Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, October 3, and Saturday, October 4. All times are Eastern.
Star Wars Rebels (Disney, 9 p.m., Friday): While Disney has been slowly milking its acquisition of the Star Wars franchise with a toy line and a few references on Once Upon A Time (and of course the upcoming J.J. Abrams films), the first notable piece of Disney/Lucasfilms synergy debuts this Friday in the form of a brand new animated show. Bridging the gap between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Rebels depicts the rise of the Galactic Empire and the formation of a fledging Rebel Alliance. The new series kicks off with a one-hour movie called Spark Of Rebellion on the Disney Channel this Friday before the series proper launches on Disney XD October 13. Although aiming to be a little more lighthearted than the much-beloved Clone Wars, early reviews have praised Star Wars Rebels for capturing the tone of the original films. Fans will be reassured to know the series has already been picked up for a second season.
Transparent (2 p.m., Friday): The entirety of Amazon’s much-lauded show hit the Internet last weekend, but Eric Thurm is forgoing the binge-watch to review the show on a weekly basis. This week he examines episodes three and four while dissecting the performative nature of gender, because of course he does.
Survivor’s Remorse (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): LeBron James trades basketballs for Nielsen boxes with his first foray into the TV business. James is one of the executive producers for this new Starz series that follows a basketball player dealing with overnight success in a high-profile career. Race and poverty are just a few of the hot button topics discussed in a show that is remarkably a half-hour comedy and not an hour-long drama.
Gravity Falls (Disney, 9 p.m., Saturday): We can never keep track of this show’s eclectic airing schedule, but it turns out the latest Gravity Falls episode is airing Saturday night on The Disney Channel ahead of its Disney XD debut on Monday. It’s titled “Little Gift Shop Of Horrors” and Alasdair Wilkins would like to remind you that under no circumstances should you feed the plants (whatever they offer you).
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Always controversial Sarah Silverman and recently controversial Maroon 5 return to Saturday Night Live this weekend. Walking SNL encyclopedia Dennis Perkins would like to remind you that Sarah Silverman spent a year as a writer and performer for SNL back in 1993, Maroon 5 has previously performed on the show four times, and frontman Adam Levine hosted back in 2013.
The Knick (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday)
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday)
TV Club Classic
Doctor Who (Classic) (2 p.m., Saturday): Saturdays featuring double-header reviews of both Classic Who and New Who are a rare occurrence so savior this one while you can Whovians. Alasdair Wilkins looks at the creepy happenings in the new episode “Kill The Moon,” while Christopher Bahn time travels back to 1978 to revisit the Fourth Doctor adventure, “The Stones Of Blood.”
Elsewhere in TV Club
Mulaney premieres on Sunday and Erik Adams watched the first four episodes for his pre-air review. He found a lot of potential in comedian John Mulaney’s eponymous sitcom, particularly because the show continues to improve on its shaky start in each subsequent episode. Elsewhere the staff share pop culture that made them cry and Will Harris sits down with The Knick’s Matt Frewer for a new Random Roles.
What else is on?
Creative Galaxy (Amazon, 12 a.m., Friday): This kids’ show introduces art and creative thinking to preschoolers. After releasing the first six episodes last May, Amazon debuts the second half of the first season.
Last Man Standing (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): Let out a Home Improvement-style grunt of excitement: Last Man Standing is back for a fourth season!
On The Menu (TNT, 8 p.m., Friday): Ty Pennington and Emeril Lagasse host this new TNT reality show that gives “regular” chefs the chance to have their dishes served in major restaurant chains. The gimmick here is that viewers will actually get to taste the food made on the show the very next day—should they be brave enough to venture into a Chili’s, Denny’s, or Cheesecake Factory.
Please Like Me (Pivot, 10:30 p.m., Friday): It’s the penultimate episode of Please Like Me’s second season, which means we’re able to fulfill our contractual obligation to use the word “penultimate” in every A.V. Club article.
Cedar Cove (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): After a season full of drama, romance, and cardigans, Cedar Cove reaches the end of its second season.
The Graham Norton Show (BBC America, 11 p.m., Saturday): Compared to the rehearsed air of their American counterparts, British talk shows feel delightfully unhinged. The Graham Norton Show kicks off its 16th season with guests Denzel Washington and Peter Capaldi.
The African Queen (TCM, 8p.m., Friday): Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart battle leeches, Germans, and each other in this 1951 classic. Much of the film was shot on location in Uganda and the Congo where Lauren Bacall famously tagged along to hang out with her husband on the film’s dangerous set.
The Princess Bride (ABC Family, 8 p.m., Friday): It’s hard to choose a favorite line from this oh-so-quotable 1987 romantic fairytale. Our pick: “Stop rhyming and I mean it.” “Anybody want a peanut?”
Clueless (MTV, 8 p.m., Saturday): Not only is this ’90s classic a great send-up of privileged high school culture, it’s a remarkably solid adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.
MLB Playoff: Division Series (TBS, 6 p.m., Friday): Despite the lack of participation from the rest of the world, American and National teams face off in this quarterfinal game to decide who goes on to play in the World Series.
College Football: Nebraska at Michigan State (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Nebraska and Michigan State face off for Big Ten bragging rights. The Nebraska Cornhuskers remain the only unbeaten team in the Big Ten, but they’re considered the underdogs in this high-profile game.
In case you missed it
Gracepoint: Broadchurch hops across the pond, ditching the British accents and Olivia Coleman but keeping David Tennant and pretty much everything else. Gwen Ihnat shares her thoughts on the show’s (very familiar) first episode.