TV Best Bets

Wednesday, Dec. 6: ‘Knightfall’ Is History’s New Epic Quest

Credit: Larry Horricks/History

ALSO SEE: Christmas Calendar: Holiday Movies, Specials, Classics, and Marathons

All Times Eastern.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

History, 10pm
New Series!
The legendary monastic warriors, the Knights Templar, are the tragic heroes of History’s new 10-episode action drama Knightfall. Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) stars as Landry, a disgruntled Templar who becomes the unlikely leader of the order at a crucial point in its history as the Templars must navigate dangerous politics in their quest to recover the Holy Grail.

Shut Eye
Season Premiere!
In Season 2, with their future uncertain, Charlie (Jeffrey Donovan) and Linda (KaDee Strickland) need to completely trust one another, but that’s never been easy for these con artists. The Marks family faces similar uncertainty as their home has been literally taken from them.

Crazy Cookie Builds
Cooking Channel, 8pm
Best friends Brenda Nibley and Elisa Barber create made-to-order Christmas treats. Why dream of sugarplums when you can have visions of gingerbread mansions and chocolate peppermint shortbread sleighs dancing in your head?

A Very Pentatonix Christmas
NBC, 8pm
An encore airing of the holiday special that originally aired just after Thanksgiving. Grammy-winning group Pentatonix returns to NBC for their second annual Christmas special, ringing in the season with guests including Jennifer Hudson, Jay Leno and America’s Got Talent winner Darci Lynne Farmer.

Polar Bear Town: “The Big Exodus”
Smithsonian Channel, 8pm
Season Finale!
At the end of summer, only the locals and the polar bears are still in town. Dennis and Andrew try to find an uninhabited island where bears and belugas are rumored to be found in abundance. Kelsey and Karine fly to a remote camp on the hunt for bears that have had little human contact. Renowned polar bear scientist Robert Rockwell ventures deep into the heart of polar bear country in search of bear DNA while conservation officers release Big Bear from polar bear jail and helicopter him back into the wild.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Bravo, 9pm
Look no further than this episode’s title, “When Chairs Fly,” for a glimpse of what’s in store as the ladies gather for Kim DePaolo’s Posche Fashion Show. Who’s doing the tossing? The smart money is on (known furniture-abuser) Teresa Giudice.

SEAL Team: “Rolling Dark”
CBS, 9pm
In the new episode “Rolling Dark,” Jason (David Boreanaz) and the SEALs must rescue a Russian scientist and his wife and bring them across the Afghanistan border to safety as Chinese and Russian Special Forces close in, intent on stopping them.

Dynasty: “The Best Things in Life”
The CW, 9pm
Everything is shiny and bright at the city’s annual tree lighting, but behind the scenes, the Carringtons struggle with ghosts from their past; Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) tries to move on from her former flame; Steven (James Mackay) and Jeff (Sam Adegoke) band together to right an old wrong; and Cristal’s (Nathalie Kelley) past resurfaces, threatening her future with Blake (Grant Show).

Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House
HGTV, 9pm
Renovations on Drew Scott and fiancée Linda Phan’s L.A. crib continue. With time running out before their big pre-wedding party, brother-of-the-groom Jonathan better get cracking. That full wall of curved windows isn’t going to build itself!

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist
National Geographic, 9pm
New Miniseries!
Sigourney Weaver narrates this three-part documentary about the iconic primatologist who was found murdered in her Rwandan home in 1985, after years spent trying to save the mountain gorillas. Weaver portrayed Fossey in the 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist, a biography about Fossey and her work.

Law & Order: SVU: “Intent”
NBC, 9pm
Midseason Finale!
The SVU investigates an online catfishing prank that leads to rape. This episode features guest stars Brooke Shields, Gage Golightly, Steve Howey and James Monroe Iglehart.

Designated Survivor: “Three-Letter Day”
ABC, 10pm
After sorting through thousands of letters all requesting something of President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland), the White House staff are assigned three, with Emily (Italia Ricci), Seth (Kal Penn), Aaron (Adan Canto), Lyor (Paulo Costanzo) and Kendra (Zoe McLellan) joining forces to get answers and possibly save a life. Meanwhile, Hannah (Maggie Q) and Damian (Ben Lawson) continue to chase down leads to exonerate the First Lady, but in the end, Hannah learns the truth may be closer than she thinks.

