All Times Eastern.
Wednesday, Dec. 7
NBC, 8pm Live
Harvey Fierstein, Ephraim Sykes, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Ariana Grande and delightful newcomer Maddie Baillio headline NBC’s newest live-theater spectacle. Broadway icon Fierstein adapted the stage production of avant-garde auteur John Waters’ quirky 1988 film — a playground for Waters’ equally avant-garde troupe of favored actors — into a lively, family-friendly evening that celebrates self-esteem, racial equality and the power of a good set of dance moves.
Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) stars as Charlie Haverford, a scammer with a small chain of fortune-telling storefronts in Los Angeles. A blow to the head from a client’s angry boyfriend intersects with a hypnosis session while auditioning a new “clairvoyant,” and suddenly, Charlie actually begins to see and feel some very real and fundamental truths. KaDee Strickland, Angus Sampson, Isabella Rossellini and Emmanuelle Chriqui also star in this 10-episode series that streams weekly.
ESPN, beginning at 8pm Live
LeBron James and the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers head to New York City’s Madison Square Garden for a matchup against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. ESPN’s second game features Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors going south to face Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers.
Lethal Weapon: “Jingle Bell Glock”
Murtaugh’s (Damon Wayans) family Christmas takes an unexpected turn when a hit is put out on Riggs (Clayne Crawford). When Murtaugh’s family starts receiving threats, he puts Trish (Keesha Sharp) and the kids in protective custody so that he and Riggs can get to the bottom of the warnings.
Speechless: “S-L-E—SLED HOCKEY”
JJ (Micah Flowler) desperately wants to join a sled hockey team for people with disabilities, but Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) thinks it’s too dangerous. Meanwhile, Maya (Minnie Driver) takes a CPR class with Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough) and, seeing how popular he is, realizes that she needs to be nicer if she’s going to keep him as JJ’s aide.
Criminal Minds: “Scarecrow”
Every episode of Criminal Minds has fresh blood. Tonight it just happens to be of the walking, talking variety. Actor Damon Gupton (Prime Suspect) joins the show as the Behavior Analysis Unit’s latest recruit, agent Stephen Walker, a former G-man trained in using criminal profiling (the BAU’s stock-in-trade) to catch spooks. Walker is also an ex-colleague of BAU boss Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster). Just don’t expect the pair to do much reminiscing while there is a serial killer (nicknamed Mr. Scratch) on the loose.
Frequency: “Gray Line”
The CW, 9pm
In the winter finale of the time-traveling drama, Raimy (Peyton List) and Frank (Riley Smith) make a startling discovery about the Nightingale killer.
Vikings: “The Vision”
The Kattegat locals chide Ragnar that the gods have deserted him as he struggles to crew his voyage to Wessex. Bjorn prepares to fulfill his dream of exploring the Mediterranean.
black-ish: “Nothing But Nepotism”
Bow (Tracee Ellis-Ross) urges Dre (Anthony Anderson) to use his connections to secure Zoey (Yara Sahidi) a fellowship, but Dre wants his girl to earn the position on her own. Meanwhile, Junior (Marcus Scribner) gets fired from the twins’ favorite pizza and arcade joint after he reports the eatery’s unclean practices to corporate and they shut the place down.
Designated Survivor: “The Blueprint”
When classified government documents are leaked online, President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) searches for the party responsible, only to find that they have taken refuge inside a foreign embassy. Meanwhile, Agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) races to gather evidence of MacLeish’s (Ashley Zuckerman) involvement in the conspiracy before he is confirmed as the next Vice President.
Code Black: “Ave Maria”
Guest Star Alert!
The doctors at Angels Memorial are shocked to learn the connection that a 13-year-old patient has to one of their one. Also, Marlee Matlin guest-stars as a workaholic deaf patient in the new episode “Ave Maria.”
Comedy Central, 10pm
Season 20 of South Park comes to an end tonight after a politically scathing season that gave us “member berries” and SkankHunt42.
Ben (Sean Teale) scrambles to deflect suspicion after the Spiga data breach, Laura (Allison Miller) offers to help when her mother’s policies evict an innocent family, and Theo (Eddie Ramos) is forced into an important cage fight.
Thursday, Dec. 8
SuperMansion: War on Christmas
Crackle’s stop-motion animated series presents a half-hour holiday special. The series’ dysfunctional group of superheroes must band together to save Christmas when an interstellar imp unleashes a real-life Santa Claus who experiences an existential crisis. Returning to the seasonal special are voice-over stars Bryan Cranston, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Green, Jillian Bell and Anton Yelchin. Joining the cast for the special are Jim Parsons and Gary Anthony Williams.
