Here’s what’s up in the world of television for February 9. All times are Eastern.
The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles (CBS, 8 p.m.): CBS, Ozymandias of networks, can afford to take on the Olympics. (Hell, it just scrapped partially scrapped its profitable Thursday-night lineup in favor of the larger potential profits of Thursday Night Football.) But The Good Wife and The Mentalist can’t handle this challenge—only something of the same magnitude as, say, The Beatles’ on Ed Sullivan, could be up to the task. What’s that you say? We’ve just passed the 50th anniversary of when four lads from Liverpool four-lads-from-Liverpooled-it-up on Sullivan’s stage? And the recording academy marked the occasion with a tribute concert featuring the two surviving lads from Liverpool? Well Liverpool our four lads! Better get Caroline Siede on the case right away!
The 2014 Winter Olympics (NBC, 7 p.m.): Team skating medals are handed out, presumably just as the NBC Sports team finishes explaining how the team skating competition works. Dennis Perkins could use further clarification.
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): And here’s the only other show that can offer legitimate competition to the Olympics. Having spent a few days taking in the televised sites of Sochi, Zack Handlen thinks “Yeah, I’d definitely take the zombie-infested prison over this.”
True Detective (HBO, 9 p.m.): The trail toward Reggie Ledoux is dark, twisty, and full dangerous characters. Erik Adams could make the easy Winter Olympics joke here, but he’d rather just express his excitement for having True Detective back after a week off.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (11 a.m.): It’s a triple-episode week for Alasdair Wilkins’ Who rewind—a heavy load made heavier by the first modern-era appearance of the Cybermen. (Like, a literal heavy load: All those robot suits must weigh a ton.)
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): What timing! The night the four lads from Liverpool change America all over again, one lad from Liverpool forever changes Lisa Simpson’s diet in “Lisa The Vegetarian.” Did you know that David spent his childhood in England? He probably knows dozens of lads from Liverpool.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Making Of A Lady (PBS, 10 p.m.): By title and opening scenes alone, you wouldn’t guess that this costume drama dissolves into a startlingly (and unfortunately) straightforward translation of cultural anxieties form 1900s England. But then Sonia Saraiya didn’t expect to review something that features an attempted abortion-via-cinnamon-milk, so we’re all being surprised by The Making Of A Lady.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Cinemax, 7:05 p.m.): In which Peter Jackson hears the phrase “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” and bizarrely applies it to the most sprint-like book in the Middle Earth saga.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Reelz, 9 p.m.): In which Italy’s competitors in biathlon ditch the skiing portion and sharpshoot the Old West into Swiss cheese. (Congratulations on the gold medal in cheese, Switzerland.)
NHRA Drag Racing: From Pomona, Cal. (ESPN, 8 p.m.): That’s right, drag racers—with the Olympics underway, it’s your time to shine! Don’t fuck it up by forgetting to drive fast!
TOMORROW IN TV CLUB
Editors and authorities scoffed at Phil Dyess-Nugent when he declared that ABC aired a series about a monster-hunting newspaperman in the 1970s. “But it’s true!” Phil shouted to unhearing ears, “It starred Darren McGavin, and he dressed like a carnival barker! It was a major influence on The X-Files!” No one would believe him, but Phil will have the last laugh when The A.V. Club posts a One Season Wonders, Weirdos, And Wannabes on Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Helix (Friday): Black helicopters swirled about Sonia Saraiya’s head as she put the finishing touches on her Helix review. “I don’t know guys, still not buying it,” she said, in a recording that has since been deemed classified.