Sunday marks that annual rite of American passage, four hours of very expensive commercials broken up by occasional bouts of NFL championship football. For the record, the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers is supposed to begin at 6 p.m. on NBC, which means they probably won't kick off for a good 45 minutes.
Let's face it, the whole day is one long pre-game show, so pretty much turn on the TV when you feel like tuning in, sit back, make sure the Cheetos are within reach, and enjoy.
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Bruce Springsteen will perform the halftime show (anyone want to take a bet that "Glory Days" is one of the song he performs), and the event is followed by an hour-long "The Office," tentatively scheduled for 10:30 p.m.
If you want other programming choices, should the game be a blowout (unlikely since the Bears didn't make it this year), HBO has new episodes of "Big Love" and "Flight of the Conchords," beginning at 9 p.m., while Showtime has "The L Word" (kind of the ultimate in counter-programming), followed by "The United States of Tara" and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl."
ABC does offer "The Wipe-out Bowl: Cheerleaders vs. Couch Potatoes" at 10 p.m., which should be good for a couple of laughs.
So enjoy the unofficial national holiday.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: The networks are electing to burn off some reruns this week in anticipation of sweeps starting up next week. Still, a few new things and some good ones at that.
"Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 9 p.m.) sees Matt's starting job in jeopardy from a freshman phenom, while on cable, "Monk" (USA, 9 p.m.) and "Psych" (USA, 10 p.m.)have special football themes this week in honor of the big game.
The pick of the night, of course, is "Battlestar Galactica," (Sci Fi, 10 p.m.). Fans are putting out so many theories on how the final eight episodes shake out, they may run out of internet.
On Saturday, the first and likely last season of "Crusoe" (NBC, 8 p.m.) wraps up.