Criminal Minds: “False Flag”
CBS, 10pm
Series star Joe Mantegna directs the new episode “False Flag,” in which the BAU is called in to investigate the deaths of two conspiracy theorists in Roswell, N.M.

South Park
Comedy Central, 10pm
Season Finale!

South Park’s epic 21st season comes to a close tonight on Comedy Central.

Chicago P.D.: “Monster”
NBC, 10pm
Midseason Finale!
The Windy City police department’s Intelligence Unit goes after an opioid pill mill whose dangerous product causes the death of a judge’s daughter. Detective Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) also comes under scrutiny after commanding officer Voight (Jason Beghe) learns that he’s the one leaking information to the department’s hated independent auditor (Mykelti Williamson). He is, after all, out to bring down Voight.

The A Word
SundanceTV, 10pm
This episode of the moving family drama finds Nicola (Vinette Robinson) making a film about her 7-year-old nephew Joe (Max Vento). The final product triggers her brother-in-law Paul’s (Lee Ingleby) feelings about his son’s condition.

Syfy, 10pm
New Series!
Christopher Meloni executive produces and stars in this wild series based on the graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. Meloni plays Nick Sax, a drunk, corrupt ex-cop turned hitman. After a hit gone wrong, Sax’s pathetic life is changed by the appearance of Happy (a CGI creation voiced by Patton Oswalt) — a tiny, relentlessly positive, blue-winged horse who is the “imaginary” friend of a little girl who has disappeared. Happy tries to get Sax to help find the girl, even as cops and the mob relentlessly pursue the man.

Mr. Robot: “eps3.8_stage3.torrent”
USA Network, 10pm
Elliot trolls a former ally, Mr. Robot leaves cryptic text and Tyrell gets new commands.

Broad City
Comedy Central, 10:30pm
Season Finale!

In the Season 4 finale “Friendiversary,” Ilana (Ilana Glazer) and Abbi’s (Abbi Jacobson) celebration takes a turn for the dangerous when they witness something horrible.

Thursday, Dec. 7

Shrek the Halls
ABC, 8pm
It’s Christmas Eve and everyone is filled with holiday cheer — except for Shrek. For the sake of Fiona and the kids, he tries to get into the spirit of things as only an ogre can. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own ideas about what Christmas is all about, so when Donkey, Puss in Boots, Gingerbread Man and the whole gang try to join in on the fun, Shrek’s plans for a cozy family celebration end up spiraling into one truly unforgettable Christmas. Featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas.

The Big Bang Theory: “The Confidence Erosion”
CBS, 8pm

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) try to eliminate stress from wedding planning by applying math to the process in the new episode “The Confidence Erosion.”

A Christmas Story 2
CMT, 8pm
Catch the 2012 sequel to A Christmas Story that finds Ralphie five years older and desperate for a car.

A Nashville Christmas
getTV, 8pm
This all-new 60-minute music-variety special features popular country artists singing holiday standards. Among the show’s highlights are Wynonna’s solo performance of “O Holy Night”; Emmylou Harris’ “Coat of Many Colors”; Wynonna and Emmylou’s first ever duet of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”; Lorrie Morgan’s rendition of “The Christmas Song”; and Pam Tillis’ “Santa Claus Baby.” Ashley Cleveland and Dailey & Vincent will also perform.

Psych: The Movie
USA Network, 8pm
Original Film!
Fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill), return in an all-new adventure that picks up three years after the series finale. Roday, who cowrote the flick along with series creator (and the film’s director) Steve Franks, shares that the film is a love letter to the series’ voracious fans, known as Psych-Os. “I hope that they’ll be pumped, they’ll be satisfied, they’ll have taken a walk down memory lane and they’ll also reconnect with these characters that they spent so much time with. And most importantly, laugh a lot along the way,” he says.

