Academy Awards, 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC.
Some years, Oscar
producers grumbled about music, throwing all five best-song nominees
into one dreary number. Not this time; four of the songs have their
original singers – Adam Levine, Rita Ora, John Legend (with Common
rapping), Tegan and Sara (with Andy Samberg's trio rapping). The
fifth is sung by Tim McGraw, in honor of co-writer/performer Glen
Campbell, who has Alzheimer's disease.
There's more: Lady
Gaga, Jennifer Hudson and Anna Kendrick will sing and the “Let It
Go” people have written a song for host Neil Patrick Harris. Add
humor and you could have a great show.
“Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and
“Chicago PD,” 8-11 p.m., NBC.
to link all three Dick Wolf productions, this story reruns in one
It starts with
firefighters rescuing a man who is clutching a suspicious box; they
call in cops Voight (Jason Beghe) and Lindsey (Sophia Bush). Soon,
those two are in New York, where there's an alpha-cop conflict
between Voight and Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Lindsey spots a link to
someone she knows, bringing a messy case back to Chicago.
ALTERNATIVE: “The Book of Negroes,” 6 p.m. to midnight, BET.
After debuting on
Monday through Wednesday, the entire mini-series reruns here.
That takes Aminata
(Aunjanue Ellis) from her African home to Georgia slavery, then on to
New York and Nova Scotia and back to Africa and beyond. Alongside
pain and rage, she finds love (Lyriq Bent of “Rookie Blue”) and
some helpful souls (Cuba Gooding, Lou Gossett).
Oscar previews, 1:30
to 8:30 p.m., several channels. Cable's E channel treats this like
the Super Bowl; it has a mega-preview at 1:30, then has Ryan Seacrest
lead the red-carpet coverage from 5:27 to 8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Pop
(formerly TV Guide Network) uses “Entertainment Tonight”
reporters; after an inept outing at the Grammys, they're back from
5-8 p.m. WGN will carry a Los Angeles station's red-carpet coverage from 6-7:30 p.m., sandwiched (at 5 and 7:30) by an Oscar preview. And ABC is at the red carpet from 7-8:30.
7-8:30 p.m., CBS. This expanded episode is a tribute to Bob Simon,
who died at 73 in a traffic accident. It three of his “60 Minutes”
stories, plus memories of his colleagues.
“Act of Valor”
(2012,) 8:30-11 p.m., CBS. The network's dramas will be back next
week; for now, CBS inserts this action film, best known for using
active-duty Navy SEALs alongside pro actors.
Nine-Nine,” 8:30 p.m., Fox. On the same night that he performs at
the Oscars, Andy Samberg has this rerun. He tries to find the mole,
before the deputy chief (Kyra Sedgwick) arrives.
Downton Abbey,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings). An OK episode,
centering on Rose's wedding, sets up next week's excellent
Grantchester” season-finale, 10:15 p.m., PBS (check local
listings). Shaking his romance woes, Sidney (the crime-solving vicar)
probes the murder of a policeman.
live, times vary, ABC. Kimmel's guests will include John Travolta,
Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Penn, Emily Blunt and many more, possibly
including Oscar-winners. In most areas, that follows the Academy
Award and the news. Some West Coast stations, however, air the Oscars