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Super Bowl: The ads designed for TV junkies

Year in, year out, the Super Bowl draws a huge audience -- bigger than anything else on TV these days. And it's a safe bet that many of those Super Bowl viewers are not the types caught up on the latest "House of Cards" season or seeking out "Borgen" on whatever service it's available in now.

Which is to say, not all Super Bowl viewers are TV junkies. This is true even of the people who claim to watch the big game just for the ads. But the Super Bowl ad must relate to the widest swath of people possible, which is why you so often get ads employing love of animals, bizarre new characters or arty references to one of the most important works of literature of the 20th century (that's Ridley Scott's "1984" Apple ad).

But occasionally, the TV junkies will get something to crow about. An ad that speaks just to them. Or at least, it speaks more to them than the person still in tears about the one with the guy and his Clydesdale.

So rather than take another look at the "Mean" Joe Greene ad or...

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Most important thing on TV this year could be this Super Bowl PSA

A few years ago, my husband wanted to call directory assistance, but accidentally dialed 911. “Oh, sorry,” he said when the dispatcher answered, and he hung up.

Five minutes later, a police officer arrived at our door. Richard explained what had happened and the officer nodded and asked to come in.

“Is your wife here?” he asked.

I had no idea why any of this was happening; I was reading in our bedroom and suddenly there was police officer standing in the doorway asking if everything was all right.

“Yes,” I answered, startled.

He asked if we had children, and when we called them, asked them the same question. He was calm and friendly, but he scanned our faces carefully before wishing us a good night. The whole thing took less than five minutes.

Richard was impressed; he thought the officer was making sure we all weren’t being held against our will by an intruder.

“No,” I said. “He thought it might have been a domestic violence call.”

For a few minutes, my husband was speechless. “Me?”...

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'Lewis and Clark' miniseries with Casey Affleck heads to HBO

Casey Affleck will play Meriwether Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts will play William Clark in "Lewis and Clark," a new six-hour miniseries greenlighted by HBO on Friday.

The miniseries also boasts an all-star roster of executive producers, including Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, who previously executive-produced "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific." Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Tim Kelly and Adam Leipzig are also executive producers.

The miniseries is based on the book "Undaunted Courage" by historian Stephen Ambrose, who also wrote the book "Band of Brothers."

Lewis and Clark are best known for their epic journey through the lands west of the Mississippi with their Corps of Discovery, encountering many Native American tribes on their path to the Pacific Ocean.

The HBO announcement is careful to point out that the miniseries won't just be a rah-rah celebration of the explorers, but also a look at the physical, emotional and mental toll their journey took on them.

While Affleck...

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This PSA is one Super Bowl ad that's sure to grab attention

Mixed in with all the wacky, goofy and mawkishly sentimental ads set to air during this year's Super Bowl is one spot that's already generating a lot of discussion. It's an anti-domestic violence PSA from the NFL and the No More campaign and it's an attempt by the league to help fix one of the many problems it has dealt with this year.

During a press conference to discuss the pre-Super Bowl so-called Deflategate controversy with the media, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "It has been a tough year."

He was referring to the ongoing controversies over player concussions and outrage over how the league handled the domestic violence charges against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice was initially suspended from two games after knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator, as seen in a video. Rice was later suspended from the league indefinitely, but was then reinstated after winning an appeal in court.

Hoping to counterbalance widespread criticism over...

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Saturday's TV Highlights and Weekend Talk: 'The Musketeers'

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TV listings for the week of Feb. 1 - 7, 2015 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



Austin City Limits The Black Keys perform songs from the album "Turn Blue," and J. Roddy Walston and his trio also perform. 8 p.m. KVCR

The Musketeers A Spanish general (Colin Salmon) agrees to trade the formula for a unique and powerful gunpowder in exchange for the Musketeer's help in rescuing his kidnapped daughter. Howard Charles, Tom Burke and Santiago Cabrera star. 9 p.m. BBC America

Transporter: The Series In this new episode Frank (Chris Vance) is hired to transport a $10-million racehorse. Violante Placido also stars. 10 p.m. TNT


Super Bowl Specials On Super Bowl eve, NBC has devoted the evening to the NFL Championship game beginning at 7:30 p.m. with "Super Bowl Zone" a preview of Super Bowl XLIX. That's followed at 8 p.m. by "Saturday Night Live: NFL Saturday," featuring NFL and...

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TV This Week, Feb. 1 - 7: Gabrielle Union in 'Being Mary Jane'

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TV listings for the week of Feb. 1 - 7, 2015 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks meet in "Super Bowl XLIX." Idina Menzel sings the national anthem, and Katy Perry rocks the halftime show. 3 p.m. NBC

Dislike football but like animals and/or Roman numerals? There's "Kitten Bowl II" and "Puppy Bowl XI." Noon and 3 p.m. Hallmark Channel; 3 and 5 p.m. Animal Planet

"Red" alert! James Spader is back with a two-part episode of "The Blacklist." "Sons of Anarchy's" Ron Perlman guest stars. 7:15 p.m. NBC; concludes Thu., 9 p.m.

The 2013 documentary "Anita" revisits Anita Hill's 1991 sexual-harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. 8 p.m. Epix


Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli put pint-sized bakers through their paces in the new series "Kids Baking Championship." 8 p.m. Food Network

The unscripted...

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