Dexter Dexter

Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, the CW)
Cult alert: This long-running horror show moves to a new night. The story picks up a year after last season's apocalyptic finish, with Sam mysteriously emerging from his hellish purgatory to interrupt brother Dean's domestic bliss. Time to rejoin the fight against evil, this time with the help of their mother's family, led by Grandfather Samuel (The X-Files' Mitch Pileggi). Supernatural follows the final-season premiere of Smallville (8/7c), which is titled "Lazarus" and features a guest appearance by John Schneider as the fallen Jonathan Kent. Sounds like it's going out with a bang.

Sharktopus (Saturday, 9/8c, Syfy)
Now to the silly side of the genre pool, as Syfy — with the invaluable aid of legendary B-movie cheese merchant Roger Corman — unleashes its latest ridiculous mutant monster on an eager audience of camp aficionados. "You just unleashed an 8-legged man-eating shark on the world!" cries a bystander as mad scientist Eric Roberts shrugs off the bloody antics of his genetically altered beast. The gore is so effusive it often hits the camera lens — the better to obscure the horrific acting and puke-pulp writing.

The Amazing Race (Sunday, 8:30/7:30c, CBS)
A super-sized premiere (following a 90-minute version of 60 Minutes) of the globe-trotting reality competition kicks off in high style, with a new reward twist introduced while teams race to London and Stonehenge (which means learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the road) and go medieval with some Olde England-style challenges. (You may have already seen the infamous YouTube video in which one of the contestants gets smacked in the face with a reverse-catapulted watermelon. Ouch!)

Dexter (Sunday, 9/8c, Showtime)
There's a sick thrill, as season five of this riveting psychological thriller begins, to see the grieving Dexter at a funeral parlor—shades of Michael C. Hall's earlier series, Six Feet Under — as he muses, "So this is how normal people do it. No Hefty bags, no diesel fumes." Naturally, Dexter Morgan won't be experiencing the usual stages of grief, and survivor guilt is something of a new emotion as well. Hall is masterfully intense in his brooding and bottled-up rage as the new season builds suspense in wondering just when and how Dexter will crack. Don't miss it.

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