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Thursday, Dec. 20: ‘Timeless’ Series Finale Christmas Special Event

Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC

ALSO SEE: NFL Regular Season Schedule 2018

All Times Eastern.

Thursday, Dec. 20

Timeless: “The Miracle of Christmas”
NBC, 8pm
Series Finale!

The two-hour series finale of NBC’s cult-favorite drama that was canceled, then revived, then canceled again, airs tonight. A release for the episode promises the usual thrill ride through history along with, fittingly, a “healthy dose of Christmas spirit.” The finale’s story is spread across three centuries and two continents, and will test Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and the whole Time Team as they try to save Rufus (Malcolm Barrett), preserve history and put a stop to Rittenhouse once and for all.

The 4th Annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Extravaganza
The CW, 8pm

Hosted by Howie Mandel, this special was recorded at the biggest comedy event in the world, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. The event features stand-up performances from some of the hottest comedians today including Amanda Seales, Maz Jobrani, Lil Rel Howery, Laurie Kilmartin, Garfunkel and Oates, and many others.

College Football: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
ESPN, 8pm Live

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., is the site of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the South Florida Bulls.

Ex on the Beach
MTV, 8pm
Season Premiere!

Rapper and actor Romeo Miller returns to Malibu Beach to host a new season of celebrities searching for love while being confronted by their past romances. This season, romantically embattled stars from SurvivorThe Bachelorette, Big Brother, Bad Girls Club, Teen Mom, The Challenge, Are You The One? and Fire Island arrive in paradise in search of love only to be blindsided by the arrival of their exes.

NBA Basketball
TNT, beginning at 8pm Live

TNT’s Thursday NBA doubleheader has the Houston Rockets at the Miami Heat, followed by the Dallas Mavericks at the L.A. Clippers.

The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition
ABC, 9pm
Season Finale!

Five finalists remain in the tent as they face their final three bakes, all hoping to make it to the final round. With their toughest challenges ahead, like French custards and cakes, the heat is on where only one baker will be named America’s Best Amateur Baker.

American Pickers: “Picks in Toyland”
History, 9pm

Professional dumpster-divers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz hit the road to hunt down classic toys that may be worth more than just fond memories.

WWE Monday Night RAW: “WWE Tribute to the Troops”
USA Network, 9pm

In this annual patriotic holiday special, keeping with the long-standing tradition of the USO supporting and entertaining troops at home and abroad, WWE brings together sports, entertainment and pop culture.

Murphy Brown: “Happy New Year”
CBS, 9:30pm
Season Finale!

Murphy Brown is a workplace comedy, yet some of the best moments on the revival take place between curmudgeon TV news veteran Murphy (Candice Bergen), and her grown son, Avery (Jake McDorman, Limitless). Their mother-son bond takes center stage tonight for the conclusion of an emotional two-episode arc that began last week. Avery had traveled to the Middle East to help Murphy and her CNC news network team, and while searching the country for CNC’s valuable source who’s gone quiet, Avery suddenly stops communicating with his mom. The normally steely Murphy becomes unnerved at the thought of a tragedy befalling her only boy.

Watch What Happens Live
Bravo, 11pm
Season Finale!

Rejoice, Real Housewives fans! For a special holiday outing of his talk show, Andy Cohen hosts a handful of “OG Housewives” (original franchise stars). Stopping by: Teresa Giudice (New Jersey), NeNe Leakes (Atlanta), Vicki Gunvalson (Orange County) Bethenny Frankel (New York City) and more.

Baroness von Sketch Show
IFC, 12am
Season Finale!

The all-female sketch comedy series from Canada ends its third season with back-to-back episodes tonight. The series will return for Season 4 next year.

Friday, Dec. 21

Vanity Fair
New Series!

Amazon Studios and Brit TV network ITV present a star-studded, seven-part adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1848 novel, which follows upstart heroine Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke, Ready Player One and Bates Motel) as she claws her way from poverty into the heights of English society. The series’ ensemble cast includes Tom Bateman, Suranne Jones, Martin Clunes, Johnny Flynn, Simon Russell Beale, Frances de la Tour and Michael Palin.

Bird Box
Original Film!

