TV Best Bets

Friday, Dec. 24: Oh, Fudge! 24 Hours of ‘A Christmas Story’ Marathon on TBS and TNT

A Christmas Story © Warner Brothers Int’l Television.

ALSO SEE: Complete 2021 NFL TV Schedule

All Times Eastern. PBS programming varies regionally.

Friday, Dec. 24

24 Hours of “A Christmas Story”
TBS, beginning at 8pm; TNT, beginning at 9pm

This holiday favorite from 1983 airs on TBS and TNT in a traditional yuletide marathon. Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie, the little boy who yearns to find a Red Ryder BB gun under the Christmas tree. Not just a Christmas story, it’s about parents, little brothers, bullies, decoder rings, double dog dares and most of all, the workings of a youthful mind. The writing by Jean Shepherd (who also narrates) captures it all perfectly. Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon also star.

Dickinson
Apple TV+
Series Finale!

The third and final season of this fanciful comedy series following 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) comes to an end.

Don’t Look Up
Netflix
Feature Film Exclusive!

In writer/director Adam McKay’s darkly comic sci-fi film, an astronomy grad student (Jennifer Lawrence) and her professor (Leonardo DiCaprio) make the astounding discovery of a massive comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: It’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. The stellar cast also includes Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett and Michael Chiklis.

Minnal Murali
Netflix
Feature Film Exclusive!

With its theatrical release having been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this Indian Malayalam-language superhero film now makes its premiere on Netflix. Set in the 1990s, the film follows Jaison (Tovino Thomas), a tailor who gains superpowers after being struck by lightning. He then must take down an unexpected foe if he is to become the hero that his hometown needs.

1000 Miles From Christmas
Netflix
Original Film!

This Spanish romantic comedy follows Raúl (Tamar Novas), a 30-something man who hates Christmas. He usually escapes the holidays on a faraway beach, but this year, his boss has different plans for him: Raúl must attend a business trip to audit a factory that produces the most typical Yuletide sweet in a town that lives for and loves Christmas. Will the Grinchy Raúl be able to overcome his worst nightmare?

The Silent Sea
Netflix
New Series!

This sci-fi mystery drama from South Korea takes place in the near future, at an abandoned research facility on the moon.

The Wheel of Time
Prime Video
Season Finale!

Season 1 of the fantasy drama led by Rosamund Pike comes to a close.

A Very Merry MeTV
MeTV, beginning at 6am

Throughout today and tomorrow, Christmas Day, MeTV will air holiday episodes of classic series like Dragnet, The Waltons, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Adam-12, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Green Acres and many more.

White Christmas
AMC, 11:15am
Catch a Classic!

This beloved 1954 musical takes its title, of course, from Irving Berlin’s classic song made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn. Crosby also stars here, and performs a new version of the iconic tune, as he and Danny Kaye play veterans who become famous song-and-dance men after World War II. Soon, they join forces with singing sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to help save their former army general’s Vermont inn. Along with the title song, White Christmas also features other memorable Berlin toe-tappers, including “Sisters,” “Snow” and “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep),” which was nominated for an Oscar.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
ABC, 8pm

Excitable Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) is a snowman on a mission: Find a holiday tradition for Arendelle’s royal sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). A 2017 animated follow-up to Frozen.

A Holly Dolly Christmas
CBS, 8pm

This moving 2020 special makes a welcome return, with the ever-comforting Dolly Parton performing holiday favorites and originals on a candlelit church set. We would watch her hold back tears talking about her mother, and trying to have a good heart because of her, every year.

College Football: EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl
ESPN, 8pm Live

College football’s bowl season continues tonight in Honolulu with the Memphis Tigers vs. the Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors in the EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl on ESPN.

Hot Chocolate Holiday
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

Colette (Aubrey Reynolds) runs a coffee shop that is known for her secret and famous hot chocolate. When Marcus (Jonny Swenson), a new dessert shop owner, starts to draw in Colette’s customers with his very own specialty hot chocolate that tastes exactly like the recipe from her beloved grandmother, she is determined to expose him. But as she gets to know Marcus, sparks fly between the cocoa connoisseurs.

