All Times Eastern.
Wednesday, Dec. 21
Season 8 of Undercover Boss kicks off with back-to-back episodes tonight featuring Build-A-Bear Workshop president and CEO Sharon Price John, and Gary, Ind., mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.
Terry Crews Saves Christmas: “Godina Family”
The CW, 8pm
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews and his team of food, beverage and design experts provide tips and tricks to help the Godina family pull off a holiday fiesta that will astound friends and family members.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Six years after their last adventure, the stoner buds make some holiday mischief after they inadvertently burn down Harold’s father-in-law’s prized Christmas tree. Kal Penn, John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris star in this madcap 2011 comedy.
Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas
This annual favorite holiday special is based on the hit film Elf and its Broadway spinoff Elf: The Musical. In the one-hour stop-motion-animated program, Santa (Ed Asner) narrates the story of Buddy the Elf’s (Jim Parsons) travels to New York City to meet the father he never knew he had. Mark Hamill, Fred Armisen, Jay Leno, Matt Lauer, Gilbert Gottfried, Kate Micucci and Rachael MacFarlane also provide voices.
College Football: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
ESPN, 9pm Live
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego is the site of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, featuring BYU (pending bowl eligibility) vs. a team from the Mountain West Conference.
Vikings: “In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning”
Lagertha attempts to fulfill a long-held ambition; Ragnar negotiates an unexpected concession from King Ecbert.
Code Black: “Exodus”
As if tensions weren’t high enough at Angels Memorial, things take a turn for the worse in the new episode “Exodus” when a citywide blackout leaves the hospital without power or backup generators, forcing staff to relocate the most at-risk patients.
Incorporated: “Cost Containment”
The Larsons clash with Elizabeth (Julia Ormond) over life choices; Theo (Eddie Ramos) resists an order to cripple a basketball prodigy; Roger (Douglas Nyback) seeks help uncovering Ben’s (Sean Teale) secrets; Aaron and Theo plan a daring heist.
Thursday, Dec. 22
College Football: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
ESPN, 7pm Live
It may not be the most postcard-perfect place for a college football bowl game, but the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise gives a Mountain West and a MAC team the chance to play on Albertsons Stadium’s cool blue turf.
Terry Crews Saves Christmas: “Abrolat Family”
The CW, 8pm
The Abrolats’ idea of a Christmas party is a Santa pillow on the sofa and a potluck dinner where the guests do the cooking. Terry and his team of experts — chef Dean Sheremet and interior designer Vanessa Deleon — teach the busy family that a casual party can be a success with a little planning and effort.
TNT, beginning at 8pm Live
TNT’s Thursday night NBA doubleheader has the L.A. Lakers on the road to face the Miami Heat, followed by the San Antonio Spurs at the L.A. Clippers.
NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia
NBC & NFL Network, 8:20pm Live
The season finale of Thursday Night Football features a Week 16 matchup between fierce NFC East rivals, the N.Y. Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.
The Selection: Special Operations Experiment: “Man in the Arena”
The instructors send the remaining 15 participants to rescue a “downed pilot,” an exercise designed to test the teamwork of the group as well as the leadership abilities of a select few. The group also attempts to keep up with instructor Haggerty as he leads the team on an unbelievable physical feat.
Falling Water: “Circular Time”
USA Network, 10pm
Surrounded by enemies on all sides, Tess struggles to protect the Boy, while Taka tries to appease the Green, and Burton attempts to heal the Woman in Red.
Friday, Dec. 23
This animated series from DreamWorks and creator/executive producer Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) is a tale of two worlds set to collide after a teenager discovers a secret underground civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town. The boy ends up forced to take on the mantle of Trollhunter, sworn to protect the good trolls from powerful enemies bent on revenge. Anton Yelchin, who recorded most of his dialogue before his accidental death this year, is among the voice cast, along with Kelsey Grammer, Steven Yeun (late of The Walking Dead) and frequent del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman.
