1) Super Bowl, 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC. It’s a battle of newcomers: Until this year, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (shown here) hadn’t won a play-off game in his 12 seasons; the Cincinnati Bengals hadn’t won one in 31 years. Now they collide, with the world watching. The Rams were 12-5 during the regular season; the Bengals were 10-7, in a remarkable turnaround. Two years earlier, they were 2-14; that brought the first draft choice (Joe Burrow) and new life.
2) Super Bowl fuss, all day Sunday, NBC. The annual “Road to the Super Bowl” film will air at noon ET, followed by a five-hour pre-game show. At 6 p.m., coverage moves to the field, with Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth. Country star Mickey Guyton sings the national anthem, Jhene Aiko does “America the Beautiful” and Mary Mary does “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The halftime show has Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Mary J. Blige.
3) Winter Olympics. Even on Super Bowl Sunday, Olympic coverage continues on NBC (8 a.m. to noon ET) and USA (all day). The finals of figure-skating dance start at 8:15 p.m. Sunday on USA, then move to NBC at about 10:45. There’s much more all week. NBC goes from 2-5 p.m. ET daily (2:30-6 p.m. next Saturday) and then from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., (with a 35-minute local news break at varied times); also, CNBC catches curling and some hockey.
4) “American Experience: Riveted: The History of Jeans,” 9 p.m. today, PBS. At first, jeans were just something sturdy; cowboys and farmers could wear them forever. Then they were revived – by civil-rights protestors, hip hop stars, even models in high-priced jeans. Fading and ripping were fashionable. This fun film even says there’s no special reason for bluejeans to usually be blue; that just started because indigo dye was readily available.
5) “Jeopardy National College Championship,” 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, ABC, continuing next week. It’s Mayim Bialik’s week; she hosts a quiz show on one network and stars in a comedy on another. The “Jeopardy” tourney runs for two weeks, with its finale Feb. 22; 36 contestants, from 36 schools, compete. And Bialik’s “Call Me Kat” has a new episode at 9 p.m. Thursday on Fox (with a new “Pivoting” at 9:30), while most scripted shows settle for reruns.
6) “Super Bowl Greatest Commercials All-Time Classics,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. This has a countdown of the top 10, then lets viewers choose between the top two. It’s hosted by Daniela Ruah and Boomer Esiason, who was the quarterback the previous time the Bengals reached the Super Bowl. That was in 1989 and his final pass (broken up) was to Collinsworth … who will be NBC’s analyst Sunday. Also this week is the “NFL Honors” ceremony, 9-11 p.m. Thursday on ABC.
7) Winter Olympics, 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, NBC. For viewers who prefer events with American contenders, this is the peak night. There’s the snowboarding women’s halfpipe, with Chloe Kim — at 21, already the returning gold-medalist. And there’s men’s figure-skating and Nathan Chen. A three-time world champion, he was fifth in the 2018 Olympics, when Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu won his second straight. No one’s done it three times since 1928.
8) “Nature,” 8 p.m., Wednesday, PBS. There are 18 penguin species; now we see them all. They range from Galapagos penguins (19 inches tall) to Antarctica’s emperors, topping four feet. They live in New Zealand forests and stony islands where rock hoppers elude huge waves and giant sea lions. Other networks lay low this week, but PBS is packed, including a Marian Anderson profile (9 p.m. Tuesday) and an especially good “All Creatures Great and Small” (9 p.m. Sunday).
9) “Resident Alien,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy. Already a terrific show, alternating between droll wit and loopy sci-fi, “Alien” adds another comedy master. Alex Borstein – who has three Emmys from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Family Guy” – plays a science researcher who shows up at a women’s-night-out at the local bar. “Harry” – actually, an alien who killed Harry and took his body – sees this as a chance to get things to fix his ship; the result is another gem.
10) “Attenborough’s Global Adventure” debut, 8 p.m. Saturday, BBC America. Many people thought David Attenborough had retired in his mid-80s. Instead, he began fresh rounds of making nature films, adding high-tech methods. Now 95, he offers this three-week look at highlights from recent years. This opener is preceded by gorgeous “Blue Planet” reruns; it has a maritime emphasis, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Galapagos islands and beyond.