It’s a Wonderful Life
NBC, 8pm

Frank Capra’s beloved, Oscar-winning 1946 holiday classic stars Best Actor Oscar nominee James Stewart 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 in the iconic film whose Oscar nominations also included Best Picture and Best Director for Capra.

Small Town Christmas: “Summerville, S.C.”
UPtv, 9pm
Series Finale!

Host Megan Alexander explores the food, drink, music, entertainment and faith that residents of Summerville, South Carolina, enjoy during the Christmas season.

Christmas Eve Mass
NBC, 11:30pm

Watch the Pope Francis-led Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Saturday, Dec. 25

The Great Soul Food Cook-Off
discovery+
Season Finale!

Find out the first season winner of this cooking competition series.

The Yule Log
Antenna TV, beginning at 5am

Make your Christmas morning a little cozier with the original WPIX Yule Log, a televised crackling fire accompanied by musical sounds of the season that first aired in 1966.

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade
ABC, 10am

The parade is back! Disney’s annual Christmas celebration returns with heartwarming stories, dazzling celebrity performances and the first telecast Christmas Day parade since 2019.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
MOVIES!, 11:15am

In this quirky 1964 sci-fi/comedy flick, a Martian leader kidnaps Santa Claus to help the children of his planet.

NBA Basketball
ABC & ESPN, beginning at 12pm Live

Five big NBA games are under the Christmas tree: Atlanta Hawks at N.Y. Knicks (ESPN), Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks (ABC), Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns (ABC), Brooklyn Nets at L.A. Lakers (ABC & ESPN) and Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz (ESPN).

“Carol Burnett and Friends” Marathon
Decades, beginning at 12pm

Enjoy a hilarious marathon of Carol Burnett and Friends, a half-hour repackaging of the classic The Carol Burnett Show originally done for syndication. The marathon continues all day tomorrow and into early Monday morning.

All Madden
FOX, 2pm

Madden NFL, one of the most popular video game franchises in history, has sold well over 130 million copies since its 1988 debut. And yet, says FOX Sports reporter Tom Rinaldi with amazement, “There are people that don’t know John Madden is a real man.” For anyone sadly in need of enlightenment about the name on the box — as well as those who already revere Madden as coach of the Super Bowl XI-winning Oakland Raiders and the only color analyst to announce for all four major broadcast networks — there is All Madden. This documentary profiles the figure who, intones FOX sportscaster Troy Aikman onscreen, “was the authoritative voice for our sport and in a lot of ways still is.” Madden has made an outsized contribution to our obsession with professional football. Visual broadcast features we now take for granted — the ever-illuminated first-down line on TV screens, use of the telestrator to illustrate the movement of plays — came to the fore because of his enthusiasm. The film goes deep on Madden’s life and broadcasting career, decades of which were spent alongside Pat Summerall in the booth. The Hall of Famer would joyously shout “Boom!” and “Doink!” when the play demanded it, but he also pitched products with the best of them, not to mention plugging his personal favorites, such as his beloved Thanksgiving Day “turducken.” Madden gloried in players who toiled with guts and grit, and most poignant in the show are comments from current and former NFL stars such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Lawrence Taylor. Of the 38 various interviewees, “We did not get a single no,” notes Rinaldi’s codirector, Joel Santos. Madden himself, 85, sits down too. What comes across is a picture of a very real man; being singled out by him was as valued by athletes and coaches as getting invited to Johnny Carson’s couch was to comedians. Says Santos: “There’s no one that has had more of an impact on the NFL than John Madden.”

College Football: TaxAct Camellia Bowl
ESPN, 2:30pm Live

Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, is the site of the TaxAct Camellia Bowl between the Georgia State Panthers and the Ball State Cardinals on ESPN.

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

Christmas Day NFL action offers a holiday doubleheader kicking off with the Cleveland Browns at the Green Bay Packers (FOX & NFL Network), followed by the Indianapolis Colts at the Arizona Cardinals (NFL Network).

