Saturday TV: Serena Tries For 24th Win

serenaIt’s Serena Williams vs. Bianca Andreescu in the women’s singles final at the U.S. Open (ESPN, 4 p.m.).

Otherwise, today is all about college football, with its first big Saturday of games and two of them dominating broadcast prime time:  LSU at Texas (ABC, 7:30 p.m.) and Buffalo at Penn State (Fox, 7:30 p.m.). (Other games are listed below).

Quidditch, meanwhile, is the sport of choice on its broadcast competition, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Saoirse Ronan is “Mary, Queen of Scots” (HBO, 8 p.m.) and Margot Robbie is Queen Elizabeth I in the film making its premium cable premiere, after another period royalty saga “The Favourite” (HBO, 5:55 p.m.).

Sure, you may be enjoying the lavish puppet project “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” (Netflix, streaming), but what about the puppet/human world in last year’s “The Happytime Murders” (Epix, 9 p.m.), also making its cable premiere. Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks and Maya Rudolph star among the puppets (also from the Jim Henson Company) in the crude comedy that got terrible reviews.

Maiara Walsh stars as a 31-year-old woman who pretends to be her own daughter in order to fulfill her dream of being a popular cheerleader on the TV movie “Identity Theft of a Cheerleader” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.). Gail O’Grady portrays her abusive mother and the movie also features Karis Cameron, Jesse Irving and Naika Toussaint. It follows a replay of “The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders” (Lifetime, 6 p.m.).  They clearly have a thing for cheerleaders.

The daughter of Rowdy Roddy Piper competes in season two of “WOW- Women of Wrestling” (AXS TV, 8 p.m.).

There’s a new stand up special, “Gary Owen: #DoinWhatIDo” (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.), shot in San Antonio.

“Patrick Swayze: Ghosts and Demons” (Reelz, 9 p.m.) recounts the actor who died a decade ago this week.

A tiger returns to “The Zoo: San Diego” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.).

Chelsea’s princess dress goes missing on “Say Yes to the Dress” (TLC, 8 p.m.).

Melody meets with a divorce attorney on “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” (OWN, 9 p.m.). Love is also the topic on “OWN Spotlight: Black Women OWN the Conversation” (OWN, 10 p.m.), a heavily branded talk show.

Saturday nights are such a wasteland, networks apparently recut recent episodes of their popular shows into three-hour, full night slogs of “Ghost Adventures” (Travel, 9 p.m.) and “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery, 9 p.m.). And “Ancient Aliens: Declassified” (History, 8 p.m.) is longer than “Gone with the Wind,” continuing until after midnight.

There is also three hours of going “Inside 9/11” (National Geographic 9 pm.) on the week of its 18th anniversary. The occasion also brings “9/11: The Day that Changed the World” (Smithsonian, 8 p.m.) and “The Hunt for Bin Laden” (Smithsonian, 10 p.m.).

On a pair of episodes of “Restaurant: Impossible” (Food, 9 and 10 p.m.), bistros in Indiana and New York are helped.

“American Pie” (Cinemax, 8 p.m.) is paired with “American Pie 2” (Cinemax, 9:40 p.m.); “The Fast and the Furious” (Starz, 8 p.m.) is followed by “2 Fast 2 Furious” (Starz, 9:49 p.m.).

“Finding Nemo” (Freeform, 7:15 p.m.) is followed by “Finding Dory” (Freeform, 9:45 p.m.). Other animated features include Ratatouille” (Disney, 8 p.m.)

The only way to make “The Devil Wears Prada” (E!, 9 p.m.) a two and a half hour movie is to stuff it with 40 minutes of commercials. “Captain America: Civil War” (USA, 8 p.m.) runs three hours.

A couple of films about inspirational teachers are on Turner Classic Movies, “Sounder” (8 p.m.) and “Bright Road” (10 p.m.). They are followed by the 12 o’clock noir, “The Big Clock” (midnight), followed by “House of Usher” (2 a.m.) and “Ringo and His Golden Pistol” (3:30 a.m.).

College football’s first full Saturday includes, at noon: Syracuse at Maryland (ESPN), Old Dominion at Virginia Tech (ESPNU), Cincinnati at Ohio State (ABC), Army at Michigan (Fox), Rutgers at Iowa (Fox Sports 1), West Virginia at Missouri (ESPN2) and UAB at Akron (CBS Sports).

Games at 3:30 p.m. include Texas A&M at Clemson (ABC), Nebraska at Colorado (Fox), Southern Mississippi at Mississippi State (ESPNU), Illinois at Connecticut (CBS Sports) and Grambling at Louisiana Tech (NFL).

Then comes Murray State at Georgia (ESPN2, 4 p.m.), Central Florida at Florida (CBS Sports), 7 p.m.), BYU at Tennessee (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Tulane at Auburn (EPN2, 7:30 p.m.), Tennessee Martin at Florida (EPNU, 7:30 p.m.), California at Washington (Fox Sports 1, 10:30 p.m.), Stanford at Southern Cal (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) and Minnesota at Fresno State (CBS Sports, 10:30 p.m.).

Baseball includes Yankees at Boston (Fox Sports 1, 4 p.m.), Philadelphia at Mets (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m.) and San Francisco at Dodgers (MLB, 9 p.m.).

NASCAR runs its Indiana 250 (NBC Sports, 3 p.m.).

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue play “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 11 p.m., check local listings).

Halsey is host and performer on a rerun of “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.).

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