Daily Best Bets

Best-bets for Feb. 9: It’s time to honor cooks and quarterbacks

1) “Hell’s Kitchen” finale, 8-10 p.m., Fox. This season, Gordon Ramsay (shown here) has pitted “20-somethings” against “40-somethings,” with the young folks dominating. They had six of the final eight and four of the final five (including two who are only 24 and 21). Now the final three includes Dafne Meja, 29, and Alejandro Najar, 28, plus Alex Belew, 40. In the first hour, they create menus and dinners, with one ousted. Then eliminated contestants will return to help the final two. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb.8: an overload of openers and debuts

1) “Not Dead Yet” debut, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., ABC. Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) adds another distinctive comedy/drama. She plays a former star reporter, now confined to writing obituaries … and seeing the ghosts of her subjects. The opener (shown here), with Martin Mull as guest ghost, is excellent; the second episode spends too much of its time on so-so workplace scenes. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 7: State of the Union … and lots of alternatives

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. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 6: mucky, murky moments of joy

1) “Independent Lens: Out of the Muck” (shown here), 10 p.m., PBS. By some standards, Pahokee, Fla., is troubled. It has hurricanes, alligators, 25-percent unemployment, property values that plunged by a third in seven years. But filmmaker Ira McKinley found much more, while visiting his roots. His film offers warm people who hug, laugh, fish, catch rabbits and dream of their seventh state football championship. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 5: Grammys have rap, rock & Harry Styles

1) Grammy awards, 8-11:30 p.m. ET (5-8:30 p.m. PT),, CBS. Trevor Noah hosts for the third time and Beyonce leads with nine nominations … tying her husband, Jay-Z, as all-time leaders with 88 apiece. Performers include Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Luke Combs, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Brandi Carlile and many more … including an all-star tribute (organized by Questlove, shown here) to the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop music, dance and art. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 4: epic start for Black History month slate

1) “Malcolm X” (1992), 4:30 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. During Black History Month, TCM is stuffing Saturdays with key films. That starts with Denzel Washington(shown here) in Spike Lee’s richly crafted epic. It’s followed by the comedy “Cooley High” (1975) at 8 and the moving drama “Sounder” (1972) at 10. There’s more ahead, led by “A Soldier’s Story” on Feb. 11 and “In the Heat of the Night” and “To Sleep With Anger” on Feb. 18. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 2: “Flatch” leaves, Reba returns

1) “Welcome to Flatch,” 9:01 p.m., Fox. Here’s the season-finale – and, alas, maybe the series-finale – for this erratic show, which is sometimes funny and always interesting. Tonight, Barb (shown here) and Kelly are determined to prove the town should be the permanent home of the Butter Bust Museum. Also, the pastor has been distracted lately; his assistant, Mandy, is in charge of blessing the town’s animals. At 9:30, “Call Me Kat” has a Smoky Mountains road trip. Read more…

Best-bets for Feb. 1: schooltime music and comedy

1) “Schoolhouse Rock! 50th Anniversary Singalong,” 8 p.m., ABC. It’s the fifth round of “Singalong,” which became a pandemic hit. This time, clever songs about grammar, government, math and more are sung by stars. Derek Hough does “Figure 8”; his sister Julianne does “Interplanet Janet.” Others include Black-Eyed Peas, Ne-Yo, Muppets (shown here), Broadway stars and even Shaquille O’Neal, backed by the Boys and Girls Club for “Conjunction Junction.” Read more…

Best-bets for Jan. 31: Hip hop soars; dramas stumble

1) “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World” opener, 9-10 p.m., PBS. On Aug. 11, 1973, a Jamaican-born teen, dubbed DJ Kool Herc (shown here, later), used turntables and mega-speakers to make his sister’s party festive; hip hop was born. It would be six more years before rap records took off; by then, other hip hop facets – break-dancing, graffiti and DJ’s — had soared. This opener of a four-part film follows the early years of a genre that’s now in its 50th year. Read more…