The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King

The best-selling author offers knowing analysis of horror cinema in this engaging documentary. King chooses his favorite chillers and shares candid assessments of his own books’ film adaptations: He admires the film versions of Carrie and Cujo, but has issues with director Stanley Kubrick’s vision of The Shining. Monday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

Homeland

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This new thriller series stars Damian Lewis as a U.S. Marine who returns home after eight years of al Qaida imprisonment and is welcomed as a hero—except by a brilliant but unstable CIA officer (an excellent Claire Danes), who is determined to prove that Sgt. Brody’s captors converted him to their side. A Manchurian Candidate for the age of the war on terrorism, the show is intelligent and gripping, with strong performances. Monday, Oct. 3, at 10 p.m., Showtime

Mysteries at the Museum

Host Don Wildman searches the vaults of America’s museums for strange curios in this new travel series. The premiere takes him to the Mütter Museum of medical anomalies in Philadelphia, where he investigates the death cast of famed Siamese twins Chang and Eng, and to Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum, to examine a Russian assassin’s deadly umbrella. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 9 p.m., Travel Channel

American Horror Story

The haunted-house genre gets some kinky twists in this new series, which echoes The Shining, The Amityville Horror, and Rosemary’s Baby. Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) give compelling performances as a troubled couple who may have chosen the wrong L.A. home in which to restart their marriage. With able supporting work from Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy, the premiere delivers creepy chills and surprises. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 p.m., FX

Brain Games

This three-part special explores various ways the brain can be fooled. In “Pay Attention!” magicians demonstrate misdirection; “Watch This!” examines sensory illusions and the phenomenon of synesthesia, when senses get crossed; “Remember This!” considers such topics as facial recognition and shows why witnesses can often be unreliable. Sunday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Other highlights

Onion News Network

The tabloid-TV news spoof returns, with reports on such topics as “Hallucex,” a weight-loss drug that causes users horrific hallucinations when they’re in the vicinity of food. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 10 p.m., IFC

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie

This new showcase for “the bad boys of magic” has an interactive gimmick: Viewers can vote on whether the claims the pair makes are true or false. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 p.m., Discovery

History of the World in Two Hours

This fast-paced documentary covers key events in the history of humanity, from the Big Bang to the present, showing the surprising ways that the past remains with us. Thursday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m., History

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