This Week's TV Best Bets


This Week's TV Best Bets

Sunday, Dec. 17

College Basketball: North Carolina at Tennessee 

ESPN, 3pm Live 

The North Carolina Tar Heels visit Knoxville's Thompson-Boling Arena for a matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers.

The Sound of Music

ABC, 7pm

The beloved musical based on the life of the real-life von Trapp family, who fled their home to escape the Nazis in 1938, returns to ABC. Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young would-be nun who finds happiness as governess to the seven children of Navy captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and then finds love with the dashing captain himself.

A Christmas Story Live!

FOX, 7pm Live

The hit Broadway musical, inspired by the 1983 film classic, comes to television in a live extravaganza that chronicles a young boy's wish for a very special Christmas gift. Newcomer Andy Walken stars as Ralphie Parker, with Maya Rudolph and Chris Diamantopoulos starring as his parents and Matthew Broderick as the story's narrator. The event will also feature Jane Krakowski and Ana Gasteyer and music from Tony- and Oscar-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, A Christmas Story: The Musical).

Christmas Connection

Hallmark Channel, 8pm

Original Film!

After a flight attendant is charmed by an unaccompanied minor placed under her care, the child forgets a package on the plane, and the sweet stewardess races to deliver the lost gift. When the flight attendant and the girl's father meet, they feel a romantic spark between them, and after she misses her flight home, he invites her to spend the holidays with them. Stars Brooke Burns and Tom Everett Scott.

"Last Tango in Halifax" Holiday Special

PBS, 8pm

Caroline's new position involves moving the family to a ramshackle farmhouse in time for Christmas. Alan has a difficult conversation with Gillian, who's consumed by thoughts of the afterlife, convinced she's being haunted by Eddie.

Romance at Reindeer Lodge

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 9pm

Original Film!

A group of adults who have sworn off the holiday season -- including unlucky-in-love Molly and sweet but entitled Jared -- are summoned to a mysterious location that turns out to be a holiday-themed ranch, complete with stables and an owner bearing more than a coincidental resemblance to St. Nick. With no flight out until after Christmas, the group ends up staying and participating in festive activities, where their wintry hearts melt and love blossoms between Molly and Jared. Stars Nicky Whelan and Josh Kelly.

NCIS: Los Angeles: "All Is Bright"

CBS, 9:30pm

In the new holiday-themed episode "All Is Bright," the NCIS team investigates a ransomware attack that takes out the entire power grid for west L.A. and paralyzes the city. 

Search Party

TBS, 10pm

Season Finale!

The final two episodes of the season find Dory (Alia Shawkat) and the gang trying to come up with 60 grand to pay off a blackmailer -- and facing the fact that they may all be headed to prison. So it ends on a happy note! 

Good Behavior: "Letty Raines, in the Mansion, With the Gun"

TNT, 10pm

Season Finale!

With her latest impulsive action, Letty (Michelle Dockery) hits rock bottom. Tonight's finale addresses whether she can ever return to having a normal life with son Jacob and lover Javier (Juan Diego Botto). Well, as normal as life can be when you're a con artist and your lover is a hit man.

Madam Secretary: "Women Transform the World"

CBS, 10:30pm

In the new episode "Women Transform the World," Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) tries to convince the Afghan government that a compromise with the Taliban may be better than a war.

Monday, Dec. 18

Kevin Can Wait: "The Might've Before Christmas"

CBS, 8pm

Flashbacks! As the Gable family gathers for a cozy holiday, Kevin (Kevin James) and his former police partner Vanessa (Leah Remini) reminisce about the high jinks that ensued on their first patrol. 

Popstar's Best of 2017

The CW, 8pm

Elizabeth Stanton hosts this end-of-year special that uses polls from Popstar Magazine to count down 2017's greatest and most memorable moments.

Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

Freeform, 8pm

Peek behind the scenes and learn how Disney parks and resorts around the world prepare for the holiday season. Plus, meet cast members and Santa's helpers, who meticulously plan, design, build and install wondrous Christmas trees, life-size gingerbread houses and much more throughout the Disney universe.

The Voice: "Live Finale, Part 1"

NBC, 8pm Live

The final four artists perform live tonight. Part 2 of the season finale airs tomorrow night.

