If it feels like you've been held hostage by your TV the last three weekends, you're not alone. When the Academy bumped this year's awards up to early February, it set up an unusually packed sequence of major TV broadcasts, starting with the Grammys on January 26th, followed by the Super Bowl the following Sunday, and ending this week with the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. Also this weekend: The XFL returns after an eighteen year break, RuPaul makes his SNL hosting debut, Homeland kicks off its final season and Power airs its series finale. Here's what's new and noteworthy on TV this weekend:
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8
NEW EPISODE: It's hard to believe, but after 30 years in the entertainment business, tonight is RuPaul's first time hosting Saturday Night Live. He'll be joined by musical guest Justin Bieber. Judging by the promos, Ru isn't the least bit intimidated by last week's host. 11:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM PT on NBC
SPORTS: It's been 19 years since the original XFL played its first and only season, and two years since Vince McMahon announced plans to bring the upstart football league back, but the big day has finally arrived. And from the looks of things, XFL Football may have struck upon a solid game plan this time around, with deals in place to allow as many viewers as possible scratch that football itch now that the NFL's season has come to a close.
PREMIERE MOVIE: Bill Pullman stars as Josh Mansky, an all but forgotten genius who the U.S. government enlists to play a chess match against the Russian champion in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis. The Coldest Game follows the heightening tensions between the two countries as their rivalry plays out on the global stage and in a largely overlooked chess game in Warsaw. Watch the trailer. Streaming on Netflix
MADE FOR TV MOVIE: Hallmark is ramping up for Valentine's Day with the original movie Matching Hearts. Julie (Taylor Cole) plays a local matchmaker who is determined to get Daniel (Ryan Paevey) to sign up as a client. Of course, once he agrees to give it a go, Julie realizes she may be his perfect match. 9:00 PM ET on Hallmark
MADE FOR TV MOVIE: In The Neighbor in the Window, Karen (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) moves to a new town with her family, where she quickly befriends her neighbor Lisa (Jenn Lyon). But when Karen learns Lisa isn't telling her the truth, and is spreading lies around town, she quickly realizes she has fallen into a trap. 8:00 PM ET on Lifetime
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9
AWARDS SHOW: The top contenders at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards are an eclectic mix, to say the least. The controversial Joker is leads the pack with eleven nominations while 1917 and Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood are close on its heals with 10 nominations each. Will any of these films be adapted for TV at some point in the future? With past as prologue, there's a very good chance. 8:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM PT on ABC
SEASON PREMIERE: The eighth and final season of Homeland finds Carrie (Claire Danes) recuperating in Germany, while Max (Maury Sterling) embarks upon his latest mission. If you stopped following the series at some point, Primetimer's Sarah D. Bunting says it's time to jump back in. 9:00 PM ET on Showtime
SERIES FINALE: After six seasons, the crime drama Power is coming to an end with an episode that will finally let viewers know exactly who killed Ghost (Omari Hardwick). Multiple endings were shot, but show creator Courtney Kemp hasn't revealed whether the true ending has been leaked. 8:00 PM ET on Starz
SEASON PREMIERE: Jim Carrey returns as Jeff (aka Mr. Pickles) in the second season of Kidding. In what sounds like a throwback to Carrey's hit film Liar Liar, our hero realizes he can get exactly what he wants if can just bring himself to tell a lie. Watch the preview. 10:00 PM ET on Showtime
SEASON PREMIERE: As the reality series Shahs of Sunset returns for Season 8, Raz and GG feel the time has come to reconcile. Meanwhile, Mike claims to be a changed man. 9:00 PM ET on Bravo
SEASON PREMIERE: In the second season of Joe Berlinger's Wrong Man, the docuseries examines a possible case of wrongful conviction. Watch the preview. 9:45 PM ET on Starz
Mike Attebery is Senior Editor at Primetimer and the author of seven mystery thrillers. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeattebery.