Wednesday TV: ‘Celebrity Big Brother’

celebrity-big-brotherThe Olympics still don’t open for a couple of days, but counter-programming is already here. And when NBC goes high, ABC (with next week’s “Bachelor Winter Games”) and CBS go low.

I have to admit I was interested when they announced a U.S. “Celebrity Big Brother” (CBS, 8 p.m.). The variation, a hit in many other places in the world, has never been tried here. Then they announced the participants and it seemed less interesting, particularly with the participation of professional reality show villain Omarosa, who was also part of the reality White House staff for almost a year.  Nearly as annoying a participant? The squeaky-voiced former “Tonight” show intern  Ross Mathews.

Who else? There’s a former “Real Housewife” Brandi Lynn Glanville, a former UFC fighter Chuck Liddell, James Maslow of the Disney group Big Time Rush, former “Cosby Show” kid Keshia Knight Pullman, and Marissa Jaret Winokur of Broadway’s “Hairspray,”  Also: Sugar Ray singer turned TV host Mark McGrath, weirdly-named former NBA star Metta World Peace, “American Pie” star Shannon Elizabeth and TV Host Armanda Gutierrez, a former Miss Columbia who was mistakenly named Miss Universe by Steve Harvey a couple of years ago. Julie Chen returns to host in what looks like an amusingly gilded Big Brother House.

“Celebrity Big Brother” only runs for three and a half weeks, about the length of the Winter Games, but it comes with all the usual BB accouterments: A live 24-hour feed available online and the nightly “Celebrity Big Brother After Dark” (Pop, midnight).

Do we new another “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”? A new variation of the show that first appeared 15 years ago is now online. Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France are the new crew for this “Queer Eye” (Netflix, streaming).

It sounds like the kind of big building project show that used to be found only on cable, but the new public television series, “Impossible Builds” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) concentrates on sleek new architecture, starting with Zaha Hadid’s curved skyscraper in Miami.

A third season starts for “Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block” (Syfy, 10 p.m.), the dark anthology series about internet legends. Tonight’s is about mysterious staircases in the city.

On “Nova” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), a 13,000 year old skeleton is found in an underwater cave in Mexico.

On the finale of “Knightfall” (History, 10 p.m.), the Templars fight with the Red Knights. Confusingly, it comes after “Buried: Knights Templar and the Holy Grail” (History, 8 p.m.) on the same channel.

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS, 10 p.m.) may have something to say about treason and military parades. But the third season premiere concentrates on Black History Month too.

Each episode of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX, 10 p.m.) manages to tell a complete tale, usually surrounding a single murder. Tonight’s goes back in time to the murder of a young Minneapolis architect.

“Waco” (Paramount, 10 p.m.) reaches its midpoint with the big ATF shootout in February that led to the long standoff.

“The Librarians” (TNT, 8 p.m.) reaches its fourth season finale when the world morphs into a horrible place.

“The Amazing Race” (CBS, 9 p.m.) continues in Zimbabwe.

Jeff tries to lure Fallon back on “Dynasty” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

More critters become unwitting cinematographers on “Animals with Cameras, a Nature Miniseries” (PBS, 8 p.m.).

FP and Jughead work out their issues on “Riverdale” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

Zoe parties to forget a breakup on “Grown-ish” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

On “The Blacklist” (NBC, 8 p.m.), bodies are discovered in abandoned woods.

Skinner goes AWOL when his past returns to haunt him on “The X-Files” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

A marriage proposal goes wrong on “9-1-1” (Fox, 9 p.m.).

On “Chicago P.D.” (NBC, 10 p.m.), a basketball star is found murdered after an anti-police rally.

A baby goes missing on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

Julia helps Alice through a personal crisis on “The Magicians” (Syfy, 9 p.m.).

“Expedition Unknown” (Travel, 9 p.m.) travels to Egypt.

Lynda Carter, Sam Richardson, Cheryl Hines, Colton Haynes, Caroline Rhea and Taye Diggs play the “Match Game” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

Turner Classic Movies’ 31 Days of Oscars concentrates on special effects nominees and winners, with “Blithe Spirit” (6:15 a.m.), “One Million B.C.” (8 a.m.), “Mighty Joe Young” (9:30 a.m.), “The Time Machine” (11:15 a.m.), “The Spirit of St. Louis” (1:15 p.m.), “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” (3:45 p.m.) and “The Enemy Below” (6:15 p.m.). At prime time, it’s all winners: “2001: A Space Odyssey” (8 p.m.), “Cocoon” (11:45 p.m.), “Logan’s Run” (2 a.m.) and “The Poseidon Adventure” (4:15 a.m.).

NBA action includes Minnesota at Cleveland (ESPN, 8 p.m.) and San Antonio at Phoenix (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

Hockey has Boston at Rangers (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.).

Men’s college basketball includes St. John’s at Villanova (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.), Wake Forest at Miami (ESPN2, 7 p.m.), South Florida at Connecticut (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), East Carolina at Temple (ESPNews, 7 p.m.), Marquette at Seton Hall (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m.), VCU at Richmond (CBS Sports, 9 p.m.), Texas A&M at Auburn (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), Iowa State at Texas Tech (ESPNU, 9 p.m.), Creighton at DePaul (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m.), UNLV at Nevada (CBS Sports, 11 p.m.) and California at Colorado (ESPNU, 11 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Whitney Cummings, Baha Men. The View: Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler & Spencer Stone, Valerie Jarrett. The Talk: Kelsey Grammar, Charlie Puth, Tabatha Coffey. Harry Connick: Rick Springfield, Jace Norman, Joey Thurman, Page Turner, Deron Jenkins. Steve Harvey: Eddie Tamara Taylor. Ellen DeGeneres: Milo Ventimiglia, Dax Shepard. Wendy Williams: Robin Thede. The Real: Danica McKellar.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: John Oliver, Beanie Feldstein, Wolfgang Puck. Jimmy Kimmel: Rose Byrne, Richard Jenkins, In Real Life. Jimmy Fallon: Sienna Miller, Tim Tebow, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Tye Tribbett. Seth Meyers: John Mulaney, Rep. Seth Moulton, Matty Matheson, Alan Cage. James Corden: Meghan Trainor, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee. Carson Daly: Daniel Bruhl, Angus & Julia Stone, Orla Doherty. Trevor Noah: Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler & Spencer Stone. Jordan Klepper: Hank Newsome. Conan O’Brien: Kumuli Nanjiani, Van Jones, Judah & the Lion.


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