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What to watch to escape the Winter Olympics: 9 must-see TV shows in February

Murderville Will Arnett Marshawn Lynch
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Winter Olympics will take over television for the entire month of February, which isn't great news if you are not into sports like skiing and ice hockey!

The opening ceremony in Beijing is on Friday, 4 Feb, with NBC starting the build-up the day before as it dedicates its primetime slate entirely to all the must-watch athletes and exciting sports that are part of the games. But what if the Winter Olympics aren’t your cup of tea?

U.S. broadcasters like ABC, CBS, and Fox have put together some special programming to try and compete against the Winter Olympics, while of course, many streamers are launching some big new shows to keep their subscribers entertained. 

Here are 9 February TV shows you can watch instead of the Winter Olympics...

1. 'Bel-Air'

Bel-Air

Jabari Banks in 'Bel-Air' (Image credit: Peacock)

Just because NBC is showcasing the Olympics across the entire range of NBCUniversal viewing options, including the Peacock streaming service, doesn’t mean that’s all they want viewers to tune in to. The highlight of NBCUniversal’s February alternative (besides Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13) is the reimagining of the Will Smith ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, now titled Bel-Air.

The story is basically the same — a teen from West Philadelphia moves to Bel-Air to live with his aunt and uncle. However, while the original version was a comedy, Bel-Air is presented as a drama focusing on the culture shock for Will in his new home and how he will adjust. Jabari Banks stars as Will, with Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Olly Sholotan and Coco Jones making up the rest of the Banks family.

Bel-Air premieres on Peacock Feb. 13 and will be exclusively available to Peacock Premium subscribers. Bel-Air will be available Peacock on Sky/NOW in the U.K.

2. 'Celebrity Big Brother'

Celebrity Big Brother Julie Chen Moonves

(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

Big Brother remains one of the most popular reality series around, that hasn’t changed when it’s celebrities who are competing as the houseguests. Celebrity Big Brother 2022 is the third season of this alternate edition of the reality series. The Celebrity Big Brother 2022 cast features Cynthia Bailey, Todd Bridges, Todrick Hall, Chris Kattan, Chris Kirkpatrick, Carson Kressley, Teddi Mellencamp, Shanna Moakler, Mirai Nigasu, Miehsa tate and Lamar Odom. Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves is in her usual role for Celebrity Big Brother.

Kicking off on Feb. 2 and running multiple episodes a week until the grand finale on Feb. 23, Celebrity Big Brother will see these 11 celebs attempt to outlast the others and win the $250,000 prize.

Celebrity Big Brother 2022 will air on CBS and stream on Paramount Plus.

3. 'Inventing Anna'

Inventing Anna Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Grey’s Anatomy may be on hiatus until after the Winter Olympics, but Shonda Rhimes fans can enjoy a brand new series from the producer extraordinaire, Inventing Anna. Rhimes created this original mini-series based on a New York Magazine story about Anna Delvey, a New York socialite who stole the hearts — and then the money — of New York’s social scene.

This is actually the first series that Shonda Rhimes has written and not just produced since Scandal. She’s lined up a solid cast for it, with Julia Garner (Ozark) set to play Anna Delvey and Anna Chlumsky (Veep) as Vivian, the journalist who is trying to piece together Anna’s story. Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), Arian Moayed (Succession), and Anders Holm (Workaholics) also star.

Inventing Anna launches on Netflix Feb. 11.

4. 'Jeopardy! National College Championship'

Jeopardy! National College Championship Mayim Bialik

(Image credit: ABC)

Jeopardy! is heading to primetime this February, as the Jeopardy! National College Championship starts on Feb. 8 and is hosted by Mayim Bialik. Over two weeks, 36 undergraduate students from 36 universities and colleges across the U.S. will compete in this special tournament, a tradition of the long-running game show.

Jeopardy! National College Championship will air on ABC.

5. 'Love Is Blind'

Love Is Blind season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

When Love Is Blind first debuted on Netflix in February 2020, people went crazy for the dating show that put its participants in pods and had them try to find love without ever seeing who they were talking to. It had people buzzing about the relationships and what happened once the participants got out of the pods and saw each other; it even had a follow up special, Love Is Blind: After the Altar.

Well, get ready for round 2, because Netflix has brought back Love Is Blind for a brand new season. Nick and Vanessa Lachey will serve as hosts for the new season, which will premiere its first five episodes on Feb. 11, followed by another four on Feb. 18 and then the season finale on Feb. 25.

Love Is Blind season 2 will play exclusively on Netflix.

6. 'Murderville'

Murderville Will Arnett Ken Jeong

(Image credit: Netflix)

A murder mystery, comedy and celebrities; what’s not to love? That combination is the basis for the new Netflix series Murderville with Will Arnett and premiering on the streaming service on Feb. 3. Arnett stars as a fictional detective who will have to solve a murder with a new celebrity trainee each episode. One more thing, the celebrities will not be given a script and will have to improvise to everything going on around them while also trying to solve the murder.

The celebrity guests teaming up with Arnett in the series will include Conan O’Brien, Annie Murphy, Ken Jeong, Sharon Stone, Kumail Nanjiani and Marshawn Lynch.

All episodes of Murderville will be available to stream on Netflix starting Feb. 3.

7. 'Pam & Tommy'

Pam & Tommy Lily James Sebastian Stan

(Image credit: Hulu)

How did the infamous Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape find its way to the world in the nascent days of the internet? Find out with the new Hulu original series Pam & Tommy (Disney Plus in the U.K.) starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan. The series tracks the couple’s relationship, from their whirlwind meeting and getting married within 96 hours to the aftermath of the leaked sex tape. In addition to James and Stan, the series features Seth Rogen, Taylor Schilling, and Nick Offerman.

Pam & Tommy debuts on Hulu (U.S.)/Disney Plus (U.K.) on Feb. 2 with the first three episodes, then releases a new episode each week (eight episodes total).

8. 'Reacher'

TV tonight Alan Ritchson stars.

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Jack Reacher, the popular character from the Lee Child novels, is getting his own TV series. Taking over the role Tom Cruise played in a pair of movie adaptations will be Alan Ritchson, who has previously starred in Blue Mountain State, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ritchson offers a much more closer-to-the-book appearance than Cruise did.

The series will follow Reacher, a veteran military police investigator, who comes to a small Georgia town only to be quickly arrested as the lead suspect in a murder case. As Reacher fights to prove his innocence, a deep-seated conspiracy begins to emerge.

Reacher will premiere on Prime Video Feb. 4.

9. 'The Real Dirty Dancing'

The Real Dirty Dancing

(Image credit: Fox)

Fox wants viewers to have the time of their lives watching celebrities do their best Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey impressions as they try to recreate iconic moments from the ‘80s classic movie Dirty Dancing in the reality competition series The Real Dirty Dancing.

Contestants for this four-week series include Brie Bella, Corbin Bleu, Tyler Cameron, Cat Cora, Howie Dorough, Antonio Gates, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes. and Loni Love. The series is hosted by So You Think You Can Dance alum Stephen “tWtich” Boss. The show will feature guest judges that include Boss’ wife and fellow So You Think You Can Dance alum Allison Hoker Boss and Dirty Dancing’s own Jane Brucker, who played Lisa Houseman (Baby’s older sister) in the movie.

The Real Dirty Dancing debuts Feb. 1 and airs every Tuesday until Feb. 22 on Fox. (A separate U.K. version is expected sometime in the near future)

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.