All Times Eastern.
Thursday, Dec. 17
CBS All Access
This nine-episode limited event series is based on Stephen King’s postapocalyptic 1978 novel, one of his most popular works and still his longest book. The fate of the humanity left after a plague wipes out most of the world rests on the frail shoulders of 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man (Alexander Skarsgård). James Marsden, Odessa Young, Greg Kinnear, Eion Bailey, Heather Graham, Katherine McNamara, Jovan Adepo, Amber Heard and Owen Teague are also among the series’ large ensemble cast.
The Flight Attendant
The dark comedic thriller miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian and starring Kaley Cuoco ends today.
Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020
Told in a self-shot documentary style, this special shines a light on the personal experiences and incredible musical talent of teens across America who have been confronted with the many unique challenges of 2020. Each teen will perform a well-known song that organically expresses their emotions about their experience as high school seniors faced with their world turned upside down. Along with their musical numbers, interviews with them showcase their unique perspective, their wide range of emotions, hurdles, laughs and resilience that they’ve experienced during the past year.
This is the U.S. premiere of the acclaimed Australian political drama series. Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths, Six Feet Under) is the embattled but cunning prime minister of Australia. Alexandra “Alex” Irving (Deborah Mailman, Jack Irish) is a charismatic Indigenous woman who finds herself the center of media attention following her admirable actions in a high-risk situation. Rachel wants to use Alex to boost her popularity and further her own agenda and recruits her as a senator. New episodes of the six-part series are available on Thursdays beginning today.
Julian (William deVry) solicits the help of a stranger. Jason (Steve Burton) clears the way for Sonny (Maurice Benard). Portia (Brook Kerr) takes Trina (Sydney Mikayla) to the PCPD. Martin (Michael E. Knight) makes a startling discovery. Michael (Chad Duell) and Chase (Josh Swickard) run into each other at the gym.
The Year Without a Santa Claus
The 1974 Rankin-Bass stop-motion classic gives us the Heat and Cold Miser brothers (and mom Mother Nature), plus proof that Mrs. Claus is just as handy as her hubby.
Death in Paradise
In this charming British import, Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and his colleagues continue to solve murders on the beautiful (faux) Caribbean island of Saint Marie. Season 6, from 2017, begins with the team investigating the death of a researcher at the island’s Volcano Observatory.
Station 19: “Out of Control”
Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz) and Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) find a way to stay connected; Ben (Jason George) confronts a tough loss, and Jack (Grey Damon) and Inara (Colleen Foy) grow closer. Meanwhile, while off duty, the crew jumps into action to help a mother in distress, but their heroic efforts spark conflict with police officers who are less than eager to offer support.
Young Sheldon: “A Musty Crypt and a Stick to Pee On”
A game of Dungeons & Dragons gives Meemaw (Annie Potts) and Dale (returning guest star Craig T. Nelson) the chance to work out their relationship issues in the new episode “A Musty Crypt and a Stick to Pee On.”
Dogs of the Year
The CW, 8pm
This special counts down the top 10 dog stories of 2020, celebrating the dogs that go above and beyond, leave their mark on society, and achieve the nearly impossible.
Christmas With the Tabernacle Choir
In this event recorded last year, the award-winning Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Bells at Temple Square join Tony Award-winning Kelli O’Hara and renowned Waltons star Richard Thomas to celebrate the holidays in a nostalgic musical spectacle that exudes the warmth and peace that the season can bring. “It’s not like anything you’ve ever experienced, I guarantee you,” Thomas tells us. “It’s sort of the Grand Canyon of concert experiences.”
Flipping Across America
In the blue corner, we have Ken and Anita Corsini (Flip or Flop Atlanta) in Atlanta. They’re taking on a small house with warped floors and ceilings. And in the red corner, Page Turner and DeRon Jenkins (Flip or Flop Nashville) in Nashville are flipping a cramped cottage with issues of its own. These places were purchased at a similar price, and both are small houses with big problems. Will the market make a difference in what team gets the most bang for their buck?
Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors
Dolly Parton introduces and narrates this 2015 feel-good film based on her song. It stars Ricky Schroder and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles as Parton’s parents Robert Lee and Avie Lee, and 8-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind as the young Dolly.
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!
