Here's how to spend February with your one true love: Television.
For animal and nature lovers
Not a football fan? Several networks have planned awww-some Super Bowl alternatives. Animal Planet will air its 11th annual "Puppy Bowl" on Feb. 1 (3-5 p.m. ET/PT, with multiple repeats), featuring cute rescue and shelter dogs vying for MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) before and after the kitty halftime show. Felines are the main attraction in Hallmark Channel's "Kitten Bowl II," a competition showcasing adoptable kittens and cat-loving celebrities like Regis Philbin, Mario Lopez and the aptly named Kat Dennings that airs on Feb. 1, 12-3 p.m. ET/PT. For its game day counterprogramming stunt, Nat Geo Wild takes its goldfish, Goldie, and a clownfish named Charlie to a farm in "Fish Bowl II," starting at 6-10 p.m. ET/PT following an all-day "Dr. Pol" marathon.
Nat Geo Wild celebrates Groundhog Day on Feb. 2 with a 20-hour marathon of repeat showings of its "American Beaver" special, starting at 7 a.m. ET/PT. No Bill Murray, but there's plenty of fun and antics with beaver family in the Tetons.
Conservationist M. Sanjayan sits with a panda cub in his new PBS series "Earth a New Wild." (Photo: Ami Vitale)
The symbiotic connection between humans and nature is underscored in the five-part PBS series "Earth a New Wild," in which biologist and conservationist M. Sanjayan travels the world to find evidence that this connection is essential to our and other species' survival. It premieres Feb. 4 with an episode entitled "Home."
Nat Geo Wild brings "Would You Rather?" to Wednesday nights in February, offering viewers the chance to vote via Facebook and Twitter for the shows they want to watch. Register your preference between the furry and scaly, tiny and huge, swimmers and slitherers, and animals from hot and cold climates — the results will air the following week.
The rare and endangered Iberian lynx has been on the brink of extinction, but it has recently been making a comeback thanks to a conservation and reintroduction program. Its inspiring story is the subject of the Nat Geo Wild special "Mystery of the Lynx," premiering Feb. 8.
Animals may not send cards and flowers, but they do express affection. On Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), Animal Planet presents two hours of "Animals in Love," depicting serenades, dances, laughter-fests and other mating rituals, with commentary by animal behaviorists.
Kangaroos, wombats and koalas, oh my — it's evident that we're not in Kansas anymore from the first look at the Nat Geo Wild four-hour special "Wild Australia," which explores the uniquely exotic wildlife of the continent Down Under. It airs over two nights, Feb. 15 and 16.
How did mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians come to dominate life on Earth while other life forms died out? Natural historian and filmmaker David Attenborough explores the topic in the two-part Smithsonian Channel specials "Rise of Animals—Triumph of the Vertebrates," premiering on Feb. 18.
They may not really be wise, but owls have superb night vision and hearing. Those abilities and other attributes of the nocturnal predator are the subject of "Owl Power," a PBS "Nature" special premiering on Feb. 18.
On Feb. 22, Nat Geo Wild follows three species of young bears over a three-year period as they grow up and learn to survive in the wild in the special "Bearhood." It precedes "Hyena Princess," which tells the story of a young hyena's struggle to reclaim her place, stolen by a rival after her mother's death.
A goat befriending a donkey, a Chihuahua that hangs out with a chicken — what's the story behind these unexpected bonds between animals? Nat Geo Wild's "Unlikely Animal Friends" endeavors to find out in six new episodes of the series, premiering Feb. 27.
Leading into a new season of "Cesar 911" on Feb. 27, dog whisperer Cesar Millan brings his live stage show, taped at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, to Nat Geo Wild on Feb. 20. "Cesar Millan: Viva Las Vegas!" gives fans insight into Millan's life, training methods, and shows why he has become the leader of the pack.
The wild orangutan population in northern Sumatra is endangered due to deforestation of habitat. Ecologist Chris Morgan travels there to observe their behavior and document efforts to save them in "The Last Orangutan Eden," premiering on PBS's "Nature" on Feb. 25.
