'SNL' TAKES OVER WEEKNIGHT

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Who would have thought a month ago that a half-hour version of Saturday Night Live would be a red-hot TV ticket on Thursday, one the biggest nights for regular series? But that's the case with SNL's Thursday edition, which finished in fifth place among all shows with the key demographic of young adult viewers 18 to 49 last week. And there is another special edition tonight focusing on the presidential election with "Weekend Update" anchors Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers. Poehler is the nearest thing to Tina Fey in comedy these days - and that is saying a lot about her talent. (9:30 p.m., WBAL-Channel 11)

THE CLERIC AND THE MONEY MAN The fourth season of Sundance's Iconoclast series starts tonight with Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and entrepreneur Richard Branson paired up. There is no doubt from their moments together that there is a genuine sense of admiration and friendship between the two, and that attitude permeates the portraits each offers of the other.

But it is hard to understand what it is that Tutu, a Nobel Prize winner, so admires about Branson. Maybe it is me, but there seems to be a real imbalance of power between the two - and to me, that diminishes the yin and yang of Iconoclasts. But the show does celebrate the moral authority of Tutu, and I'll take that. (10 p.m., Sundance) ** 1/2

LATE-NIGHT GUESTS Vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35 p.m., NBC). Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain visits the Late Show with David Letterman (11:35 p.m., CBS).

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