SUNDAY: The hype. The ads. The hype around the ads. The football of it all. The NFL’s climactic act is always TV’s most-watched night of the year, which explains why advertisers are shelling out $7 million for a 30-second spot whenever action stops at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, staging ground for the matchup between defending champs the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The event is also a showcase for entertainment, with Usher performing at halftime. Reba McEntire (with the national anthem), Post Malone (“America the Beautiful”) and Andra Day (“Lift Every Voice and Sing”) carry out pre-game duties. For novelty, Nickelodeon teams with CBS Sports for an alternate telecast, Super Bowl LVIII Life from Bikini Bottom (6:30 pm/ET), featuring animated characters from SpongeBob SquarePants interacting with analyst Nate Burleson and Noah Eagle doing play-by-play. (For the grown-ups, A-team Jim Nantz and Tony Romo call the action on CBS.) Keep the party going with late-night comedy, featuring special editions of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (11:35/10:35c) and After Midnight (12:37/11:37c).
Super Bowl Soulful Celebration
SATURDAY: As a curtain-raiser for the big game, The Neighborhood stars Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold host a pre-taped music event from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, marking the 25th year of what was previously billed as the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. CBS’ Nate Burleson receives the “Lifetime of Inspiration” award, while honorees for NFL Excellence include Damar Hamlin, Markquese Bell and Dak Prescott. On the entertainment roster: Earth, Wind & Fire, Kirk Franklin, Mickey Guyton, Robin Thicke, Rachel Platten, T-Pain, Mary Mary and The Players Choir.
SUNDAY: You won’t have to look hard to find this adventure series, gifted with the coveted post-Super Bowl time period. The latest addition to Sunday’s action/mystery lineup—as of next week, sandwiched at 9/8c between The Equalizer and CSI: Vegas—Tracker (based on Jeffery Deaver’s The Never Game and sequels) stars Justin Hartley (This Is Us) as nomadic Colter Shaw, a “rewardist” who travels the land seeking missing persons and solving clients’ other problems for a fee—though never able to outrun his own family demons.
Great American Rescue Bowl
SUNDAY: North Shore Animal League America is a partner on this heartwarming two-hour special devoted to helping shelter animals get adopted—with fun puppy and kitten gameplay between the Cuddlers and the Adorables. Advocate Beth Stern returns as host.
SUNDAY: Place your bets between Team Ruff and Team Fluff—then adopt! The 20th anniversary of the paws-itively iconic matchup brings all the cuteness vibes, with a kitten-themed halftime show for good measure. The three-hour event, underscoring the importance of responsible pet adoption, features 131 different pups, ranging from a 72-lb. Great Dane to a 1.7-lb. heartbreaker named Sweetpea.
Stupid Pet Tricks
SUNDAY: More animal fun and games—emphasis on fun—can be found in a series version of the fabled segment from David Letterman’s late-night show. In the sneak preview, Letterman himself passes the torch to host/comedian Sarah Silverman, who then introduces some so-stupid-they’re-smart creatures including a goat with a yoga practice, a rodeo clown’s companion and a pet of enormous scale.
INSIDE WEEKEND TV:
- Murdoch Mysteries (Saturday, 7/6c, Ovation TV): Season 17 of the Canadian period mystery opens with Det. William Murdoch’s (Yannick Bisson) future in jeopardy after his resignation from the Toronto Constabulary.
- Abducted Off the Street: The Carlesha Gaither Story (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): The fact-based drama stars The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore as Keisha Gaither, the mother of nursing assistant Carlesha Freeland-Gaither (Riele Downs), whose 2014 abduction spurs Keisha to rally the media to call attention to her and her daughter’s ordeal.
- Love and Jane (Saturday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel): The Jane Austen-inspired “Loveuary” movies continue with the story of Lilly (channel favorite Alison Sweeney), an Austen superfan who gets visits from the spirit of Jane Austen herself (Kendra Anderson) to help guide her through the dilemma of her favorite bookstore being bought by a rakish tech mogul (Benjamin Ayres).
- “Love Me” Marathon (Sunday, noon/11c, MeTV): Speaking of love, the nostalgia network leans into Valentine’s Day with amorous episodes of The Brady Bunch, Leave It to Beaver, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Mama’s Family, The Love Boat and The Andy Griffith Show.
- Monsieur Spade (Sunday, 9/8c, AMC; streaming on AMC+ and Acorn TV): In the penultimate episode of the series transplanting noir detective Sam Spade (Clive Owen) to France, an Algerian femme fatale arrives in the village, while Spade learns why the boy everyone’s seeking is so valuable.
- All Creatures Great and Small (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS): With James (Nicholas Ralph) away for RAF training, Siegfried (Samuel West) faces the possibility of an empty nest when a pregnant Helen (Rachel Shenton) decides to visit her family on the farm while housekeeper Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) frets over breaking the news about her future with Gerald (Will Thorp). Sandwiched between the season finales of Miss Scarlet and the Duke (8/7c) and Funny Woman (10/9c).
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (Sunday, 10/9c, HBO): Still in Atlanta after last week’s kerfuffle, Larry (Larry David) wrangles with a questionable lawn ornament at the Airbnb he’s sharing with Jeff (Jeff Garlin), Susie (Susie Essman) and Leon (J.B. Smoove), then tangles with an officious store clerk over the use of a toilet for paying customers only.