Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, January 20. All times are Eastern.
The Inauguration Of Joseph R. Biden Jr. (basically everywhere, almost all day): We’d love to make jokes about the door not hitting the soon-to-be-former president on the way out, but it doesn’t feel right. Not the door part—go ahead and hit him, door! Do your worst! Doors can punch white supremacists, too!—but the jokes part. Today’s presidential inauguration won’t look like any other in history; if your nerves are a bit thin, that’s to be expected. Ours, too. Still, at approximately noon, let’s all take a collective deep breath and watch Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris take their oaths of office. Here’s a rough schedule of what’s happening. And hey, parents—make sure to take note of the kid-oriented option the Biden Inaugural Committee has put together.
Inaugural ceremonies (10:30 a.m., all major networks, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon, you get the idea): Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem, Harris and Biden will be sworn in, and Biden will give his inaugural address.
Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration For Young Americans (10:30 a.m., Nickelodeon, Discovery Education, PBS, Amazon, and elsewhere, and streaming at BidenInaugural.org/Youth): It’s the inauguration, but for kids. Keke Palmer hosts; expect to see a message from Dr. Jill Biden, trivia with Doug Emhoff, commentary from Doris Kearns Goodwin, and a segment on presidential pets.
A whole bunch of presidents go to Arlington (approximately 2 p.m.): Biden, Harris, and their spouses pay a visit to the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, joined by Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Jimmy Carter is sitting this one out because he’s 93 and there’s a pandemic so we’re cool with that.
Presidential escort, plus a parade on the internet (approximately 3 p.m.) The newly inaugurated president and vice president head to the White House. In lieu of the traditional parade (again, pandemic), following Biden’s escort a “Parade Across America” will take place on all the various and sundry streaming sites.
Celebrating America (8:30 p.m., ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, PBS, Amazon, Twitch, Bing, the list goes on, and no the Bing part is not a joke): Tom Hanks hosts a 90-minute special that will include “remarks from President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and include remarks and performances that represent the rich diversity and extensive talent America offers. Celebrating America will feature Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, and Kerry Washington.”
Riverdale (The CW, 8 p.m.): season-five premiere
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS, 10:30 p.m.): We’re not sure what Sam Bee and company have in store, but we’re guessing it’ll be at least a little bit cathartic.