Meet Me in St. Louis
MOVIES!, 5:30pm

Judy Garland stars in this classic 1944 drama about an early 20th century Midwestern family’s life that is uprooted when their father announces they are moving to New York. Among its many famous tunes, the movie introduces the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” crooned by Garland.

Holmes Family Rescue: “We Have Lift Off”
HGTV, 8pm

Just as a homeowner was about to give birth, she and her partner were scammed by a contractor who left them with a mess of a kitchen. Before Mike Holmes, his son Michael and daughter Sherry can make the home accessible, they must fix the dangerous structural issues left behind.

Writing Around the Christmas Tree
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

Mikaela (Krystal Joy Brown), a successful romance novelist who has had bad luck with love, visits a quaint bed and breakfast for a Christmas writers’ retreat near a snowy lake town each year. Upon arriving, she meets dashing writer Levi (Curtis Hamilton), who soon convinces Mikaela that she shouldn’t be writing about love if she doesn’t allow herself to get out and actually experience it.

A Christmas Carol
MOVIES!, 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Alastair Sim stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in this 1951 British adaptation (released with the title of Scrooge in its home country) of Charles Dickens’ beloved novella.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
NBC, 8pm

In this original 1966 animated 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.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
NBC, 8:30pm

Jim Carrey plays Dr. Seuss’ titular meanie in this 2000 live-action adaptation directed by Ron Howard.

The Wizard of Oz
TBS, 8pm
Catch a Classic!

It’s hard to pick a favorite from among the many terrific movies released in the magical Hollywood year of 1939 — considered one of Tinseltown’s greatest years ever in terms of popular releases and box office returns — but The Wizard of Oz has to be near the top of the list for most people. One of the best-loved movies of all time, this adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s novel stars Judy Garland in her iconic role as Dorothy, a young Kansas farm girl who is whisked away by a twister to the land of Oz. Accompanied by a brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a heartless Tin Man (Jack Haley) and a cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) — and pursued by a wicked witch (Margaret Hamilton) — Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, follow the yellow brick road in search of the titular Wizard (Frank Morgan), so that he may grant her wish to return home. Over 80 years later, The Wizard of Oz is as fun as ever and still looks stunningly beautiful in both its black-and-white and its color world, and its color cinematography received an Oscar nomination. The film netted five other Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and won for its musical score and for Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s classic song “Over the Rainbow.” — Jeff Pfeiffer

“Call the Midwife” Holiday Special
PBS, 9pm

Christmas 1966 promises to be a memorable one as Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Cyril (Zephryn Taitte) prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. Meanwhile, the Nonnatus House team is faced with its busiest Christmas Day ever when the maternity home is filled with expectant moms, each with their own challenging case. Luckily, Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) is on hand to support the team.

Destination Fear
Travel Channel, 9pm
Season Finale!

The Season 3 finale, “Spike Island,” finds the second part of the team’s epic trip to Ireland taking them to the titular location, one of Ireland’s most haunted and notorious prisons — also known as “Hell on Earth” and “Ireland’s Alcatraz.” The dark forces on the island are overwhelming, and terror hits Tanner like a ton of bricks. But something else lights up Dakota with a fear he’s never experienced before.

Sunday, Dec. 26

Insecure: The End
HBO Max; premieres on HBO Monday, Dec. 27, at 10pm

Ahead of tonight’s series finale of the award-winning Issa Rae-led HBO comedy Insecure, this documentary offers an intimate look, including interviews with the cast, at the making of the show’s final season and the cultural impact it has had. The special will premiere on HBO tomorrow night.

Letterkenny
Hulu
Season Premiere!

In Season 10 of the Canadian sitcom, McMurray (Dan Petronijevic) and Wayne (Jared Keeso) do some dickering, the Hicks attend a sausage party, the Hockey Players and Skids have a video game battle, the men of Letterkenny receive head-to-toe physicals … and that’s just for starters. All six episodes are available today.

Boxing Day Euro Trip
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including Aerial Britain, Inside the Tower of London and Inside the Factory.

Key Largo
TCM, 10am
Catch a Classic!

