Are Saturday nights where network shows go to die? NBC’s “Smash” makes the case for that assumption. On the other hand, the competition for cable viewers seems to be heating up. AMC recently announced that when its ambitious Western “Hell on Wheels” returns in August, it wouldn’t air on Sunday nights, like the channel’s other original series do, but on Saturday nights. AMC found that it already had a solid audience for Western movies on Saturday afternoons and evenings, and “Wheels” would appeal to that crowd.
Lifetime has also moved many ambitious, original projects to Saturday nights, including “Call Me Crazy” (7 p.m.), a star-studded ensemble piece with overlapping stories about families coping with mental illness. Jennifer Hudson, Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo, Brittany Snow and Sarah Hyland star.
HBO has long used Saturday nights to showcase prestigious original films. Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn star in the 2013 drama “Mary and Martha” (7 p.m.) as mothers from different continents who lose their sons to malaria in Africa and turn their grief into a shared mission to eradicate a preventable disease.
• Wendie Malick (“Hot in Cleveland”) plays a scorned wife accused of her soon-to-be ex-husband’s murder in the 2013 dark comedy “After All These Years” (7 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark Movie Channel). Luckily, her habit of watching reality shows and true-crime series like “48 Hours” and “Dateline NBC” have given her the detective skills to go on the lam and find the real killer. Andrea Martin (“SCTV”) co-stars in this pleasant and silly, if none-too-subtle romp.
Saturday’s other highlights
• Hauntings galore on “Doctor Who” (7 p.m., BBC America).
• Ivy has opening-night jitters on “Smash” (8 p.m., NBC).
• Sarah is distracted from her meeting with her daughter on “Orphan Black” (8 p.m., BBC America).
• “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (8 p.m., CNN) visits Koreatown in Los Angeles.
• Proud and occasionally eccentric owners tout their castles on “Four Houses” (8 p.m. and 9p.m., TLC).
• Scheduled on “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS): criminal muscle.
• Elijah Wood, Ben Schwartz, Kumail Nanjiani and Katie Crown appear on “The Nerdist” (9 p.m., BBC America).