The February ratings period starts today, and big events will transform the month into an unconventional sweeps. These ratings periods are the time for broadcasters to shine, but cable isn't taking it easy. The highlights include  guest stars plus series returns and conclusions:

James Earl Jones visits "The Big Bang Theory" at 8 tonight on CBS. The sitcom plays up "Star Wars" themes and brings on Carrie Fisher for a cameo.

Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones depart "Parks and Recreation" at 8:30 tonight on NBC. Their exit should produce tears on this loopy comedy.

TCM starts its 31 Days of Oscar Festival on Saturday. The channel will premiere the documentary "And the Oscar Goes To ..." about the award's history at 8 p.m. Saturday. The special features Helen Mirren, Tom Hanks, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Kingsley, Steven Spielberg, Jon Voight, Jennifer Hudson and George Clooney.

Melissa McCarthy hosts "Saturday Night Live" at 11:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Imagine Dragons will be the musical guest.

The Super Bowl is usually the most-watched program each year. The Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Fox. New episodes of "New Girl" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" follow the game.

"Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch concludes its third season at 10 p.m. Sunday on PBS. It follows a new episode of "Downton Abbey" at 9.

NBC celebrates "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful" at 9 p.m. Monday. Heidi Klum hosts the two-hour special, which features Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Marisa Miller and Kate Upton. There will be performances by Enrique Iglesias, the Fray, Lady Antebellum, John Legend and Tim McGraw.

The Sochi Olympics, a sports miniseries, will be the biggest show of the month. NBC's coverage starts at 8 p.m. Feb 6. Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira host the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7. The Closing Ceremony will be Feb. 23.

Jay Leno departs "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m. Feb. 6. His final guests will be Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks.

Rosie O'Donnell returns to "The View" at 11 a.m. Feb. 7 on ABC.

"The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" airs at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 on CBS -- 50 years to the day that the group played "The Ed Sullivan Show" on the same network. The Eurythmics' Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart are reuniting for the show. The other performers include John Mayer and Keith Urban together; Alicia Keys and John Legend together; and Maroon 5.

"The Walking Dead" resumes its season at 9 p.m. Feb. 9 on AMC.

The 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will air over two networks. Part one can be seen from 8 to 11 p.m. Feb. 10 on CNBC. Part two will be from 8 to 11 p.m. Feb. 11 on USA.

Season two of "House of Cards" debuts Feb. 14 on Netflix.

The Oscars won't be till March 2 on ABC. But if you want movie awards, try the British Academy Film Awards at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 on BBC America. Stephen Fry hosts.

Jimmy Fallon becomes host of "The Tonight Show" Feb. 17 on NBC. Will Smith and U2 will be the first guests.

The 45th NAACP Image Awards will be broadcast list at 9 p.m. Feb. 22 on TV One. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker will receive the Chairman's Award.

"The Amazing Race" starts an all-star edition at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 on CBS.

"Downton Abbey" concludes its season at 9 p.m. Feb. 23 on PBS.

The rebooted version of "Dallas" begins its third season at 9 p.m. Feb. 24 on TNT.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" starts its sixth season at 9 p.m. Feb. 24 on Logo. The guest judges this season include Neil Patrick Harris, Adam Lambert, Linda Blair, Paula Abdul, Leah Remini and Bob Mackie.

The Top 13 finalists perform on "American Idol" at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 on Fox.

"Survivor" starts its 28th season at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 on CBS. The theme this time will be "Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty." Twenty-eight seasons? Wow.