A new season begins with no new Saturday shows to speak of. The big three networks will dedicate the night to movies and reruns and “48 Hours Mystery.” Fox’s Saturday-night lineup has remained unchanged since the mid 1990s, and the WB and UPN networks don’t even bother scheduling anything on Saturday.
Television, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Since the networks began walking away from Saturdays, the Sci Fi network has carved out a nice niche with fascinating and frequently bad creature-feature movies like “Path of Destruction” (9 p.m., Saturday, Sci Fi).
Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years”) stars as an intrepid reporter posing as a worker on an offshore oil rig located somewhere in the Arctic Ocean. She wants to blow the whistle on an evil oil company dumping toxic waste in the water. She’s not prepared for the fact that the company has been experimenting with nanotechnology, unleashing a swarm of tiny, self-replicating mechanical bugs.
Leonardo Di Caprio stars as teenage con man and forgery wizard Frank Abagnale Jr. in the stylish 2002 drama “Catch Me If You Can” (8 p.m., Saturday, ABC). Tom Hanks co-stars as the button-down FBI agent on Abagnale’s trail. Steven Spielberg directed this visual tour de force. Unfortunately, like many recent motion pictures, it’s a brilliant 90-minute movie that clocks in at about two and a half hours.
Ricky Gervais (“The Office”) returns to episodic comedy in “Extras” (10:30 p.m., Sunday, HBO). As in “The Office,” Gervais mines humor from self-deception and delusions of grandeur, or at least talent. He’s Andy Milman, a would-be actor who quits his day job to work as a film extra, all in the hopes of landing a speaking part. The comedy arises from Milman’s petty conversations with fellow extras, most notably Maggie (Ashley Jenson).
Like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (10 p.m., Sunday, HBO), returning for a fifth season this week, “Extras” trades in very small situations and cringe-worthy behavior. It’s not so much laugh-out-loud hilarious as snicker-to-yourself droll. But you’ll probably still find yourself laughing about it on Wednesday, and that alone should have you coming back next week.
The frequently yawn-inducing, ripped-from-yesterday’s-headlines TV film “Martha Behind Bars” (9 p.m., Sunday, CBS) cements its subject’s status as the most over-psychoanalyzed public figure of our time.
Mike rescues Susan on the second-season premiere of “Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m., Sunday, ABC).
As if the weather isn’t enough to talk about, the Weather Channel kicks off a four-hour talk show, “Weekend View” (7 a.m., Weather, Saturday and Sunday).
A wisecracking green ogre woos a beauty in the 2001 animated comedy “Shrek” (8 p.m., NBC).
“Gretchen Wilson Undressed” (9 p.m., CMT) profiles the singer of “Redneck Woman.”
Scheduled on the season premiere of “48 Hours Mystery” (10 p.m., CBS): a serial killer’s “victim” shows up at his trial.
Sunday’s season premieres
Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (7 p.m., CBS): an interview with Roy Hallums, who was held hostage by kidnappers for 10 months in Baghdad; the hunt for Osama Bin Laden; Derek Jeter. This opens the 38th season of the newsmagazine.
A new member of the squad (Sarah Brown) on “Cold Case” (8 p.m., CBS).
Leo receives bad reviews on “The West Wing” (8 p.m., NBC).
Jason Lewis and Kaley Cuoco join the cast of “Charmed” (8 p.m., WB).
Health inspecting can be a killer on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (9 p.m., NBC).
Red tape on “Crossing Jordan” (10 p.m., NBC).
A bartender in need on “Grey’s Anatomy” (10 p.m., ABC).
Scheduled on “Dateline” (7 p.m., NBC): conjoined twins.
“Nick News” (8:30 p.m., Nickelodeon) looks at migrant workers and their families
Old bones on “Cold Case” (8 p.m., CBS) … On back-to-back episodes of “Cops” (Fox), perps in the buff (8 p.m.), smut (8:30 p.m.) … A boat adrift on “Without a Trace” (9 p.m., CBS) … John Walsh hosts “America’s Most Wanted” (9 p.m., Fox) … Life imitates a vicious video game on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10 p.m., NBC).
Milhouse’s scheme on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., Fox), … Up in smoke on “The War at Home” (8:30 p.m., Fox).
Carrie Fisher guest voices on “Family Guy” (9 p.m., Fox) … Between the lines on “American Dad” (9:30 p.m., Fox).
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