Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, The CW)
Winchesters, meet Colt! As in: the real Samuel Colt, whose infamous demon-destroying gun has loomed large throughout Supernatural's mythology. This week, Dean gets to play cowboy — Sam is less thrilled — when Castiel sends the brothers back in time to the Wild West to get some guidance from the proverbial horse's mouth. Speaking of weapons, over on Fox's Fringe in the same time period, an apocalyptic scenario is triggered when Walternate revs up the doomsday device "over there," in hopes of rocking our (and specifically Peter's) world.
Cinema Verite (Saturday, 9/8c, HBO)
A starry cast (Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini) brings to life the controversial making of the revolutionary PBS docu-series An American Family, the infamous '70s precursor to today's celeb-reality exploitation glut. (The entire original 12-part series will be broadcast in marathons Sunday and Monday, starting at noon/ET on the public-TV distributed WORLD channel.) Lane and Robbins play California cosmopolitans Pat and Bill Loud, whose marriage crumbles under the camera's scrutiny, while producer Craig Gilbert (Gandolfini) clashes with his crew regarding where and whether to draw the line in exposing this family's skeletons.
Doctor Who (Saturday, 9/8c, BBC America)
Going where no Time Lord has gone before, the new season of this blissfully fanciful series opens with a two-parter, filmed for the first time in Who history in the United States. The adventure reunites the Doctor (the charmingly daffy Matt Smith) with Amy Pond, Rory and River Song as they land in the middle of the Utah desert — filmed in the iconic Monument Valley — and pay a visit to the Nixon White House circa 1969. Even the legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong plays a role in this fable, as our heroes once again race time to save the world from an alien threat.
Treme (Sunday, 10/9c, HBO)
Feeling as journalistic as it is dramatic, this post-Katrina New Orleans drama returns for its second season, with a sprawling cast of colorful characters (played magnificently by a cast including Oscar winner Melissa Leo, Khandi Alexander, Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters) still struggling to rebuild their lives as crime runs rampant in this underfunded city. Life is hard in NOLA, but there are always compensating pleasures of food and music in a series boasting one of TV's best and jazziest soundtracks.
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