1) Football. The college season ends today … but the pros are just starting their month-long trek to the Super Bowl. First is the college championship game (8 p.m.ET today on ESPN and ESPN2), which is simply a rematch of the SEC championship game. Alabama beat Georgia 41-24 in that one; in the rest of the season, Georgia is 13-0, with an average score of 48-7; Alabama (shown here) is 12-1, with a 41-18 average. Then the NFL takes over. It has two games Saturday, three more on Sunday and one next Monday.
2) “Naomi” debut, 9 p.m. Tuesday, CW. We expect teen superheroes to be quiet and pensive, like Peter Parker (“Spiderman”) or the “Stargirl” crew. Not here: Naomi (likable Kaci Walfall) is a vibrant and popular kid, with loving, adoptive parents. Her dad is a military officer and she breezily bridges the townie/soldier gap. Online, she’s a Superman expert. Then there’s a super event she seems linked to. Ava DuVernay, the “Selma” director and “Queen Sugar” producer, has molded an entertaining show.
3) “Peacemaker” opener, 10:15 p.m. Saturday, HBO; also arrives Thursday on HBO Max. Now for a different sort of superhero. Chris (John Cena) wants attention; he has a pet eagle, a red-white-and-blue car and a weird helmet he even wears to a restaurant. He also kills a lot of people and survives a lot of crises. In the second “Suicide Squad” movie (which HBO airs at 8 p.m.), he was shot and a building fell on him. Now he’s out of the hospital; the result leaps between sharp verbal wit and fierce action.
4) “Amercan Masters: Ailey,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, PBS. Alvin Ailey’s early years were in rural Texas, in the depth of racism and the Depression. “You feel like you are just nothing, you are a nobody,” he said. But at 12, he moved with his mother to Los Angeles; two years later, he saw his first dance concerts. He became a dance star, hired in New York. There, he started his own company, creating pieces that merged gospel, blues and more. This profile starts slowly, but ends with potent tragedy and triumph.
5) “9-1-1: Lone Star,” 8 p.m. today, Fox. Last week’s opener launched a potent, multi-week story. A blizzard hit Texas, just as a bearded and bitter Owen (Rob Lowe) was alone (except for an attractive neighbor) in a cabin. Now he’s rescued a stabbed man, just as others try to save a boy who fell into a frozen pond. One part (waiting for a second ambulance) is absurd, but the rest is a gripping drama. It leads into a fairly good “Cleaning Lady,” as Thony, probed by the FBI, tries to split from the mobsters.
6) “The Amazing Race,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. After last week’s two-hour opener, “Race” settles into its 9 p.m. slot, with “The Price is Right” as its lead-in for a couple weeks. In the opener, we met the 11 delayed duos. They raced for a week in February of 2020, then had a 19-month COVID break. Four couples are married (including Kim and Penn Holderness, of “Xmas Jammies” video fame) and one is dating. There are also friends and co-workers, plus twin sisters and a father-daughter team.
7) “Call Me Kat,” 9 p.m. Thursday, Fox. In Sunday’s charming season-opener, Kat (Mayim Bialik) was in the unfamiliar position of choosing between two guys. She chose Oscar; now the show settles into its regular slot as they try to celebrate and their friends, Randi and Carter, work on their own romance. The result, as usual, is light and likable; it’s followed at 9:30 by a fairly good “Pivoting,” with women changing after a friend’s death. One (Maggie Q) abruptly went from doctor to grocery-store worker.
8) “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” 9 and 10:40 p.m Friday., Showtime. A year ago, the “Ray Donovan” series ended with lives shattered. Now – with his son-in-law dead, his half-brother wanted by police and his dad running loose with $20 million in stolen stock – Ray phones his therapist to say he’s killed his father. Then the story backs up a little – and a lot; flashbacks finally show the rift between father and son, sending the latter to prison for decades. The result is tough and bleak and sharply crafted.
9) “Somebody Somewhere” debut, 10:35 p.m. Sunday, HBO. Lots of shows are set in Manhattan, but this one is Manhattan, Kansas. In real life, Bridget Everett grew up there, then became a brash cabaret star in New York; this imagines she stayed home. Once a busy teen in shows and swimming, she gropes for a place in life. It’s an interesting start, on a busy pay-cable night: At 9 p.m. is HBO’s “Euphoria”; at 10 p.m., HBO has “Righteous Gemstones” and Showtime has the season-finale of “Yellowjackets.”
10) ALSO: After waiting for the big networks to launch mid-season shows, CW makes its own moves. On Tuesday, “Naomi” is preceded at 8 by the “Superman & Lois” season-opener; once a star reporter in Metropolis, Lois is running the Smallville Gazette with Chrissy, while having issues with her husband Clark. At 9 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, “Two Sentence Horror Stories” starts its season. The opener has Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins (twin actresses, 72) playing feuding twins who find a common enemy,