The 48th season of Saturday Night Live returns with a significantly smaller cast. AMC doubles down on horror with the premiere of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and the beginning of the last leg of The walking dead. CBS adds to the gruesome drama East New York to his Sunday lineup. Family conflict intensifies on HBO’s House of the Dragon. A compiled critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Saturday Night Live
SATURDAY: Live from New York, it is … no longer the home for Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villeseñor, Chris Redd and Aristoteles Athari, who have all left the famous ensemble. A transition 48th season opens with first guest host Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick) and musical guest Kendrick Lamar (his third visit) with a smaller, but still robust, cast of regulars. Hoping to make an impression this year are four new featured players: Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
Interview with the Vampire
SUNDAY: Atmospheric and erotically charged, Anne Rice’s masterpiece of lust and bloodlust is adapted into a contemporary series presented as a do-over interview between Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and a murdered journalist (Eric Bogosian) whom he has sent to Dubai strives to shed more light on his immortal condition. The story then travels back to New Orleans of the early 1900s, where Black and dense Louis operates a brothel in Storyville, where he catches the attention of the old vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid). The rest is supernatural literary history. AMC has already renewed the series for a second season, with a series version of Rice’s “Mayfair Witches” novels coming in 2023. (See the full review.)
The walking dead
SUNDAY: Remember when she used to mostly fight zombies? The hit horror franchise enters the third and final leg of its extended 24-episode final season with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the gang going up against the Commonwealth’s murderously craven Director of Operations, Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). While our heroes try to stop this creep from taking revenge on their families, back in the Commonwealth there is a popular uprising that arises in response to the newly exposed crimes of the governor’s son Sebastian Milton (Theo Rapp-Olsson), such a villain he makes Lance look like Lancelot.
East New York
SUNDAY: One of the fall season’s stronger new dramas, from former producers of NYPD BlueStars Amanda Warren as reform-minded Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood, newly installed commanding officer of the 74th Precinct on the mean streets of East New York. Just how mean becomes clear in the action-packed opening sequence, when she chases after a shooter who has just taken down a tourist and security guard. Regina, settling into her new job, juggles city politics with her own revolutionary policy on community policing. The unusually strong supporting cast includes NYPD Blue alum Jimmy Smits as their Chief, Richard Kind lighter as their executive officer, Orange is the new black‘s Elizabeth Rodriguez and Kevin Rankin as the team’s top detectives and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as a veteran training officer who knows how the neighborhood works. While sanctimonious at times, this rises above the procedural tide with its problem-oriented approach to a city besieged by violence.
House of the Dragon
SUNDAY: Mourning has broken across Westeros, and as the royal family gathers to lay poor Laena to rest after her illness, it doesn’t take long for resentment and rivalry to arise. “Each of us is capable of destruction… more than you would believe,” muses Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) to her not-quite-green uncle Daemon (Matt Smith). Believe me, we believe. And at the end of this episode, the destruction these Targaryens exhibit would make a dragon. Speaking of which, an illegal dragon ride provides the thrilling highlight of the hour.
Inside Weekend TV:
- George to the Rescue (Saturday, syndicated to NBC stations, check local listings): The home makeover show milestone 150th episode features George Oliphant‘s renovation of a house in Montclair, NJ to make room for the Ukrainian relatives of a family who fled the war-torn country.
- Fixing Us (Saturday, syndicated to NBC-owned stations, check local listings; Sunday, 4 p.m./3c on Cozi TV): The health and wellness docuseries ends its season with the moving story of a Puerto Rican grandmother in the Bronx who’ t suffers from hypothyroidism, whose son helps her lose weight and joins her in dance lessons, with the aim of salsaing her way back to health.
- Trilogy of Terror (Saturday, 7 p.m./6c, MEtv): Horror host Svengoolie’s month-long “Halloween BOOnanza” celebration is a performance of Dan Curtis‘ 1975 horror classic, climaxing with Karen Black going to war against a demonic Zuni fetish doll. Followed by Svengoolie Uncrypted (9/8c), a celebration of the host’s four-decade career, and the hour-long premiere of Season 2 of the animated Sventoonie (10/9c).
- The story of Gabby Petito (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): Literally ripped from the headlines, the docudrama chronicles the ill-fated cross-country journey of future travel influencer Gabby Petito (Skyler Samuels) and fiancé-turned-assassin Brian Laundrie (Evan Arthur Hall). Directed by Thora Birch, who also plays Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt. Follow through a Beyond the Headlines documentary at 10/9c.
- Metropolis (Saturday, 8/7c, Turner Classic Movies): Robots are the “star of the month,” with mechanical scene-stealers the focus every Saturday night. The greeting begins with Fritz Langhis 1927 dystopian classic, featuring the iconic robot Maria, followed by Forbidden Planet (10:45/9:45c) from 1956 with the beloved Robby the Robot (a precursor to Lost in space‘s Robot) with the help of 23rd-century astronauts on the distant Altair IV.
- Yvonne Orji: A Whole Me (Saturday, 10/9c, HBO): The Emmy nominee uncertain star returns to the stand-up stage in a special with scripted vignettes, using therapy as a springboard for her riffs on friendship, dating and adulthood.
- 60 minutes (Sunday, 7:30/6:30c, 7 p.m./PT, CBS): Scott Pelley interviews the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. Jon Wertheim profiles Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s first Black rugby captain. Bill Whitaker visits California’s Grizzly Flats a year after the devastating Caldor fire.
- America’s Funniest Home Videos (Sunday, 7/6c, ABC): A live audience returns after two years to welcome the 33rd season of ABC’s longest-running prime-time entertainment show, doubling the weekly prize money for winning videos. Followed by the second quarter final of Celebrity Jeopardy! (9/8c), with comedians Reggie Watts and Iliza Shlesinger and chef Eddie Huang.
- ESPN Sunday Night Baseball (Sunday, 7 p.m. / ET): The Mets battle the Braves for the National League East title in the franchise’s season finale.
- Supreme Power: Within the highest court in the land (Sunday, 8/7c, CNN): On the eve of the polarizing Supreme Court’s new term, Fareed Zakaria reports on the explosive decision to overturn Roe v. Wade among other radical moves of the conservative court to reverse.
- The Equalizer (Sunday, 8:30/7:30c, 8 p.m./PT, CBS): This time, Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) is the one who needs help after being kidnapped, and in the season 3 opener , her colleagues and family – including teen daughter Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes)-rally to save the Equalizer.
- Family law (Sunday, 8/7c, The CW): Firefly‘s Jewel Staite stars in a generic Canadian legal drama as a disgraced but annoyingly sleazy hot mess of an alcoholic lawyer serving her probation at her disapproving father’s (Victor Garber) family law firm, working alongside her unwelcome half-siblings . Will she follow the rules? Have you ever watched TV? Followed by the premiere of Season 4 of Canadian crime drama Coroner (9/8c), where Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan) is on sabbatical to recover from tragedy, when a young boy’s body washes up on a beach and she’s back in business.
- Court TV Presents: Rampage Killers (Sunday, 9 p.m./8c, Court TV): On the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a documentary produced by anchor Ted Rowlands explores the psyche and motivations of a rampage killer, with police bodycam footage of the tragic massacre.
- Nothing can stand against it (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): A new interview with controversial singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor brings perspective to this documentary profile of the groundbreaking Irish activist.