Super Bowl Counterprogramming: Our Best-Of Guide

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Image Credit: Nick briggs/PBS

NBC will has already started its coverage of Super Bowl XLVI (it started at noon ET, but the actual game doesn’t start until 6:30pm). How are other channels trying to lure you away? Here’s a quick look:

Downton AbbeyI know at least one person staying home from a Super Bowl party so she can watch the new episode (PBS, check local listings). Here’s hoping Violet’s “cold” is better.

Chick flicks: TBS is betting on The Wedding Date (6:15 p.m. ET) and Hitch (8 p.m. ET), while AMC is following a 2:30 p.m. ET showing of Ghost with Sleepless in Seattle (5:30 p.m.) and an inspired E.T. chaser (8 p.m and 10:30 p.m. ET). I’d give the edge to AMC (and appreciate them branching out, which is less patronizing), but HBO has programmed the mothership, Titanic, at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Chick TV: E! has an eight-hour Sex and the City marathon starting at 3 p.m. ET.

All day Nora Roberts movie marathon: Lifetime will take that eight hours of sex and raise you: Carnal Innocence, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Colin Egglesfield (10 a.m. ET); Blue Smoke, starring Alicia Witt and Matthew Settle (noon ET); Angels Fall, starring Heather Locklear and Johnathon Schaech (2 p.m. ET); Northern Lights, starring LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian (4 p.m.ET); High Noon, starring Emilie de Ravin and Ivan Sergei (6 p.m. ET); Tribute, starring Brittany Murphy and Jason Lewis (8 p.m. ET); and Montana Sky, starring Ashley Williams and John Corbett (10 p.m. ET).

Strange Sex: TLC just cuts right to the chase with a six-hour marathon starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Cute Overload: The two-hour Puppy Bowl VIII  premieres at 3 p.m. ET — and repeats five times in a row on Animal Planet. Food Network has a five-hour Cupcake Wars marathon starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Real Housewives marathon: Episodes of Orange County, Beverly Hills, and Atlanta run from 11:45 a.m. ET through 2 a.m. ET on Bravo.

Dude TV: SPEED comes to play with Dumbest Stuff on Wheels from 5 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET — with an 8 p.m. break for Hooters Dream Girl. Still, I think ESPN is more likely to suck you in with four hours of the World’s Strongest Man Competition starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Procedural marathons: Controversial! USA isn’t going with NCIS, instead, Law & Order: SVU gets 14 hours starting at 9 a.m. ET. TNT has 19 hours of Law & Order starting at 4 a.m. ET.

More lengthy marathons: BBC America has 20 hours of Absolutely Fabulous starting at 10 a.m. ET; WEtv has 17 hours of My Wedding With David Tutera starting at noon ET; Syfy has 13 hours of  Being Human starting at 9 a.m. ET; and History has 10 hours of Pawn Stars starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Oprah: OWN pulls out the big gun with seven hours of Oprah’s Next Chapter and Oprah Presents Master Class starting at 7 p.m. ET.

MTV: A four-hour Teen Mom 2 marathon begins at 6 p.m. ET.

Actual music: A five-hour countdown of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 00s begins at 7 p.m. ET on VH1; FUSE has a 24-hour Sexiest marathon starting at 6 a.m. ET.

Discovery: Another reason to be happy you have HD: A four-hour Life marathon starts at 6 p.m. ET.

Read more:
Super Bowl advertisements: Six ways to get noticed 
Super Bowl 2012 Commercials: Your complete guide
Photo Gallery: Super Bowl: 10 Most Memorable Halftime Shows 

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