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made the last of their four memorable big-screen pairings together in this 1948 film noir classic directed by John Huston. Bogie plays disillusioned returning Army veteran Frank McCloud, who goes to the title island to visit the family of a man who died under his command in Italy during World War II. The family owns a hotel in Key Largo, and there Frank finds himself tangling with ruthless gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) when the two of them and a few other visitors are trapped by a hurricane in the hotel. Lionel Barrymore and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Claire Trevor also star.

Represent Our Voice: 2021: A Year in Review
TV One, 12pm

In this Represent Our Voice special hosted by journalist Karen Finney, the panel breaks down the year’s pivotal moments, including COVID-19, racial justice, politics and the economy, and how they’ve impacted the African American community.

The Real Murders of Orange County
Oxygen, 7pm

The true-crime series that chronicles evildoings in the coastal California enclave goes back to 1989, when three people were gunned down in a Newport Beach coin shop.

Home Town
HGTV, 8pm
Season Premiere!

In the season premiere, Ben and Erin Napier help their friend Jemarcus, an athlete, coach and mentor, find his first home. This project is a special one to the Napiers because they knew Jemarcus from Ben’s time as a youth minister. While Ben and Erin find two great houses that fit Jemarcus’ personal style, he must choose which property suits him best — a home with a big kitchen or one that’s brimming with Laurel craftsman charm. It will be a powerful and emotional reveal for this first-time homeowner.

Condor: “The Greatest Hazard”
EPIX, 9pm

In Season 2’s penultimate episode, Joe (Max Irons) is out of options and forced to put those closest to him in the line of danger, while Mae (Kristen Hager) makes some demands of Reuel (Bob Balaban). The season finale episode follows.

Holiday Wars: Champion Cake Off
Food Network, 9pm

Clash of the confectioners! Host Maneet Chauhan oversees the action when teams of former winners from Halloween Wars and Holiday Wars do battle again. Their goal: Bake a champagne-inspired cake that will wow judges Shinmin Li and Aarti Sequeria.

Hightown
Starz, 9pm
Season Finale!

The gritty crime drama set in the dark underworld of Cape Cod wraps up Season 2 with the episode “Fool Me Twice.”

Condor
EPIX, 10pm
Season Finale!

Airing at a special time, the Season 2 finale, “Not Necessarily to Lose,” finds lives forever changed when all does not go as Joe (Max Irons) planned, and Kat (Isidora Goreshter) has to decide where her loyalties lie.

Insecure
HBO, 10pm
Series Finale!

Issa Rae’s critically acclaimed comedy series comes to an end after five seasons, as Issa and her cohorts figure out the next phase of their lives.

Home Town: Ben’s Holiday Workshop
HGTV, 10pm

It’s beginning to look a lot like … corporate synergy. In this entertaining special, Discovery meets HGTV when Deadliest Catch’s father-daughter captains Sig and Mandy Hansen visit Laurel, Mississippi, for some woodworking with Home Town’s Ben Napier. See Sig take the tiller of a lathe! See Mandy’s maiden voyage with a chain saw! As they treat Ben to tales of their adventures, the Hansens create one of the most low-tech kids’ toys out there, a spinning top; frame a new workshop mantel; and share Norwegian riskrem (a rice pudding).

Beyond Hubble: The Telescope of Tomorrow
Science Channel, 10pm

This special is a follow-up to last week’s special about the expected launch of the James Webb Space Telescope — the next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope with a mirror six times bigger — and includes exciting moments from the launch.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
HBO, 10:40pm
Season Finale!

Larry David’s comedy series — following a tongue-in-cheek, fictionalized version of himself — completes its 11th season tonight.

Monday, Dec. 27

Death to 2021
Netflix

This darkly comedic retrospective mixes real news footage with scripted talking-head interviews as it sends up the year that tried to one-up 2020.

Best of Modern History
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including Ten Steps to Disaster, Searching for Secrets and American Hidden Stories.