As we near Christmas, those of faith may be seeking out religious titles, and TCM airs several this evening that are entertaining for anyone no matter what their beliefs. The four-film lineup is a combination of biblical epics and contemporary (for their times) dramas. First up is Leo McCarey’s 1944 Best Picture Oscar-winning musical comedy/drama Going My Way, with Best Actor Oscar winner Bing Crosby as Father Charles “Chuck” O’Malley, an unconventional priest transferred from East St. Louis to a parish in New York City. Crosby croons five songs in the film, including the Oscar-winning “Swinging on a Star.” Also airing tonight are two dramas about the life of Jesus Christ: 1961’s King of Kings, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus; and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), the Oscar-nominated film with Max von Sydow, in his American film debut, portraying Christ. The evening ends with Boys Town (1938), the Best Picture Oscar-nominated biographical drama based on Father Edward Flanagan’s (Best Actor Oscar winner Spencer Tracy) work with underprivileged and delinquent boys (one of whom is played by Mickey Rooney).
A Christmas Carol
TNT’s A Christmas Carol is an original adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale of heartless Ebenezer Scrooge and the haunting Christmas Eve that sets him on a path to redemption. This 1999 feature includes state-of-the-art special effects and a stellar cast that includes Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit, Joel Grey as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Patrick Stewart as the incomparable Scrooge.
Grey’s Anatomy: “No Time for Despair”
Grey Sloan Memorial faces new pressures as Seattle Pres is overloaded, and Grey Sloan Memorial is now on surge capacity protocol. Meanwhile, Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) are faced with one of the most controversial surgeries of their careers.
Mom: “Sober Wizard and a Woodshop Workshop”
Longtime 12-stepper Bonnie Janikowski (Allison Janney) has the hilarious habit of saying exactly what’s on her mind. But tonight’s laughs come when she reluctantly clams up. She supports her former-stuntman husband Adam’s (William Fichtner) dream to try adaptive skiing in his wheelchair, despite her fears he’ll be injured (a snowboarding accident is how he became paralyzed). “Bonnie’s just not prepared for how difficult doing the right thing can be,” says exec producer Gemma Baker. “While Adam’s away, she’s plagued with worst-case scenarios, which leads her to some pretty erratic behavior.” Like dreaming of her late ex, Alvin (Kevin Pollak)!
Flip or Flop: “Tilted Flip”
Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead find a house on a hill in Mission Viejo, California. The flip looks promising until they discover cracks in the walls and uneven floors — this house is slipping off the hillside! After an expert quotes the foundation fix at a hefty $75,000, they realize this home may put them over the edge.
The Unicorn: “Work It”
In the new episode “Work It,” Ben (Omar Miller) recommends Wade (Walton Goggins) for a job on the same work site he’s on, and they are surprised by their wildly different professional styles.
Killer Cases: “Murder in the Kentucky Hills”
Shayna Hubers called 911 to report she had killed her boyfriend in self-defense after he attacked her. However, investigators soon learned he was planning a date with another woman and suspected Shayna killed him in a jealous rage.
A Million Little Things: “The Talk”
Eddie’s (David Giuntoli) injuries put a strain on his marriage as he secretly continues to manage the pain from the accident. Meanwhile, Rome (Romany Malco) struggles with his movie and finds an ally in Shanice (Nikiva Dionne); and Maggie (Allison Miller) continues her journey in England as she and Jamie (Chris Geere) grow closer than ever.
Star Trek: Discovery: “Despite Yourself”
Season 1 episodes of Star Trek: Discovery continue on CBS with “Despite Yourself,” in which the Discovery crew is forced to get creative in their next efforts to survive opposing and unprecedented forces and return home.
A Time to Kill: “Who Killed the Yogi?”
Investigation Discovery, 10pm
The body of 45-year-old yoga instructor Michael Dojaquez is found face down on his porch. With evidence of a burglary, detectives wonder if Michael interrupted the thieves. But the case proves much more complex, and the killer much closer to home. When a critical clue dramatically shifts the timeline, the prime suspect’s story falls apart and a nationwide manhunt leads investigators clear across the country.
The Holzer Files: “Forever Home”
Travel Channel, 10pm
In 1969, Hans Holzer’s investigation of Howard Lodge was abruptly cut short by the home’s owner. The team returns to uncover the haunting reality behind this stately Maryland manor’s unnatural grip on the living.
