1) Olympic figures-skating. It’s time for the women’s individual finals, always a ratings-grabber … especially when there’s a whiff of scandal. Russia’s Kamila Valieva (shown here) is clearly the best skater, but word came late – VERY late – that she’d tested positive for a banned drug. An agency rule that she can skate … while people figure out who’s responsible and whether she gets a medal. That’s live this morning (5-9 a.m. ET) on the USA Network, then on tape tonight (8-11:30 p.m.) on NBC.
2) More Olympics. NBC also has some live events tonight. In primetime (8-11:30 p.m. ET), it has the women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe; latenight (12:05-2:30 a.m.) has the finals of men’s freestyle skiing cross. The latter has live coverage of its qualifiers during USA’s primetime (7:30-11 p.m. ET). There’s more — 2-5 p.m. on NBC, all day on USA. Most USA coverage is taped (including the women’s hockey finals at 5 p.m.), but the men’s hockey semi-finals are live at 11:10 p.m.
3) “United States of Al,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. From “Big Bang” and “Mom” to “B Positive,” Chuck Lorre’s shows have injected likable characters alongside the comedy, then added some serious detours. “Al” is only moderately funny, but it’s filled with people we root for. Riley and his dad are ex-Marines. His sister’s late fiancée was also a Marine; Al was Riley’s translator in Afghanistan. We empathize with them, especially in this rerun of a Veterans Day episode.
4) “Call Me Kat,” 9 p.m., Fox. It’s another Mayim Bialik night. Catch her hosting the “Jeopardy” college championships (8 p.m., ABC, concluding Friday and next Tuesday) and then switch to her comedy. In a new episode, Kat’s mom is being cheered up by Phil, who takes her on a vacation. That leaves the café short-handed; Kat’s boyfriend Oscar helps out, stirring new problems.
5) “State of the Union,” 10 p.m., Sundance. Scott is finding out how little he knows about his wife Ellen. In the previous episode, he learned of an immigrant she’s sponsoring; now she’s been jailed (briefly) at a protest. In this 10-minute episode, that fuels clever dialog as they wait to see a marriage counselor.
— Mike Hughes, TV America