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 11am Live

ESPN airs the Michigan Quick Lane Bowl with Western Michigan vs. Nevada at Detroit’s Ford Field and the Military Bowl with Boston College vs. East Carolina at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

Oliver!
MOVIES!, 4:40pm

This colorful and lively 1968 musical, based on the stage musical that itself was inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist, won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture (it is the last G-rated film to win that honor) and Best Director for Carol Reed. Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Jack Wild and Oliver Reed star in the film, which features such memorable musical numbers as “Food, Glorious Food,” “As Long as He Needs Me,” “Consider Yourself” and “Where Is Love?”

NFL Football: Miami at New Orleans
ESPN, 8pm Live

Week 16’s Monday Night Football matchup at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans features Myles Gaskin and the Miami Dolphins against Alvin Kamara and the Saints.

Kids Baking Championship
Food Network, 8pm
Season Premiere!

Hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman gather a dozen kiddo cooks for a new 10-week competition. Up first: a butterfly cake challenge that has some stomachs fluttering.

Trolls
NBC, 8pm

In this original 2016 film that launched the animated Trolls franchise, after the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (voice of Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

In Memoriam
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

As the year comes to an end, Turner Classic Movies features films from notable actors who passed away in 2021. (The actors featured are those who have not already been celebrated by TCM with movie marathons earlier in the year, like Ned Beatty and Jane Powell.) Starting things off is the 1960 French crime drama Breathless, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, who passed away in September in Paris at the age of 88. Throughout his almost 60-year career, he won multiple awards, including a lifetime achievement honor at the César Awards in 2017. Next is the 1934 musical comedy Bright Eyes with Jane Withers, who passed away in August at the age of 95. The Shirley Temple costar was the first recipient of the Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 1979. Following that is the 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein, featuring Cloris Leachman, who passed away in January at the age of 94 and is the record holder (along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus) for most Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as a winner of an Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. Next is the 1972 crime drama Across 110th Street, starring Yaphet Kotto, who died in March at the age of 81 in the Philippines. Kotto had an acting career that spanned 45 years, including a nomination for an Emmy Award and multiple NAACP awards. After that is the 1970 comedy Watermelon Man, directed by Melvin Van Peebles, who passed away last September in New York City at the age of 89. A pioneer in the Blaxploitation genre, he used his Hollywood success to fund his independent filmmaking projects. Then it’s the 1966 drama The Group with Hal Holbrook and Jessica Walter. Holbrook passed away last January at the age of 95, and Walter died almost two months later at the age of 80. Holbrook won five Emmy Awards and was also nominated for an Academy Award, and Walters appeared in over 170 film, television and stage productions and was nominated for numerous awards throughout her career, including five Emmy Awards (with one win). The evening concludes with the 1964 French musical drama The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, starring Nino Castelnuovo, who passed away in September in Rome at the age of 84. The Italian actor started his career in 1957 and kept working until his death. — Evan McLean

Landscapers
HBO, 9pm
Series Finale!

The bizarre and fascinating love story of a British couple (Olivia Colman and David Thewlis) on the run from reality concludes tonight.

POV: “Unapologetic”
PBS, 9pm

Meet two fierce abolitionists whose upbringing and experiences shape their activism and views on Black liberation.

That’s My Jam: “Ariana Grande & Blake Shelton vs. Kelly Clarkson & John Legend”
NBC, 10pm

This Jimmy Fallon-hosted musical game show, which pits pairs of celebs against one another, premieres Jan. 3a. But in this encore presentation of a sneak-peek episode, The Voice coaches show us how it’s done: Ariana Grande and Blake Shelton vs. Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

Tuesday, Dec. 28

The Hillside Strangler
discovery+

A serial killer stalks Los Angeles in the 1970s, leaving bodies on display throughout the Hollywood Hillside. After a man named Kenneth Bianchi is arrested in 1979 on the suspicion of a double homicide in Bellingham, Washington, it doesn’t take long for L.A. investigators to connect the dots back to the serial killer they’ve dubbed “The Hillside Strangler.” But there’s a catch: Through a series of explosive recorded interviews with various psychologists and psychiatrists, Bianchi claims that the perpetrator is not him, it’s actually his multiple personality, “Steve” — and that’s not all he has to say on the matter.