For history buffs
Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Civil Rights Act and Black History Month, the Smithsonian Channel will present a two-part special about the history of this landmark legislation. Narrated by Danny Glover, "Mississippi Inferno: Seeds of Revolt" and "Mississippi Inferno: Deeds of Defiance" will air on Feb. 1.
Based on a best seller by Timothy Egan, "The Big Burn" shows the repercussions of massive Rocky Mountain wildfire in 1910 that impacted land management and fire policy for years to come. It premieres on PBS's "American Experience" on Feb. 3.
The Colosseum is featured in as part of "Building Wonders" series on "Nova." (Photo: Providence Pictures)
PBS's "Nova" goes inside a trio of the world's iconic edifices in the three-part series "Building Wonders," starting with "Colosseum: Roman Death Trap" on Feb. 11. The episode investigates how deadly sea battles and wild animal encounters were staged by recreating a complex lift and trap door system in the ancient ruin. The second and third installments analyze the architectural feats of "Petra: Lost City of Stone" and "Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Ancient Mystery."
History Channel goes inside a notorious outlaw motorcycle gang in its six-episode series "Gangland Undercover." Premiering Feb. 24, it's based on the experiences of Charles Falco and his 2013 memoir, "Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs."
For the science-minded
The Internet's wildest video fails become fodder for science experiments in the hands of hilariously adventurous buddies Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds in the new 10-episode series "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" premiering Feb. 7 on Science Channel with tests of a trash can rocket, a solar-powered death ray and the best way to park a car in a "power slide."
When you think about deadly epidemics, influenza, polio, AIDS and Ebola probably come to mind before tuberculosis. But the fact is, the disease killed millions before antibiotics were developed to fight, but not eradicate it (and it still exists today). The history of TB, and the surprising ways it has shaped history, government policy, and social behavior emerge in the "American Experience" documentary "The Forgotten Plague," which debuts on PBS Feb. 10.
Doctors often find it difficult to discuss end-of-life decisions with their terminal patients, a problem surgeon Atul Gawande exposed in his best-selling book "Being Mortal." On Feb. 10, it becomes a PBS "Frontline" special, following Gawande as he interviews patients and oncologists about what is most important at the end of life.
In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, heir to the Rockefeller fortune and a noted anthropologist, art collector and photographer, vanished in the jungles of New Guinea. Did he drown? Was he captured and eaten by cannibals? Or could he still be alive? The documentary "The Search for Michael Rockefeller" aims to solve the mystery. It begins streaming on Netflix Feb. 1.
Is there hidden gold in a lost mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona? Treasure hunters will endeavor to find out in the new History Channel series "Legend of the Superstition Mountains," premiering Feb. 8 on History Channel.
Men at work
"Wicked Tuna," following the high-stakes battles between Gloucester fishing boats to obtain the biggest catches, has its third season premiere on Nat Geo Feb. 15. Get a taste of the action with the clip above.
Animal Planet's latest landscape design series follows pool designer Lucas Congdon as he creates nature-inspired backyard oases in "Insane Pools: Off the Deep End," premiering Feb. 20.
Rustic cabin lovers now have two Nat Geo series to watch: On Feb. 24, "Building Wild" returns for a second season of crafting wood retreats from found materials, followed by the new "Cabin Fever," which follows a team of custom log home, lodge and resort builders.
From the heights of the Northern Plains to the lowlands of Central Florida and the heat of Death Valley to the frigid Mount Washington, the Weather Channel explores "10 Most Extreme Places," a special hosted by Jim Cantore that premieres Feb. 10.
The perfect antidote to the winter chill, Travel Channel presents its five-day Beach Week event beginning Feb. 15, including the premieres of the specials "101 Sand n' Surf Hotspots" and "Marianela's Best Beaches" with host Marianela Pereyra. Viewers can vote at TravelChannel.com for their favorite beach in the Best Beach Awards and share favorite beach photos on Instagram using #TCBEACHWEEK.
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