A Handy TV Guide to What’s Airing When — & What’s Being Preempted — on Inauguration Night

The Conners Sara Gilbert Lecy Goranson Laurie Metcalf Ames McNamara
ABC/Eric McCandless

January 20 is Inauguration Day for president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, and coverage will dominate the TV networks pretty much day and night.

In terms of tuning in to your favorite shows, things can get confusing. To help, check out our handy guide to Wednesday night TV shows, including series airing in their usual time slots, series moved to one-night only time slots, and those that won’t be on at all (though back next week, of course).

Tom Hanks to Host Biden Inaugural Primetime Special 'Celebrating America'See Also

Tom Hanks to Host Biden Inaugural Primetime Special 'Celebrating America'

Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, and Jon Bon Jovi are among those set to celebrate.


An ABC News special, The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr., kicks off primetime coverage, followed by Celebrating America, airing across several networks at 8:30/7:30c.

But ABC will also be airing new episodes of its comedies, The Conners and Call Your Mother, an hour later than usual, at 10/9c. The rest of Wednesday’s usual lineup on ABC — The Goldbergs, American Housewife, and For Life — is preempted.


Prior to the Celebrating America special, CBS will be airing One Nation: Indivisible to kick off its primetime coverage of the inauguration.

Then, at 10/9c, a repeat of one of its Friday night dramas, Magnum P.I., will air. Wednesday’s usual lineup — The Price Is Right at Night, SEAL Team, and S.W.A.T. — returns on January 27.

Nancy Drew Season 2 Premiere George Nick Bess

Nancy Drew (Colin Bentley/The CW)

The CW

It’s business as usual over on the CW, which is kicking off new seasons of Riverdale and Nancy Drew, beginning at 8/7c.


Fox, too, is airing its usual Wednesday lineup, with new episodes of The Masked Dancer (Group A Playoffs) and Name That Tune.


After its own special about Biden’s inauguration and Celebrating America, NBC will be airing a repeat of Chicago P.D. The rest of One ChicagoMed and Fire — is preempted.

'Married at First Sight' Expert Dr. Viviana Coles on Season 12's Couples & Going VirtualSee Also

'Married at First Sight' Expert Dr. Viviana Coles on Season 12's Couples & Going Virtual

The Lifetime series returns with five new Atlanta-based couples.

Wrestling & Reality TV Drama

If wrestling or reality TV is more your speed, you’re in luck. All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite (TNT) and WWENXT (USA) are both new.

And the drama of reality TV isn’t taking a night off, with Bravo airing The Real Housewives of Orange County (bonus footage and the reunion) and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. MTV’s The Challenge: Double Agents and Lifetime’s Married at First Sight also continue their new seasons.