Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

Reagan
Ronald Reagan is already “a mythical figure,” former White House reporter Sam Donaldson declares in this reverent two-hour profile. While examining the Reagan mystique, the special treats as a turning point the assassination attempt that the president survived early in his first term. Others interviewed include former aide David Gergen, former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Colin Powell, and a Secret Service agent who witnessed the 1981 shooting. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m., History

NOVA: Smartest Machine on Earth
Can a computer win on Jeopardy!? NOVA follows a team at IBM as they put the finishing touches on Watson, a computing system soon to appear in three televised showdowns with the game show’s two most successful contestants. Should the machine win, its triumph could mark a meaningful step toward true artificial intelligence. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Bar Karma
This intriguing new interactive series takes place in a mystical saloon where each week a new visitor is forced to make a life-altering decision. Bar Karma is the brainchild of video-game designer Will Wright (The Sims), who’s asking audiences to design and guide the show by making suggestions online at current.com/studios. William Sanderson, Matthew Humphreys, and Cassie Howarth play the bar’s staff. Friday, Feb. 11, at 10 p.m., Current TV

53rd Annual Grammy Awards
Arcade Fire, Eminem, Cee Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, and Katy Perry are among the Grammy nominees scheduled to perform during the live awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Also expected to perform: Usher and protégé Justin Bieber with Jaden Smith, and hip-hop star B.o.B. with pop singers Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe. Coming into the awards, Eminem’s 10 nominations lead the field. Sunday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m., CBS

Masterpiece: Any Human Heart
Adapted by William Boyd from his best-selling novel, this three-week drama chronicles an Englishman’s odyssey through the tumultuous 20th century, following him as he engages in sundry occupations and romances, encountering along the way such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming, and Winston Churchill. In line with Boyd’s conceit that each man is a collection of various selves, three actors—Sam Claflin, Matthew Macfadyen, and Jim Broadbent—play the protagonist at different stages of life. Sundays, Feb. 13–27, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights

The Chicago Code
Jason Clarke and Jennifer Beals star as ex-partners in this new series about the Chicago police force. From the creator of The Shield. Monday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m., Fox

Independent Lens: When I Rise
The story of Barbara Smith Conrad, who overcame racial prejudice in the 1950s to become a celebrated mezzo-soprano. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Justified
Timothy Olyphant returns for a second season as a tough U.S. marshal pursuing justice in eastern Kentucky. The series is based on a character created by novelist Elmore Leonard. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 10 p.m., FX

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