Saturday Night Live Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live
11:29/10:29c NBC
Amy, what you wanna do? An old series friend, Amy Poehler, returns to the late-night lampooner as host to kick off the show's 36th season. (Bryan Cranston is on tap to host Oct. 2 and Jane Lynch is slated to host Oct. 9.) Poehler, an SNL trouper from 2001 to 2008 and headliner of the sitcom Parks and Recreation, helps the live-wire gang skewer newsmakers, politics and pop-culture happenings, while colorful pop songstress Katy Perry, whose 2010 CD Teenage Dream hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, takes to the Studio 8H music stage. The new season brings some changes: Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah join the cast as featured players. — Dean Maurer

What the Pope Knew
8/7c CNN
"Critics say and documents show that Pope Benedict's history of dealing with sexual abuse was very troubling," reporter Gary Tuchman says at the top of this disturbing look at how then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger dealt with child sex-abuse cases that came under his purview, first as archbishop of Munich and then as a powerful cardinal in the Vatican. The dispatch includes interviews with Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's prosecutor, and several victims of abuse. — Jeff Gemmill

Sharktopus
9/8c Syfy
If you're only going to watch one film about a shark-octopus hybrid that roars, walks on land and leaves a body count in its wake, then make it this one. Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) plays the Dr. Frankenstein type whose science project for the military goes AWOL in this so-bad-it's-good flick that's ripe with bikini-clad eye-candy, continuity errors and the kind of acting that'll have you rooting for the CGI monster to eat the cast. — Michael Chant

PGA Tour Golf Playoff
Noon/11 a.m. c NBC
There's no need to fret: The FedExCup season may end this weekend, but there's still next week's Ryder Cup and a variety of fall tournaments to enjoy. There is, however, a certain climactic feeling to this  $7.5 million Tour Championship in Atlanta, featured in third-round play. Like, maybe a $10 million prize, given to the overall FedExCup winner. Tiger Woods won it last year; but Phil Mickelson claimed victory in this event, coming from four strokes back after three rounds to win by three shots and claiming $1.35 million for his efforts. — Dave Roeder

College Football
3:30/2:30c NBC
Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck gets his moment in the national spotlight, as Stanford tries for its first 4-0 start since 1986 when it visits Notre Dame. Luck threw for 4 TD passes, and in the eight possessions he played, led his team to 8 TDs. The Irish have a quality passer as well in Dayne Crist, but seem to have a little problem with close games. Their two defeats this season, and their six in 2009, all came by seven points or less. Stanford won 45-38 last season. — Dave Roeder

Up in the Air
8/7c HBO
George Clooney flies the friendly skies — over and over again — in this terrific 2009 adaptation of Walter Kim's novel about a constantly traveling businessman. Ryan Bingham (Clooney) is a workplace assassin: that is, he specializes in firing people from companies that can't do it on their own. Jason Reitman's R-rated dramedy earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director and Actor (Clooney), and Vera Farmiga and got a Supporting Actress nod as one of Bingham's fellow travelers. — Joe Friedrich

The Hurt Locker
8/7c Showtime
This riveting Best Picture winner chronicles the wartime exploits of three U.S. soldiers who specialize in dismantling IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Baghdad. The R-rated 2008 drama is inspired by actual events as recalled by journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal, who was embedded with a special bomb unit in Iraq. As for the film's title, that's the nickname soldiers have for where you recuperate after being injured in an explosion. Kathryn Bigelow's direction and Boal's screenplay also won Oscars, and Jeremy Renner (The Town) copped a much-deserved Best Actor nomination for his intense portrayal of a man addicted to war. — Ray Stackhouse