What to Watch During Christmas Week: Your Guide to 21 Specials, Premieres and Finales
We’ve got the classics (The Sound of Music, How The Grinch Stole Christmas), new episodes of your favorite shows (Family Guy, Doctor Who), a few season — and series! — finales (Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage) and some offbeat choices (cowboy movies, Oddities) to make your week merry and bright. Enjoy!
SUNDAY, DEC. 23
7 pm The Sound of Music (ABC) | How do you solve a problem like Maria? We hear curtains-turned-into-lederhosen and some edelweiss helps….
9 pm Chained to My Ex (MSNBC) | Series premiere: Emmy-winning Intervention creator Sam Mettler teams with the cable news network’s documentary unit to capture the lives of real-life divorced couples who can’t quite seem to quit each other. (Hey, the holidays are all about togetherness, right?)
9 pm Family Guy (Fox) | Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) guest-voices a — not the — son of God in this Christmas episode of the animated series, which was pre-empted last week.
MONDAY, DEC. 24
9:15 am — 9:15 pm Christmas Eve Movie Marathon (AMC) | If the shopping’s all done, the presents are wrapped and the cookies are baked, I’m jealous curl up with the classics All I Want for Christmas, Prancer, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol and A Miracle on 34th Street.
4 pm — 10 pm Animaniacs (The Hub) | Go back to the ’90s as the network caps a four-hour block of the Warner Bros. animated series with the holiday-themed, two-hour musical special Animaniacs: Wakko’s Wish.
9:30 pm Second Star to the Left (The CW) | House‘s Hugh Laurie lends his voice to this holiday cartoon, in which a hamster, a rabbit and a guinea pig embark on a journey to deliver a present Santa Claus lost.
TUESDAY, DEC. 25
9:30 am – 4 am Cowboys for Christmas Marathon (AMC) | Merry Christmas, pardner! Don your Stetson and spurs, ’cause the cable net is airing Jeremiah Johnson, Hondo, The Sons of Katie Elder, High Plains Drifter, El Dorado, Big Jake, Two Mules for Sister Sara and Appaloosa.
8 pm Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) | Can’t get enough of the green guy? Watch the animated special at 8, then chase it with the live-action movie (starring Jim Carrey) at 8:30.
9 pm Doctor Who: The Snowmen (BBC America) | The Doctor and his newest companion cross paths with the homo-reptilian Silurian Madame Vastra and her cohort Jenny in this 80-minute Christmas special. (Get scoop!)
9 pm Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) | Season 3 finale: Hope returns to ask Maura for a life-altering favor, Jane worries about Casey’s spinal surgery and Tommy shows off baby T.J. But who’ll get trapped inside when a building collapses?! (Already renewed.)
10 pm Leverage (TNT) | Series finale: Nate takes a case linked to his son’s death, leading the team into its deadliest con. Mark Sheppard (Supernatural) and Catherine Dent (The Shield) guest-star.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26
8 pm The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) | Late Show host David Letterman, guitarist Buddy Guy and rockers Led Zeppelin are among those recognized this year for their lifetime contributions to American culture.
9 pm Dark Matters: Twisted But True (Science) | Season finale: Practice saying goodbye to Fringe‘s John Noble, the host of this series, before having to do it again in two-and-a-half weeks.
THURSDAY, DEC. 27
8 pm Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (ABC) | The Peanuts gang finishes off its holiday run with a party thrown by Marcie and Peppermint Patty. (The animated short She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown follows.)
FRIDAY, DEC. 28
8 pm 2012: A Year Out of Season (Weather Channel) | Freaked out by the seemingly apocalyptic weather we’ve had this year? This special’s for you.
9 pm Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour (ABC) | Part 2: In this two-hour conclusion, the journalist wraps her investigation of the world’s major religions.
9 pm American Masters (PBS) | Season 26 premiere: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance chronicles the pioneering dance company, which distinguished itself by combining modern dance with classical ballet. Homeland‘s Mandy Patinkin narrates.
SATURDAY, DEC. 29
8 pm She Made Them Do It (Lifetime) | Jenna Dewan Tatum (American Horror Story: Asylum) and Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time) co-star in this TV-movie about one of the most notorious women ever to top America’s Most Wanted list.
9 pm The Mob Doctor (Fox) | Spirits intensify at Briarcliff Roosevelt Medical Center when Grace and Dr. Robinson treat a priest bitten in the face during an exorcism.
9 pm Oddities (Science) | This best-of episode culls the weirdest bits and bobs from New York’s Obscura Antiques & Oddities shop.
Hit the comments with your picks from the week’s lineup!