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Tuning in: On TV this week.

Sunday Oct. 31

Witch Hunt (History Channel, 8-9:30 p.m.): There is nothing glamorous about the sad moment in American history when several men and women were convicted of practicing witchcraft in Salem, Mass. This engrossing documentary does its best to demystify the period even if it unfairly characterizes the early American Puritans as fundamentalists. The story is a cautionary tale about the impulse to persecute others.

Wednesday Nov. 3

Regency House (PBS, continuing through Nov. 24, check local listings): In this unusual reality series, 10 young men and women arrive in a gorgeous English country house and try to court each other in the traditional manner of the early 19th century. The constraints of propriety in high society are suffocating for the women, but somewhat more fun for the guys.

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The Young Visitors (BBC America, 8 p.m.): Based on the 1919 novel by 9-year-old Daisy Ashford, the charming drama is about a lonely young man who tries to better himself to win the love of a social-climbing lady. Unfortunately, the woman has plans of her own. Jim Broadbent, Lyndsay Marshal, Hugh Laurie, and Bill Nighy star in this broadly drawn, droll, and mildly disturbing vision of Victorian society.

Thursday Nov. 4

The O.C. (Fox, 8-9 p.m.): The melodrama picks up where we were left hanging at the end of last season. Ryan left town to protect his ex-girlfriend from her ex-boyfriend. Seth had run away from home because adopted brother Ryan left. And all the grown-ups were in social and/or legal hassles. As hackneyed as this sounds, an accomplished cast and tight writing make "The O.C." a pleasure for soap-opera buffs.


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