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Posted on Jan 31, 2014

What To Watch On Sunday If You're Not Into The Super Bowl

Instead of watching the Denver Broncos battle the Seattle Seahawks, you could spend the day with Betty White, Sherlock Holmes, Rick Grimes, or a litter of puppies. All times Eastern.

Yes, nearly everyone you know will be spending Feb. 2 elbow deep in seven-layer dip, either watching the Broncos and the Seahawks go head-to-head in Super Bowl XLVIII, or knocking back beers while ignoring the game and waiting for commercials.

But if neither of those things interest you, dozens of other networks are offering plenty of Super Bowl counter-programming options.

Here are your best bets for a still super, but non-football Sunday television experience:

The Walking Dead


Why: Because there's more testosterone in one episode of The Walking Dead than there is in the Seahawks' entire starting line!

When: 10 a.m.–12 a.m. on AMC

Puppy Bowl X

Animal Planet

Why: Because it's the cutest thing you'll see on TV all year.

When: 3 p.m. kickoff with the "game" running on loop until 12 a.m. on Animal Planet

Kitten Bowl

The Hallmark Channel

Why: Because you can never have too much of a good thing, and these frolicking fuzzballs are the perfect Puppy Bowl companion!

When: 12 p.m. kickoff with repeats until 12 a.m. on Hallmark Channel

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

NBC Universal

Why: Because time ceases to exist once you're sucked into a L&O marathon. Sit down to watch one episode and the next thing you know, it'll be Monday.

When: 1 p.m.–11 p.m. on USA

Saturday Night Live


Why: Because if you want to see athletes embarrass themselves off the field, these cherry-picked episodes (hosted by Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and Tom Brady) are just the ticket.

When: 4 p.m.–11 p.m. on VH1



Why: Because you might want tips on getting away with murder after your partner spends eight hours screaming at a television. Just kidding.

When: 10 a.m.–1 a.m. on Oxygen

Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse


Why: Because, much like the Super Bowl, Edward and Bella's love is endless.

When: 6:30 p.m.–2:30 a.m. on FX

The Real Housewives of Atlanta


Why: Because, unless they're talking about marrying an athlete, the subject of sports will never come up.

When: 10 a.m.–11 p.m. on Bravo

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Warner Bros.

Why: Because director Alfonso Cuarón's decidedly darker entry set the tone for every subsequent film in the Harry Potter franchise. Also, recent award show appearances have buoyed the belief that Emma Thompson is a lot more like Professor Trelawney than we first thought.

When: 6 p.m.–9 p.m. (and then again at 9 p.m.) on ABC Family

Alaska: The Last Frontier


Why: Because the Kilcher family — from an isolated community outside Homer, Alaska — laugh in the face of New Jersey's predicted 43 degree weather that all sports analysts are fearing.

When: 2 p.m.–12 a.m. on Discovery

Sex and the City


Why: Because this marathon is like the Super Bowl of fashion!

When: 2 p.m.–9 p.m. on E!


Courtesy of Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE

Why: Because PBS is one of the only channels airing original episodes (of Downton Abbey and Sherlock) on Super Bowl Sunday, and they should be rewarded for taking that risk by people like you.

When: 9 p.m.–11 p.m. on PBS

The First 48


Why: Because the ticking-clock factor makes this real-life Law & Order one of TV's most consistently compelling nailbiters.

When: 6 p.m.–12 a.m. on A&E

Parks and Recreation


Why: Because it's never too late to fall in love with TV's most wonderful comedy.

When: 8 p.m.–10 p.m. on Esquire TV

Shrek, Shrek 2, and Shrek the Third

DreamWorks Animation

Why: Because the star of this very funny franchise could easily take on the Broncos' defensive line and emerge unscathed.

Where: 6 p.m.–12 a.m. on TBS

Shameless, House of Lies, and Episodes


Why: Because, like Downton and Sherlock, these three super-underrated shows prove their boldness by airing originals opposite football's biggest night.

When: 9 p.m.–11 p.m. on Showtime

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Paramount Television

Why: Because a Star Trek: TNG marathon is the most engaging counter-programming imaginable.

When: BBC America, 5 p.m.–midnight

Betty White Marathon

TV Land
Touchstone Television

Why: Because Betty White is a national treasure, and if we won't be getting another amazing SB commercial from her this year, at least we have a Hot in Cleveland and Golden Girls marathon to bring the laughs.

When: TV Land, 5 p.m.–midnight

Tyler Perry Movie Marathon

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Why: Because Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married, and Why Did I Get Married Too will, undoubtedly, make all your sports-related relationship issues seem insignificant by comparison.

When: TNT, 6 p.m.–1 a.m.

Chopped All-Pizza Episode

Food Network

Why: Because pizza is the Super Bowl dish du jour, and this all-pie competition ensures you'll be able to consume it for breakfast, dinner, and desert.

When: Food Network, 9 p.m.

TV and Movies

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