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TV best bets with end of 'Downton Abbey,' return of 'House of Cards'

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Sunday, February 28, 2016

Public broadcasting's biggest hit in years has been popular Masterpiece Theatre's British period drama "Downton Abbey." The six seasons come to a close on Sunday.

And if the current presidential campaign not enough to entertain you, there's always "House of Cards" on Netflix, back on Friday for its fourth season.

ABC is also introducing two new shows: comedy "The Real O'Neals" Wednesday and Joan Allen drama "The Family" on Thursday.

And though it's not marked below, the cable networks and even some of the prime-time networks will be laser focused on Super Tuesday, which may tell us if Donald Trump will run away with the Republican race - or not. And it could also be the night Hillary Clinton gains so many delegates that any chance of Bernie Sanders catching up will be slim to none.

A few shows return after a break, including NBC's "The Voice," ABC's 'Quantico" and A&E's "Intervention," now its whopping 16th season.

Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" also introduces a new host to replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Ainsley Earhardt .

This covers Monday February 29 through Sunday March 6.


“The Bachelor” 8 p.m. ABC — Ben and the final three bachelorettes arrive in Jamaica for their overnight dates.

“Gotham” 8 p.m. Fox — Penguin doesn't let Gordon off easily when he takes a hit for Galavan's murder.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC (10th season debut) — Christina Aguilera returns as a coach.

“Supergirl” 8 p.m. CBS — Supergirl does battle with a living supercomputer named Indigo.

“Antiques Roadshow” 8 p.m. GPB — In Charleston, S.C., items include an 1890 Frederic Remington watercolor; a 1970 Jimi Hendrix collection; and an 1879 James A.M. Whistler "The Palaces" etching.

“Major Crimes” 9 p.m. TNT — Sharon sharpens attention on a former LAPD detective after another victim is found.

“Lucifer” 9 p.m. Fox — Lucifer ditches Chloe after becoming bored with her investigation into a biker gang murder.

“Scorpion” 9:01 p.m. CBS — Sylvester competes on "The Price is Right."

“Blindspot” 10 p.m. NBC — A discovery in the Black Sea is made thanks to one of Jane's tattoos.

“Better Call Saul” 10 p.m. AMC — Jimmy's client outreach efforts thrive as he exhibits new heights of showmanship.

“Castle” 10:01 p.m. ABC — A student learning to speak English is killed and his classmates keep mum when questioned by police.


“NCIS” 8 p.m. CBS — The NCIS agents' personal plans are interrupted when each of them catches errors in a seemingly cut-and-dry closed case.

“The Voice” 8 p.m. NBC — More blind auditions.

Finding Your Roots” 8 p.m. GPB — The family histories of Julianna Marguiles, author Azar Nafisi and chef Lidia Bastianich are explored.

The Muppets” 8 p.m. ABC (first season finale) — Miss Piggy breaks her leg during a dance rehearsal.

NCIS: New Orleans” 9 p.m. CBS — The team must protect a local DJ from a threatening perpetrator.

“Rizzoli & Isles ” 9 p.m. TNT — A gun battle rages in a usually quiet neighborhood.

“The Grinder ” 9:30 p.m. Fox — Stewart desperately tries to turn Dean back into "The Grinder" to help unravel a conspiracy surrounding Sanderson and Yao.

“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson ” 10 p.m. FX — The trial begins and Christopher Darden and Johnie Cochran face off in court. Also: the jury visits the crime scene.


“Rosewood” 8 p.m. Fox — Judges pick eight of the top 10. The other six fight for the final two slots with America voting for the first time this season.

“The Mysteries of Laura ” 8 p.m. NBC (second season finale) A drug kingpin is taken down.

“Survivor ” 8 p.m. CBS  What is Tai doing on the beauty team? Probably just the producers messing with the contestants' psyches.

“The Goldbergs ” 8 p.m. ABC (special time) Beverly helps Erica plan a school dance with a "Dirty Dancing" theme.

“The Real O'Neals ” 8:30 p.m. ABC (new series) Kenny announces he's gay and other family secrets spill out.

“Criminal Minds ” 9 p.m. CBS — Morgan is abducted and the BAU rushes to find him.

“Law & Order: SVU ” 9 p.m. NBC — A sexual exploitation case involving Catholic schoolgirls results in surprising charges against people in esteemed leadership positions.

“Modern Family ” 9 p.m. ABC — Joe's fussy phase prevents Jay and Gloria from getting any sleep.

