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‘Haunting Sarah’ tells an eerie tale

Kevin McDonough United Feature Syndicate

Halloween comes early with “Haunting Sarah” (9 p.m., Lifetime), which stars Kim Raver (“24”) in a dual role as Erica and Heather Rose, 36-year-old identical twins. The sisters are very close, but their respective offspring, both 6 years old, are even more attached.

Early on, Heather (or is it Erica?) observes, “They’re more like twins than we ever were.” You know nothing good can come of that.

When Heather’s son David is killed by a car accident on the way to school, the family is devastated. But Erica’s daughter Sarah remains eerily calm. She has no reason to mourn or grieve, because David, or rather the spirit of David, is talking to her all the time.

At first, Erica sees this as a phase, but when Sarah begins to predict traffic accidents and other dreadful events, Erica retreats to the family’s summer compound to take Sarah away from grim memories. But while on vacation, Sarah and Heather become ever closer, shutting Erica out of their lives. Is one twin trying to use her sister’s daughter to bring back the spirit of her dead son?

If this sounds creepy and slightly confusing, you’re right on both counts. It’s often difficult to tell Erica and Heather apart, because Kim Raver tends to look a lot like Kim Raver. And plot inconsistencies don’t help, either.

In the beginning of the film, Heather has a husband who is presumably David’s father. But after the first act he vanishes from view – and, seemingly, from memory.

Despite such cliches, “Sarah” is an above-average TV shocker, a bewitching blend of “The Patty Duke Show” and “The Exorcist” with a little “Rosemary’s Baby” on the side.

Bravo kicks off a weeklong series with “Great Things About Being Fat” (10 p.m., Bravo), a sardonic send-up and celebration of stereotypes and popular assumptions. Over the course of the week, “Great Things” will look at other ways of living, including being “Queer” (Tuesday), “30” (Wednesday), “Blonde” (Thursday) and living in a “Red State” (Friday).

To commemorate the return of professional wrestling to Monday nights on the USA network, a three-hour “WWE Monday Night Raw” (8 p.m., USA) welcomes some “old-school” legends from the sports-entertainment spectacle, including Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley and Triple H.

Other highlights

Michael fibs about the family on “Arrested Development” (8 p.m., Fox).

John Larroquette guest-stars on “Kitchen Confidential” (8:30 p.m., Fox).

“Crossing Jordan” crosses over onto “Las Vegas” (9 p.m., NBC).

There’s a riot going on, on “Prison Break” (9 p.m., Fox).

The Packers and Panthers tangle on “Monday Night Football” (6 p.m., ABC).

The 2003 documentary “Condor: The First War on Terror” (9 p.m., Sundance) looks at the alliance between Latin American military dictatorships formed in the 1970s to fight rebels and crush domestic dissent.

A nightclub nightmare on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS).

Allison sees a woman from the distant past who claims to have envisioned Allison’s present-day reality on “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC).

Cult choice

Jan-Michael Vincent and George Peppard co-star in the 1977 drama “Damnation Alley” (5 p.m., FMC), about a post-apocalyptic road trip (in a van, no less) to Albany, N.Y., to find survivors of a nuclear war.

Series notes

An old lie comes to light on “The King of Queens” (8 p.m., CBS) … The creatures may be behind global warming on “Surface” (8 p.m., NBC) … A slob and a neat woman change places for the 999th time on “Wife Swap” (10 p.m., ABC) … Flex is too popular on “One on One” (8 p.m., UPN) … Simon mulls a change on “7th Heaven” (8 p.m., WB).

Up, up and away on “How I Met Your Mother” (8:30 p.m., CBS) … Robert re-enters the game on “All of Us” (8:30 p.m., UPN).

An intervention on “Two and a Half Men” (9 p.m., CBS) … Toni feels overwhelmed on “Girlfriends” (9 p.m., UPN) … Cosmetic surgery malpractice on “Just Legal” (9 p.m., WB) … Party central on “Out of Practice” (9:30 p.m., CBS) … Dee Dee needs direction on “Half & Half” (9:30 p.m., UPN).

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