Chrisley Knows Best
USA Network, 10pm
Season 8 of the reality series that follows Todd Chrisley and his family concludes tonight.
Miz & Mrs
USA Network, 10:30pm
Married WWE Superstars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Maryse Ouellet end the second season of their family-focused reality series this evening.
Friday, Dec. 18
Arendelle Castle Yule Log
For your holiday celebrations, set the wintry mood with Frozen characters Anna and Elsa’s Arendelle Castle yule log. The castle is newly decorated this year with elements harkening back to Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven’s recent journey to the Enchanted Forest.
The Legend of El Cid
Amazon Prime Video
This Spanish-language drama retells the story of Spain’s famous warrior. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (Jaime Lorente) is a young page who loyally serves Sancho (Francisco Ortiz), the future king of Leon and Castilla. Though he struggles to excel at court, thanks to his skills with the sword he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy to overthrow the king that will cause blood, pain and death, and will impact both the Christian kingdoms and the Muslim Taifa.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chadwick Boseman’s final film role before his passing is in this drama based on August Wilson’s Tony-nominated play. Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Viola Davis). As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Boseman) spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.
A “Creepshow” Holiday Special
This hourlong stand-alone special written and directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) encompasses one tale: “Shapeshifters Anonymous,” based on the short story by J.A. Konrath. It follows an anxious man who, fearing he is a murderer, searches for answers for his “unique condition” from an unusual support group. Anna Camp and Adam Pally star.
Dory’s Reef Cam
Dive into the waters below and watch the aquatic wildlife from the world of Finding Nemo’s Nemo and Dory.
The Grand Tour: “A Massive Hunt”
Amazon Prime Video
In this feature-length Season 4 episode of the popular British motoring series, hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond explore the islands of Réunion and Madagascar in a variety of sports cars and cars that have been modified to the extreme for the islands’ often rough terrain.
The Mandalorian: “Chapter 16”
Season 2 of Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars series comes to an end with this episode.
Ron Howard is an executive producer of this docuseries that follows a season at New York City’s world-renowned School of American Ballet, one of the top youth ballet institutions. The series follows the lives of the students, ages 8-18, as they pursue their dreams of becoming ballet dancers.
Small Axe: “Red, White and Blue”
Amazon Prime Video
Steve McQueen’s (12 Years a Slave) drama anthology series featuring personal stories from London’s West Indian community concludes its first season with this episode. It tells the true story of Leroy Logan (John Boyega), a young forensic scientist with a yearning to do more than his solitary laboratory work. When he sees his father assaulted by two policemen, he finds himself driven to revisiting a childhood ambition to become a police officer — an ambition born from the naive hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within. Leroy must face the consequences of his father’s disapproval and the blatant racism he finds in his new role as a despised yet exemplary constable in the Metropolitan Police Force.
Wonderstruck’s Winter Wonderland
BBC America, 6am
Cozy up and watch the snow fall with this 14-hour binge of winter-focused nature specials. Included: heartwarming Polar Bear Family and Me, awe-inspiring Planet Earth and jaw-dropping Wild Alaska.
Sonny (Maurice Benard) takes control. Jason (Steve Burton) is vindicated. Martin (Michael E. Knight) questions Cyrus’ (Jeff Kober) motives. Curtis (Donnell Turner) feels betrayed. Carly (Laura Wright) and Joss (Eden McCoy) have a heart-to-heart.
Catch a Classic!
Greer Garson gives a Best Actress Oscar-winning performance as Kay Miniver — an epitome of British resolve on England’s home front during the dark early days of World War II, whether she is comforting children in a bomb shelter or capturing an enemy parachutist — in this classic 1942 drama that confronts the terror of war while also striking a patriotic chord that surely lifted the spirits of audiences at the time of its premiere, and can still inspire today. The film won five other Oscars out of its 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Teresa Wright and Best Director for William Wyler.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The green grump with a heart two sizes too small tries to ruin Christmas for Whoville in this 1966 animated classic. He learns his lesson in back-to-back airings tonight and once more tomorrow.
Holiday Baking Championship
Cooking Channel, beginning at 8pm
Get in the holiday spirit with a night of Holiday Baking Championship episodes. The night begins with “Getting Gifty With It” and “North Pole Vaulting” and continues with “Traditions With a Twist” and “Christmas Day Delights.”
