The Super Bowl has evolved from a football championship game to an annual popular culture event. Even people who aren’t sports fans host Super Bowl parties and watch for the big-budget halftime performances (this year it’s Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and some of the most entertaining commercials of the year. So it only makes sense that there’s now a variety of programming leading up to Super Bowl XLVII (6:25 p.m. Sunday, Fox) and, like the big game itself, there’s a little something for everyone.
SNL Sports Spectacular (9 p.m. Thursday, NBC) – Seth Meyers hosts this tribute to all the sports-themed sketches on Saturday Night Live over the years, from Olympic parodies to “Da Bears.”
Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off (noon Saturday, Food Network) – Get some game-day grub inspiration as “celebrities” like SNL alum Chris Kattan, ’80s teeny bopper Tiffany and an ex-Bachelor compete to create the best wings and nachos.
Super Bowl Tailgate Takeover (1 p.m. Sunday, Travel Channel) – Football fans across the country talk tailgating with Man Vs. Food’s Adam Richman, who helps create over-the-top tailgate experiences for Seahawks and Broncos fans.
Puppy Bowl X (3 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet) – An adorable 10-year tradition! Keyboard Cat headlines the halftime show (seriously).
Kitten Bowl (noon Sunday, Hallmark Channel) – This year, felines get in on the animal-themed Super Bowl spoofing fun for the first time.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 29
American Horror Story: Coven (Season Finale, 10 p.m., FX) – Ding dong, the bitch is dead — actually, most of them are — and now the new Supreme will finally be revealed
Workaholics (10 p.m., Comedy Central) -– The guys try to butter Alice up with sexual favors hoping she will let them have a fish fry at the office.
The Real World: Ex-plosion (10 p.m., MTV) – Surprise (not really)! The housemates’ exes move in.
Broad City (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) -– Abbi purchases marijuana; Ilana files her taxes.
THURSDAY JAN. 30
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC) -– Keep some tissues handy — Leslie and the whole Pawnee crew say goodbye to Ann and Chris as Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe star in their final episode as series regulars. Hopefully the characters will live on via Skype sessions or special trips back to Pawnee. And I’m expecting baby pictures after the arrival of little Traeger — who I’m guessing will be literally the cutest baby of all time.
SATURDAY FEB. 1
Girls (10 p.m., HBO) -– Hannah and friends get an early premiere day due to the Super Bowl. At David’s funeral, Hannah learns surprising information about her late editor, including the fate of her e-book. Elsewhere, an unlikely coupling results in a surprising Girls hookup.
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Melissa McCarthy hosts; Imagine Dragons performs.
SUNDAY FEB. 2
Sherlock (Season Finale, 10 p.m., PBS) – I know Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are busy guys, but couldn’t they film a season with more than three episodes? In this third season finale, Sherlock and Watson tango with a new villain, “the Napoleon of blackmail,” who knows the secrets and weaknesses of many of the world’s most powerful people.
New Girl (10:30 p.m., Fox) – The one and only Prince makes his anticipated appearance on this special post-Super Bowl episode.
MONDAY FEB. 3
How I Met Your Mother (8 p.m., CBS) – As Ted and Robin search for an M.I.A. drunk Barney on the wedding day, the two reflect on past relationships. Stella (Sarah Chalke), Victoria (Ashley Williams), Janeane (Abby Elliott, whose real-life dad plays Lily’s father) and Tim Gunn all make an appearance.
TUESDAY FEB. 4
Justified (10 p.m., FX) – Mobsters seek revenge on Raylan, threatening to reveal secrets from his past. Boyd faces a major loss.
Kroll Show (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Ref Jeff finally finds someone to meet up with at Red Robin; the Wheels Ontario kids head south of the border — to the States.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern