Photo: Barry King (Getty Images)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, February 24. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

The 91st Annual Academy Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.): That 8 p.m. is a bit misleading. ABC’s Oscars coverage beings at 1 p.m. So does the coverage on E!, which then begins its official red carpet whatever at 5 p.m. ABC dips away to do some American Idol thing and the news, but then it’s back at 6:30 p.m., a full 90 minutes before the hostless, three-hour ceremony starts. It is a lot.

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But hey, that’s only fitting. The Oscars are supposed to be a lot. You know who knew that? Cher. Look at her up there. Cher understands. The Oscars are ridiculous. A bunch of preternaturally beautiful people with an obscene amount of money put on free clothes and borrowed diamonds, then gather in one place to accept golden statuettes with chiseled buttocks in honor of their work in an art form (and major industry) that began like this:

It’s possible that this year’s ceremony, with its supremely messy lead-up, could be real weird. (Who’s ready for Adam Lambert and Queen?) And we have our qualms, to be sure: no Burning, no Eighth Grade, a whole lot of Bohemian Rhapsody. The list goes on. But at least they’re presenting all 24 awards during the broadcast now. We’ll get to hear “Shallow.” There’s a decent chance that Ruth E. Carter’s incredible Black Panther costumes will get their due, and at least a faint possibility that we’ll get to hear Olivia Colman say “cor blimey” and call Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone her bitches again. And we fervently hope that at least one famous person has learned the lessons that Cher taught us: It’s the Oscars, you fools, so go ahead and wear something stupid and fucking fabulous.

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We’ll be live-blogging whatever the hell happens. See you then.

Regular coverage

True Detective (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.)

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Wild card

Whiskey Cavalier (ABC, 11:35 p.m.): It would seem that part of the reason the powers that be at ABC were so dead set on getting the Oscars done in three hours or less was that they are very eager to keep those cinephiles around for this early look at their new spy show. Here’s our own Erik Adams, explaining that silly, silly title in his mostly positive pre-air review:

Whiskey Cavalier refers to the codename of uncommonly sensitive, recently dumped FBI agent Will Chase (Scott Foley). The softest boy in all of U.S. intelligence—whom multiple characters sincerely refer to as “Whiskey” in the pilot—is teamed with emotionally closed-off CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (a.k.a. “Fiery Tribune,” played by Walking Dead survivor Lauren Cohan) to head a ragtag interagency team consisting of an Edward Snowden-type hacker (Tyler James Williams), a master profiler (Ana Ortiz), and a fashionable gadget guy (Vir Das). Williams’ character, Edgar Standish, finds the pulse of the situation between Will and Frankie—and what will undoubtedly be a major factor moving forward—from the backseat of the very first speeding vehicle they all share together: “A lot of sexual tension in the car.”

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Once that final statue has been handed out (and the news is over), you’ll perhaps be high on that surprise Black Panther win, or grumpy about a Green Book or Bohemian Rhapsody victory. This seems like a good bet for taking the edge off, at least a little.