Get excited, everyone — Super Bowl weekend is upon us!
That’s right: The annual TV event of a killer concert punctuated by cutting-edge commercials and followed by a trenchant episode of a popular TV show is almost here. (You usually have to sit through all this footage of some dudes pummeling each other to watch it all, but that’s fine, you can always just make a snack or go to the bathroom during those parts.) There’s a lot going on, but don’t worry if you don’t know what’s coming or how to tune in — we’ve got answers to all your burning questions about Super Bowl entertainment right here!
What time is the Super Bowl halftime show?
Contrary to popular belief, the Super Bowl Pepsi Halftime Show is technically considered a secondary portion of the “Super Bowl,” a football-based sporting event held early in the calendar year as the final sports exhibition of the annual American football season. As such, there is no scheduled start time for the halftime show, and its timing will be determined by the efficiency of the football athletes who are participating in the super sports game. The Super Bowl itself, however, will air live on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 4; on average, professional competitive football matches take around three hours, so a good guess for the halftime show would be around 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. You might want to tune into NBC a bit earlier just to make sure you don’t miss any of it!
That would be Justin Timberlake, the man of the woods who brought sexy back in a suit and tie, of course! J.T.’s Super Bowl appearance is well timed, arriving just two days after the release of his fifth studio album, Man of the Woods. In a press conference Thursday, the superstar did not say whether he’d play any tracks off the new album (like the lead single “Filthy”), but he did confirm that he’ll perform his Oscar-nominated 2016 track “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and promised “a few things with this halftime show they’ve never quite done before.”
Has J.T. performed at the Super Bowl before?
Has he ever! In 2001, Timberlake performed as part of *NSYNC, sharing the Super Bowl stage with Aerosmith, Britney Spears (wearing her now-iconic “arm sock”), Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. Three years later, he put in a special appearance alongside Janet Jackson …
Oh gosh, wasn’t there some drama with that?
Oh, there was. During a performance of Timberlake’s 2002 smash “Rock Your Body,” Timberlake tore at Jackson’s costume on the line “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” and her top partially came off, briefly exposing her right nipple. As a result of “Nipplegate,” CBS was fined $550,000 by the Federal Communications Commission, a five-second delay was instituted for all future halftime shows, and the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” irrevocably entered the national lexicon.
Will anyone else be performing at the Super Bowl?
Pink will sing the national anthem at the top of the game. Other than that, Timberlake put special-guest rumors — including about Jackson and *NSYNC — to rest during his press conference. “To be honest, I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests. There’s a whole list — I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it, I heard, from *NSYNC to Jay[-Z] to Chris Stapleton to Janet,” he said. But the former boy-bander won’t be joined by any other big names on the Super Bowl stage, he said. “My band, the Tennessee Kids — they’re my special guests, and I’m excited this year to rock the stage.”
What time is the Super Bowl itself?
You mean like the sports part of it? What a funny thing to ask! Super Bowl LII, which will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., begins Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, and will air live on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app. But that’s just when the actual game starts — tune into NBC as early as noon ET/9 a.m. PT for the “Road to the Super Bowl” and “Super Bowl Pre-Game” specials.
Who’s playing in the Super Bowl?
National Football Conference champions the Philadelphia Eagles, led by quarterback Nick Foles (who replaced injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz in December), will face off against American Football Conference champions the New England Patriots, led by quarterback/dreamboat/Mr. Gisele Bündchen Tom Brady — who will compete for a record sixth Super Bowl victory.
Didn’t Tom Brady win last year?
Um, yes, our research shows that the New England Patriots won last year, resulting in Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win.
Is that even allowed?
What will the commercials be like?
Star-studded, that’s what! This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads have already begun trickling out, and they include appearances from Tiffany Haddish, Keanu Reeves, and Cindy Crawford. Check out this year’s collection of commercials (so far) right here.
What about after the Super Bowl?
Post-Super Bowl TV is some of the best out there, from Alias’ legendary “Phase One” episode to New Girl’s party at Prince’s house. This year, an especially fiery hour(-plus) of This Is Us will follow the Big Game, and then The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will follow the big This Is Us. Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, and the cast of This Is Us will all appear on the Tonight Show telecast, to be broadcast live from the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.