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The night TV finally surrendered to the Olympics

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, February 18. All times are Eastern.

The 2014 Winter Olympics (NBC, 8 p.m.): The outlook was grim for television. Those crazy Fox kids had finally backed down; Marshal Givens, usually so helpful in a pinch, had tipped his Stetson and bowed out as well. Nearly two full weeks into the Sochi Olympics and television was ready to cede all the ground it held to athletics. “You got Costas’ eyes,” said Zack Handlen, weary emissary of the cathode-ray side. “Isn’t that enough?” It wouldn’t be enough. The 2014 Winter Olympics was going to be the winner, and the winner takes it all—even on a night with no figure skating on the primetime slate.

Kroll Show (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The few remaining souls loyal to the televisual cause organized under the Kroll Show banner. Sergeant Kroll would be able to keep up appearances for 22 minutes, but could the full force of the L.A. comedy scene fill all the dead air around them? But Gil Faizon, George St. Geegland, and David Sims would certainly try… 

Cougar Town (TBS, 10 p.m.): Meanwhile, the Cul-de-Sac Crew and Les Chappell put their feelings about the situation as plainly as possible: “Time To Move On.”

Despite the bleak outlook, the TV generals had one last course of action. General Reilly rose from the war room table, determination in his eyes. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “This is…”

American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): But before he could finish his sentence, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. were blasted off of every screen in the United States by another thrilling downhill run by Julia Mancuso.

100 Days Of Summer (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The final throes of the battle were not pretty. Rather than risking exposure to a wintry climate, the Windy City yuppies of 100 Days Of Summer went through the season finale motions before retreating to their high-rise lairs for eight months.

Frontline (PBS, 10 p.m.): General Kerger called in reinforcements from the Internet, launching a compelling counterstrike in the form of “Generation Like,” an examination of how the types of marketers profiled in Frontline’s “Merchants Of Cool” are now turning to social media to appeal to consumers who care less about disappearing strata of authenticity and pay no heed to participating in advertising campaigns with little or no compensation.

Tosh.0 (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Tragically, while one side of the Internet lulled viewers to sleep, the other launched a sneak attack that subsumed what little TV territory hadn’t been claimed by the Olympics.

Titanic (AMC, 8 p.m.): Soon, the TV landscape was completely unrecognizable. Old powers long dormant rose again to claim the cultural capital that was once theirs.

Ben-Hur (TCM, 8 p.m.): Unimpeded, movie channels were movie channels once more, and they flexed this regained clout by pulling out the biggest, most bloated epics they could find. 

College Basketball: Kentucky at Mississippi (ESPN, 9 p.m.): Even the old athletic guard take a grab for power—even though the Wildcats haven’t had the best 2013-14 season.

In a coincidental twist, amid these power plays and shifting fealties, season three of Game Of Thrones was released on Blu-ray and DVD. It was said some dug through the rubble to find the remains of dragons—or dragons themselves—but such stories have been dismissed as mere fairy tales.

Switched At Birth: It’s now up to young people like those of Switched At Birth to continue this noble tradition, possibly lost in an avalanche of lycra, fiberglass, and precious metals. (“Precious medals”?) Fly right, young ones—and Carrie Raisler will tell of your bravery in time.