Sandra Bullock leads the cast in this thriller from Emmy- and Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier (The Night Manager). When a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, Malorie (Bullock) must flee with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary. But to survive, they’ll have to undertake the perilous two-day journey blindfolded. Sarah Paulson and John Malkovich also star in this film based on Josh Malerman’s novel.

New Series!

In this supernatural thriller from Mexico, Father Ramiro Ventura finds himself seeking the aid of legendary “diablero,” or demon hunter, Elvis Infante. Joined by Nancy, a modern-day superhero, this improbable trio lives in a constant battle between two worlds and sets in motion a series of events that could determine the fate of humanity.

3Below: Tales of Arcadia
Season Premiere!

The second series in producer Guillermo del Toro’s animated Tales of Arcadia trilogy that began with Trollhunters, 3Below follows two royal teenage aliens and their bodyguard, who crash-land in Arcadia after their home world is taken over by a dictator. Now on the run from intergalactic bounty hunters, they struggle to blend in and adapt to the bizarre world of high school while trying to repair their ship so they can return to and reclaim their planet.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
ABC, 8pm

Touched by the bond that Charlie Brown and Snoopy share, Linus and Lucy’s little brother ReRun puts a puppy at the top of his wish list on this 2003 animated favorite. Special guest star: Snoopy’s sibling from California, Spike!

A Home for the Holidays: The 20th Anniversary
CBS, 8pm

This star-studded holiday special features musical performances and uplifting stories of adoption from foster care to raise awareness of this important social issue.

Dynasty: “Crazy Lady”
The CW, 8pm

As the Carringtons track down a dangerous enemy on Christmas Eve, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and Blake (Grant Show) clash on how to best handle the situation. Meanwhile, Cristal (Ana Brenda Contreras) suspects Alexis (Nicollette Sheridan) may not be telling the whole truth to the authorities, and Kirby (Maddison Brown) is cast out by Anders (Alan Dale) for having an immature reaction to the grave situation at hand.

A Christmas Kiss
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

It’s a battle over a boy when high-end interior designer Priscilla (Elizabeth Röhm) and her assistant Wendy (Laura Breckenridge) vie for the attention of Priscilla’s socialite boyfriend (Brendan Fehr) while decorating his home for the holidays.

Midnight, Texas: “Patience Is a Virtue”
NBC, 8pm

Manfred (François Arnaud) and Kai (Nestor Carbonell) team up against a common foe. Olivia (Arielle Kebbel) and Bobo (Dylan Bruce) search for a way to bring Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley) back to their side. Joe (Jason Lewis) gets a surprising visitor.

Christmas at Grand Valley
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 9pm
Original Film!

Danica McKellar stars as Kelly, an artist who returns home to the picturesque Grand Valley for Christmas. While spending time in her favorite small town, she meets Leo (Brennan Elliott), a businessman and single dad who has brought his kids to Grand Valley to extend a work trip into a family vacation. When Kelly re-experiences her favorite Grand Valley traditions with Leo and his children, she begins to find her way back to her passion for art.

Craft in America: “California”
PBS, 9pm
Season Premiere!

Tonight, the Peabody Award-winning series about artisans and their handmade items features California creators, including a basket weaver reviving techniques used by the Pomo Native American tribe.

Z Nation: “At All Cost”
Syfy, 9pm

Warren (Kellita Smith) and the others must free the Talkers being held in Quarantine and prepare to attack Altura.

Van Helsing: “Christ Pose”
Syfy, 10pm

Scarlett (Missy Peregrym) is reunited with Axel (Jonathan Scarfe), but he is badly injured before they can find Vanessa (Kelly Overton). Later, a mysterious man helps them find their way.

Tales From the Tour Bus
Cinemax, 10pm
Season Finale!

The animated curiosity — an insidery oral history of music- (and headline-) makers ranging from George Jones to James Brown — ends its sophomore season of funk with the genre’s queen, Betty Davis. Her brief reign in the ’70s should provide Tales of raw performances and her symbiotic relationship with jazz legend (and, for a time, husband) Miles Davis.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Syfy Original Christmas Movie Marathon
Syfy, beginning at 10:15am

Kick off your holidays with this cheese platter of Yuletide-themed Syfy original movies, starting with Snowmageddon, and continuing with Santa Jaws, Christmas Icetastrophe, 12 Disasters of Christmas, and Santa’s Slay.

