What to Watch Thursday: The X Factor and Burn Notice Finales, White House Christmas and More

Burn Notice - Season 6On TV this Thursday: X Factor marks the winner, Burn Notice goes out with a double-bang, NBC’s kidnapped news reporters tell their tale and you’re invited to A White House Christmas. Here are 10 programs to keep on your radar.

8 pm The X Factor (Fox) | Season finale, Part 2: It’s time to reveal the winner! But first, One Direction and Pitbull perform during the live season-ender.

8 pm A White House Christmas: First Families Remember (NBC) | Today‘s Meredith Viera hosts this special, in which First Families from the past four decades share holiday memories from their time in office.

8 pm I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (ABC) | Snoopy’s brother Spike shows up to hang out with Linus and Lucy’s brother ReRun in this holiday special… and that’s when the fun begins.

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9 pm CMA Country Christmas (ABC) | The term “country” gets stretched (but hey, it’s Christmas!) as singers such as Colbie Caillat and John Legend join the likes of Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride for a two-hour special full of performances and fireside interviews.

9 pm Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime) | The final six contestants pair off into three teams to design a 1920s vintage look. Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) and designer Jenny Packham guest-judge.

9 pm Burn Notice (USA) | Two-hour season finale: Michael attempts to leave the country with his team, but Sam is shot and Jesse is taken captive when the escape is ambushed. (We can’t vouch for Sam or Jesse, but Burn Notice, at least, will go on: It’s already renewed for a shortened Season 7.) Also: What will be the “worst decision ever” that Michael makes?

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10 pm Rock Center With Brian Williams (NBC) | Brian Williams sits down with NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his crew, who were recently kidnapped and held in captivity for five days in Syria; Ann Curry discusses #20Acts and #26Acts, a grassroots response to the Newtown shootings.

10 pm Sweet Genius (Food Network) | The chefs must combine a Middle Eastern dip with a dessert delight. I’ve got this one: Hummus brulee!

10 pm It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) | Season finale: Court’s in session at Paddy’s Pub as Frank and Dennis present their cases to the rest of the gang. (Verdict? Already renewed.)

10:30 pm The League (FX) | Back-to-back episodes, culminating in the season finale: First, Rupert Ruxin (guest star Jeff Goldblum) has a holiday gift for his son, and Taco challenges the mall’s Santa. Then, Gina Gibiatti (Brooklyn Decker) returns and Pete has a decision to make. (Renewed for next season!)

Hit the comments with your must-see picks from tonight’s lineup!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Renee says:

    No Beauty & the Beast, no Person of Interest. I might as well clean house.

  2. Dave says:

    How is always sunny already over I feel like it just started. Were there less episodes this year?

  3. Todd says:

    As much as I enjoy Burn Notice, I hope next season is its last one. I think they have taken the concept as far as it will go. Maybe a bit too far.

    • Jess says:

      I completely agree. I honestly don’t know if I’ll even watch next season.

      • I was starting to think I was the only one. The storylines are becoming more and more predictable. They seem to be reaching on the concept as a whole.

      • AT says:

        We’ve been struggling to watch this season. I’m just glad Fiona finally has her eyebrows back under control. The first half of the season, they were insane. It’s felt like this last half was just a massive waste of time. You pretty much could have watched the first two and last two hours and not missed a darn thing. I’m pretty sure, in the end, that they won’t even leave Miami. Michael is gonna turn himself in and bargain the charges off the others.

    • bobbie says:

      The show changed quite a bit when they added Jesse to the show. Some of the personality of the show changed, from being very much of a story to more action adventure — and so many guns! I remember Michael saying in an early episodes that there were so many ways to do things without guns, but now the show is kind of gun-heavy.
      The personal stories & humor seemed to take a hit, also. I wish *that* Burn Notice would be renewed.

    • GeoDiva says:

      I agree. I finally had to breakup with Burn Notice this summer, when all those episodes sat unwatched on my DVR for months. My husband still watches, though. Honestly as much as I loved Michael, Fiona, Sam and Jesse, I don’t miss watching it.

  4. Jared says:

    XFactor..since nothing else is on :(

  5. Templar says:

    A warm cozy evening with TCM for us tonight. Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in Holiday Affair followed by The Lemon Drop Kid with Bob Hope and a legion of great character actors.

  6. bobbie says:

    looks like Burn Notice tonight. How many years can Christmas “Specials” be special? Blah humbug :)

  7. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I liked the last time Jeff Goldbloom was on The League, glad they are bringing him back. I can totally buy that he would be Ruxin’s dad, they look exactly alike! Now hopefully we get the ever psychotically humorous Rafi in at least one of these episodes…

  8. Roses C says:

    Criminal Minds has been my favorite show since it began. The cast is unsurpassed, but the brutality is getting out of hand. I do not think that it is all that necessary for one of the finest shows on TV.

  9. JAO says:

    Still like Burn Notice, though I agree how much more can they do? I love all the characters. Especially Michael. Ever since Touching Evil.

  10. JP says:

    I thought Michael’s “worst decision” was shooting Card, which led to this whole fugitive mess. You mean there’s something else he can do to frak things up?