Word Party Presents: Math!
Netflix
New Series!

This spinoff of Word Party, the CG-animated children’s vocabulary-building series from The Jim Henson Company, teaches math as baby animals Franny, Bailey, Kip, Lulu and Tilly count numbers, compare shapes and find patterns while using math and singing songs to solve problems.

2021 and Done With Snoop Dogg & Kevin Hart
Peacock

In this 75-minute year-end retrospective, hosts Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart offer unfiltered takes on the past year, taking on everything from politics to pop culture to social media to sports and even space billionaires. Celebrity guests include Mark Cuban, DJ D-Nice, DL Hughley, Loni Love, Killer Mike, William Shatner, Stephan A. Smith and Michael Strahan.

Best of Modern Machines
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including Impossible Repairs and How Did They Build That?

TCM Morning & Afternoon Movies: ’50s Musicals
TCM, beginning at 10am

Tap your toes along with 10 hours of some of the finest big-screen musicals from the 1950s, beginning with one of the all-time best, 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain, the Oscar-nominated classic led by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. After that is the Oscar-winning Calamity Jane (1953), starring Doris Day and Howard Keel; the Oscar-nominated Kiss Me Kate, also from 1953, and starring Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller; Silk Stockings (1957), led by Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Janis Paige; and another 1957 favorite, the Oscar-winning Les Girls, featuring Kelly and Mitzi Gaynor.

College Football
ESPN & FOX, beginning at 12pm Live

College football bowl games today are the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: Houston vs. Auburn (ESPN), the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs. Louisville (ESPN), the AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech (ESPN), the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: UCLA vs. NC State (FOX) and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl: West Virginia vs. Minnesota (ESPN).

Bing Crosby Icon-a-Thon
MOVIES!, beginning at 3:45pm
Catch a Classic!

Enjoy a music-and-laughs-filled, four-film marathon of classic Bing Crosby films, beginning with the 1960 comedy High Time, directed by Blake Edwards and costarring Fabian and Tuesday Weld. After that are Road to Bali (1952), the sixth of the seven Road to … films Crosby made with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, and the only one filmed in color; Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), a musical retelling of the Robin Hood legend led by Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.; and Stagecoach (1966), a remake of John Ford’s classic 1939 Western, costarring Ann-Margret, Red Buttons and Bob Cummings, among other stars.

Popstar’s Best of 2021
The CW, 8pm

Host Elizabeth Stanton will count down the greatest and most memorable moments and trends of 2021, based on polls from Popstar! Magazine.

In Their Own Words: “Angela Merkel”
PBS, 8pm

Follow Angela Merkel’s meteoric rise from pastor’s daughter to Time magazine’s Person of the Year. As a young woman emerging from East Germany, Merkel successfully navigated the male-dominated sphere of German politics to become Germany’s first female chancellor.

The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down
History, 9pm

Matty Blake takes us behind the scenes as the crew share stories of filming the treasure hunt’s most noteworthy — and dangerous — moments.

This Is Us: “The Adirondacks”
NBC, 9pm

Ahead of next week’s sixth and final season premiere of the acclaimed drama, it can’t hurt to get a reminder of where the story left off by re-watching this encore airing of the show’s Season 5 finale, in which the family gathers for Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson) wedding.

Raid the Fridge
Food Network, 10pm
New Series!

Looks can be deceiving and cooks can be deceived in this new competition that dares contestants to create cuisine from whatever food is stocked inside a refrigerator of their choice. The catch, host Dan Ahdoot says, is the chefs choose their fridge based solely on the photos and magnets on the door. For every obvious option — “if there’s a lobster magnet, there’s probably lobster inside,” the food writer and comic offers — there’s a craftier possibility to consider. “What about a picture of the Statue of Liberty? Does that mean pizza? Cheesecake?” Episodes put four chefs through three themed elimination rounds, with the winner walking off with $10K. Don’t worry, none of the ingredients have gone bad. “We’re not trying to kill people here,” assures Ahdoot, who gets to sample the eats with judges Jordan Andino and Jamika Pessoa. “This is a fun food-competition show, not Squid Game.”