“Duck Dynasty ” 9 p.m. A&E (ninth season finale) — John and Luke and Mary Kate start college at Liberty University. Back in Monroe, River decides to make a ninja movie.

“American Crime ” 10 p.m. ABC — The aftermath of the murder of a Leyland student changes the entire community's perceptions of the events since Eric and Taylor's encounter.

“Suits ” 10 p.m. USA (fifth season finale) — Mike makes the one play he has left when faced with a court battle that could go either way.

“Younger ” 10 p.m. TV Land — Liza pursues an author she likes because of his minimalist manifesto.


“American Idol” 8 p.m. Fox — The top 8 perform.

“Grey’s Anatomy 8 p.m. ABC — Meredith's first surgical patient returns to the hospital with a new aneurysm.

“Mary Mary” 9 p.m. WE (sixth season debut) — Tina and Erica focus on their solo careers, putting Warryn under financial pressure.

The Family” 9 p.m. ABC (new series) — Maine politician Claire Warren's presumed-dead son Adam returns home a decade after he disappeared.

Top Chef 9 p.m. Bravo — San Francisco is the setting when the competing foodies cook for chef Traci Des Jardins.

Mom 9:01 p.m. CBS — Bonnie's life upends when she has a health scare, as Christy tries to lend support.

Colony 10 p.m. USA — Will hunts the resistance, bringing him closer to learning his wife’s secret.

How To Get Away With Murder 10 p.m. ABC — Annalise mulls taking a risk to shield the team from Philip.

Shades of Blue 10 p.m. NBC — Harlee and Stahl learn of Wozniak's relationship with Donnie.


“House of Cards” 3:01 a.m. Netflix (fourth season debut) — Frank Underwood tries to win reelection.

“Sleepy Hollow” 8 p.m. Fox A New Jersey Devil look-alike threatens the town.

“The Amazing Race” 8 p.m. CBS The race continues in Geneva, Switzerland.

Grimm ” 9 p.m. NBC Nick and Monroe travel overseas on a dangerous journey that brings them closer to the source of a long-gestating mystery.

Second Chance” 9:01 p.m. Fox  A 20-year-old cover-up of a murder comes back to haunt Pritchard when the informant he tried to protect is now a powerful drug dealer.


“Mythbusters” 8 p.m. Saturday Discovery (series finale)— A farewell to this crazy science show.

Saturday Night Live” 11:29 p.m. Saturday NBC — Jonah Hill hosts.

31st Annual Stellar Gospel Awards” 6 p.m. Sunday TV One — Rickey Smiley and Sherri Shepherd host.

Long Island Medium Live 8 p.m. Sunday TLC — Theresa Caputo does her magic in Hollywood.

Once Upon a Time 8 p.m. Sunday ABC — The mission to rescue Hook begins as the heroes arrive in the Underworld.

“Downtown Abbey 9 p.m. Sunday GPB (two-hour series finale) — Edith receives a marriage proposal; Tom and Henry go into business together; Thomas finds employment; Denker shares a secret of Spratt's with the dowager; Carson has health issues; and Anna goes into labor.

“The Good Wife 9 p.m. Sunday CBS — Alicia, Eli and Peter's lawyer, Mike Tascioni, attempt to discover what charges are being leveled against Peter.

“I Am Cait 9 p.m. Sunday E! (second season debut) — Cait and her friends embark on an epic cross-country road trip in a tour bus, at which point the opportunity presents itself for the women to corner Cait about her sexual orientation and her politics.

“Race for the White House 9 p.m. Sunday CNN (new series) — Inside looks at crucial presidential campaigns. First up: Nixon vs. Kennedy in 1960.

“Saints & Sinners 9 p.m. Sunday Bounce TV (new series) — It's like "Empire" in a church setting.

Vinyl 9 p.m. Sunday HBO — Richie's counseling session with Devon brings out his uglier side.

The Walking Dead 9 p.m. Sunday AMC — AMC is so secretive about spoilers, the network isn't even releasing a descriptive a week in advance.

Girls 10 p.m. Sunday HBO — Shoshanna's job in Japan is a perfect fit with an even better boss.

Intervention” 10 p.m. Sunday A&E (16th season debut) — A woman who was sexually abused and self-medicates with opiates and alcohol gets help.

Long Lost Family” 10 p.m. Sunday TLC (new series)  — People hope for reunions with relatives they barely remember or encounters with those they've never met.

“Quantico 10 p.m. Sunday ABC — Alex testfies at a congressional hearing about the terrorist bombings.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.