Super Bowl, 6:35 p.m. ET, CBS.
Fans love this – a
battle of opposites. An old master (the Denver Broncos' Peyton
Manning is 39, a five-time most valuable player) meets a young phenom
(the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton is 26).
through a 15-1 regular season; Manning had an awful, injury-plagued
year – nine touchdown passes, 17 interceptions – then came back
in the playoffs. Now they lead a big night that includes Coldplay
(joined by Beyonce and the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra) at halftime.
ALTERNATIVE: “Downton Abbey,” 9 p.m., PBS.
Last week ended with
a jolt, when Robert became violently sick in the midst of an elegant
dinner party. Now, in an excellent episode, he's bed-ridden while the
world changes around him.
There are key
developments for his daughters ... and in the dispute between his
wife and mother, involving the local hospital's future. And for the
first time, tourists visit the mansion ... including a great scene
with a little boy who wanders into his sickroom.
PRE-GAME FUSS (CBS,
all times ET):
Specials, 11 a.m. to
2 p.m. First, NFL Films has two hours – one with current and former
stars visiting their hometown schools, another the annual “Road to
the Super Bowl.” At 1 p.m., Phil Simms has people who symbolized
different Super Bowl decades.
“The Super Bowl
Today,” 2 p.m. Here is four hours of football and more, including
music and Gayle King's live interview with the Obamas.
Pre-game show, 6
p.m. Simms and Jim Nantz take over, with Lady Gaga singing the
10 p.m. ET ... or
later (much later), CBS. Stephen Colbert is live from New York, with
Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Margot Robie, Key & Peele and Meghyn
11:30 p.m. ET or
later (after local news), CBS. James Corden – who grew up thinking
soccer is football -- has Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Adam DeVine,
plus a tailgate party, parodies of Super Bowl commercials and
“Carpool Karaoke” with Elton John.
Cute pets, cable.
You can simply watch critters. It's the Kitten Bowl on Hallmark (noon
to 9 p.m.), Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet (noon to 1:02 a.m.) and Fish
Bowl on NatGeo Wild (6-10 p.m.).
7 and 8 p.m., Fox. The first rerun is this season's fairly good
“Treehouse of Horror,” with Bart being killed (often). The second
has the family trapped in Krustyland's “Halloween Horror Night.”
At 8:30 is a rerun of the funny “Cooper Barrett's Guide to
Surviving Life” opener.
(2012), 8:30-11 p.m., NBC. Outside of football, this is Anna
Kendrick's night. You can watch her star in this show (about college
women in a singing group) and then be Corden's guest.
10 p.m., PBS. Based on Civil War situations, this drama has the Green
family continuing to live in its Virginia mansion, after it's
converted to a Union hospital. During a Union ball, Alice Green
(AnnaSophia Robb) conspires with her sister, a volunteer nurse, for
the escape of her beau, a Confederate soldier who's a patient.
p.m., Showtime. Being super-rich is a mixed blessing, we see in this
strong episode. Bobby Axelrod jets to a Metallica concert ... then is
consumed by a financial crisis back home.