By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"Masterpiece Theatre" season opener, "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard," 8 p.m., PBS. Ros Pritchard is your do-it-all type. She runs a grocery store graciously and she manages her home for her blank husband and their likable children. Then two politicians misbehave in front of the store. Ros' life changes profoundly. Jane Horrocks is just right in this five-part tale, balancing intelligence and naivete. Jodhi May, who often portrays ingenues, plays a calculating political pro, with Janet McTeer as a leader of the Conservative Party. The one flaw early in Sally Wainwright's script is that males are shallow stereotypes. Still, the women are so well-drawn that we scarcely notice.
"Desperate Housewives," 8 p.m., ABC. Edie gets a shock and someone discovers Bree's been faking her pregnancy. And Carlos? It seems that he hired an accountant — not a hit man. Gabrielle lusts for Carlos even while raging.
"From Here to Eternity" (1953), 2 p.m., and "Separate Tables" (1958), 4:15 p.m., Turner Classic Movies. This double-header was hurriedly added as a tribute to Deborah Kerr, who died Tuesday at 86. Each also includes Burt Lancaster. Kerr received an Academy Award nomination for best actress in both films. She didn't win, but "Eternity" — a towering masterpiece — won eight Oscars, including best picture.
"Crash" (2004), 4:30 p.m., FX. Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco wanted to write a film about the way one action influences another. They created much more — a richly layered look at modern biases. The result won Oscars for best picture, script and editing.
"Beetle Juice" (1988), 6 p.m., ABC Family. Two dead people earnestly try to frighten away their home's annoying new owners, in a fun comedy for the Halloween season. Tim Burton's terrific cast includes Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Geena Davis.
"Viva Laughlin," 7 p.m., CBS. After its so-so debut, we'll see whether this drama-with-music can find its touch. Ripley opens his casino and tries to bring in a famous gambler.
"Nature of the Beast," 8 p.m., ABC Family. An ordinary chap (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has a super-cute fiancee (Autumn Reeser) and a problem: He hasn't told her he turns into a werewolf. There's potential for fun here and two scenes — with a priest and with an "expert" — are terrific. Too often, however, the slender tale is stretched to fill the two hours.
"Cold Case," 8 p.m., CBS. After 18 years in a coma, a shooting victim dies. Now that it's murder, the probe grows.
"Brothers & Sisters," 9 p.m., ABC. Kitty and Sarah visit the spa with their mom, with shaky results. Meanwhile, young Rebecca worries about the recovery rate of her half-brother, Justin.