TV best bets with the Super Bowl, Drew Barrymore, Cuba Gooding Jr., James Franco, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton

This was posted on Sunday, January 29, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk 

In Atlanta, this week is all about the Super Bowl, only the second time the Falcons have taken part in the biggest TV event of the year.

They are the underdogs against the New England Patriots. On Sunday, there are many hours of pre-show yapping and entertainment before the game begins at 6 p.m. I'll be covering the advertisements locally during the game, the one time of the year where people seem to even care about advertisements. And my colleague Melissa Ruggieri will be in Houston watching Lady Gaga strut her stuff in person during halftime.

But there are several new shows this week as well:

  • BET is introducing a mini-series "Madiba" about Nelson Mandela starring Laurence Fishburne Wednesday.
  • The network also has an ambitious new series called "The Quad" that debuts after "Madiba" focused on a fictional Atlanta HBCU from the eyes of the president, the board, the football team, white students, a burgeoning rap singer and the marching band, to name a few.
  • Netflix's weekly contribution this week features a series starring Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore called the "Santa Claritas Diet" on Friday that isn't quite what it seems on the surface.
  • James Lipton interviews Cuba Gooding Jr. on Thursday now that his career is back on the upswing.
  • James Franco has chosen to executive produce and star in a cheesy Lifetime movie Saturday called "High School Lover." He is not the man loving the high school student. He's the concerned dad of the 17 year old girl.
  • With the surfeit of superhero shows, NBC tries to go for situational workplace comedy on Thursday with "Powerless" starring Vanessa Hudgens.
  • Also on Thursday, CBS tries to turn the Denzel Washington film 'Training Day" into a TV show starring Bill Paxton in his first TV series regular role since HBO's "Big Love."

This covers Monday, January 30 through Sunday, February 5, 2017.


"The Bachelor" 8 p.m. ABC — The 13 remaining bachelorettes visit New Orleans.

"Gotham" 8 p.m. Fox — Bruce and Alfred's safety is compromised by Jerome.

"The New Celebrity Apprentice" 8 p.m. NBC — Atlanta's Porsha Williams was cut last week.

"The Odd Couple" 9:30 p.m. CBS (third season finale) — A heated argument between Felix and Oscar leads the friends to decide to try a new living arrangement—and find new roommates.

"Becoming Warren Buffett" 10 p.m. HBO — A profile of Warren Buffett, CEO of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway.

"Timeless" 10 p.m. NBC — Wyatt and Rufus go rogue by traveling back to the 1980s in a desperate bid to save Jessica's life.

"Quantico" 10 p.m. ABC — Owen teaches the recruits a lesson about betrayal that includes trying to get the Venezuelan consul to turn on his country.


"Super Bowl Greatest Commericals 2017" 8 p.m. CBS — Hosts Boomer Esiason and Daniela Ruah count down the most popular TV commercials of all time.

"The Game of Dating" 8 p.m. TV One (new series) — Contestants observe and analyze couples on dates and try to predict the outcomes.

"The Have and the Have Nots" 9 p.m. OWN — Veronica helps Candace and Jeffery out of a precarious predicament.

"Switched at Birth" 9 p.m. Freeform (fifth season debut) — Daphne and Bay receive an emergency phone call while in China and return home.

"Bones" 9:01 p.m. Fox — The murder of a tutor of well-to-do students turns up a long list of possible suspects.

"Taboo" 10 p.m. FX — James protects his business by any means necessary after being blacklisted.


"Hunted" 8 p.m. CBS —  The hunters set up an online-dating profile to lure one pair of fugitives out of hiding.

"Showtime at the Apollo" 8 p.m. Fox — Steve Harvey hosts a talent showcase of music and comedy at New York's Apollo Theater.

"Madiba" 8 p.m. BET (new mini-series) — After his father's death and backing out of an arranged marriage, Nelson Mandela flees his village and heads to Johannesburg, where he continues his work as a underground revolutionary.

"Criminal Minds" 9 p.m. CBS — The BAU investigate when a bizarre hieroglyph is found under a deceased homeless man's armpit and it turns out to be the same one from previous casualties a few years ago.

"Vikings" 9 p.m. History (fourth season finale) — Prince Aethelwulf is targeted by the Vikings' battle plan, while Ecbert stays behind formulating his own plan.

"Star" 9:01 p.m. Fox — The trio are invited to perform at an elegant charity function but Jahil wants Alex to sing lead and emphatically encourages Star to get rid of Hunter.

"Bering Sea Gold" 10 p.m. Discovery (10th season debut) — The summer-mining season begins with a lack of gold in Nome, Alaska.

"Code Black" 10 p.m. CBS — The ER is quarantined when a viral outbreak jeopardizes the lives of the doctors and patients at Angels Memorial.

"The Expanse" 10 p.m. Syfy (second season debut) — James Holden and the crew deal with the aftermath of their escape from Eros.

"The Quad" 10 p.m. BET (new series) — Anoki Noni Rose plays an ambitious yet secretive new president of Georgia A&M, a fictional HBCU in Atlanta.

