1) State of the Union address and Republican response, 9-11 p.m. ET (6-8 p.m. PT), ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and news channels. The union is in a great state or a terrible one, we’ll learn. Things are fine — new jobs added at a near-record pace, unemployment the lowest in decades, a pandemic crash that vanished. Or they’re awful – inflation, gas prices, shortages. We’ll hear both versions. And yes, there are plenty of alternatives (including the movie gem “Licorice Pizza,” shown here) that we’ll mention here.
2) “Finding Your Roots,” 8-9 p.m. ET or PT, PBS.This show often surprises its guests, but few hours match this: Football star Tony Gonzalez’s grandmother (age 104) nfinally learned who her grandfather was. And TV star Joe Manganiello learned who impregnated his great-grandmother, shortly after she’d survived the massacre of Armenians. Then come bigger surprises, ranging from Manganiello’s ethnicity to a way-famous guy on Gonzalez’s family tree.
3) More shows, 8-9 p.m. ET or PT. This is a tricky slot, running before the State of the Union in most spots, but after it on the West Coast. Some networks will settle for reruns – “FBI” on CBS and the “Will Trent” pilot (a good one, but half of a two-parter) on ABC. But there are new episodes on Fox (“9-1-1: Lone Star) and NBC (“Night Court” and “American Auto”).
4) “The Winchesters,” 8 and 9 p.m., CW. Here’s one way to skip the speech and response. First, CW reruns the previous episode, wth Tom Welling (the former “Smallville” star) now part of the show, as Mary’s demon-hunting dad. Then comes a new hour; vampires are in town and the gang tries to learn why. Also, John needs his mom’s help, after getting a scary glimpse into the future.
5) MORE: You can also skip the talk by catching movies. AMC has “Lethal Weapon” and its first sequel at 6 and 8:30 p.m.; Syft has “John Wick” and its sequel at 6:33 and 8:30. FX has “The Rock” at 7. At 8, the Disney Channel has “Ralph Breats the Internet” … Hallmark has “Very, Very Valentine” (a week before the holiday) … and MGM+ (formerly Epix) has the delightful “Licorice Pizza.”