College Basketball
ESPN2 & CBS, beginning at 12pm Live

A big Saturday of college hoops tips off with Wake Forest at Tennessee on ESPN2. Connecticut takes on Villanova in the MSG Classic at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on CBS. Chicago’s United Center hosts the CBS Sports Classic doubleheader on CBS with UCLA vs. Ohio State and North Carolina vs. Kentucky.

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 12pm Live

Enjoy wall-to-wall college football postseason games on ESPN with Memphis vs. Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl, Army vs. Houston in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Buffalo vs. Troy in the Dollar General Bowl and Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech in the Hawaii Bowl.

NFL Football
NFL Network, beginning at 4:30pm Live

NFL Network’s Week 16 Saturday games have the Washington Redskins at the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens at the L.A. Chargers.

Jingle Around the Clock
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!

Elle Bennet’s (Brooke Nevin) plans for a Christmas reunion with her college friends are thwarted by a promotion-promising work opportunity. And when she’s forced to team up with advertising campaign “fixer” Max (Michael Cassidy), who has a completely different take on the holidays, they unexpectedly find themselves falling for each other.

The Alec Baldwin Show
ABC, 10pm

First, multitalented performer RuPaul, who revels in using all of the colors in the crayon box to push back against the establishment, sits down with Alec. Celebrating 10 years of his uber-popular RuPaul’s Drag Race, he talks about how being gay was never really a driving force in his decision-making and why he is not defined by representing change. Then, Erna Solberg, the second female prime minister in the history of Norway, joins Alec to talk about the global environmental movement in her country, its strict immigration policy and generous social system, the differences between Norway and the United States, and her passion for education and mental health among the youth.

Sunday, Dec. 23

Watership Down
New Miniseries!

Richard Adams’ acclaimed novel is reinterpreted in this four-part animated miniseries. Set in the idyllic rural landscape of southern England, it follows a band of rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton and Tom Wilkinson are among the voice cast.

A Very Merry MeTV: Classic Christmas Episodes
MeTV, beginning at 5pm

MeTV ends the month with a selection of great Christmas episodes, including two episodes of Laverne & Shirley, “Oh Hear the Angels’ Voices” (1976) and “O Come All Ye Bums” (1978). The Love Boat follows with “Santa, Santa, Santa/Another Dog Gone Christmas/Noel’s Christmas Carol” from 1984. Finally, the evening concludes with two holiday M*A*S*H episodes, 1972’s “Dear Dad” and 1980’s “Death Takes a Holiday.”

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
FOX, 7pm

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.

Homicide for the Holidays: “Bloody New Year’s”
Oxygen, 7pm
Season Finale!

As if you weren’t cold enough already, prepare for more chills. Tonight, the docuseries recounts the story of a mom who was gunned down at home just before New Year’s. Later that evening, seven more bodies were discovered in another house.

Hometown Holiday
UP TV, 7pm
Original Film!

A high-powered music executive is so desperate to sign the latest internet sensation to his record label that he agrees to accompany his sister to a country wedding to meet him. While there, he also meets a beautiful small-town girl and falls head-over-heels for her. Over the course of a year of mistaken identities, misunderstandings and masquerades, the two will need some Christmas magic to bring them together. Stars Sarah Troyer and Bradley Hamilton.

The Simpsons: “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”
FOX, 8pm

It’s the classic tale of a fourth-grade boy whose ill-gotten tattoo almost ruins Christmas and the lovingly doltish father who tries to save the holiday at the racetrack. FOX is busting out this holiday special (the series’ pilot!) about Bart, Homer and the rest of the cartoon clan.

Christmas Made to Order
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!

When Steven (Jonathan Bennett) finds himself hosting his family for Christmas, he recruits holiday coordinator Gretchen (Alexa PenaVega) to bring holiday joy to his home.

