TV This Weekend

SNL Returns to the Studio For Chris Rock-Hosted Season 46 Premiere

ALSO: The Good Lord Bird, The Walking Dead, Black-ish, The Comedy Store, and more.
  • Chris Rock hosts tonight's Saturday Night Live season premiere. (Photo: NBC)
    Chris Rock hosts tonight's Saturday Night Live season premiere. (Photo: NBC)

    For a 46 year-old institution, Saturday Night Live has seen an awful lot of firsts over the last year. Tonight as it returns to Studio 8H for its first live episode since last March, SNL is set to be the first major show to shoot in front of a live studio audience — albeit one that will have been submitted to a rigorous screening process that includes Covid tests for anyone entering the studio. Also this weekend: HBO has the cable premiere of a 2020 movie that happens to star two SNL vets, Ethan Hawke headlines The Good Lord Bird, and The Walking Dead lumbers its way back to AMC's Sunday schedule with its long-delayed Season 10 finale and the premiere of its newest spinoff. Here's what's new and noteworthy on TV this weekend:

    SATURDAY OCTOBER 3

    SEASON PREMIERE: Chris Rock hosts the Season 46 opener of Saturday Night Live, one that will almost surely include a parody of the first presidential debate, with Jim Carrey set to play Joe Biden, and Alec Baldwin reprising his Donald Trump. The season's inaugural musical guest is Megan Thee Stallion. Watch the teaserAirs live at 11:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM PT on NBC

    CABLE PREMIERE: HBO's big Saturday night movie is Downhill. Based on the 2014 black comedy Force Majeur, the film stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a couple who reevaluate their marriage after a troubling incident on a ski slope in the Alps. Watch the trailer. 8:00 PM ET on HBO

    MADE FOR TV MOVIE: The fall romance Country at Heart follows struggling songwriters Shayna (Jess Schram) and Grady (Niall Matter) as they join forces to write a tune for country star Duke Sterling (Lucas Bryant). Watch the trailer. 9:00 PM ET on Hallmark

    SUNDAY OCTOBER 4

    SERIES PREMIERE: Ethan Hawke stars in the seven-part series The Good Lord Bird. Based on the book by James McBride, the limited series follows abolitionist John Brown (Hawke) as he welcomes a young slave into his circle. Read our review. 9:00 PM ET on Showtime

    SEASON FINALE: The final episode of The Walking Dead's tenth season was delayed by the pandemic, but finally airs tonight as lead in to the franchise's latest spin-off. Watch the preview. 9:00 PM ET on AMC

    SERIES PREMIERE: The new Walking Dead spinoff series The Walking Dead: The World Beyond follows a decidedly younger group of survivors as they make their way through the only world they have ever known. Watch the trailer. 10:00 PM ET on AMC

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: With the 2020 election barreling straight for us, Kenya Barris and the rest of the Black-ish team have gotten creative for the Black-ish Election Special. The broadcast is comprised of two partially animated (and undoubtedly timely) installments set to air back-to-back, beginning at 10:00 PM ET on ABC

    BASKETBALL: The post-season continues with Game 3 of The NBA Finals. Tip-off is at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT on ABC

    DOCUSERIES PREMIERE: Though he's known for writing and directing serious films like The Upside of Anger and Reign Over Me, Mike Binder started out as a young prodigy in the standup comedy world. In his new Showtime docuseries The Comedy Store, Binder returns to the legendary comedy club to recount its long history, examine the storied life of its late owner Mitzi Shore, and reminisce with many of the legends who started their careers there. Watch the trailer. 10:00 PM ET on Showtime

    SEASON PREMIERE: Game of Thrones fans looking for a way to scratch that epic fantasy itch just may find it in Britannia. The show's second season follows a man who could signal the end of creation. Watch the trailer. 9:00 PM ET on Epix

    Mike Attebery is Senior Editor at Primetimer and the author of seven mystery thrillers. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeattebery.

    TOPICS: Saturday Night Live, NBC, Chris Rock