Great Escapes With Morgan Freeman
History, 10pm
Season Finale!

See how James Earl Ray, confessed assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., broke out of Tennessee’s Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary using a ladder made of plumbing pipe. He spent two days in the woods before being captured.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

The Book of Boba Fett
Disney+
New Series!

One of the most beloved and mysterious figures in the Star Wars galaxy, Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), gets his story told in this new series. The legendary bounty hunter resurfaced in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, and the season finale offered a peek into Fett’s future. Fett will take over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire on the desert world of Tatooine, but he intends to do things differently. “Jabba ruled with fear. I intend to rule with respect,” Fett says in the series trailer. He’ll have to convince Jabba’s former allies and rivals that he means business. Fortunately, he has an able associate in mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Morrison hinted that the series will reveal some of Fett’s backstory, so fans might finally get the canonized explanation for how he escaped the Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi. Episodes are available Wednesdays.

Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer
Netflix
New Series!

This is the second installment of an ongoing documentary series about how certain locations became accomplices to crimes that took place there. Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer will examine how the danger and depravity of New York’s Times Square in the late 1970s and early ’80s made it possible for one man to commit — and nearly get away with — unthinkable acts in a nearly lawless area rife with drugs and sex work. These three episodes will delve into the social and systemic forces that allowed horrific crimes to go unnoticed for too long.

Best of Natural History
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including Dogs With Extraordinary Jobs, Cher & the Loneliest Elephant and Age of Humans.

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 11am Live

Four bowl games are on ESPN’s schedule today: SMU vs. Virginia in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl at Boston’s Fenway Park; Maryland vs. Virginia Tech in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at New York’s Yankee Stadium, Clemson vs. Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando, Florida; and Oregon vs. Oklahoma in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

Property Brothers: Forever Home: “Out of the Time Warp”
HGTV, 8pm

Derek and Krista bought their house over 10 years ago, as their family grew it became clear they’d need help to make it their own. The home holds treasured memories, but it’s stuck in the ’80s, including awkward support posts, dated finishes throughout and inconsistent floor levels, and they’re ready for a change. Drew and Jonathan Scott completely transform the living room, family room, kitchen and dining room to breathe new life into the space and give the family the forever home of their dreams.

Married at First Sight
Lifetime, 8pm

Ahead of the Jan. 5 return of this quick-commitment hit, two specials go behind the scenes. Tonight, the Matchmaking Special looks at the fix-up process. Thursday, the Kickoff Special, hosted by Kevin Frazier, introduces the five pairs about to marry in Season 14!

Earth Emergency
PBS, 8pm

In this hourlong program, explore how environmental feedback loops are amplifying global warming, and what we can do about it.

Star of the Month: Ingrid Bergman
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

The final evening of this month’s Wednesday night salute to the films of Ingrid Bergman on Turner Classic Movies features the legendary actress’ later works, beginning with Murder on the Orient Express, the famed 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s beloved mystery novel. Bergman won her third and final Oscar, for Best Supporting Actress, in a film that features a large roster of big-name actors including Best Actor Oscar nominee Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave. Next, Bergman stars with Anthony Quinn and Fritz Weaver in the 1970 romantic drama A Walk in the Spring Rain; the 1969 comedy Cactus Flower, with Walter Matthau and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Goldie Hawn; and the 1973 children’s film From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The penultimate film in tonight’s lineup, airing early tomorrow morning, is A Matter of Time, a 1976 American-Italian musical fantasy costarring Liza Minnelli. The film marked the final project for Liza’s father, famed musical director Vincente Minnelli, the first big-screen role for Bergman’s daughter Isabella Rossellini and the final film role for Charles Boyer, who had also appeared with Bergman in the classic Gaslight three decades earlier. The Bergman celebration concludes with her final feature film, 1978’s Autumn Sonata (aka Höstsonaten), which brought her back full circle to her roots in Swedish cinema (teaming with legendary writer/director Ingmar Bergman, no relation) for a dramatic role that earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. — Jeff Pfeiffer

Calls From the Inside
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
New Series!

