Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, September 12, and Saturday, September 13. All times are Eastern.
Z Nation (SyFy, 10 p.m., Friday): Despite the fact that the first episode is called “Puppies And Kittens,” this new SyFy series is actually about zombies (the titular Z stands for “zombies” not “zohmygod baby animals!”). In her pre-air review LaToya Ferguson found this Walking Dead-esque series surprisingly adept at creating suspense despite the limitations of its SyFy budget. Though the show comes from The Asylum—the same studio that brought the world hate-watch fare like Sharknado—Z Nation benefits from a strong pool of actors, including Lost’s Harold Perrineau, Tom Everett Scott, and character actor DJ Qualls. For those who prefer B-horror thrills to prestige character dramas, Z Nation is worth checking out.
Bill Maher: Live From D.C. (HBO, 10 p.m., Friday): Over the course of an evening that really should have been called Mr. Maher Goes To Washington, the political comedian first premieres the 12th season of his live show Real Time With Bill Maher then rushes to another D.C. venue for this live standup special. Hardcore Maher fans, consider this your Super Bowl.
Deliverance Creek (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Genevieve Valentine already took a gander at this new Lifetime original movie about a widow in the Wild West. She found it heavy on the tropes but enjoyable nevertheless. Thank ya kindly Ms. V, that was mighty thoughtful of ya.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): Showrunner Steven Moffat pens an episode that promises to be one of the spookiest entries in the Who franchise. Alasdair Wilkins is already practicing the quickest path to hide behind his sofa.
Intruders (BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday): While we were initially intrigued by the mystery of Intruders, its slow-burn is just a little too slow for regular coverage. We’ll be dropping weekly reviews of the show starting this week, but be sure to revisit Genevieve Valentine’s reviews of the first three episodes!
The Knick (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday)
Outlander (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday)
TV Club Classic
Babylon 5 (10 a.m., Friday): After years of dedicated service in the name of The A.V. Club, Rowan Kaiser files his last review as a full-time freelancer before heading off to Winter Is Coming (where we recommend he avoid any and all weddings). Wish him bon voyage by checking out his review of the excellent Babylon 5 series finale, “Sleeping In The Light.” (And wish Zack Handlen well while he gets some grease paint in his veins and takes a Twilight Zone hiatus that means you’ll have to wait a few more weeks to read his thoughts on the show’s second “evil ventriloquist dummy” episode.)
Elsewhere in TV Club
TV Club is quiet this weekend as we rest up before tackling the return of fall TV, but there’s plenty to be found elsewhere on The A.V. Club. Our writers reveal their dream sports entrance songs, Jason Heller has a Primer on the albums of Queen, and Cameron Esposito talks about her fiancée and fellow comic Rhea Butcher.
What else is on?
Adam Devine’s House Party (Comedy Central, 12:30 a.m., Friday): After premiering on Tuesday, the second season of Adam Devine’s House Party settles into a more appropriate party hour.
Secrets Of Fashion Week (E!, 8 p.m., Friday): We’re unsure exactly what secrets Fashion Week contains but we’re hoping they involve aliens, chupacabras, and/or the Loch Ness monster.
48 Hours: Oscar Pistorius The Verdict (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): Sensationalism reigns supreme as this new episode of 48 Hours charts the case of inspiring Olympian-turned-accused-murderer, Oscar Pistorius. The special will examine the courtroom verdict (although he definitely won’t be found guilty of premeditated murder) and feature interviews with Pistorius’ former girlfriend.
Utopia (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): Fox’s strange reality show follows (mostly naked) strangers trying to form a utopian society over the course of one year. While it garnered some interest on its Sunday debut, its Tuesday time slot premiere plummeted in the ratings. It remains to be seen whether a second hour aired on Fridays will be enough to keep Utopia afloat.
Reckless (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): The two-part season finale of this legal drama promises to be “shocking,” “unexpected,” “dramatic,” and “sexy.” Tune in if you enjoy any of those things.
Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial Of Our National Anthem (PBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): This show promises real fireworks plus the fireworks that are sure to ignite between hosts John Lithgow and Jordin Sparks.
Hook (BBC American, 8 p.m., Friday): Another one to add to the Robin Williams rewatch list. Best served with imaginary food and chants of “Rufio! Rufio!”
Steel Magnolias (CMT, 5:30 p.m., Friday): Cry, laugh, and cry some more (mostly at Julia Robert’s terrible hairdo) in this 1989 dramedy about the power of female friendships.
Belle De Jour (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): A 1967 French drama about a wealthy wife who becomes a high-class prostitute. Oh la la.
WNBA Finals: Game 3: Phoenix at Chicago (ESPN2, 8 p.m., Friday): Athletic women! Competition! Teamwork! What’s not to like?
College Football: Purdue vs. Notre Dame (NBC, 7:30 p.m., Saturday): Athletic men! Competition! Teamwork! What’s not to like?
In case you missed it
You’re The Worst: Don’t take this show’s title as a personal attack, but do read Vikram Murthi’s weekly reviews of it!