NFL Football: New Orleans at Atlanta
NBC & NFL Network, 8:20pm Live
NFC South rivals meet at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a Thursday Night Football clash as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints take on Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Toy Story That Time Forgot
ABC, 8:30pm
During a post-Christmas play date, the Toy Story gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turns out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room. Features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles and Joan Cusack.

The Great American Baking Show
ABC, 9pm
Season Premiere!
Ready, set, bake! The third season of the culinary competition, based on the popular U.K. series The Great British Bake Off, kicks off with bakers from around the country presenting their best bakes in a series of holiday-themed challenges.

Mom: “Smooth Jazz and a Weird Floaty Eye”
CBS, 9pm
Guest Star Alert!
In the new episode “Smooth Jazz and a Weird Floaty Eye,” Bonnie (Allison Janney) insists on meeting Adam’s (William Fichtner) estranged brother, Patrick (guest star Steven Weber), and things get weird when he takes a romantic interest in Christy (Anna Faris).

Van Helsing: “Wakey, Wakey”
Syfy, 9pm
A tense standoff between law enforcement and the survivors erupts into a bloodbath. In a bid to evade a vicious breed of vampire, Axel and Scarlett find themselves hunted like prey.

Life in Pieces
CBS, 9:30pm
At last! Jen and Greg (Zoe Lister-Jones and Colin Hanks) finally get a night away from their daughter on tonight’s episode of the family comedy. Somehow, they wind up babysitting for a kid that’s not even theirs!

Top Chef
Bravo, 10pm
Season Premiere!
Season 15 follows 15 diverse chefs from across the country as they battle it out for the coveted title amid the breathtaking landscapes and thriving culinary scenes in Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen. Host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio return to the judges’ table alongside Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot.

S.W.A.T.: “Octane”
CBS, 10pm
In the new episode “Octane,” Hondo (Shemar Moore) puts aside his misgivings about Jim Street’s (Alex Russell) recklessness and allows the newbie to go undercover to bust a ruthless trafficker.

Ghost Wars: “Post-Apocalypse Now”
Syfy, 10pm
An arrival from Lambda headquarters gives the town hope for the first time in weeks. The company distributes supplies, promising to get everyone off the island in due course. While the eccentric young CEO Daphne Vikander takes great interest in Roman, Landis suspects she has unsavory designs for the townspeople’s future.

Friday, Dec. 8

The Crown
Season Premiere!
Creator/writer Peter Morgan and director Stephen Daldry reunite behind the scenes for Season 2 of this acclaimed drama that tells the inside story of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy). This will be Foy’s last season portraying Elizabeth; in Seasons 3 and 4, as the series progresses closer to the present day, the queen will be played by Olivia Colman.

Sunny Day: “Best Christmas Ever”
Nickelodeon, 10:30am
When a snowstorm traps Doodle at his cousin’s house on Christmas Eve, Sunny and the gang devise an intrepid plan to trek through the snow and reach Doodle in time to spend the holiday together.

Nella the Princess Knight: “The Knight Before Christmas”
Nickelodeon, 11am
Santa visits Castlehaven on Christmas Eve, but when naughty snow dragons take his sack of presents, it’s up to Nella and her friends to save the holidays.

You Killed My Mother
Lifetime Movies, 8pm
Original Film!
An emotionally disturbed teen attacks a hospital nurse when she is told her critically ill mother won’t qualify for a liver transplant. After her release from a mental institution years later, Jo (Carlena Britch, Supernatural) plots an elaborate scheme of revenge against all those she blames for her mother’s death. The film stars Ashley Jones (General Hospital), Sarah McVie (Guilty at 17) and Seamus Patterson (This Life).

Blindspot: “Adoring Suspect”
NBC, 8pm
The team goes undercover on a movie set to stop a terrorist plot with unlikely backers. Roman (Luke Mitchell) blackmails Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) with a horrible secret about Jane (Jaimie Alexander).

Deadly Dentists: “Concealed Abscess”
Investigation Discovery, 9pm

ID wraps up its three-episode series on deviant dentists with Dr. Glenn Engleman, who cared for his South St. Louis neighbors for decades despite the violence escalating nearby. His assistant’s husband dies in a hunting accident and an associate is killed in a car bombing. But as police investigate, they find that these deaths may actually be connected. Figuring out how and why reveals a shocking twist that swirls around the dentist that they never suspected.

