Super Bowl and ‘Bel-Air,’ ‘Creatures’ Finale, David Attenborough’s Global Adventure, ‘Wedding Veil’ Trilogy
The weekend’s big event is also traditionally the year’s biggest TV draw: the Super Bowl, taking over Sunday and pushing NBC’s Olympics coverage to USA Network for the day (plus streaming options). For NBCUniversal, it’s also an opportunity to provide a huge launching pad for Bel-Air, reimagining The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as an earnest drama. Elsewhere, PBS’ Masterpiece wraps the second season of All Creatures Great and Small, Sir David Attenborough reflects on his life’s work in natural-history filmmaking on BBC America, and Hallmark Channel continues its Wedding Veil romantic movie trilogy.
SUNDAY: Taking a break from its Winter Olympics coverage, the network goes all-in on pro football’s (and TV’s) biggest day and night, with coverage starting at noon/11c and the hype and hoopla including expensive ads—some reportedly shelling out $7 million for a 30-second spot—and a superstar rap lineup for halftime including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and Eminem. The Cincinnati Bengals (my hometown-adjacent favorite) face the L.A. Rams during the game at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium, and if it lives up to the playoffs should be an exciting match-up. Followed at approximately 10:45/ET not by a new or returning NBC show, but by a resumption of Winter Olympics competition.
SUNDAY: The Super Bowl’s promotional magic will be mostly focused on this new series, a remake transforming Will Smith’s iconic The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom into a painfully earnest drama that feels about as fresh as the fourth season of a CW teen melodrama (specifically, All American). Though Bel-Air saps much of the joy and fun out of the original premise, Jabari Banks shines with natural swagger and wit as the new Will, a basketball prodigy who flies across country to escape the mean streets of West Philly to live large with his wealthy Banks relatives in the posh L.A. enclave. The names are the same—Uncle Phil, Aunt Viv, cousins Carlton (now more of a tragic villain), Hilary and Ashley—but they take everything so seriously you’d think the visiting prince was named Hamlet. The first three episodes drop Sunday, with the remainder of the season premiering weekly on Thursdays.
All Creatures Great and Small
SUNDAY: There’s still a special Christmas episode to enjoy next week, but Season 2 of the charming period drama about a Scottish veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales officially comes to a close with a major development for James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) and his beloved Helen (Rachel Stenton). Followed by the Season 2 finale of Vienna Blood (10/9c, check local listings at pbs.org), where the death of another monk complicates Max’s (Matthew Beard) latest mystery.
Attenborough’s Global Adventure
SATURDAY: It’s never too late for a fresh perspective on your life’s work. For famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough, now 95, this three-part docuseries provides an opportunity to revisit his indefatigable catalogue of natural- history filmmaking, including stops in the Borneo rainforests, the Galapagos Islands for its fabled iguanas and Rome for the Peregrines.
The Wedding Veil Unveiled
SATURDAY: The second chapter in a romantic trilogy—the first aired Jan. 8—continues the saga of three friends who purchase an antique veil that’s said to bring true love to whoever possesses it. The veil worked its charms on museum curator Avery (Lacey Chabert) in the first film, and now it’s professor Emma’s (Autumn Reeser) turn to take the garment to Italy, where she can research its origins—with the help of, guess what, a handsome widower (Paolo Bernardini) whose family shares some history with the sartorial wonder. The Veil trilogy concludes Feb. 19 with the focus on Tracy (Alison Sweeney), who may need the veil’s help to keep her from marrying the wrong man.
Inside Weekend TV:
- Line Sisters (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): Four sorority sisters (LeToya Luckett, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones and Drew Sidora) reunite after 15 years in North Carolina for a Black Greek Weekend, where deadly secrets from the past emerge.
- Profiled: The Black Man (Saturday, streaming on discovery+): From OWN, a four-part docuseries explores the origins and history of racial stereotyping while celebrating breakthrough achievements of Black men.
- Fall in Love with Full House (Sunday, noon/11c, MeTV): Doubling as a Valentine’s Day stunt and tribute to the late Bob Saget, a 12-episode marathon of the beloved family sitcom spotlight romantic highlights for the extended Tanner clan.
- The Righteous Gemstones (Sunday, 10/9c, HBO): With Eli (John Goodman) temporarily out of commission, the rest of the unholy Gemstone family reverts to form, fighting over who’s in charge.
- 1883 (Sunday, steaming on Paramount+): Winter is coming, and wagon-train leader Shea (Sam Elliott) is understandably concerned.