* Winter Olympics (7:30/6:30c NBC)
The Winter Olympics get underway with the Opening Ceremonies, and an estimated three billion viewers will be anxiously waiting to see what Vancouver can come up with following Beijing's ceremona-palooza in 2008. Executive producer David Atkins, who also handled the opening of the Sydney Games, will only reveal that "it's not a traditional ceremony," so perhaps waving banners and native dancers will not be included: But don't count on it. It's also unlikely to include any lip-synching or fake fireworks, faux pas that put a bit of a damper on China's otherwise magnificent effort. It will be the first Opening Ceremony held in an indoor venue; the 55,000 capacity BC Place has a roof, so there could be additional opportunities for visual effects. And as usual, the Olympic community is abuzz about the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, with Wayne Gretzky seen as a popular choice among potential igniters.
* NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (7/6c ESPN)
Until President Obama makes an appearance in this annual pick-up game to tip off the NBA's All-Star Weekend, we'll have to settle for a unique mix of musicians, actors, NBA legends, several Harlem Globetrotters and, for the first time, a PGA Tour golfer and an NBA owner. Dallas resident Anthony Kim and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban fill the latter two roles, with help from a strong lineup that includes Anthony Anderson (Law & Order), Chris Tucker, Joel Moore (Avatar), Doctor Oz, and the rappers Common and Pitbull. Noticeable by his absence is two-time game MVP (and former Cowboys' pariah) Terrell Owens.
* Friday Night Alright (11/10c VH1)
A who's who of musical greats are on hand for this July 2009 celebration of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The bill includes the legendary Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin, whose demand for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T inspired a generation, along with neo-soul songstress Alicia Keys and a gal who wants to have fun and change the world, Cyndi Lauper. Whoopi Goldberg hosts.
* Famous Crime Scene (9/8c VH1)
When show-business notables meet their maker suddenly it's news, and when it happens violently and/or suspiciously it's much bigger news. VH1's probing the untimely - and in some cases unsolved - ends of major celebs in this new series. Think of it as CSI meets TMZ. Episodes consist of reenactments, computer graphics and interviews with experts and witnesses, and tonight's opener focuses on Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down in Las Vegas in September 1996. The case remains cold.
Is it over already? John Oliver's comedy-palooza has featured some outstanding bits from performers who obviously take their funny business quite seriously, including Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, Nick Kroll, Brian Posehn and Marc Maron. But tonight wraps up its brief, but hilarious, six-episode run with Chris Hardwick, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Greg Fitzsimmons and a super-set from Paul F. Tompkins, who finds people that dress up on Hollywood Boulevard very amusing - and so will you.