On TV this final week of 2011: The Closer closes out its winter run, Rizzoli has a romantic reunion, Chuck spies baby woes and more. Things are still a bit sleepy on the TV front this holiday season, but we’ve dug up a smattering of fresh fare, some year-end round-ups and a few choice repeats to keep on your radar. (The TVLine-Up returns on a daily basis in 2012.)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26
8 pm House (Fox) | Cuddy’s back!… sort of, in a pair of Season 7 repeats featuring Candace Bergen as the DoM’s mom, and Thirteen trying to help out a sick prison pal.
9 pm The Closer (TNT) | Winter finale: The federal lawsuit against Brenda comes to a head when another murder occurs related to Turell Baylor’s death. (Read our exclusive preview Q&A with Mark Pellegrino here.)
9 pm The Year the Earth Went Wild (Discovery) | AKA natural disaster porn!
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9:30 pm MLB 2011: Tales of Triumph (ESPN2) | AKA Featuring Zero Clips of Post-Season A-Rod. [Bronx grumble]
10 pm Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) | Season finale: An arson investigation hits a snag when a hit-and-run leaves someone in the hospital; FBI Agent Gabriel Dean (guest star Billy Burke) seeks to rekindle his relationship with Jane.
10 pm Game of Thrones (HBO) | Each night this week, with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 11 pm, HBO is cycling through Season 1 again.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27
8 pm Glee (Fox) | You either loved “Grilled Cheesus” or you hated it. I fell into the first camp and will probably be checking out this encore.
9 pm Hardcore Pawn (truTV) | Father and son face off when a short-staffed disaster leads to a store full of angry customers.
9 pm Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) | President and Mrs. Obama are in attendance as singer Barbara Cook, singer/songwriter Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist/composer Sonny Rollins and actress Meryl Streep receive this year’s honors.
10 pm Parenthood (NBC) | This is the episode where Amber helped Max smooth things over with Jabbar, while Kristina got ready to give birth. You will bawl again.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28
8 pm From Dusk ‘Til Dawn (IFC) | Clooney and Tarantino as brothers? Good. Vampires? Good. Salma Hayek dancing with a snake. Goooood.
9 pm Criminal Minds (CBS) | This repeat features the Jacksonville, Fla. case that hit home for Morgan.
9 pm New Girl (Fox) | Believe it or not, kids, back when this comedy first started, there was a different third guy roommate! Tune in for this repeat of the series pilot and see if you can recognize the actor, who’s actually now on a different show!
10 pm State of Play (BBC America) | After Cal and his team corner Dominic Foy, they discover a connection between him and a firm who lobby on behalf of the oil industry.
10 pm Hot in Cleveland (TV Land) | Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) guest-stars as Victoria’s new (hand) model boyfriend.