3 Holiday Tails
Lifetime, 8pm

In the Lifetime premiere of this cute 2011 flick, David and Lisa are meant to be together, but they haven’t quite figured that out yet. With help from family, friends, and a trio of lovable dogs, they’ll truly have a Christmas to remember. Stars Julie Gonzalo, Kelly Stables, K.C. Clyde, Alley Mills and Bruce Davison.

Scandalous: Chappaquiddick: “Stranger Than Fiction”
FOX News Channel, 8pm
Season Finale!

The final episode, “Stranger Than Fiction,” will dive into the later life of Senator Ted Kennedy, as he serves in the United States Senate, decades after his car was found in the waters off Chappaquiddick. The program will spotlight Kennedy as he battles a brain tumor and soon passes away in 2009, taking with him the only true first-hand knowledge of what happened on the night of campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne’s death. Speculation and theories continue to surface as the nation tries to fill the void left by Senator Kennedy’s continued silence and shifting stories. An extended director’s cut version containing additional footage and longer guest interviews will be available on FOX Nation

Madam Secretary: “Family Separation: Part 1”
CBS, 8:30pm

The new two-part “Family Separation” marks Madam Secretary’s 100th episode. Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) goes up against a U.S. governor over the state’s new policy of separating unauthorized immigrants from their children. Part 2 airs Jan. 6.

The Year: 2018
ABC, 9pm

Robin Roberts hosts this look back at the most memorable moments of the past 12 months. A likely candidate for discussion: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May wedding.

Marilyn Monroe for Sale
Smithsonian Channel, 9pm

In 2016, Julien’s Auctions in L.A. sold off stuff that once belonged to the blond bombshell, including the gown she wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. This special uses those items to tell the icon’s story.

Charles Krauthammer: Making His Point
FOX News Channel, 10pm

This one-hour documentary will feature Daniel Krauthammer, the son of late Pulitzer-prize winning writer and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer. During the program, Daniel will journey through his mission to complete the book that his father left unfinished when he died, The Point of It All. In addition, he will give viewers a look inside of his father’s life, ambitions, and the legacy he left behind.

Monday, Dec. 24

Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfram
Acorn TV

Needing a change of scenery, amateur sleuth Aggie (Ashley Jensen) rents a cottage in the picturesque English village of Fryfram. But rather than horses and hounds, she finds a pub waitress with supposedly magical perfume, a police inspector who believes in fairies  —and two dead bodies, courtesy of a murderer who’s particularly talented with a knife and slingshot. Aggie’s devil-may-care sometime lover Sir Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells) also shows up to help with the investigation, a move that does not thrill her stuffy ex, James Lacey (Jamie Glover).

Ancient Aliens Marathon
History, beginning at 8am

History airs 12 hours of episodes from its popular series that explores whether extraterrestrials have visited Earth and influenced its civilizations.

“Jaws to the World” Movie Marathon
IFC, beginning at 8:15am

IFC thinks outside the (gift) box with this daylong, pre-holiday marathon of all the Jaws movies, not generally associated with Christmas. Nonetheless, viewers’ stockings will be filled with rotating airings of Steven Spielberg’s original 1975 classic Jaws, along with Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3 (1983) and the lump of coal that is Jaws: The Revenge (1987).

Days of Our Lives
NBC, 1pm

The condition of comatose Horton matriarch Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) takes a turn just in time for the soap’s longest-running tradition: the hanging of ornaments on the family Christmas tree. While she can’t be there, Julie makes it known that the cherished ceremony should continue without her.

The Wise Guys: Christmas Special
FOX News Channel, 7pm

Moderated by former Education Secretary Dr. Bill Bennett, co-panelists include former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, former campaign manager for Reagan-Bush ’84 Ed Rollins and FOX Business Network hosts Stuart Varney and Trish Regan. The program will showcase its signature roundtable discussion as they delve into the nation’s most pressing issues, including the political atmosphere of the country, the state of the economy and what the country can expect in the new year. Dr. Bennett, Fleischer and Rollins are all FOX News contributors.

It’s a Wonderful Life
NBC, 8pm

Spend Christmas Eve watching Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 holiday classic. Jimmy Stewart stars as George Bailey, a discouraged and despairing building-and-loan manager who contemplates suicide before a guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) intervenes and allows him to see what George’s small town of Bedford Falls would be without him — and all that is right in his world. Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore also star.