NFL Football: Atlanta at Tampa Bay 

ESPN, 8:15pm Live 

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., hosts this Week 15 Monday Night Football matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Superior Donuts: "Electile Dysfunction"

CBS, 9pm

In the new episode "Electile Dysfunction," Arthur (Judd Hirsch) runs against Fawz (Maz Jobrani) in a local election and gets Franco (Jermaine Fowler) to be his campaign manager.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors 2017

The CW, 9pm

Montel Williams hosts this celebration recognizing special celebrities who have been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Take a look back at celebrations for Amy Adams, Adam Levine, Hugh Laurie, Viola Davis, Chris Pratt, George Segal, Allison Janney, Ice Cube, Keri Russell, Jason Bateman, John Goodman, Jeffrey Tambor, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. The special will also feature a brand-new star-unveiling in tribute to pop star Selena.

Scorpion: "A Christmas Car-Roll"

CBS, 10pm

Scorpion leader Walter O'Brien (Elyes Gabel) may be a genius, but this isn't his brightest move: On tonight's ­episode of the hit action series, he ­suggests his world-saving team of misfit masterminds work through Christmas. Unfortunately, Happy (Jadyn Wong), Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Sylvester (Ari ­Stidham), Cabe (Robert Patrick) and even Walter's ­girlfriend, Paige ­(Katharine McPhee), take off. ­Walter, left alone, is then knocked ­unconscious. Cue the It's a Wonderful Life-inspired dream sequence!


HBO, 10pm

New Miniseries!

This three-part thriller, airing over three consecutive nights, is based on the real-life 17th-century events that led to Guy Fawkes Day. Game of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harington stars as Robert Catesby, who was the driving force behind the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 London and a committed Catholic at a time when Protestant England persecuted Catholics relentlessly. Catesby's refusal to abandon his religion brings him to the edge of financial, social and psychological ruin. Harington, who is also a co-executive producer on the show, is a descendant of Catesby and began co-creating the project three years ago.

Ellen's Game of Games

NBC, 10pm

Special Preview!

Ellen DeGeneres hosts this hourlong game show, which includes supersized versions of the most popular and action-packed games from her daytime talk show. Contestants, who are pulled right from the audience, have to maneuver massive obstacles, answer questions under crushing time pressure and face gigantic plunges into the unknown, all in a quest to win a big cash prize. The series begins airing regularly in January.

Independent Lens: "Supergirl"

PBS, 10pm

Meet Naomi, a seemingly ordinary Orthodox Jewish preteen from New Jersey whose extraordinary talent -- breaking world powerlifting records -- turns her into an international phenomenon in this unique coming-of-age story.

The Daily Show's The Yearly Show 2017 

Comedy Central, 11pm 

Trevor Noah hosts The Daily Show's one-hour, year-end special at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City.

Tuesday, Dec. 19

"Doctor Who" Marathon 

BBC America, beginning at 9am

Gear up for this year's Doctor Who Christmas special with an epic marathon of Doctor Who episodes beginning Tuesday morning and running through the early morning hours of Dec. 27.

"NCIS" Holiday Marathon

USA Network, beginning at 9am

Enjoy a block of Christmas episodes from NCIS.

15: A Quinceañera Story

HBO, 7pm

Airing over four consecutive nights, this series of short films follows five Latina girls from different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds as they transition to adulthood, all observing the traditional rite of passage of the quinceañera, a celebration of their 15th birthdays.

NHL Hockey: Boston at Buffalo 

NBCSN, 7:30pm Live 

Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins are in action against Evander Kane and the Sabres tonight at Buffalo's KeyBank Center.

Kellie's weekly best bets Dec 17-23

Big Game

The CW, 8pm

In this 2014 film, a young boy named Oskari (Onni Tommila) rescues the president of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) when Air Force One is shot down near Oskari's campsite in the Finnish forest. Together they must evade those behind the assassination attempts. Victor Garber, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Huffman, Ray Stevenson and Mehmet Kurtulus also star.

A Home for the Holidays With Josh Groban

CBS, 8pm

Singer/songwriter Josh Groban headlines this annual special featuring uplifting stories of adoption from foster care and raising awareness of this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced with performances by some of today's most popular artists. Joining Groban are Kelly Clarkson, Kacey Musgraves and Kane Brown.

Jurassic World 

FX, 8pm 

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in the 2015 blockbuster addition to the Jurassic Park saga. Dinosaur park Jurassic World has been open for 10 years and the visitor rates are starting to decline. When corporate backers urge the creation of a new attraction, scientists start messing with the wrong things, and it backfires horribly.

