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story.lead_photo.caption NBC’s new sitcom A.P. Bio stars Glenn Howerton as disgruntled teacher Jack Griffin, who spends his time not teaching biology to a classroom full of overachieving nerds.

Hopefully you never had to suffer through one of these teachers in high school.

Or maybe you were lucky enough to have one.

A.P. Bio, a promising new comedy from NBC, has a "special preview" at 8:30 p.m. today following Will & Grace. The series will return on its regular day at the same time on March 1 after the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea.

Olympics Note: NBC will feature figure skating, alpine skiing or snowboarding live in prime time every night from Feb. 8 to Feb. 25, except Feb. 9, which will feature the Opening Ceremony. I'll have more Olympics info on Feb. 8.

Meanwhile, pay close attention to A.P. Bio tonight. NBC hopes you remember the comedy after having spent 18 days with the Olympics. In case you don't, I'll remind you when it comes back.

Tonight's preview replaces Great News, which ended its 13-episode second season last week.

Background: In A.P Bio, award-winning Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) gets passed over for tenure and fails to get his dream job as head of the Stanford University philosophy department. So, he reluctantly moves back to Toledo, Ohio, for a year to live in his dead mom's apartment and work as an A.P. (advanced placement) biology teacher at Whitlock High School ("Home of the Rams").

According to the College Board, advanced placement classes "are rigorous, college-level classes in a variety of subjects that give high school students an opportunity to gain the skills and experience colleges recognize."

In other words, A.P. classes are for the whiz kids or, as Jack labels them, "nerds who only want a high GPA."

From the beginning, however, Jack makes one thing perfectly clear to his students -- he will not be teaching biology. He doesn't care about biology. Not even a little.

Instead, realizing he has a room full of brainiacs, Jack tasks the kids to help him "psychologically dismantle" his academic rival and nemesis, Miles Leonard (Tom Bennett), and win the Stanford job he considers rightfully his.

Hilarity ensues.

I've seen two episodes and laughed out loud six times, chuckled audibly four times and snorted in amusement twice.

Heads up: Pay special attention to Devon, (Irish actor Jacob McCarthy) the bullied and brooding dark soul in the class, and the catty, libidinous ladies in the teachers lounge.

And the screaming possums. Fortunately, they are only described and never seen.

Fans will recognize Howerton from his years as Dennis Reynolds in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Howerton's take on Jack is pretty much a continuation of Dennis -- vain, selfish, superficial and delusional. Especially vain. Howerton has this sort of character down pat.

In addition, the always droll and hilarious Emmy-winning Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens) is perfectly cast as long-suffering Principal Ralph Durbin.

The series has some impressive comedy veterans behind the scenes. It was created by Mike O'Brien (Saturday Night Live), who also executive produces. Other executive producers include Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels.

Getting serious. You've seen the hashtag, now watch the follow-up.#MeToo, Now What? airs at 10:30 p.m. Friday on AETN. The five-part, half hour PBS series is hosted by Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, and examines sexual misconduct and the chance for change.

With sexual harassment allegations seemingly making daily headlines, PBS President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Kerger says the goal of the series is to answer "how did we get here and how can we use this moment" to bring about positive and lasting change?

PBS says, "Each episode will focus on an aspect of sexual harassment, and will include reporting from Salbi in the field and in studio as she facilitates open and authentic conversations that penetrate to the heart of the matter.

"Topics to be explored include the impact of popular culture on women in the workplace, how race and class factor into the discussion, the social costs of pay inequity and gender discrimination, how men can be engaged in this discussion, and, ultimately, how we begin to chart a path forward."

Getting sporty. NFL Honors airs from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday on NBC. The special showcases the best athletes and performances from the 2017 season. The show includes the announcement of the newest Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Actor/comedian Rob Riggle (The Daily Show) hosts.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Weekend on 02/01/2018

Print Headline: Teacher wages biology warfare in new comedy

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