Christmas Eve Movie Marathon
TCM, beginning at 8pm

Enjoy a night of movies with a Christmas Eve-themed flair, beginning with The Bishop’s Wife (1947) and including other classics like the 1938 Reginald Owen-led version of A Christmas Carol.

NFL Football: Denver at Oakland
ESPN, 8:15pm Live

The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders might not have much to play for in this Week 16 Monday Night Football matchup of disappointing AFC West teams.

Holiday Baking Championship: “Homecoming Special”
Food Network, 9pm

Let’s get cracking (eggs)! Six former Holiday Baking Championship winners are coming back to where it all started for a shot at a second title … if they can nail the metallic cake challenge that tests their, well, mettle.

Christmas Eve Mass
NBC, 11:30pm

If the No. 1 item on your wish list is to watch Pope Francis lead a Mass on the night before Christmas, this broadcast from majestic St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will make your season bright.

Tuesday, Dec. 25

Yule Log
Antenna TV, 5am

Enhance your Christmas morning with five hours of background ambiance featuring a crackling fire accompanied by holiday tunes.

“Die Hard” 30th Anniversary Movie Marathon
IFC, beginning at 6:30am

Hopefully, your Christmas won’t be as stressful as John McClane’s (Bruce Willis), who finds himself battling the criminals who crash his wife’s office holiday party in the 1988 action classic Die Hard. You can spend today watching McClane in several Die Hard films, even a few that don’t have a Christmas setting — IFC will rotate airings of the original Die Hard, as well as Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and Live Free or Die Hard (2007).

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade
ABC, 10am

Jordan Fisher, Sarah Hyland and Jesse Palmer host this annual holiday tradition that brings together Disney’s adored Christmas Day parade, special musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heartwarming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. A few of the scheduled musical performers include Gwen Stefani, Brett Eldredge, Andrea Bocelli, Aloe Blacc, Olivia Holt and Maddie Poppe.

NBA Basketball
ESPN & ABC, beginning at 12pm Live

The NBA’s Christmas Day tradition continues with five big games: the Milwaukee Bucks at the New York Knicks (ESPN), the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Houston Rockets (ABC), the Philadelphia 76ers at the Boston Celtics (ABC), the L.A. Lakers at the Golden State Warriors (ABC & ESPN) and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Utah Jazz (ESPN).

When Calls the Heart: “The Greatest Christmas Blessing”
Hallmark Channel, 8pm

Hallmark Channel’s historical drama presents its annual holiday episode, starring Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith and Paul Greene. While Elizabeth (Krakow) prepares for the birth of her first child, a group of orphans becomes stranded in Hope Valley for Christmas, and the residents — led by Bill (Wagner) and Abigail (Loughlin) — rally to make it a Christmas to remember.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
NBC, 8pm

In this original 1966 TV special based on Dr. Seuss’ classic story, Boris Karloff narrates and voices the title Grinch, who schemes to steal every material vestige of Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. But the Grinch ultimately discovers he can’t remove the spirit of Christmas from the Whos’ hearts. Chuck Jones produced and directed this beloved classic, written by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) himself. The special is followed by an airing of the live-action 2000 feature film version of the story, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.

Comedies for Christmas Movie Marathon
TCM, beginning at 8pm

Turner Classic Movies is making things merry with an evening of classic Hollywood comedies. The night begins with Some Like It Hot (1959), and also includes other famous titles like Monkey Business (1952) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).

“Call the Midwife” Holiday Special
PBS, 9pm

Gifts don’t come under the tree for the ladies at London’s Nonnatus House. Instead, Christmas brings an unexpected visit from indefatigable Sister Mildred (guest star Miriam Margolyes) along with the four Chinese orphans in her care. Other newly arriving “presents” on the 1960s-set drama: scatterbrained Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar), naive Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) and formidable receptionist Miss Higgins (Georgie Glen). When it rains holy water, it pours!

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Alexa & Katie
Season Premiere!

In Season 2, for best friends Alex and Katie (Paris Berelc and Isabel May), sophomore year brings budding romance, a major breakup, a birthday milestone and big lessons they will never forget.