College Football: Pac-12 Championship Game
FOX, 8pm Live
FOX has coverage of the Pac-12 football championship game between the conference’s North and South Division champions.
My Lottery Dream Home: “First Time Forever Home”
David Bromstad heads back to Dallas, Texas, to meet his newest winner Denise, and the love of her life, Arndt. They fell in love and then Denise won the lottery! Now it’s time for them to buy their first forever dream home — together! David has to be on his A-game because Arndt works in construction and Denise is a home inspector, so they really know what to look for in a home. The biggest question is whether they want a fixer upper or a brand-new, move-in-ready property for their forever home.
Christmas on the Menu
Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw), a celebrated, romantic, 35-year-old chef in the city, heads home to spend the holidays at the quaint, magical bed-and-breakfast where she grew up, and where her mother Shannon (Cynthia Gibb) has just opened a new restaurant. Famous food critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James), who has given Josie harsh reviews in the past, comes to town to review the new restaurant and Josie’s Christmas cuisine. As the holidays unfold, Josie and Tanner get to know each other better, and a romance soon begins to blossom, but will Tanner find a way to right his wrongs, write a rave review for the bistro’s delicious cuisine, and win Josie’s heart by Christmas Eve?
Nat Geo Wild, 8pm
It’s crunch time for the captains. Ott’s Hot Tuna needs repairs, so he scrambles for a new boat. McLaughlin’s generator fails, and he battles with a giant bluefin in pitch-black darkness. Marciano hopes an old friend can help reverse the Falcon’s bad luck.
Shrek the Halls
Shrek the Halls features the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. It’s Christmas Eve and everyone is filled with holiday cheer — except for Shrek. He isn’t exactly the picture of Yuletide joy, but 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.
Magnum P.I.: “No Way Out”
In the new episode “No Way Out,” Magnum (Jay Hernandez), Higgins (Perdita Weeks) and TC (Stephen Hill) are trapped when armed gunmen storm the federal building and start taking hostages.
Biggest Little Christmas Showdown: “Miniature Dream Vacation Home”
Tiny houses, huge stakes! A grand prize worth $50,000 is on the line as the three top teams of miniaturists face off for one final task: turning little log cabins into seasonal showstoppers.
Ancient Aliens: “The Forbidden Bible”
Featuring rebellious angels, giant hybrid beings and humans taken up to a heavenly realm above the Earth, is it possible that the Book of Enoch was stricken from the Bible because it documents humanity’s extraterrestrial origins?
Letters to Satan Claus
In this solid spoof of Hallmark holiday fare, investigative journalist Holly (Karen Knox) returns to her hometown, Ornaments, to cover the Christmas festival and land a promotion. Satan, whom she accidentally wrote to when she was 7 and wanted Santa to make her parents “go away,” returns for a killing spree that only holiday spirit can stop!
You’ll Be Home for Christmas
As the countdown to Christmas ticks on, Albie Mushaney, world-famous strongman and Salem, Oregon-based real estate agent who moonlights as a Santa impersonator, will help first-time homebuyers find their forever home in time for the holidays. Alongside his festive family, Albie will make the houses extra “ho-ho-home-y” by adding special seasonal touches like a fully decorated tree with gifts underneath, stockings hung on the chimney and freshly baked cookies and hot cocoa welcoming them at the door.
Paranormal Caught on Camera: “A Father’s Ghost and More”
Travel Channel, 10pm
A terminally ill woman is visited by a familiar spirit; ghost hunters talk to the dead in one of America’s most haunted villas; and a UFO flies by campers in Texas.
Hill Street Blues
H&I, 1am (late-night)
Happy 35th anniversary to Dennis Franz’s Lt. Norman Buntz using a “dope-sniffing turkey” on a drug bust in this wild Christmas episode.
Saturday, Dec. 19
ABC/ESPN, CBS & FOX, beginning at 12pm Live
College football conference championship Saturday features title games for the Big Ten (FOX), the ACC (ABC or ESPN) and the SEC (CBS).
The Bishop’s Wife
Catch a Classic!