"The Simpsons" Christmas Marathon 

FXX, beginning at 8pm 

This eight-episode stunt of The Simpsons features holiday-themed favorites like "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989), "Homer's Phobia" (1997), "Skinner's Sense of Snow" (2000) and "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" (2003).

Married at First Sight: Jamie and Doug Plus One

Lifetime, 8pm

New Series!

It's been three years since Jamie and Doug met for the very first time at the altar on Season 1 of Married at First Sight. Though their relationship wasn't exactly a fairy tale, they stuck with it and are now happily married, preparing for the birth of their new child after the devastating miscarriage of their son last year. Their lives will be forever changed as they welcome their new little one. Tonight's episode documents the emotional moments leading up to and capturing the birth of daughter Henley Grace, who has the distinction of being the first ever Married at First Sight baby. After her birth, the series will follow the Hehners as they navigate their "new normal," experiencing all the ups and downs of parenthood, and falling in love with their baby girl -- at first sight.

The Voice: "Recap: Live Final Performances"

NBC, 8pm

Ahead of the second part of The Voice's season finale, when the new winner will be announced, this hourlong special allows viewers to relive the artists' final performances as they sing one last time for the title of "The Voice."

Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

ABC, 8:30pm

Disney's Emmy-winning half-hour special continues the yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne. With Christmas fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking naughty kid! Desperate to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos, Wayne seeks out the foremost naughty kid expert to aid in the mission -- a bombastic member of the Coal Elf Brigade, who also happens to be his estranged brother, Noel.

The Voice: "Live Finale, Part 2"

NBC, 9pm Live

Season Finale!

Tonight, host Carson Daly reveals who America has chosen to be the winner.

Major Crimes

TNT, 9pm

And the award for the most awkward pun of the week goes to … this police procedural. On the milestone 100th episode, the team's latest murder investigation reveals a series of sexual assaults against the scantily clad servers at a sports bar with a truly unfortunate name: Tackles. 

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas

FOX, 9:30pm

While helping to decorate for the holidays, Sid (John Leguizamo) destroys Manny's (Ray Romano) favorite decorations. When a frustrated Manny convinces Sid he's on Santa's naughty list, Sid, Crash (Seann William Scott), Eddie (Josh Peck) and Peaches (Ciara Bravo) take off for the North Pole to plead their case to Santa (Billy Gardell). And while at the North Pole on Christmas Eve, Sid and his crew accidentally destroy Santa's Workshop, and it's up to the friends to orchestrate a Christmas miracle.

The Long Road Home

National Geographic, 10pm

Miniseries Finale!

Eight hours after they were ambushed in Iraq, the men of the 1st Cavalry Division -- including Troy Denomy (Jason Ritter) -- are reunited. The final part of this acclaimed miniseries, based on true events from 2004, recounts the heart-pounding rescue mission.

Drop the Mic

TBS, 10:30pm

It's the biggest hip-hop beef since Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. feuded! On tonight's episode of the lighthearted rap battle, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson faces off against This Is Us star Chrissy Metz. Also spitting rhymes: David Arquette and Atlanta's Brian Tyree Henry.

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

CBS, 8pm

Season Finale!

In the beginning, there were 18 contestants so kindhearted that they were divided into tribes based on their brand of altruism. And tonight, after presumably much lying, cheating and backstabbing, one will be crowned the winner of the million-­dollar prize. Hey, you know what they say about money changing people! 

The Night Before 

FX, 8pm 

Three best friends have made a tradition out of celebrating Christmas Eve with a night of wild partying. Now that they are entering adulthood, they set out on one last epic quest to find the holy grail of Christmas parties. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie star in this 2015 comedy.

The Santa Clause 2 

FXX, 8pm 

Tim Allen is back as Scott Calvin, who, in 1994's The Santa Clause, accidentally offed the big guy and inherited his job. Eight years later, Bernard the Elf discovers the "Mrs. Clause," and Scott has to act fast if he wants to save Christmas and ho-ho-hold on to his bowlful-of-jelly belly.

Will & Grace: "Rosario's Quinceañera"

NBC, 8pm

When Karen (Megan Mullally) has trouble dealing with a personal tragedy, Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing) and Jack (Sean Hayes) try to intervene. Minnie Driver guest-stars.

NHL Hockey: Detroit at Philadelphia 

NBCSN, 8pm Live 

The Detroit Red Wings hit the ice at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center tonight to take their best shots against Sean Couturier and the Flyers.

