In February, May and November, television advertising rates are set, and the networks attempt to boost ratings. Cameos, plot twists, awards shows and the biggest televised event of the year — the Super Bowl — will keep viewers entertained before the return of reality programming. Although the upcoming sweeps season doesn’t herald many series premieres, there are plenty of special events and series developments for TV fans to look for.
Sunday at 10:30 p.m., Fox
“Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane’s new cartoon centers around the comic misadventures of a CIA agent and his family. Instead of Peter Griffin’s buffoonery, trigger-happy Stan leads the Smith household, awkward son Steve replaces the goofy Chris and an alcoholic alien replaces the alcoholic talking dog, Brian. It’s just like “Family Guy,” only with guns!
The Super Bowl
Sunday at 6:30 p.m., Fox
Terrell Owens has had six weeks to come up with an amazing touchdown celebration, and it would be an absolute shame for him to be stuck on the sidelines during the biggest football game of the year. The Patriots should let him score just to see what kind of antics he’s got up his sleeve.
Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fox
For the next month, guest star Kim Delaney will be appearing on “The O.C.” as Sandy’s long-lost lover. Expect serious tension, lots of melodrama and the possibility that Summer and Seth might get back together to keep every girl entertained. For guys, keep hope alive that Marissa’s lesbian love comes through.
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards
Sunday, February 13 at 8 p.m., CBS
Tim McGraw and Alicia Keys lead a list of mostly family-friendly nominees competing for accolades that nobody will remember at this time next year. If Milli Vanilli can win one of these, then there just might be hope for Maroon 5.
Sunday, February 20 at 9 p.m., CBS
Based on a series of novels by Robert B. Parker, “Stone Cold” stars Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone, a boozing, womanizing sheriff who must wrestle with his own demons while investigating a series of murders in a small-town high school. Look forward to the episode where he shaves his head and fights The Rock.
“Live From New York: The First Five Years of Saturday Night Live”
Sunday, February 20 at 9 p.m., NBC
Former cast members and writers look back at the formative years of “Saturday Night Live.” Archived footage will be aired for the first time, and viewers will finally get to see the true catalyst of “SNL’s” early greatness: lots and lots of cocaine.
The 77th Annual Academy Awards
Sunday, February 27 at 8 p.m., ABC
Chris Rock hosts the Oscars at the Kodak Theatre as Hollywood honors itself for almost five hours. While Jamie Foxx is favored to win Best Actor, the only certainty in this movie star glamourfest is the continual snubbing of Burt Reynolds for a lifetime achievement award.