Joy Hockstatter (Bailee Madison) tries to help her widower dad hold the family together, and at age 15, she’s become a surrogate mom to her brothers. But after a freak accident, Joy wakes up as a member of the Wellmans — her neighborhood’s “picture-perfect” family. Her new life seems to have changed for the better, but life for her dad and brothers has taken a turn for the worse and the only one who recognizes Joy from her previous life is her old dog, Levi.
Toy Story That Time Forgot
The Toy Story gang finds out that a set of super-cool action figures are as scary as they look. Now it’s up to Trixie the triceratops to get everyone safely back to Bonnie’s room.
Taraji’s White Hot Holidays
Empire star Taraji P. Henson hosts her second annual holiday special featuring musical performances and holiday cheer. Celebs including Jussie Smollett, Taye Diggs, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., Snoop Dogg and TLC will perform renditions of classic holiday songs. Tyler Perry (as his character Madea) and Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and host of the CW’s Terry Crews Saves Christmas) will also make cameos.
NFL Football: Oakland at Kansas City
NBC & NFL Network, 8:20pm Live
This Week 14 Thursday Night Football game could have big implications for the AFC playoffs as Derek Carr leads the Oakland Raiders into Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium for a meeting with the division rival Chiefs.
Shrek the Halls
Everyone’s favorite ogre just wants a cozy Christmas at home, but he’s having trouble getting into the holiday spirit. Can Shrek’s beloved family and friends help him feel the magic of the holiday?
The Great Indoors: “@Emma”
In the new episode “@Emma,” Emma (Christine Ko) quits after being turned down for a raise. Things don’t go so well when Jack (Joel McHale) and Roland (Stephen Fry) step in as the magazine’s new social media managers.
In the fall finale, as Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) nears her season’s end, Ross (guest star Josh Peck) warns the Padres that she is close to her pitching limit, but management is reluctant to bench their first female star. Let’s hope FOX feels the same way about their ratings-deprived drama.
Mom: “Cornbread and a Cashmere Onesie”
In the new episode “Cornbread and a Cashmere Onesie,” Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) worry about Jill (Jaime Pressly) after her cry for help on the anniversary of her mother’s suicide.
The hit survival series returns for Season 3, putting its 10 contestants — male and female hardcore survivalists — in a new location: Patagonia, South America. Equipped with limited gear and cameras to self-document their journeys, each person must find a way to survive. And that’s no easy task; the network says this is the most dangerous season yet, with the harsh Patagonian conditions forcing the urgent medical evacuation of many individuals over the course of the season.
Life in Pieces: “Swim Survivor Zen Talk”
Guest Star Alert!
When John (James Brolin) decides to try out for Survivor, Tim (Dan Bakkedahl) gets jealous and attempts to undermine his audition tape. Jeff Probst guest-stars in the new episode “Swim Survivor Zen Talk.”
Pure Genius: “A Bunker Hill Christmas”
When a young leukemia patient comes to Bunker Hill in need of a miracle, James (Augustus Prew) hopes a new cancer treatment will save her life in the new episode “A Bunker Hill Christmas.”
The Selection: Special Operations Experiment
From executive producer Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) comes this series that puts 30 men and women with no military background through an immersive, authentic experience led by veterans of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers, while offering insight into the origins of these physical and mental challenges.
Friday, Dec. 9
Mozart in the Jungle
In Season 3, Rodrigo (Gael García Bernal) takes on a brand-new artistic challenge: conducting the great opera diva Alessandra (Monica Bellucci) in her long-awaited return concert in Venice. He’s swept up in the city, communing with its rich musical history, as Alessandra pulls him into a passionate collaboration that quickly becomes operatic in its own right.
Doug Liman (the Bourne films) is an executive producer on this docuseries that looks at the most challenging hostage negotiations of our time, revealing how hostage-taking, and the efforts to resolve it, has evolved to address an escalating international trend.
D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin), Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) and the rest of the gang are back for Season 2 of this follow-up to the hit ’80s sitcom.
White Rabbit Project
Former MythBusters Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara head down the rabbit hole to investigate weird and wonderful events from pop culture, science and history. Under their microscope are topics as diverse as jailbreaks, superpower technology, heists and crazy World War II weapons. In each episode, the hosts immerse themselves in experiments, builds and tests as they sleuth the truth behind these and other well-Googled themes.
This all-new animated adventure tells the tale of a tiny Douglas fir who goes on a journey to become Empire City’s most famous Christmas tree ever. This 60-minute family flick stars the voices of Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) in the title role, plus Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) and Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street).
On a visit to his hometown, Mac (Lucas Till) has no time to reminisce as his skills are needed in the search for a kidnapped prodigy who attends his old middle school in the new episode “Pliers.”
