The Monday after the Super Bowl will be sad for all of us. College football's national signing day is the following Wednesday, the NFL Combine is soon, followed by the NFL Draft and college spring games, but it's just not the same.
To help ease the pain of football-less-ness, Time, Inc. and NBC have put together a 50th anniversary special celebrating the golden jubilee of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which will air Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. Eastern – Super Bowl Monday, if the game is snowed out Sunday that is.
Hosted by Heidi Klum, the two-hour bikini marathon will feature interviews with current and former models like Kate Upton, Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley and Marisa Miller, among others. Other than the models, there will also be musical performances by Tim McGraw, Enrique Iglesias, John Legend and Lady Antebellum, whose lead singer was hanging out with Upton on Tuesday. The special will showcase 50 years of swimsuit history with interviews, behind-the-scenes, travel destinations and many, many people in swimsuits, eventually leading to a top 10 countdown of the best swimsuit covers ever. The swimsuit special continues the working relationship between SI and NBC as NBCSN has aired a "Sports Illustrated" news magazine show in the past.
A backstage look at the swimsuit issue is not uncommon, the Travel Channel has been doing them for years, but a 50-year retrospective with that guest list should nab some decent ratings for NBC. In another move of cross-promotion, Vanity Fair has their own 50th anniversary retrospective, focusing mostly on the fashion of the swimsuit edition. A coffee table book is probably in the works, too.
What would have made this special even more watchable would have been to combine it with the announcement and revealing of this year's cover, but that is a tradition reserved for David Letterman, usually around the same time of year.