Your Football-Free Super Bowl Preview

The Atlantic

We're nearly a week out from Super Bowl XLVII, and all kinds of details about the festivities are trickling out, from the halftime set list to the ads to the Puppy Bowl. So, since we've stopped worrying about a potential chicken-wing shortage — and since even the NFL is sick of the "Harbowl" story lines by now — let's break down what we know about the non-football, entertainment parts of the biggest TV day of the year. 

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Pre-Game Obama Interview This year CBS's Scott Pelley will conduct the traditional presidential pre-Super Bowl interview with the president. Pelley talked with Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch about the interview earlier this month. Pelley said, boringly, that "We will be talking to the President about whatever the current issues of the moment are on that day," and that he will talk to the president, at least briefly, about football. Because it is Super Bowl Sunday, after all. Deitsch explained that the White House hadn't formally accepted the interview request, but Obama has done an interview on the network hosting the Super Bowl each year he's been in office — and he should have plenty to talk about with immigration, gun violence, and Chuck Hagel set to dominate the news next week. (Obama's also hosting the Miami Heat at the White House on Monday.)

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National Anthem Fresh off her "Obama's on Fire" performance, Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem. But will she sing the national anthem or "sing" the national anthem?

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Commercials AdAge has a list of the companies advertising in this Super Bowl and how much time they have bought. has already released one of its typical spots: 

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And Coke has unveiled their Choose Your Own Adventure-style campaign.  

Meanwhile, we're getting teasers for other ads, including one we've mentioned before which involves Kate Upton being hot to sell Mercedes cars. Hulu has a nice collection of teasers. Other intriguing news on the ad front courtesy of Entertainment Weekly: The Hyundai ad will feature the Flaming Lips, Amy Poehler is shilling for Best Buy, and Volkswagon is engaging with the Internet.... 

And of course we're all very excited to see what Pepsi is going to do with Beyoncé.

Halftime Show  Speaking of Beyoncé: Elements of her much awaited return to the spotlight following her inauguration lip syncing scandal have been leaking. Us Weekly reports that an "insider" revealed that Beyoncé will begin with a solo set in which she will sing "Crazy in Love." Midway through the act she'll be joined by her Destiny's Child bandmates who'll sing—feel free to put that in quotation marks if you so wish—with her a medley of song including "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Survivor." They'll end with "Nuclear," their new track. If "Say My Name" isn't in there somewhere we just know there's going to be some kind of revolt. (By us, mainly.) The halftime show will begin with an introduction from Pepsi featuring user-submitted photos billed as the "world's first crowd sourced halftime intro." 

The gallery of photos on Pepsi's website involve suspiciously pretty and well lit people.

There will probably be no sequel to Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" ad — what with the chair in retirement and all.

Puppy Bowl  Of course, if you don't even want to tune into CBS you can always watch Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, which begins at 3 p.m. and this year will include hedgehogs. Their lineup was recently released, and staff members of The Atlantic Wire have already picked who their rooting for. (You've got support Pearl, Blitz, and Marta). Check out the adorable face, tough skills of Marta: 

There's also a Puppy Bowl live cam you can watch at present if you just can't wait: 

Post-Super Bowl Programming Well, it's not that exciting. CBS will air its Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary after the game. So: Lucy Liu fans, you're in luck. Last year NBC led out with The Voice.  

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