ESPN, beginning at 1pm Live
ESPN has a college football postseason tripleheader today with the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl in Nassau, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
FXX, beginning at 6pm
FXX is letting it snow tonight in a 12-episode stunt of The Simpsons featuring a wintry mix of ice, snow and the holiday season. Highlights include “Lisa on Ice,” “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace,” “Grift of the Magi” and “Skinner’s Sense of Snow.”
Terry Crews Saves Christmas: “Elric Family/Child Family”
The CW, 8pm
In the two-hour, two-episode finale, Terry Crews and his team help families fix their festive faux pas and enjoy epic holiday bashes. First, Terry helps a pair of newlyweds host a party, and then Terry helps a family update their dated holiday décor.
A Home for the Holidays
This special features uplifting stories of adoption from foster care and raises 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, including Miranda Lambert, Alessia Cara and Rachel Platten.
Christmas With the Kranks
With their daughter out of the country during the holiday season, Luther and Nora Krank decide that perhaps they’ll skip Christmas this year. Such nonconformity, however, doesn’t sit well with the neighbors, and soon the Kranks are involved in a wintertime war of wits, fighting for their right not to be jolly. Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd star in this 2004 holiday comedy.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Chuck Jones directed this classic animated special based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved book. Boris Karloff both voices the Grinch and serves as narrator, with June Foray voicing Cindy Lou Who.
How Murray Saved Christmas
Based on Mike Reiss’ (The Simpsons) best-selling children’s book, this is a half-hour animated holiday musical special. The story centers on a cranky deli owner, Murray Weiner (Jerry Stiller), who is forced to fill in for Santa (Kevin Michael Richardson) one Christmas and, with the help of Edison Elf (Sean Hayes), does a weirdly wonderful job. Jason Alexander, Dennis Haysbert and John Ratzenberger also provide voices.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
In case you missed the premiere a few weeks ago, or just want to watch it again, here’s your chance. The second film based on the life and works of Dolly Parton finds Dolly’s beloved daddy (Rick Schroder) scheming to surprise Mama (Jennifer Nettles) with a Christmas gift that he could never afford. Young Dolly (Alyvia Alyn Lind) and her siblings excitedly join in the scrimping and saving in a selfless act of love.
Shakespeare Live! From the RSC
In honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Great Performances presents the RSC’s star-studded gala, with David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes, John Lithgow, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, David Suchet and many more.
Miracle at Gate 213
Bounce TV, 11pm
It’s Christmas Eve and an unexpected weather delay at the airport has left travelers stranded, including a recently widowed father and his daughter, and a young man trying to run from his past. Stars Louis Gossett Jr., Shirley Jones, Della Reese, Savannah Paige Rae and Deniece Williams.
Saturday, Dec. 24
The Santa Clause 2
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.
Stellar Tribute to the Holidays
Bounce TV, 7pm
In this musical holiday spectacular, enjoy holiday messages and music from gospel performers, including Beverly Crawford, Jonathan McReynolds, Erica Campbell, Smokie Norful, Yolanda Adams, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Byron Cage and Ricky Dillard.
College Football: Hawai’i Bowl
ESPN, 8pm Live
Mountain West Conference and Conference USA teams get to spend Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu for the 2016 Hawai’i Bowl on ESPN.
NFL Football: Cincinnati at Houston
NFL Network, 8pm Live
With Christmas Day on Sunday this year, the NFL moved the bulk of its Week 16 games to Christmas Eve Saturday. Tonight on NFL Network, the Cincinnati Bengals visit Houston’s NRG Stadium to share season’s greetings with the Texans.
It’s a Wonderful Life
James Stewart and Donna Reed star in Frank Capra’s 1946 classic about a man on the brink of ending it all who gets a second chance after finding out what life would be like without him, thanks to the aid of a kindly guardian angel.
24 Hours of “A Christmas Story”
TBS, beginning at 8pm
Ralphie’s quest for that Red Ryder BB gun in this 1983 classic just never gets old.
A Fare to Remember
Bounce TV, 10pm
In this 1999 movie starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Challen Cates, Tracee Ellis Ross, Peter Birkenhead, John Ratzenberger and Joseph C. Phillips, a high-powered advertising executive in Seattle takes an assignment on Christmas Eve despite knowing she is to get married in Los Angeles immediately after the holiday.