(ALL TIMES ET)
9PM, SAT | HBO – ORIGINAL MOVIE PREMIERE
Cinema Verite – James Gandolfini plays filmmaker Craig Gilbert, the man behind the groundbreaking 1973 documentary An American Family, considered to be the first reality show. The PBS series followed the Loud family, led by dad Bill (Tim Robbins) and mom Pat (Diane Lane), a suburban duo was whose marriage disintegrated on camera. Pat Loud was widely criticized for making the decision to divorce Bill, and for her support of openly gay son Lance (Thomas Dekker), one of the first gay “characters” seen on TV. Verite is a compelling story itself – no one, least of all the Loud family – knew exactly how this new TV format would be received, and putting it into the context of the early ’70s, it still seems a bit shocking that the Louds laid their family life so open for the TV cameras. PS: NYC’s PBS station is airing the original American Family series this weekend, and if you’ve never seen it, it’s also must-see TV; the station’s Website has preview clips of each episode.
9PM, SAT | BBC AMERICA – SEASON 6 PREMIERE
Doctor Who – In part one of the season opener, “The Impossible Astronaut,” The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy, Rory and River Song travel to Utah and the Oval Office, 1969-era, after receiving some TARDIS-colored envelopes with directions. Coolest part: It’s the first time Doctor Who‘s cast has ever shot principal photography in the United States.
10PM, SAT | A&E
Parking Wars – Back-to-back new episodes find a mother and son stirring up a ruckus in Philly, while another driver tries to take off with a boot on his car.
8PM, SUN | CBS
The Amazing Race – The teams hit Switzerland, where they face a double u-turn.
8PM, SUN | VH1
Mob Wives – Is there a guiltier pleasure on TV right now? Nope. So just go ahead and watch, as Karen and Renee continue their meltdown at Carla‘s birthday party, prompting some of the other women to jump in.
9PM, SUN | NBC
The Apprentice – Now that drama magnet Gary Busey‘s gone, methinks this is the week when we finally find out how Star Jones and NeNe Leakes became such bitter enemies, as the two butt heads while working on an ad campaign for a hotel chain.
9PM, SUN | CBS
Beyond the Blackboard – It’s a fact-based story, and yes, you’re going to need a tissue for the inspiring tale, about a teacher who’s challenged to make a school in the basement of a homeless shelter, with few resources. Everwood stars Emily VanCamp and Treat Williams are reunited in the movie, based on the experiences of a woman named Stacey Bess in Salt Lake City.
9PM, SUN | HBO
Game of Thrones – Ned, accompanied by his daughters, heads off to take his place in King Robert’s court, but Catelynn stays behind with Bran.
10PM, SUN | A&E
Breakout Kings – The team has to track two inmates who got the bright idea to escape by poisoning another inmate and sneaking out in the dude’s coffin.
10PM, SUN | BRAVO
The Real Housewives of Orange County – Former castmate Lynne returns and drops a supposedly “shocking” secret, while Slade and Gretchen celebrate her birthday with takeout food and a major gift.
10PM, SUN | HBO – SEASON 2 PREMIERE
Treme – The new season opens on Nov. 1, 2006, with the city still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, especially the police department, which is overwhelmed with the increase in crime.
Worth flipping to during commercials:
– During back-to-back new Til Debt Do Us Part episodes (Sat., 10PM, CNBC), Gail helps a couple who may have to file bankruptcy for a third time;
– The final four head to Las Vegas, where they have to prove their eatery ideas work with a clientele outside Los Angeles on America’s Next Great Restaurant (Sun., 8PM, NBC);
– Challenge: Sugar and Candy Fashion (Sun., 8PM, Food Network) finds chefs whipping up wearable works of sugar art;
– A woman who raised more than 35 foster kids, two biological kids and adopted six more gets a new home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun., 8PM, ABC);
– Carlos forbids Gaby to be friends with Bree after the revelation about Andrew, but Gaby, of course, goes against him on Desperate Housewives (Sun., 9PM, ABC);
– On The Borgias (Sun., 10PM, Showtime), Lucrezia’s solution to her unhappy marriage? A hot young stable boy;
– Sarah and Holder get new evidence from one of Rosie’s teachers on The Killing (Sun., 10PM, AMC);
– Pies, and where to find the yummiest ones, are the subject of the series premiere of Unique Sweets (Sun., 10:30PM, Cooking Channel).
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]