The Librarians: "And the Christmas Thief"

TNT, 8pm

It's the first time Santa has left his sleigh in the care of anyone (well, besides his elves) so the pressure is on for its safekeeping! When Santa takes Flynn (Noah Wyle), Baird (Rebecca Romijn) and Jenkins (John Larroquette) on his first vacation in centuries, he leaves his beloved sleigh in the care of the Librarians. But when Ezekiel's (John Kim) career-criminal mother steals the magic door, they must use the sleigh to save her, as well as Christmas itself, from Santa's Grinch of a brother, the Patron Saint of Thieves.

Vikings: "The Prisoner"

History, 9pm

Ivar meets his match in Bishop Heahmund while Floki returns to Kattegat and Bjorn receives a lavish welcome in North Africa.

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist

National Geographic, 9pm

Miniseries Finale!

The conclusion of this documentary series examines the uncertainty surrounding the killing of primatologist Dian Fossey. Fellow researcher Wayne McGuire fled Rwanda after being sentenced to death for the murder, but did he do it? 

NOVA: "Bird Brain"

PBS, 9pm

Witness the brainpower of birds. Long mocked as empty-headed, our feathered friends hide surprisingly acute intelligence. Watch as scientists test avian aptitude and challenge our basic notions of intelligence.

Knightfall: "The Black Wolf and the White Wolf"

History, 10pm

On the pope's orders, Landry and Tancrede travel to investigate the Holy Grail's whereabouts. Meanwhile, the plotting behind the royal wedding becomes deadly.

Thursday, Dec. 21


FX, 8pm 

Monogamy isn't realistic, or so says Amy's (Amy Schumer) father as he is in the process of getting a divorce. Twenty-three years later, Amy understands this philosophy and lives it daily. When a sexy sports doctor catches her eye, her views on love and relationships may be put to the test. Bill Hader and Brie Larson also star in this 2015 comedy.

"The Simpsons" Christmas Marathon 

FXX, beginning at 8pm 

This mini-marathon of The Simpsons features Christmas-themed episodes, including "Marge Be Not Proud" (1995), "White Christmas Blues" (2013), "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (2014) and "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989).

Great News

NBC, 8pm

In back-to-back episodes, the workplace comedy first riffs on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and then delves into the topic of sensitivity training, which pits late-in-life intern Carol (Andrea Martin) and gruff anchor Chuck (John Michael Higgins) against the newsroom's "snowflakes." News producer Katie (Briga Heelan) is dealing with her own complications: Though she has a boyfriend, journalist Jeremy (Reid Scott), the sexual tension with her boss, Greg (Adam Campbell), still simmers.

NBA Basketball 

TNT, beginning at 8pm Live 

TNT's Thursday night NBA doubleheader opens with the Boston Celtics at New York City's Madison Square Garden for a date with the Knicks. In the second game, the San Antonio Spurs are in Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz.

Young Sheldon: "Spock, Kirk and Testicular Hernia"

CBS, 8:30pm

Sheldon (Iain Armitage) is forced to tutor his brother Georgie (Montana Jordan) when poor grades threaten his future on the football team in the new episode "Spock, Kirk and Testicular Hernia."

The Great American Baking Show

ABC, 9pm

Season Finale!

The remaining home bakers use the final holiday-themed baking challenges to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Johnny Iuzzini in the hopes of being named "America's Best Amateur Baker."

Mom: "An Epi-Pen and a Security Cat"

CBS, 9pm

In the new episode "An Epi-Pen and a Security Cat," Bonnie (Allison Janney) and Christy (Anna Faris) hunt for a thief after their home is robbed at Christmastime.

An SNL Christmas Special

NBC, 9pm 

Pass the Schweddy balls, please. No one brings the holiday cheer quite like Saturday Night Live, as this special featuring favorite past skits proves. Just a word of warning: If you're unwrapping a box from Andy Samberg or Justin Timberlake, handle with care. 

Life in Pieces: "The Twelve Shorts of Christmas"

CBS, 9:30pm

Each member of the Short family experiences Christmas in their own unique way in the new episode "The Twelve Shorts of Christmas."

Top Chef: "Keep on Truckin'"

Bravo, 10pm

You can't make a Denver omelet without breaking a few spirits, as we'll learn during tonight's egg-scruciating Quickfire. For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants are tasked with creating dishes that can cure a hangover. (Our advice: Always bet on bacon.)

