Not Interested in the Super Bowl? Watch a New Episode of Downton Abbey or Girls Instead

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 31 2014 5:15 PM

Not Interested in the Super Bowl? Here’s What Else Is on TV This Sunday

The Super Bowl will consume much of the country’s attention on Sunday night, and a cursory glance at the TV schedule shows than many channels have already thrown in the towel and programmed reruns for the evening.

Not everything is on hiatus, though: Some of the best programs are running as normal, perhaps on the assumption that fans of, say, Downton Abbey or Girls aren’t that keen on football. (Just in case that assumption is wrong, though, Girls is available to stream early).


What’s on and what’s not? For your Super-Bowl-free Sunday planning convenience, here’s a quick rundown of what you can watch if football isn’t your thing.

Downton Abbey is new: Season 4, Episode 5, will air at the show’s regular time (9 p.m. EST on PBS) and, judging from the Wikipedia recap, will include a whole host of storylines. (For instance—spoiler alert?—“Cora has to persuade a nervous Mrs. Patmore to exchange their ice-box for a refrigerator.”)

Sherlock is new, and it’s the season finale. Season 3, Episode 3, “His Last Vow,” will air after Downton (10 p.m. EST on PBS), and it promises to be a kicker. "Evil mastermind" Charles Augustus Magnusson faces off with the erratic detective to put, says PBS, “everything in Sherlock’s world in question.”

Girls is new: Season 3, Episode 5, “Only Child,” is playing three times (10 p.m., 11 p.m., and 12 a.m. EST on HBO), alternating with Looking. This week—like most weeks—Hannah makes a social misstep, and Marnie asks Ray for an honest assessment of her personality. You can catch it early on HBO GO.

Looking is also new: Episode 3, “Looking at Your Browser History,” is playing three times (10:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m., and 12:30 a.m. EST on HBO), and, among other things, follows Andrew to a party on an aircraft carrier, where he meets his handsome new boss. HBO is releasing this one early on HBO GO, too.

True Detective is off for the week; new episodes return Feb. 9 on HBO.

The Walking Dead is also off this Sunday, and it also returns Feb. 9. In the meantime, AMC is running a “Zombie Bowl Marathon” of past episodes if you’d rather watch zombies clobber one another than football players.

Lance Richardson is a writer based in New York. Follow him on Twitter, or visit his website.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 11:36 AM Breaking Up Countries Is Still Hard to Do
Business Insider
Sept. 19 2014 11:37 AM Why Urban Outfitters and Other Brands Troll Their Customers
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 19 2014 11:32 AM Why Do Pirates Talk Like That?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Sept. 19 2014 11:51 AM This Is All That’s Left of New York’s Once-Thriving Borscht Belt 
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 11:40 AM Apple Invented the Perfect Way to Handle Your Giant New Phone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM The Curious Incident of the Supernova in the Nighttime
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.