'Downton Abbey,' puppies and zombies: Super Bowl TV alternatives

super-bowl-48-tv-alternatives.jpgIf recent viewing trends hold, about 100 million people -- more than a quarter of the entire population of the country -- will watch Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday (Feb. 2) and then talk about it for days afterward.

But though it may seem that way, it's not the only thing on TV Sunday. The other broadcast networks are taking the night off, but there are marathons and stunts aplenty elsewhere on your channel guide -- and even a couple of original shows. If you're not watching the game, consider these options (all times Eastern).

The originals

PBS: "Downton Abbey" (9 p.m.) and "Sherlock" (10 p.m.). PBS has aired new episodes of "Downton" each of the past three years opposite the Super Bowl and pulled in respectable ratings each time. "Sherlock" has its Season 3 finale.

TCM: "And the Oscar Goes to ..." (10 p.m./7 p.m. PT). A history of the Academy Awards (which premieres Saturday night on TCM) as told by past winners, Oscar show producers and film historians.

The other Bowls

Animal Planet: "Puppy Bowl X" (3 p.m.). The longest-running Super Bowl counterprogramming stunt features the kitty halftime show, sideline reporter Meep the Bird and special guests including Keyboard Cat and Lil' Bub.

Hallmark Channel: "Kitten Bowl" (noon). Hallmark counters the counter with its inaugural celebration of cute. Cats, obviously, take center stage here.

Nat Geo Wild: "Fish Bowl" (6 p.m.). Four hours of a goldfish swimming around in a bowl. For real. Nat Geo Wild is putting its tongue firmly in cheek for its Super Bowl stunt.

Marathons galore

A selection of marathon programming during the day and night Sunday:

A&E: "The First 48," 2:30 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday.

AMC: "Zombie Bowl" -- episodes of "The Walking Dead," 10 a.m.-6 a.m. Monday.

BBC America: "Star Trek: The Next Generation," 5 p.m.-midnight.

Bravo: "Real Housewives of Atlanta" Season 6, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Discovery: "Alaska: The Last Frontier," 2 p.m.-3 a.m. Monday.

MTV: "Super Sofa Sunday" -- episodes of "Girl Code" and "Guy Code," 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with a new "Girl Code" at noon ET.

OWN: "Super Soul Sunday," 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; "Oprah: Where Are They Now?," 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday.

TLC: "Say Yes to the Dress," 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; "Sex Sent Me to the ER," 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday.

TV Land: "Betty Bowl" -- "Hot in Cleveland," 5-9 p.m.; "Golden Girls," 9 p.m.-midnight.

USA: "Benson Bowl" -- "Law & Order: SVU," 1-11 p.m.

VH1: "Saturday Night Live," 4-11 p.m.
Photo/Video credit: PBS, Animal Planet, AMC
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