“Pawn Stars” Marathon
History, beginning at 10am

If you have the day after Christmas off, you might want to spend at least some of it watching History’s ten-hour marathon of episodes from its antiques-and-collectibles series.

“South Park” Marathon
Comedy Central, beginning at 11:10am

Spend some quality time with your favorite rowdy animated adolescents. Every day until Dec. 29, Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny take over Comedy Central for 14 hours of cartoon mayhem.

The 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors
CBS, 8pm

The Kennedy Center Honors salutes singer and actress Cher, composer and pianist Philip Glass, country music entertainer Reba McEntire, and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. In a first for the Kennedy Center Honors, the co-creators of the Broadway musical Hamilton — writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire — will receive unique recognition as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.

TCM Remembers Burt Reynolds
TCM, beginning at 8pm

Turner Classic Movies remembers legendary actor Burt Reynolds, who passed away in September at age 82, with a multi-film tribute tonight. The marathon kicks off with Smokey and the Bandit (1977), and continues with Deliverance (1972), The Longest Yard (1974), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Best Friends (1982).

Vikings: “Hell”
History, 9pm

A major character dies in tonight’s clash between ax-wielding Vikings and flaming-arrow-shooting Saxons. Another battle rages in the soul of Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers): The man of God can’t deny his earthly passions, and the guilt is destroying him.

NOVA: “Apollo’s Daring Mission”
PBS, 9pm

Hear Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of how the first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 8, pioneered groundbreaking technologies that would pave the way for the United States to win the space race.

Thursday, Dec. 27

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 1:30pm Live

ESPN airs a trio of college football bowl games today with Temple vs. Duke in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., Wisconsin vs. Miami in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., and Baylor vs. Vanderbilt in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.

NHL Hockey: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
NBCSN, 7:30pm Live

Claude Giroux leads the Philadelphia Flyers into Tampa Bay to face Steven Stamkos and the Lightning on NBCSN.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
ABC, 8pm

In this classic animated special from 1986, poor Charlie Brown’s holiday vacation is ruined by a book report assignment on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Good grief — what grade are these kids in again?! The 1,136-page tome is so heavy, he needs a handcart to schlep it around. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is learning to foxtrot in preparation for a New Year’s Eve shindig.

I Feel Bad: “I Don’t Know My Dad”
NBC, 8pm
Season Finale!

When Emet (Sarayu Blue) realizes she doesn’t know very much about her father, she goes to extreme measures to learn more about him. Meanwhile, the guys at work try to open up more to each other. Another new episode follows.

NBA Basketball
TNT, beginning at 8pm Live

The Boston Celtics visit the Houston Rockets in the first game of TNT’s Thursday NBA doubleheader. The second game has the Philadelphia 76ers at the Utah Jazz.

Top Chef: “Surprise … It’s Restaurant Wars”
Bravo, 9pm

On the reality competition’s menu tonight: delicious mind games! The fan-favorite Restaurant Wars challenge gets served up early this season, and it’ll be three teams (rather than the usual two) trying to open eateries on the fly. “The chefs knew it was coming, so we added another twist,” says judge Tom Colicchio. “I don’t think the surprise affected the food, but now they’re never going to get comfortable!”

Friday, Dec. 28

Selection Day
New Series!

This original drama from India is based on the novel by Aravind Adiga. It’s a coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Manju, who tries out for Mumbai’s under-19 cricket team. When he meets his older brother’s rival, everything in his world begins to change.

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 1:30pm Live

The parade of college football bowl games marches on with Purdue vs. Auburn in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, West Virginia vs. Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl and Iowa State vs. Washington State in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Garth: Live at Notre Dame!
CBS, 8pm

CBS presents this encore of the Garth: Live at Notre Dame! concert event. Country legend Garth Brooks takes the stage for the first concert ever at the University of Notre Dame’s 88-year-old football stadium. Filmed in October, the special includes Brooks’ greatest hits as well as some unexpected covers, all in front of an enthusiastic sold-out crowd of over 84,000.

Midnight, Texas: “Yasss, Queen”
NBC, 8pm
Season Finale!

With Midnight, Texas, now under the rule of Dark Witches, the surviving Midnighters must band together in one last, desperate attempt to save their town.