Hawaii Five-0: “Ka Luhi (The Burden)”
Guest Star Alert!
Five-0 investigates the 10-year-old cold case of a missing teen when a boy suffering from PTSD undergoes hypnosis and realizes he may have witnessed her murder. Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue) guest-stars in the new episode “Ka Luhi (The Burden).”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: “Who’s the Cool Girl Josh Is Dating?”
The CW, 9pm
Guest Star Alert!
Brittany Snow guest stars as Josh’s (Vincent Rodriguez III) new love interest. And when Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) and Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz) decide to investigate her, they discover way more than they bargained for.
Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour
Madonna remains a pop diva best seen live in an amphitheater, but if you weren’t able to score a ticket to her most recent world tour, don’t worry. You’ll get a second chance with the Queen of Pop’s latest concert documentary. “This film has everything,” says director Nathan Rissman. “It’s full of humor, drama and a unique take on how she puts on such an amazing show.” The tour, in support of Madonna’s 2015 album, Rebel Heart, features classics like “Who’s That Girl?” and “Music” alongside new songs. Longtime collaborators Rissman and codirector Danny B. Tull captured footage from gigs performed all over the globe. “There’s a mixture that really gives the audience a multilayered perspective,” Rissman says. “We have cameras from every angle you could imagine.”
Z Nation: “Duel”
Addy (Anastasia Baranova) is being pummeled by whatever The Man (Joseph Gatt) can throw at her, while Lucy (Madelyn Grace) does the same to The Man.
Blue Bloods: “Unbearable Loss”
After his son is killed, Rev. Darnell Potter (Ato Essandoh) must put aside his differences with Frank (Tom Selleck) and the Reagan family in order to get justice in the new episode “Unbearable Loss.”
Van Helsing: “It Begins”
Now in the clutches of Dmitri (Paul Johansson) and Rebecca (Laura Mennell), Vanessa (Kelly Overton) learns secrets from her past and finds herself at a crossroads — is she a vampire or a human? Flesh (Vincent Gale) and the Resistance accelerate their timeline to rescue Vanessa, while Mohamad (Trezzo Mahoro) and Sheema (Naika Toussaint) finally come to blows over their allegiances.
Saturday, Dec. 10
College Basketball: Never Forget Tribute Classic
CBS & CBS Sports Network, beginning at 12pm Live
The Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is a college basketball doubleheader to benefit the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which helps support education for children of Sept. 11 terrorist attack victims. The 2016 NCAA champion Villanova Wildcats play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on CBS, followed by the Pittsburgh Panthers vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions on CBS Sports Network.
The 1964 Oscar winner, set in Edwardian London, tells the tale of transportationally gifted nanny Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews), who, with the help of a chimney sweep named Bert (Dick Van Dyke), teaches the wealthy but miserable Banks family lessons about life, love and how to pronounce “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The longest-running holiday special in television history returns as Rudolph and his friends — Hermey the elf, Yukon Cornelius and others — save Christmas in this classic Rankin/Bass special featuring the voice of legendary performer Burl Ives.
2016 Heisman Trophy Presentation
ESPN, 8pm Live
The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the year’s most outstanding college football player in this ceremony on ESPN, with Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Washington QB Jake Browning, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey and Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers hoping for invites to New York City.
A Nutcracker Christmas
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Lilly James (Amy Acker) lives and breathes ballet, and her devotion pays off when she lands the lead role of Clara in the New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. But when her beloved sister dies, she is removed from the production and vows to never dance again. Years later, Lilly’s niece earns the same prestigious role in the Philadelphia Nutcracker Ballet and Lilly discovers that the ballet director is her long-ago love (Sascha Radetsky). Lilly must learn to let go of the past and give love and dance a second chance.
TV One, 8pm
A scorned single parent seeks revenge on her child’s father when he decides to marry another woman. Stars London Brown, Angell Conwell, Sean Patrick Thomas, Faune Watkins and Clifton Powell.
Frosty the Snowman
The classic animated musical special returns, narrated by Jimmy Durante. Jackie Vernon provides the voice of the “jolly, happy soul” whose old silk hat full of magic brings him to life. The special is followed by the 1992 sequel, Frosty Returns.
30 for 30: “Catholics vs. Convicts”
This new episode of the 30 for 30 documentary series looks at the 1988 football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Miami Hurricanes, and how their contrasting reputations led to the clash being dubbed “Catholics vs. Convicts.”
Christmas With the Andersons
Drowning in tinsel and lights every Christmas, Michael and Caroline Anderson throw the year’s biggest party at their house. But this year, with Michael jobless and Caroline’s store struggling, that tradition may end. The Andersons decide to host a very different kind of party, and rediscover what’s most important about the holiday.