Starting today, and airing all day every day through Christmas Day (Dec. 25), Turner Classic Movies will be airing films as part of what it calls its Classic Christmas Marathon. These are films that, even if they are not entirely about Christmas, at least feature memorable holiday scenes. One of the highlights during this first day of the Classic Christmas Marathon is The Bishop’s Wife, the delightful, Best Picture Oscar-nominated 1947 holiday comedy/fantasy starring Cary Grant as Dudley, a suave angel sent to Earth to come to the aid of young bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven). But is Dudley there to help Henry raise money for the construction of a new cathedral or to smooth over the clergyman’s relationship with his loving, but neglected, wife Julia (Loretta Young)? Monty Woolley and James Gleason also star.
Baby Chimp Rescue
BBC America, 8pm
In the finale episode “A New Beginning,” Jim and Jenny Desmond’s rescued baby chimpanzees get their first taste of life in the forest.
CBS & FOX, 8pm
The SEC Championship (CBS) and Big Ten Championship (FOX) air tonight.
A Christmas Carousel
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
When Lila (Rachel Boston) is hired by the royal family of Marcadia to repair a carousel, she must work with the prince (Neal Bledsoe) to complete it by Christmas.
A Christmas Exchange
The holiday season has started and Molly Cooper (Laura Vandervoort) is looking for joy. Finally living her childhood dream, Molly swaps her quaint farmhouse for London financier Patrick Kingston’s (Rainbow Sun Francks) posh apartment. Through the ups and downs of her new life in London and searching for romance, Molly begins to look forward to all communication with Patrick. Likewise, Patrick finds Molly’s warm emails and texts charming and compelling. Sparks fly between them as they get to know each other as they live in each other’s spaces.
Stolen in Plain Sight
Escaping an abusive husband, Melissa (Gracie Gillam) takes her baby, Ryan, to her parents’ cabin in a small Louisiana town where she and her sister spent most of their childhood summers. But when Ryan is abducted, and the local authorities are less than helpful, Melissa is forced to take matters into her own hands and in the process discovers the dark secret the town is hiding. Also stars Ann Mahoney, Kyle Clements, Betsy Holt and Gary Grubbs.
Global Citizen Prize
John Legend hosts this second annual event that features special musical collaborations, celebrates individuals taking action to end extreme poverty, and presents video packages telling revealing stories of action and impact about the world’s most inspiring activists and leaders.
The Wizard of Oz
Because, because, because, because, because — because you know you can’t let a year go by without seeing it again. The 1939 Victor Fleming classic adventure of Dorothy and all of the pals she meets in the merry old Land of Oz continues to be a holiday delight.
You Live in What? International: “Level Up”
Architect George Clarke continues to work on his rotating house of the future with master craftsman Will Hardie. George and Will also travel the country to visit a bachelor pad that reaches new heights, a treehouse turned into a dreamy dwelling and an army truck transformed into an overland expedition motor home.
History’s Greatest Mysteries: “Roswell: First Witness — The Memo”
New evidence and advanced technologies are employed in the search for answers about the object found crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. Was it a weather balloon, as the government said? Or was it a UFO, as many people still believe?
Letters to Satan Claus
An evil Santa Claus figures in this film, described as “a tongue-in-cheek take on Christmas movies with a dark twist.” In the film, a reporter goes back to her hometown and, after a particularly bad day, writes a note to Satan and leaves it in Santa’s mailbox, with things only getting worse from there.
Most Terrifying With Jason Hawes: “Prison of the Dead”
Travel Channel, 9pm
Jason Hawes reveals there’s no rest for the wicked as he explores an old English jail prowled by long-dead prisoners, a decommissioned warship haunted by the agonized victims of a grisly tragedy and a historic building where sinister spirits roam.
Swept Up by Christmas
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, 10pm
An antique seller and a cleaner clash over how to downsize a magnificent estate right before Christmas. As the two uncover the house’s treasures, they find a way to reconnect the reclusive owner with his own Christmases past. Stars Lindy Booth and Justin Bruening.
Destination Fear: “Old Hospital on College Hill”
Travel Channel, 10pm
Dakota Laden has saved the worst for last as the team rolls up to a deserted West Virginia hospital. Known for its brutal deaths and grisly amputations, the bloodstained grounds have a chilling prescription in store for the team that might shatter them forever.
Saturday Night Live: “Kristen Wiig/Dua Lipa”
NBC, 11:30pm Live
Former SNL cast member Kristen Wiig makes her fourth appearance as host ahead of her appearance in Wonder Woman 1984, coming to theaters and HBO Max on Dec. 25. Dua Lipa performs for her second time as musical guest.