"Six" 10 p.m. History — The truth is revealed about Rip's departure from the SEAL team, and while being held in Nigeria, he attempts an escape.

"Suits" 10 p.m. USA — Harvey tries to repair a broken relationship, leaving Louis, Donna and Rachel to manage PSL in his absence.


"The Big Bang Theory" 8 p.m. CBS — Sheldon learns about an MIT invention that can help read people's emotions and decides to test it.

"Hell's Kitchen" 8 p.m. Fox (16th season finale)  — The final two are treated to makeovers before being surprised by actor Rob Morrow.

"Grey's Anatomy" 8 p.m. ABC — Eliza begins her first day at the hospital.

"Inside the Actor's Studio" 8 p.m. Bravo — Cuba Gooding Jr., who sheds light on his Hollywood career, talks about working with actors such as Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, and recalls his role as O.J. Simpson in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story."

"Powerless" 8:30 p.m. NBC (new series) — A woman begins her new job with a company specializing in products that make everyday citizens feel safer around damage caused by super heroes and villains that live amongst them.

"Superior Donuts" 8:30 p.m. CBS (new series) — A grumpy donut-shop owner and his new employee who work in a gentrifying Chicago neighborhood are followed in the series premiere of this comedy.

"Mom " 9 p.m. CBS — Christy, Bonnie, Jill and Wendy accidentally eat pot-filled cookies.

"Nashville " 9 p.m. CMT — Rayna and Deacon beef up their home security after Rayna's encounter with Carl Hockney.

"Top Chef " 9 p.m. Bravo — The chefs take a boat trip with Tom Colicchio to .learn about shrimping.

"My Kitchen Rules" 9:01 p.m. Fox — David Arquette hosts the next battle.

"Scandal" 9:01 p.m. ABC — Flashbacks from the campaign reveal Olivia's desire to win and the lengths she was willing to go to for a victory.

"The Blacklist" 10 p.m. NBC  — The team targets a sly assassin who kills her prey with a fatal disease.

"How To Get Away With Murder" 10 p.m. ABC — Annalise's life behind bars is a daily struggle that tests her sanity.

"Colony" 10 p.m. USA — Jennifer keeps an eye on the Bowman house.

"Training Day" 10 p.m. CBS (new series) — Kyle Craig, an idealistic police officer, is partnered with morally ambiguous detective Frank Rourke in the LAPD.


"Santa Clarita Diet" 3:01 a.m. Netflix  (new series) — In Santa Clarita Diet, Joel (Timothy Olyphant, Justified) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore, Blended) are husband and wife realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita with their teenaged daughter Abby (Liv Hewson), until Sheila goes through a dramatic change sending their lives down a road of death and destruction...but in a good way.

"Last Man Standing" 8 p.m. ABC — Mike and Vanessa pressure Eve to apply to college, and the school she finally chooses puzzles them.

"MacGyver" 8 p.m. CBS — An FBI agents goes rogue and frames a man for murder. Also: the team get performance reviews from their new boss.

"Hawaii Five-O" 9 p.m. CBS — Five-0 investigates a murder involving the illegal practice of shark finning.

"Shark Tank" 9 p.m. ABC— A professional bodybuilder from Nevada impresses the Sharks with his unique cooler.

"Sleepy Hollow" 9 p.m. Fox — Details about Dreyfuss' past involvement with supernatural occurrences are revealed when his former partner resurfaces to get even.

"Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset Of All Time" 9 p.m. Showtime — A behind-the-scenes look at Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign explores his shocking upset victory.

"Blue Bloods" 10 p.m. CBS  — A parole officer's romance with an ex-con leads to a possible cover-up in a gang leader's shooting.

"The Rap Game" 10:02 p.m. Lifetime — Celeb stylist April Roomet and rapper Jeezy help the kids uncover their own unique styles.


"High School Lover" 8 p.m. Saturday  Lifetime — A teenage girl starts dating an older famous actor, much to her father's dismay, but their romance puts her family in danger when her beau's adoration spirals into obsession. James Franco is in this film!

"Saturday Night Live" 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC — Kristen Stewart hosts.

"Kitten Bowl" noon Sunday Hallmark — Beth Stern hosts; Mary Carillo and John Sterling serve as announcers.

"Puppy Bowl" 3 p.m. Sunday Animal Planet — The 13th annual alternative Super Bowl and adoption fair showcases more than 75 puppies from 32 shelters romping on a miniature football field as Team Ruff takes on Team Fluff.

"Super Bowl" 6:30 p.m. Sunday Fox — The Atlanta Falcons try to win their first Super Bowle ever agains the New England Patriots. Lady Gaga performs at halftime.

"Mercy Street" 9 p.m. Sunday GPB — The Greens work together to hide an ugly secret.

"Victoria" 9 p.m. Sunday GPB — Second thoughts and other complications accent Victoria and Albert's potential marriage.

"The Young Pope" 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — A would-be priest's suicide sends Voiello into damage-control mode and searching for new paths to Lenny's downfall.