WASHINGTON, January 17, 2013 — The Lance Armstrong train wreck takes center stage tonight in the much anticipated Oprah Winfrey interview on, of course, the Oprah Channel. After years of denying his use of performance enhancing drugs, Armstrong is expected to reveal to Oprah tonight that—surprise—he routinely employed them throughout his career.
It will be interesting to see if she is surprised by this revelation. Because, of course, no one else is.
This past October, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hit Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles after discovering he’d led a sophisticated 15-year-long doping program within the sport.
Oprah has been cryptic in revealing the content of Armstrong’s confession, which leads one to believe the manner in which he tells all leaves much to be desired. That notion is even more disconcerting than the vehemence with which he denied repeated charges of doping throughout his career. Not only was he lying. It’s clear now that he also bullied anyone who dared try to expose him or the doping conspiracy within professional cycling.
One thing is evident if nothing else: Lance Armstrong has a Jekyll/Hyde act that will transform any kind of forgiveness scenario into an uphill battle. If he comes across as anything less than deeply sorry for his actions, he has little chance at redemption.
Americans are a forgiving lot. But if Armstrong plays the innocent victim as he’s done in the past, forgiveness will elude him.
One question needs to be answered unequivocally by Armstrong: is he sorry he used the drugs or just sorry he got caught? Tune in to the interview tonight and you can be the judge of that.
Come to think of it, an even more disturbing question might be: Is there any star professional athlete who doesn’t get his or her performance chemically enhanced these days? Given the vast sums of money involved in professional sports in the 21st century, the increasing likelihood that this is so poses a profound social dilemma that no one involved seems eager to discuss.
All times are EST:
ABC: Last Resort: (New) As Adm. Shepard and Kylie attempt to bring down the president, Marcus tries to surrender the Colorado.
CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (Repeat) Wolowitz is disappointed when he doesn’t receive a hero’s welcome upon his return from space, while game night degenerates into a pitched battle of the sexes.
FOX: American Idol: (New) The search for the next superstar continues with auditions from Chicago, Il.
NBC: 30 Rock: (New) Tracy and Jenna take over TGS as Jack and Liz head to Florida to settle his mother’s estate.
CW: Vampire Diaries: (New) Appearing unexpectedly at Mystic Falls High, Rebekah wastes no time trying to force Stefan, Elena and Caroline to answer her questions about the search for a cure.
CBS: Two and a Half Men: (Repeat) Walden’s mental health deteriorates after his breakup with Zoey.
NBC: Parks and Recreation: (New) Ben and Leslie’s rival bachelor and bachelorette parties each take on a very different tune.
ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) Derek, Meredith, Arizona and Cristina receive news about the plane crash lawsuit; Richard avoids Catherine’s advances; Jackson takes on one of Mark Sloane’s former patients.
CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) In the Season 2 opener, Carter and Fusco search for Finch while Reese gets a new number from the Machine.
NBC: The Office: (New) Dwight and Clark pose as father and son to make a sale.
CW: The Carrie Diaries: (Repeat) In this “Sex and the City” prequel, a young Carrie Bradshaw deals with high school drama while meeting Manhattan for the first time.
OWN: Oprah’s Next Chapter: (New) Part one of her interview with Lance Armstrong.
While you wait for tonight’s Oprah interview with Armstrong, here’s a video collage of Lance Armstrong statements for the record.
NBC:1600 Penn: (New) A presidential ball careens out of control when Skip brings a date.
ABC: Scandal: (New) The White House is rocked by more changes; flashbacks reveal more about the rigged election; Edison makes a shocking accusation.
CBS: Elementary: (Repeat) Holmes investigates a plane crash and tries to prove that the disaster was not an accident after he becomes convinced that one of the victims died before the aircraft went down. Meanwhile, Watson attempts to get Holmes to meet with his elusive father.
NBC: Rock Center With Brian Williams: (New) Insider accounts that have never been broadcast before about Scientology, including Harry Smith’s exclusive interview with Paul Haggis. The Oscar-winning writer and director is the most prominent Scientology member in Hollywood to break away after spending more than 30 years as a member.
New episodes of:
The First 48: Missing Persons at 9 p.m. on A&E
The Millionaire Matchmaker at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Rocket City Rednecks at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on NGC
Buckwild at 10 p.m. on MTV
What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC
Sweet Genius at 10 p. m. on Food Channel
Beyond Scared Straight at 10 p.m. on A&E
Kathy at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC
For movie lovers:
The Wedding Planner on AMC
Cars 2 on ENC
Alvin and the Chipmunks on FMC
Green Lantern on HBO
Scream on IFC
Hoosiers on SUND
My Week With Marilyn on TMC
Hanna on HBO
American Reunion on HBO
Project X on MOMAX
HIGH School on HBO
Scary Movie 3 on STARZ
Bellflower at 9:45 p.m. on TMC
Billy Madison at 9:50 p.m. on ENC
Cowboys & Aliens at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
The Border at 10 p.m. on SUND
Think Like a Man at 10:30 p.m. on STARZ
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