-year-old Leah at night and helps her piece together a dangerous puzzle that may just explain why her mother is so distant. Ruth Platt directs while Denise Gough, Steven Cree, Kiera Thompson and Sienna Sayer star.

“What If… Zombies?!” (Disney Plus, Sept. 8) – In this episode of Marvel’s “What If…?,” the Avengers are infected by a zombie plague, and the surviving heroes must search for a cure.

“Creepshow” Season 3 (Shudder, Sept. 23) – In the third season of this anthology series based on the 1982 horror comedy film of the same name, a comic book comes to life in a series of vignettes about murder, monsters and more. Greg Nicotero serves as showrunner. Guest stars include Michael Rooker, James Remar, Johnathon Schaech, Reid Scott, Hannah Fierman, King Bach and Ethan Embry.

“Seance” (Shudder, Sept. 29) – A group of students at Edelvine Academy for Girls summon the spirit of a dead former student who supposedly haunts the halls — only for one of them to end up dead before morning. The film is written and directed by Simon Barrett and stars Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Ella-Rae Smith, Inanna Sarkis, Seamus Patterson and Marina Stephenson-Kerr.

“Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales” (Disney Plus, Oct. 1) – After the events of “The Rise of Skywalker,” Poe and BB-8 must make an emergency landing on the volcanic planet Mustafar, where they meet Graballa the Hutt, who has purchased Darth Vader’s castle and is renovating it into the galaxy’s first all-inclusive Sith-inspired luxury hotel.

“Meet, Marry, Murder” (Tubi, Oct. 6) – This 13-part series explores the true stories of people who were murdered by their partners, featuring interviews with witnesses to unpack the tragic unions. The series is hosted by Michelle Trachtenberg and is executive produced by Will Hanrahan, Gillian Carter, Danny Fisher and Max Einhorn.

“V/H/S/94” (Shudder, Oct. 6) – In the fourth installment of found footage horror anthology, a SWAT team raids a remote warehouse and discovers a cult compound with a collection of pre-recorded tapes that reveal a larger conspiracy. “V/H/S/94” is a Shudder original film and includes segments directed by Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Jennifer Reeder, Ryan Prows and Chloe Okuno.

“Muppets Haunted Mansion” (Disney Plus, Oct. 8) – Gonzo is challenged to spend Halloween night in the Haunted Mansion in the Muppets’ first-ever Halloween special, which features celebrity cameos and new music.

“Joe Bob’s Halloween Hoedown” (Shudder, Oct. 8) – Film critic Joe Bob Briggs presents a surprise Halloween double feature. Briggs’ film selections will be announced live.

“The Movies That Made Us” (Netflix, Oct. 12) – The show’s third season will reveal the untold stories behind the horror classics “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday The 13th” and “Halloween.” The new season will also feature three other blockbuster films: “Aliens,” “Robocop” and “Coming To America.” The series aims to explore the backstories of the films that have shaped generations, from talks with cast and crew to examining studio producer, director and writer relations. “The Movies That Made Us” was created and produced by Brian Volk-Wess and The Nacelle Company.

“Just Beyond” (Disney Plus, Oct. 13) – Each of the eight episodes of this new series inspired by the writing of R.L. Stine introduces a new cast of characters who go on journeys of self-discovery in supernatural worlds that feature witches, aliens, ghosts and parallel universes.

“The Medium” (Shudder, Oct. 14) – A documentary team follows Nim, a shaman based in the Isan region of Thailand, and her niece Mink, whose behavior becomes more extreme. The horror film is directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and produced by Na Hong-jin.

“Famously Haunted: Amityville” (Tubi, Oct. 15) – From Fox Alternative Entertainment, this is a fresh look at the real-life horror story of the Amityville killer, Ronnie DeFeo Jr., who died behind bars this year. It features commentary from detectives and paranormal experts.

“The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula” Season 4 (Shudder, Oct. 19) – Ten drag artists from around the world compete for a $100,000 grand prize. Guest judges this season include Vanessa Hudgens, Harvey Guillén, Kristian Nairn, Misha Osherovich, Orville Peck, Poppy, Ray Santiago, Bob the Drag Queen and more. The Boulet Brothers write and produce with executive producer David Sigurani and director Nathan Noyes.

“Snoop and Martha’s Very Tasty Halloween” (Peacock, Oct. 21) – The one-hour baking competition special is hosted by Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, who are joined by guest judge Alvin Zhou, featuring talented bakers who face off in a Halloween showdown. “Snoop and Martha’s Very Tasty Halloween” is produced by Buzzfeed Studios, Magical Elves and Snoopadelic Films. Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Hillary Olsen, Patrick J. Doody and Gaylen Gawlowski serve as executive producers for Magical Elves. Richard Alan Reid and Charlotte Simms serve as executive producers for Buzzfeed. Snoop Dogg and Stewart also serve as executive producers.

“Celebrity Exorcism” (Tubi, Oct. 22) – From Fox Alternative Entertainment, starring Jodie Sweetin, Shar Jackson and Metta World Peace, this team of celebrities enrolls in a paranormal boot camp accompanied by an acclaimed exorcist, working their way towards exorcising an iconic haunted location.

“American Dad” (TBS, Oct. 25 at 9:30 p.m.) – “American Dad” will be airing a new Halloween special as a part of the show’s 18th season.

“Behind the Monsters” (Shudder, Oct. 27) – Classic horror characters such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Candyman, Chucky and Pinhead are explained from the perspective of horror experts and the casts and crews of the original films in this docuseries. Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro write and direct, with Stage 3 Productions producing and Phil Nobile Jr., Kelly Ryan and Mark Shostrom executive producing.

“Horror Noire” (Shudder, Oct. 28) – Following up on the 2019 documentary “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror,” this film showcases horror stories from emerging and established Black directors and writers. Writers include Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Victor LaValle, Shernold Edwards, Al Letson and Ezra C. Daniels. Cast members include Lesley-Ann Brandt, Luke James, Erica Ash, Brandon Mychal Smith, Sean Patrick Thomas, Peter Stormare, Malcolm Barrett and Rachel True among others.

“Harland Manor” (Tubi, Oct. 29) – A team of paranormal investigators document the haunted Harland Manor, only to find themselves hunted by the ghosts that still dwell there. The film stars Camille Sullivan, Summer H. Howell, Dion Johnstone and Josh Strait and is directed by Steven R. Monroe.

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now!” (The CW, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.) – The gang gathers at Warner Bros. Studios to reminisce about their favorite cases and how they were filmed, but it turns out that the backlot may have its own monster problem. From Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television and hosted by Janel Parrish, special guests include Iain Armitage, Jerry Beck, Karamo Brown, Tony Cervone, Seth Green, Olivia Liang, David Silverman, Tom Sito, Mitch Watson, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Cheri Oteri. Jonathan Stern writes, directs and executive produces.

“World’s Funniest Animals: Halloween” (The CW, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m.) – Hosted by Elizabeth Stanton, this special will give audiences a look at some of the cutest animals exhibiting their own Halloween spirit. “World’s Funniest Animals: Halloween” is produced by Associated Television International.