Turner Classic Movies

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Courtesy of TCM
Sidney Poitier

By Rick Gables

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of trailblazing actor, director, and diplomat Sidney Poitier with a programming tribute, airing twelve of his movies from Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. ET with In the Heat of the Night (1967), through Sunday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. ET with A Patch of Blue (1965). February 20 would have been his 95th birthday. Poitier, who passed away on Jan. 6, led the way for Black actors in the film industry beginning with his first major film No Way Out in 1950 (airing Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. ET). His entertainment career spanned seven decades, which included directing nine films. He also served as the ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan, as well as the ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO. Poitier was the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for Lilies of the Field (airing Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. ET). He was also granted knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974, received the Kennedy Center Honor in 1995, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama.

National Geographic is breaking out of the studio and taking a fan-favorite series on the road with Brain Games: On the Road, premiering Friday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. There will be four episodes per night over five consecutive Fridays. Hosted by comedian Chuck Nice, the all-new iteration of the network’s Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed series will pit teams of everyday Americans against each other as they take on friends and family in an epic battle of the brains. In each of the twenty episodes, Nice brings the studio and the games right to the players for the ultimate IQ showdown. These teams will go head-to-head in a competition filled with mind-bending puzzles and brain teasers, testing their memory, color perception, spatial reasoning, ability to process change and more, culminating in a final brain-busting challenge.

NBC will premiere its pulse-pounding high-stakes drama series The End Game on Monday, Feb. 21, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series revolves around Elena Federova (Moreno Baccarin), a recently captured international arms dealer and brilliant criminal mastermind who orchestrates coordinated bank heists throughout New York City for a mysterious purpose. Her antagonist is Val Turner (Ryan Michelle Bathé), an FBI agent who will stop at nothing to foil her ambitious plan. This drama reveals how far some people will go for love, justice and truth.