S.W.A.T.: "Miracle"

CBS, 10pm

Guest Star Alert!

Hondo (Shemar Moore) and the SWAT team are forced to work over their Christmas vacation when a drug cartel is out for blood after their cache of gold bars is stolen. Peter Facinelli guest-stars as president of the police commission in the new episode "Miracle."

White Christmas

AMC, 10:15pm

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye get their song on as two World War II vets turned stage producers who help their old commanding officer when his inn is in danger of failing due to lack of snow. 

Friday, Dec. 22



Original Film!

David Ayer (Suicide Squad) directed this action-thriller starring Will Smith. Set in an alternate present day, the film follows two cops from very different backgrounds -- Ward (Smith), a human, and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), an orc -- as they embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a deadly, thought-to-be-forgotten relic. Noomi Rapace costars in the film, which also hits select theaters today.

I Love Lucy Christmas Special

CBS, 8pm

I Love Lucy fans made Santa's nice list! Thus, CBS has colorized and combined two of the series' top outings, "The Fashion Show" (when Lucy fights a feathered headdress) and "The Christmas Episode" (a flashback installment), into one special.

Blindspot: "City Folks Under Wraps"

NBC, 8pm

Midseason Finale!

Tonight's episode comes with major reveals that impact the entire show. The team is reeling after last week's episode, which leads one of their own to be in serious danger. Meanwhile, Roman (Luke Mitchell) meets Blake Crawford's (guest star Tori Anderson) father for the first time. 

The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!

CBS, 9pm

This one-hour special features two newly colorized back-to-back classic episodes of beloved 1960s series The Dick Van Dyke Show. Series creator and costar Carl Reiner picked these two episodes to showcase the talents of the late Mary Tyler Moore. In "My Blonde-Haired Brunette" from Season 1, Laura (Moore) dyes her hair blonde when she fears the romance between Rob (Van Dyke) and her is fading. Then in "October Eve" from Season 3, a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (Reiner) takes the liberty of "undraping" her.

Christmas at Belmont 2017

PBS, 9pm

Join Grammy-winning host Sheryl Crow and nearly 700 student musicians, Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children's Choir for a production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and lighthearted seasonal favorites.

Eric Idle's The Entire Universe

PBS, 10pm

Eric Idle's The Entire Universe wraps up music, dancing, comedy and a dollop of science into a sidesplitting explanation of the origins of the cosmos as only the Monty Python vet could create it. As renowned -- and heroically game -- physicist Brian Cox attempts to explain the secrets of the universe (including the biggies like the Big Bang, the space-time continuum and gravitational fields) in a single hour, he's accompanied (and often irked) by Idle and special guests.

"MythBusters" Mega Marathon

Science Channel, 12am (late-night)

Starting today and airing through Wednesday, Jan. 3, Science Channel will air every episode of MythBusters ever made, in chronological order. This year's marathon starts with the very first myth, "Jet Assisted Chevy," which premiered in 2003, and ends with the latest myths from the brand-new MythBusters, Jon Lung and Brian Louden.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Christmas on the Set Holiday Episode Marathon

SundanceTV, 6am

This 14-hour marathon features holiday episodes from TV classics M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Barney Miller.

College Basketball: CBS Sports Classic 

CBS, beginning at 1:30pm Live

The CBS Sports Classic college basketball doubleheader in New Orleans has Ohio State vs. North Carolina and Kentucky vs. UCLA.

NFL Football 

NFL Network & NBC, beginning at 4:30pm Live 

A Saturday NFL doubleheader has the Indianapolis Colts at the Baltimore Ravens on NFL Network, followed by a matchup on NBC between bitter NFC North foes as the Minnesota Vikings visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Homicide for the Holidays

Oxygen, 6pm

Season Finale!

Did you know the worst family massacre in U.S. history ­occurred at Christmastime? The docuseries delves into the spooky story of Arkansas's Ronald Gene Simmons, who killed 14 of his kin in 1987.

Christmas Getaway

Hallmark Channel, 8pm

Original Film!

Bridget Regan stars as a travel writer whose vagabond upbringing means she's never experienced a traditional Christmas. But a breakup with her boyfriend turns her relaxing holiday plans into a work trip when her boss sends her on a picturesque Christmas trip to inspire her creativity. When a mix-up with the rental site forces her to share the cabin with a handsome widower (Travis Van Winkle), his young daughter and mother-in-law, the annoying inconvenience blooms into a Christmas they will all cherish forever.

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