Fear factored

What's scarier: "Surface," skeazy terrorists or the return of Jennifer Love's Hewitts? A guide to fall's creepy new shows.

Published September 12, 2005 10:59PM (EDT)

This fall you will be bombarded by ghosts, terrorists, sea creatures and other things that go bump in the night. Use this handy chart to ward off the bad demons, and remember the good ones.

NBC's "E-Ring" Malevolent foreign governments, terrorists, nuclear arsenals, stodgy military types Benjamin Bratt, Dennis Hopper Rock 'n' roll and a devil-may-care attitude! 3
Showtime's "Sleeper Cell" Skeazy terrorists more ruthless than the mob Michael Ealy Hot body, Islam 8
WB's "Supernatural "Exorcist"-style horrors from early childhood, dirty whore-demons Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles Earnestness, bed-headed hipster boyishness 8
ABC's "The Night Stalker" Ghastly beast-demons with razor-sharp teeth who dig naked women in showers Stuart Townsend Tragic past, creepy demeanor, thorough knowledge of the unknown (ahem) 1
CBS's "Ghost Whisperer" I see dead people -- everywhere! Jennifer Love Hewitt Empathy, saucer eyes, big boobies 0
ABC's "Invasion" Hurricanes, aliens in the bayou, creepy local cops Eddie Cibrian Suspicious nature, unresolved anger at ex-wife 7
CBS's "Threshold" Weird, shiny, shape-shifting alien form that sounds like knives being sharpened Carla Gugino Smart 'n' sassy, stays calm under pressure, has a dog that doesn't fit into her purse 10
NBC's "Surface" Sea monsters not named Sigmund, claustrophobic trips to deepest depths of scary ocean Lake Bell, Carter Jenkins Curiosity, playfulness in the face of ominous sea scenarios 5
CBS's "Close to Home" Abusive daddies, moms who set houses on fire with kids inside, kids who cry on witness stand Jennifer Finnigan Empathy, saucer eyes, melodramatic monologues 3
Fox's "Killer Instinct" Tarantulas, rapists, creepy robot-like cop for partner Johnny Messner Tragic past, shady tactics 4
CBS's "Criminal Minds" Hannibal Lector-alike serial killer Thomas Gibson, Mandy Patinkin The guy from "Dharma & Greg" always gets what he wants, right? 5
Fox's "Bones" Dead girls in lakes, creepy government insiders Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz Tragic past, gets romantic around dead things, strummy alt-rock montages 4
Fox's "Prison Break" Sadistic fellow prisoners, the criminal justice system Wentworth Miller Cries easily; like most criminals, has a degree in structural engineering 3
ABC's "Commander in Chief" Republican cabinet, cartoonishly evil majority leader, annoying kids Geena Davis She's the first female president, like, ever! 7

By Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

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