This week's gold-medal question: Can NBC reverse its spotty track record when it comes to using the ratings boost of the Olympics to launch new programs? (Remember the Summer 2012 debacle when the network interrupted the flow of London's Closing Ceremony to inflict Animal Practice on an unwilling captive audience?)
The news is better this weekend, during the closing nights of the Games. The comedies getting a sneak peek are considerably more entertaining than Animal Practice — what wouldn't be? — and they won't air until after that night's Olympics packages are finished.
First up is NBC's best new comedy of the season (including the star-driven disappointments that flopped on Thursdays this fall): About a Boy, airing Saturday night at approximately 11/10c before moving to its regular time period next Tuesday at 9/8c. This charmingly offbeat ...
The annual musical circus known as the Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, featuring performances from Lorde, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves and Robin Thicke. Power couple Beyonce and Jay Z are also reportedly planning to perform together.
As is typical for the Grammys,
Something you don't expect any NBC show that isn't The Voice to be asking: "Are you better off than a year ago?" Leave it to cockeyed optimist Leslie Knope (the sublime Amy Poehler), the hopeful heart and resilient soul of Parks and Recreation, to set herself up for a smackdown in the too-soon season finale (Thursday, 9:31/8:31c), by posing this question at a public forum that she naively sees as a "victory lap" to celebrate her one-year anniversary in office. While Leslie contends with a Pawnee version of Tea Party-style opposition — in this town, more like "sweet tea," with extra sugar in a 512 oz. cup — Andy (Chris Pratt) adopts his bumbling "Burt Macklin, FBI" persona (always a win) to solve a mystery that could change one of his co-worker's life forever. NBC is certainly better off for sticking with this show as it has improved over the seasons to become the network's most reliably enjoyable comedy — even though this already eventful and possibly pivotal episode would have been better off without the subplot involving Tom's "Rent-a-Swag" business and his contentious relationship with Jean-Ralphio's horror-show sister Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate).
Music producer Phil Ramone passed away Saturday morning in New York, his family confirmed to CNN. He was 72.
If only they'd blacked out the ads.
What a bizarre Super Bowl Sunday it was, from the oddly imbalanced game to the 34-minute Superdome power outage that separated the Ravens blowout of the first half from the 49ers blowout of the second half, pushing a fairly gripping Elementary episode past prime time on the East Coast.