Songs on Screen
TCM, beginning at 8pm

Turner Classic Movies airs three classic music-filled films: The Beatles starring in A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Elvis Presley leading Jailhouse Rock (1957) and the big-screen version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975).

Popstar’s Best of 2018
The CW, 9pm

Hosts Elizabeth Stanton and James Maslow count down the greatest and most memorable moments and trends of 2018, as decided by polls from Popstar! Magazine.

Great Performances: “Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood”
PBS, 9pm

Celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with this tribute concert at Tanglewood. Featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the concert is hosted by Audra McDonald and includes guest artists Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Thomas Hampson and others.

Z Nation: “The End of Everything”
Syfy, 9pm
Season Finale!

Season 5 of the zombie apocalypse drama ends tonight.

Van Helsing: “Birth Ritual”
Syfy, 10pm
Season Finale!

The action-horror series brings its third season to a close.

Extreme Love
WE tv, 10pm
New Series!

Based on the popular digital show of the same name, this eight-episode series includes tales of incredible and unusual relationships where traditional notions of romance are reimagined for the 21st century. Stories include a young Florida woman who spends time as an “adult baby,” a 4-foot-tall weightlifter who finds love with a transgender woman, and real-life vampire couples.

Extreme Cake Makers: “Prince of Cakes”
Cooking Channel, 11pm

There’s no place like home — even if, as a member of the British royal family, you happen to have five of them. Husband-and-wife bakers Phil and Christine Jensen counted on that sentimental adage for their latest challenge on Extreme Cake Makers.

Saturday, Dec. 29

Brunch Weekend
Food Network, 11am

Mix up the mimosas and couch out with a trio of new brunch-themed episodes, starting with The Kitchen’s pre-New Year’s menu featuring chef Jeff Mauro’s strawberry and prosecco scones. Next, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen has cornmeal pancakes worth singing about, followed by Guy’s Ranch Kitchen and a Northern Cali spread that includes spicy deviled eggs and avocado toast.

“American Gods” Marathon
Starz, beginning at 3pm

The Gods have spoken. Before Season 2 arrives March 10, you can marathon the trippy eight-episode first round of this fantasy drama, about the impending war between dormant old gods hiding among us and vibrant new gods (like Technical Boy!). The series, based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, is a visual stunner, and with a fantastic Ian McShane stirring the pot as the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, it’s also never dull.

College Football Playoff Semifinals
ESPN, beginning at 4pm Live

The nation’s top four teams battle in the College Football Playoff semifinal games for the right to play in the national championship Jan. 7. The No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the No. 2 Clemson Tigers in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Then the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners go up against the defending national champion and No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.

“The Fast and the Furious” Franchise Marathon
Syfy, beginning at 5:30pm

Airing tonight and picking up again tomorrow afternoon, several entries from the popular action film series will air on Syfy. Titles shown include The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).

A Midnight Kiss
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!

With only one week to prepare, Mia (Adelaide Kane) and her family of party planners are given the biggest job in their company’s history: a massive New Year’s Eve party for tech entrepreneur Kate Clark. When her brother breaks his leg and her parents head off on a planned vacation, Mia reluctantly enlists the help of her brother’s visiting college buddy (Carlos PenaVega) to help her pull off the event.

The Alec Baldwin Show
ABC, 10pm

Emmy-winning actress Regina King joins Alec for a conversation about her impressive career on both sides of the camera and the fear she had to overcome when she decided to direct. King talks about her return to the big screen after many years in her newest project, If Beale Street Could Talk. Next, Gloria Allred shares her sense of duty for her work, the privilege she feels to be an attorney and her philosophy that guides her life. The successful lawyer and feminist discusses her early life as a single parent and why she delayed her application to law school until she was in her 30s. She shares her thoughts on #MeToo and whether things have gotten better, the Bill Cosby case, the importance of equal pay and her continued fight for equal rights.

2019 Winterfest Preview Special
Hallmark Channel, 10pm

Taylor Cole and Rukiya Bernard host a sneak peek at all five original movies coming to Hallmark Channel this January as the network celebrates new beginnings during Winterfest.