Sunday, February 2nd
Super Bowl XLVIII, live sports event from 6 to 10:30pm on FOX
– This year’s contest pits the No. 1 offense (the Denver Broncos, led by revitalized quarterback Peyton Manning) against the No. 1 defense (the Seattle Seahawks, ruled by brash cornerback Richard Sherman). If safety blitzes and off-tackle runs bore you—or you’re not even sure why everyone is chasing after some guy carrying an oddly shaped brown ball—stick around for the halftime show to enjoy the strange musical fusion of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And for those of you who like the idea of football but prefer it to be played by furry pets, check out Puppy Bowl X (Animal Planet, 3 p.m.) or the inaugural Kitten Bowl (Hallmark Channel, noon). Who knows? You just might discover the next Troy Pawlamalu or Matthew Staffordshire Terrier.
Monday, February 3rd
Swamp People, season premiere at 9pm on History
– It’s a new gator season in Louisiana, and this year the swamp is infested with bigger and meaner gators than ever before. With prices high, competition is out of control. Hunters of all types are taking to the swamp in hopes of cashing in, leading to a showdown for the ages between man and beast. King of the Swamp Troy Landry is focused on the younger generation of Landrys. He recruits his 15-year-old nephew, Holden, to start the season with him, while Jacob seeks help from fellow swamper Marie LaCoste. Swamp Queen Liz Cavalier has taken on more tags than ever in hopes of increasing her family business. With Kristi now married and pregnant, Liz calls upon her daughter, Jessica, to be her deckhand and help her with the daunting task of filling 425 tags. Nuisance hunter Terral Evans is back, as well. After years of repopulating gators into the waters of Honey Island, the gator population has grown out of control, and now the residents are under attack. With the help of his partner, Johnny Panks, Terral dedicates his season to ridding the area of its vicious rogue predators and making Honey Island safe again.
Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, special at 10pm on Science
– From executive producer Morgan Freeman and one of the greatest minds of our generation, Stephen Hawking, Science Channel presents a controversial and groundbreaking new special. The use of embryonic stem cells has ignited fierce debate across the spiritual and political spectrum. But what if we could create manmade stem cells – or find super cells in adults that could forever replace embryonic cells and remove the controversy? Today, we are on the brink of a new era – an age where we may be able to cure our bodies of any illness. Stephen Hawking has spent his life exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, now there is another universe that fascinates him – the one hidden inside our bodies – our own personal galaxies of cells. Hawking takes us on a fascinating journey exploring what these wondrous and baffling mechanisms are capable of. He is joined by the scientists who are on the front lines of discovery in this field including Dr. Doris Taylor who is customizing a donor’s heart with the recipient’s stem cells – her goal is to revolutionize heart transplants, Dr. Paul Lu and Dr. Mark Tuszynski may have created a breakthrough that could cure paralysis, and Dr. Vincent Giampapa who believes that stem cells can be used to stem the tide of aging and create a fountain of youth.
Friday, February 7th
Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, special from 7:30 to 11:30pm on NBC
– Get thee to a TV if you want to see Sochi’s opener, because NBC isn’t live-streaming it. Beyond the fact that the show will reportedly get going at 20:14 local time (get it?) and will last four hours, we don’t know much except that there are rumors Russian president Putin has watched rehearsals. Good thing his judgment is so spot-on, right?
Saturday, February 8th
2014 Olympic Winter Games, special from 8 to 11:30pm on NBC
– Will Slopestyle turn Mark McMorris into a star, thereby making 27-year-old Shaun White feel ancient?
Lil Bub’s Special Special, series premiere at 9pm on Animal Planet
– The internet’s favorite cat (sorry, Grumpy) is about to turn into TV’s latest star. Lil Bub needs a sitter when her owner Mike goes out for the night, so Amy Sedaris steps in. She’s a cool enough ”bubbysitter” but Lil Bub and her friends can’t help but rebel. Tune in to see the cutest pillow fights and prank phone calls to ever exist.