Memorable ‘Last of Us’ Detour, NFC and AFC Championships, CBS on ‘Fire,’ BBC’s ‘Frozen Planet’
HBO’s hit The Last of Us pauses its harrowing road trip for a standout episode dwelling in the world of two survivors. The Super Bowl contenders will be decided in Sunday’s NFC and AFC Championship games. CBS follows the AFC game with a special episode of its freshman hit Fire Country. BBC America returns to the Arctic, Antarctic and other frigid climates for Frozen Planet II.
The Last of Us
SUNDAY: The harrowing adventures of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in a post-apocalyptic America take a back seat to a more personal tale of survival in the freshman season’s standout episode. Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) guests as an isolated survivalist who, several years after the outbreak, allows an interloper (The White Lotus Emmy winner Murray Bartlett) into his gated world, and their lives will never be the same. You don’t expect to be moved to tears during a horror thriller, but this terrific episode breaks most of the narrative rules.
SUNDAY: (3 pm/ET, Fox; 6:30 pm/CBS): Who will make it to the Super Bowl? All will be decided in the NFC Championship on Fox, with No. 2 San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles in a classic top-ranked matchup, followed by the AFC Championship on CBS, where No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals (on a 10-game winning streak) take on No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 12 on Fox.
SUNDAY: (approximately 10/9c, 7/PT): As Fox learned with the premiere of Accused last weekend, following a high-profile football game is a great way to get sampled. Which is why CBS is giving its Friday night freshman hit some extra exposure after the AFC game. The episode goes big, with Bode (Max Thieriot) and his buddies in the prison release firefighter program working alongside the Station 42 crew to contain a massive fire sparked by a plane crash. In less heated news, inmate firefighter Freddy’s (W. Tre Davis) girlfriend goes into labor.
Frozen Planet II
SATURDAY: Whether your winter has been mild or cold, it’s unlikely to be as forbidding as the icy climates visited in this dazzling nature series, narrated by the ubiquitous Sir David Attenborough. For the sequel, the series expands its range beyond the Arctic and Antarctic to track wildlife survival stories in mountains, forests, oceans and frozen deserts.
All Creatures Great and Small
SUNDAY: Should you prefer your animal stories a bit cozier, the nostalgic drama offers chuckles as bossy Siegfried (Samuel West) becomes inordinately attached to a visiting Tricki Woo. On a more serious note, an overwhelmed James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) continues his TB testing, only to put a farmer’s most valuable milk cow at risk. And while Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) eagerly pursues romance, housekeeper Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) isn’t so sure she should be encouraging her suitor, Gerald (Will Thorp).
INSIDE WEEKEND TV:
- Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini (Saturday, 8/7c, Lifetime): Jaime King is the notorious California “supermom” who claimed she’d been kidnapped after vanishing for three weeks in 2016. An extensive police investigation led to the discovery that she’d made the story up to cover a tryst with an ex.
- Unexplained: Caught on Camera (Saturday, 9/8c, Travel Channel): The third season of the paranormal exposé opens with investigations of a secret room, a house of horrors and a witch’s ladder. Followed by the Season 4 premiere of Help! My House is Haunted (10/9c).
- Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, 8:30/PT, NBC): Michael B. Jordan of Black Panther and Creed fame makes his first appearance as guest host. Lil Baby also debuts as musical guest.
- 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way (Sunday, 8/7c, TLC): The fourth season of the international hook-up show introduces several new couples formed when Americans move to locations including India, Egypt, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Morocco in hopes of finding instant new love.
- Godfather of Harlem (Sunday, 9/8c, MGM+): Bumpy’s (Forest Whitaker) new partner José Battle (Yul Vasquez) asks for a mighty risky favor: a political assassination. Traveling afar, Malcolm X (Jason Alan Carvell) is stopped by Saudi authorities on his way to Mecca.
- The Way Home (Sunday, 9/8c, Hallmark Channel): Kat (Chyler Leigh) starts working at the local paper, but her reporter’s instincts are distracted by daughter Alice (Sadie Laflamme-Snow), who’s become suspiciously content in her Port Haven small-town life.