• In "Dead Again," a docu-series from Dick Wolf premiering on A&E on Oct. 2, real detectives investigate controversial and unresolved murder cases, reconstructing crime scenes and interviewing witnesses to uncover new evidence, proving or disproving the original verdict.

• The most misunderstood dog breed and ex-cons in need of a boost have a savior in Tia Torres, who returns in the sixth season of Animal Planet's "Pitbulls & Parolees" on Oct. 4.

• From birds of paradise to bush babies, all sorts of out-of-the-ordinary pets flock to veterinarian Dr. Susan Kelleher's Florida clinic for care, and her practice is the subject of the Nat Geo Wild series "Dr.K's Exotic Animal ER" premiering Oct. 4.

• The latest twist on the strangers-stuck-in-the-wilderness reality genre, Discovery's "Tethered" chains two polar opposites together in a harsh environment with a six-foot line between them and no escape. If you're thinking "worst nightmare," it is — for the participants, but not for the viewer. The sparks start flying on Oct. 5.

Contestants on Tethered

Two mismatched contestants must rough it in the wilderness on Discovery's "Tethered." (Photo: Discovery)

• The Cambodian city of Angkor was mysteriously abandoned 600 years ago, but some of its mysteries come to light for the first time, thanks to modern technology in the two-part special "Angkor Revealed," premiering Oct. 5 on Smithsonian Channel. Scientists employing a topography-sensing laser to map the terrain create a three-dimensional CGI model of the city, revealing how it appeared, what life there was like, and what may have caused its demise.

• Extreme, unexplained weather phenomena and local myths, legends and ghost stories mix in the new eight-part series "American Super/Natural," which premieres on Weather Channel Oct. 5, preceding the second season premiere of "Strangest Weather On Earth."

• The off-the-grid survival story of the Kilcher clan continues with preparations for winter in the fifth season of Discovery's "Alaska: The Last Frontier," premiering Oct. 5.

• Even though Russia legalized homosexuality 21 years ago, prejudice and violence against gay people forces them to live in fear, remaining closeted, while anti-gay vigilantes go unpunished. Premiering Oct. 6 on HBO and narrated by Matt Bomer ("The Normal Heart"), the documentary "Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia" exposes this dire situation.

• Nearly seven months since Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared without a trace, the "Nova" special "Why Planes Vanish" employs experts and CG simulations to analyze theories and present promising new technologies that may prevent similar occurrences. It premieres Oct. 8 on PBS.

• As the spread of ebola and enterovirus underlines, killer bugs are pervasive and real, and "Monsters Inside Me" provides more — though rare — reasons to worry. The series returns to Animal Planet Oct. 9, telling harrowing tales of people infected by bacteria, parasites and viruses and providing tips on avoiding these microscopic invaders.

• There are well-known legends about children raised by animals in the wild — Mowgli, Tarzan and Romulus and Remus come to mind. But feral children really do exist, and they're the subjects of "Raised Wild," premiering Oct. 9 on Animal Planet.

• Feline behaviorist Jackson Galaxy returns to wrangle ferocious, finicky and otherwise badly behaved kitties in a new season of "My Cat From Hell," premiering Oct. 11 on Animal Planet.

• Millionaire entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis returns to CNBC Oct. 14 to save nine more struggling businesses in "The Profit," making them over with his cash and expertise. The season will include an update episode revisiting companies Lemonis previously helped.

• Pandas, purple frogs and three-toed sloths are among the most unusual creatures on Earth, and the "Nature" special "Animal Misfits" shows how they and other evolutionary anomalies got here and survive today. It premieres Oct. 15 on PBS.

• We all know about the impact of inventions like the telephone, computer chip and automobile, but what about lesser-known but no less important innovations and the people who created them? Hosted by author Steven Johnson, PBS's "How We Got to Now" celebrates both in a series premiering Oct. 15.

• Airing on Animal Planet Oct. 18, "America's Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween" showcases pets dressed up as Disney characters, vying for the title of Grand Marshal in the Disney Halloween Parade. John O'Hurley hosts the special from Disney World.

• In the Namibian desert, where water is scarce, food is limited, and life is harsh, lions, elephants, meerkats and giraffes struggle to survive. It's a story captured on camera for Nat Geo Wild's "Namibia's Skeleton Coast," premiering Oct. 19.

• "The Real Apes of the Planet" illustrates just how much in common we have with our closest primate relatives in an Animal Planet special that premieres Oct. 21.

• While the title "Ben Franklin's Balloons" is somewhat misleading — Franklin's role is merely a witness to and documenter and champion of historic events — this "Nova" special about the pioneers of hot-air balloon flight will interest aviation buffs and surprise anyone that thinks the Wright Brothers were the first to fly. It premieres Oct. 22 on PBS.

• In addition to hosting his weekday TV show, Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon who performs 100 heart operations a year. That aspect of his life is the subject of "Surgeon Oz," a 10-part series premiering Oct. 23 on OWN with two episodes featuring complicated cases.

•  On Oct. 26, National Geographic Channel will run a Day of Expedition marathon, taking viewers around the globe with a block of exploration programming beginning at noon and including the premiere of the two-hour special "Mammoths Unearthed," following scientists' efforts to research mammoths preserved in the Siberian permafrost. 

The stars of Mammoths Unearthed

Timothy King and Trevor Valle in the Zoological Institute of St Petersburg, Russia, as part of "Mammoth Unearthed." (Photo: Alasdair May/National Geographic Channels)

• World War I was the first conflict in which aviation played a role, and "Nova" explores the impact of these early flying machines in "The First Air War," premiering on PBS Oct. 29.

• What do the Ground Zero flag from 9/11, the pillbox hat Jackie Kennedy wore the day JFK was assassinated, Harry Truman's sword collection and John Dillinger's machine gun have in common? They're all missing, and author Brad Meltzer is on a mission to find these and other lost or stolen historical treasures in H2's "Brad Meltzer's Lost History." In the series, premiering Oct. 31, Meltzer will solicit tips from viewers, offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the recovery of the artifacts.

Related on MNN:

23 shows to watch in October
Unusual animals, wacky weather, survivalists, missing artifacts, lost cities and Dr. Oz populate the shows we'll be watching this month.