Z Nation: “Return to Mercy Labs”
Syfy, 9pm
Warren’s dream leads our heroes back to Mercy Labs where she must perform a dangerous task without knowing why.

Blue Bloods: “Heavy Is the Head”
CBS, 10pm
Midseason Finale!
Don’t go, Baker! New York police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) gets some bad news: His favorite aide ­(Abigail Hawk) has a new job offer. Meanwhile, Frank’s son Jamie (Will Estes) asks his sis, ADA Erin (Bridget Moynahan), for a favor.

Superstition: “Echoes of My Mind”
Syfy, 10pm
The Dredge captures Calvin and tries to torture him into releasing the evil demons imprisoned in his ring. What’s worse, The Dredge’s minions are descending on the town’s Founders Day Festival.

Saturday, Dec. 9

Zak Storm: “The Swap”
Discovery Family Channel, 9am
In order to avoid being defeated by Golden Bones, Zak and his team have to exchange boats with him. While Clovis and the Chaos are being held hostage, Zak and the rest of the crew chase them aboard a hovercraft.

College Football: Army vs. Navy
CBS, 3pm Live
The great football tradition continues today at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia as the Army Black Knights take on the Navy Midshipmen. Last year, Army broke Navy’s 14-game winning streak — the longest in the series’ history — with a 21-17 victory.

Homicide for the Holidays: “Christmas Mourning”
Oxygen, 6pm
The true-crime series examines the 2003 Christmastime slayings of Bob and Idella Young, an elderly couple stabbed in their Idaho home. It’ll make your dinner with the in-laws seem delightful by comparison.

Mary Poppins
ABC, 8pm
When Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, face the prospect of a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews). Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney performer friend, Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the siblings hope to pass on some of their nanny’s sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents (David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns).

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
CBS, 8pm
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.

2017 Heisman Trophy Presentation
ESPN, 8pm Live
The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the year’s most outstanding player tonight on ESPN, with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley, Stanford RB Bryce Love, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Notre Dame RB Josh Adams, and Louisville QB and 2016 Heisman winner Lamar Jackson all hoping for invites to the ceremony in New York City.

The Christmas Cottage
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!
When Lacey takes a rare break from work for her friend’s Christmas Eve wedding, she reconnects with her former flame. And when the two decorate the cottage where the newlyweds will spend their honeymoon — a cottage said to bring true love to anyone who stays there — they feel their chemistry return. Stars Merritt Patterson and Steve Lund.

Christmas Encore
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 8pm
Original Film!
A struggling actress takes a role in her last off-off-Broadway show — a modern take on A Christmas Carol — before giving up her dream and moving home. Instead she finds romance with her director and a renewed passion for her craft and the city. But when the historic theater loses its lease and the show is set to fold, she and her castmates need a Christmas miracle. Stars Brennan Elliott and Psych’s Maggie Lawson.

Christmas in Mississippi
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!
Holly Logan (Jana Kramer, Dancing With the Stars) returns to her coastal hometown to help resurrect the town’s holiday light show for the first time since a terrible hurricane struck five years earlier. Although she has second thoughts when she discovers the festival is run by her high-school sweetheart, Mike (Wes Brown), the work helps Holly fall in love with her hometown, and Mike, all over again. Also stars Faith Ford, Barry Bostwick and Richard Karn.

It’s a Wonderful Life
USA Network, 8pm
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.

Frosty the Snowman
CBS, 9pm
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.

Runaway Christmas Bride
ION, 9pm
Original Film!
A runaway bride, Kate, making herself scarce for the holidays, meets a ski patrol rescuer, Jason, at a resort. Her December days begin to brighten until her parents and jilted fiancé, Alex, show up at the mountain to reset the wedding for Christmas. Stars Travis Milne, Cindy Busby and Mark Milburn.

The Christmas Trap
Lifetime, 10pm
Original Film!
In this holiday mini-movie, a couple on the brink of divorce gets stuck in an elevator together on Christmas Eve. While an elevator crew works to rescue them, they reminisce, resolve their issues and rekindle a love that had never really died.