Saturday TV: The Life of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton's concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain - 1990As big a rock star that he became, Eric Clapton remained a reserved personality. So a lot of what is revealed in the terrific bio film “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) is a revelation, from a shocking young life to his immersion in an art form he found through a kids’ radio show, the blues. As a guitarist, he was a teen prodigy, who found his way to the Yardbirds, but quit when their pop tendencies took him away from his interests. He created a new sound for electric blues with John Mayall, and an explosive new hybrid in Cream, an experience that nearly burnt him out.

His searching was echoed in his work in Blind Faith, but he was destroyed by his love for the wife of his friend George Harrison, Patti, a yearning that created Derek and the Dominos’ singular album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.” Heroin was a setback, but not nearly as bad as alcohol, we learn in Lili Fini Zanuk’s film and the whole of his 80s output is dismissed as a lost weekend. The shocking death of his two year old son (from a 53rd story window) led to a reawakening (and Grammy rewards) and he lives now to help others in recovery. It’s quite a portrait, with a terrific soundtrack.

Layla, as it happens, is the name of a labrador on “The Vet Life” (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.).

The first full day of Olympics (NBC, 8 pm.) includes not just the prime time schedule with figure skating, ice dancing and alpine skiing, but also snowboarding, ski jumping and men’s luge at 3 p.m. and further figure skating at 11:30 p.m. (The whole prime time schedule will rerun starting at 12:30 a.m.). But there is action on three other networks as well with Women’s cross country, the skiathlon, curling, ski jumping luge, speed skating, snowboarding are on at from 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, with mixed double curling of U.S. vs. Finland (NBC Sports, 9:45 p.m.) and Canada vs. South Korea (NBC Sports, 1:30 p.m.).

On the USA Network, it’s Switzerland vs. South Korea (7 a.m.) in ice hockey. And something called the Olympic Channel works as a kind of ESPNews, with updates mostly about the U.S. team.

In the U.S.,  there is some prime time basketball with San Antonio at Golden State (ABC, 8:30 p.m.).

It’s the last Hallmark romance before the holiday so it has to be “Very, Very Valentine” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.). Danica McKellar stars as a woman who tries to track down a guy at a masquerade party, with Damon Runyan and Cameron Mathison.

Superheroes abound as “Wonder Woman” (HBO, 8 p.m.) makes her premium cable premiere as does “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Starz, 8 p.m.).

The 1977 miniseries “Roots” (Sundance, noon) gets a Black History Month marathon.

“Planet Earth: Blue Planet II” (BBC America, 9 p.m.) looks at an ocean desert where dolphins race and sperm whales must dive 1,000 meters to feed.

Dan Auerbach and the Austin band Shinyribs play a new “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 11 p.m., check local listings).

Six explore Guyana, Croatia and Belize on a three hour “Naked and Afraid” (Discovery, 8 p.m.).

The crime in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” is featured on “A Crime to Remember” (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.).

“The Dead Files” (Travel, 10 p.m.) goes to Waxahachie, Texas, to respond to a woman who says her husband was killed by the paranormal.

Dreamers abound on “Falling Water” (USA, 10 p.m.).

Art direction is the focus of Turner Classic Movies’ 31 Days of Oscar with “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” (7:30 a.m.), “Little Women” (10 a.m.), “Knights of the Round Table” (12:15 p.m.), “The Red Shoes” (2:30 p.m.), “America America” (5 p.m.), “Moulin Rouge” (8 p.m.), “Julius Caesar” (10:15 p.m.), “Barry Lyndon” (12:30 a.m.) and “Camelot” (3:45 a.m.).

Hockey Saturday Night has Nashville at Montreal (NHL, 7 pm.).

Men’s college basketball includes Northwestern at Maryland (ESPN2, noon), Butler at Villanova (Fox, noon), Oklahoma State at West Virginia (ESPN, noon), Florida at South Carolina (CBS, noon), Temple at South Florida (ESPNU, noon), Navy at Army (CBS Sports, 1:30 p.m.), Kansas at Baylor (CBS, 2 p.m.), Oklahoma at Iowa State (ESPN, 2 p.m.), Mississippi State at Missouri (ESPN2, 2 p.m.), Texas at TCU (ESPNU, 2 p.m.), Xavier at Creighton (Fox, 2:30 p.m.), Seton Hall at Georgetown (CBS Sports, 4 p.m.), Purdue at Michigan State (ESPN, 4 p.m.), Florida State at Notre Dame (ESPN2, 4 p.m.), Mississippi at LSU (ESPNU, 4 p.m.), Dayton at VCU (CBS Sports, 6 p.m.), Connecticut at Wichita State (ESPN2, 6 p.m.), Virginia Tech at Virginia (ESPN, 6:15 p.m.), Texas Tech at Kansas State (ESPNU, 8 p.m.), San Diego State at Nevada (ESPN2, 8 p.m.), Wyoming at UNLV (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.), Kentucky at Texas A&M (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.), Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s, Calif. (ESPN2, 10 p.m.), Washington at Oregon State (ESPNU, 10 p.m.) and USC at Arizona (ESPN, 10:15 p.m.).

Women’s games have Navy at Army (CBS Sports, 11 a.m.).

Third round play occurs in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Golf, 2 p.m.; CBS, 4 p.m.).

For Summer Olympic-type activity, there’s the New Balance Indoor Championship (NBC Sports, 5 p.m.) in track and field


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