What to watch on Friday, February 8...
SERIES PREMIERE, 8pm, CBS
Mark Burnett’s latest reality show exalting the beneficence of our corporate overlords puts ordinary people through the wringer in heated competitions, with a plum position at one of America’s premier companies on the line (or maybe just a graveyard shift in their mailroom, who knows). The pilot finds candidates vying for either a post at Palm Restaurant Group or the role of sidekick to hard-bitten cop Denis Leary.
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 8pm, Fox
Hey, you guys remember Touch, right? Kiefer Sutherland scowls, and the kid has magic powers, and we all remember how deft former Heroes mastermind Tim Kring is at paying off momentum? Not ringing a bell? Well, it’s still a thing. “Event Horizon” and “Closer” make up the two-hour season premiere, as Kiefer & Kid flee a shadowy conspiracy.
8pm, The CW
Acting on information from Birkhoff, Nikita takes on a secret mission in Kosovo and lands in hot water in “Brave New World.” Elsewhere, Michael reclaims the reins of Operations, and is super pissed to find out that during his time as a field agent the vending machine in the office breakroom stopped stocking those cookies he likes.
Mac and Vegas-based buddy D.B. Russell race against time to rescue Christine from her abductors as “Seth and Apep” concludes the two-part crossover that began with Wednesday’s CSI. Somewhere, David Caruso sullenly clicks off the TV, whips off his sunglasses, and curses the cruel and capricious abandonment of the Muse of Snappy Puns.
Spartacus: War of the Damned
Now that the rebels have seized themselves a city, Spartacus is strutting all around the place wearing a top hat and a big sash that says “MAYOR.” (Trust me on these things. I have screeners.) Of course, his fun is spoiled when pirates turn up on Sinuessa’s shores in “Men of Honor,” their cargo holds laden with both danger and opportunity.
– Seth MacFarlane, Jenna Elfman, and Norah Jones on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Mariah Carey, Jake Johannsen, and a performance by Elvis tribute artist Ben Portsmouth on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS
– Highlights from earlier in the week on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 11:35pm, ABC
– Jason Schwartzman, Keri Russell, and Night Beds on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
– Alfred Molina and Ophira Eisenberg on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON FRIDAY?
What to watch on Saturday, February 9...
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
The Peanuts gang is seeking adolescent love in this pair of seasonal specials from 1975 and 2002. Sally pines for Linus, Lucy pursues Schroeder, and our favorite perennially lovelorn blockhead hopes to win the affections of the little red-haired girl. I don’t have the heart to tell ol’ Chuck that the next installment in this franchise will be called “You’re in the Friendzone, Charlie Brown!”
Austin City Limits
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, whose songs you may know from such commercials as every commercial currently on the air, are the featured performer. Also included: experimental R&B; act and archnemesis of copy editors the world over tUnE yArDs.
Saturday Night Live
Justin Bieber pulls double duty as host and musical guest. Yo, Biebs: Remember that if you want to follow Timberlake’s path as a teen idol/pop star/always-game comic performer, you’ve got big shoes to fill. And by shoes, I mean box. And by fill, I mean— well you see where I’m going with this.
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON SATURDAY?
What to watch on Sunday, February 10...
Once Upon a Time
A kidnapped giant has vengeance on his mind when he arrives in Storybrooke, while a giant in the fairy-tale universe has more peaceful interactions with humankind. Of course, it’s possible they’re the same giant; the episode summary for “Tiny” isn’t totally clear (one thing we do know: Jorge Garcia guest-stars as one or both of them). Maybe we’re getting two totally unrelated giant-centric stories this week. Maybe Once Upon a Time wants to do for the giant thespian community what Law & Order once did for New York City theater actors.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards
LL Cool J emcees the proceedings from L.A.’s Staples Center. Slated performers include The Black Keys, fun., Elton John and Ed Sheeran, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, and Jack White.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
The 12 colonial worlds have been plunged into war between humans and Cylons, and brash young pilot Bill Adama (Luke Pasqualino) is rarin’ to zap some toasters in this movie prequel to Syfy’s mid-aughts Battlestar Galactica reboot. I wonder if the grim reality of this first Cylon war will sear some painful lessons into his psyche, such that someday this carefree hotshot might evolve into a sober and sagacious leader of men and women.
With the annual cricket match versus the town looming, Robert endeavors to field a proper team for Downton. Wait, do you hear that? Is that... why, yes. Yes it is. That’s Julian Fellowes typing away and cackling to himself, “That’s right, Yanks! Cricket! Go ahead, eat up these buggering English-country-house tropes with a bloody spoon! You know you love it!”
It’s love, Quahog style in a Valentine’s Day episode sure to be bursting at the seams with romance and sincerity. Meg meets a gentleman suitor on the internet, Stewie is smitten with a young lady in the 1960s thanks to his time machine, and Brian is visited by a few of his former squeezes.
WINTER PREMIERE, 9pm, AMC
The Walking Dead
Woodbury is in disarray, Daryl is caught behind enemy lines, and the newly monocular Governor is mightily ticked off. In short, if you’ve picked “The Suicide King” in your “When Will The Walking Dead Become a Rainbow-Tinted Fountain of Sweetness and Ebullient Joy” pool, you will probably not be winning that pot.
Frank babysits in “The Helpful Gallaghers,” so if you know whether fictional programs fall within the jurisdiction of the the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, this is the week to put that knowledge to good use. Elsewhere, Fiona gets her Norma Rae on, Carl heads to cancer camp, and Lip and Mandy are on a mission to get her sister out of foster care.
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING ON SUNDAY?