THE WALKING DEAD: Some members of the group venture on a bizarre but useful mission. (Gene Page/AMC)

Inspired by real-life events, “Happy Face Killer” (Lifetime at 8 p.m.) follows the hunt and capture of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, who murdered at least eight women in the 1990s and earned his nickname after taunting authorities with notes inscribed with a morbid happy face. Stars David Arquette and Gloria Reuben.

Patton Oswalt will be the wise-cracking host of the “2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards” (IFC at 10), awarding statuettes inside a beachfront tent in Santa Monica, Calif.

Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” serves as host on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC at 11:30), with musical guest Beck.

Sunday talk shows: “Platts Energy Week” (WUSA at 8 a.m.) interviews Association of American Railroads’s Edward Hamberger; “BioCentury This Week” (WUSA at 8:30) features National Institutes of Health’s Francis Collins; “Fox News Sunday” (Fox at 9) hosts Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio); “White House Chronicle” (WETA at 9) has the Rev. John Higginbotham; “State of the Union” (CNN at 9) features former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

“Government Matters” (WJLA at 9:30) hosts TechAmerica’s Mike Hettinger; “This Week” (ABC at 10) features Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia; “Newsmakers” (C-SPAN at 10) talks to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); “This Is America & the World” (WETA at 10 and WHUT at 6 p.m.) talks to the Asia Group’s Kurt M. Campbell; “Face the Nation” (CBS at 10:30) talks to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Sunday afternoon, starting three hours before the actual ceremony, “Live From the Red Carpet: The 2014 Academy Awards” (E! at 5:30 p.m.) will have Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic interviewing celebrities as they arrive on the red carpet.

If you’re sick of Seacrest (and, really, who isn’t?), ABC starts its coverage at a more reasonable time with Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Jess Cagle and Tyson Beckford greeting the stars on “Oscars Red Carpet Live!” (7).

The crowning glory of this weekend, the “86th Academy Awards” (ABC at 8:30), will honor the best in film with Ellen DeGeneres at the helm. U2, Pharrell Williams, Idina Menzel, Karen O and Bette Midler are slated to perform.

If you’re looking to escape tonight’s glitz, you can watch “True Detective” (HBO at 9), where we see Marty and Rust form a truce, and “The Walking Dead” (AMC at 9), where a bizarre but enlightening mission takes place.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars” (ABC at 12:05), taped right across the street from the Dolby Theatre, is prime to have the night’s biggest winners stop by to chat. So far, the lineup includes host Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Queen Latifah and Kevin Spacey.

— Rachel Lubitz