It’s a well-known part of any crime story: When a suspect is arrested, they get one call. In reality, once a person enters the criminal justice system, they have multiple opportunities to make calls as they await trial. The vast majority of those calls are recorded. An admission, a threat, a slip of the tongue, a bribe — it’s all on tape, and the suspect knows it. But this doesn’t always stop them from talking and talking. This series uses jailhouse phone calls to frame the narrative of murder investigations steeped in mystery.

Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller: “Meth”
Nat Geo, 9pm

Mariana van Zeller follows a meth superhighway from a massive cartel-run lab in Sinaloa in Mexico across the border and into the lives of American users. Her guide is a wily, meth-smoking dealer whose smuggling empire stretches from coast to coast. Some get rich, some get high, while others wind up dead. It’s a hellish tour of an overlooked drug crisis that’s burning a hole through America.

Thursday, Dec. 30

The Accidental Wolf
Topic
Season Premiere!

The hit conspiracy drama from writer/director Arian Moayed returns for Season 2. Six months have passed since Katie (Kelli O’Hara) answered a phone call that upended her life and put the fate of a pregnant and wounded stranger in her hands. Her family is threatening to medicate her and take away her daughter. Every lead has gone cold. Katie attempts to return to her old life, but a new faction emerges that pulls her deeper into the mystery of what happened on the fateful night of the unknown call and brings danger straight to her doorstep.

Partners in Rhyme
ALLBLK
Season Finale!

In the sitcom’s first season finale, Prospect Records throws a huge party showcasing Luscious T (Precious Way), but the rug is pulled from under her when Hazel (Rolanda Watts) signs Kandy Barz (Andrea K. Torres) for the spectacle. Meanwhile, Lana (MC Lyte) becomes distracted by her relationship with Boston (Wesley Jonathan) and where it’s going next.

Shadow Lines
Sundance Now
Season Premiere!

In Season 2 of the Finnish spy thriller, it’s spring 1956, and Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (Janne Reinikainen) is starting his first term as the president of Finland amid a general strike and riots. The Fist, a secret task group working under the highest leadership of Finland, is trying to recover from the great sacrifices it had to make to get Kekkonen elected. The youngest member of the group, Helena Korhonen (Emmi Parviainen), thinks she has finally figured out her mother’s destiny. However, she can’t let go of the past and wants to know the events leading to her mother’s execution. None of the Fist members realize there’s a bigger danger around the corner that threatens the existence of the group as well as the future of Finland. All eight episodes are available today.

Best of Military History
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including WWII Battles in Color, WWII by Drone and Air Warriors.

College Football
ESPN, beginning at 11:30am Live

College football bowl game action today on ESPN has North Carolina vs. South Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina; Tennessee vs. Purdue in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee; Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta; and Wisconsin vs. Arizona State in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium.

NBA Basketball
NBA TV, beginning at 7pm Live

An NBA TV doubleheader has Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on the road against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, followed by Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors taking on Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets in Denver.

The Wonderful World of Disney: Frozen
ABC, 8pm

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll face a dangerous but remarkable journey.

Restaurant: Impossible
Food Network, 8pm

Robert Irvine tries to help a loving son — perhaps too respectful of his late father’s menu and decor — save his family’s German restaurant in San Diego. This is the time to throw out the old and bring in the new!

TCM Spotlight: Met on Set: “Modern Hollywood Couples”
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Tonight, Turner Classic Movies concludes its monthlong “Met on Set” spotlight with films showcasing couples from modern Hollywood. The night begins with the 1984 drama Swing Shift, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. The two movie legends first met in 1966, but it was during production of this film that the couple became involved, and they’ve been together ever since. Next is the 1972 thriller The Getaway, starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, who had an instant connection on set and started an affair during production. They would eventually marry and were together for five years before splitting up. The 1971 drama The Last Picture Show follows, starring Cybill Shepherd and directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who met on set when Bogdanovich cast the 21-year-old Shepherd after seeing her on the cover of a magazine. They started an affair that led to Bogdanovich’s first divorce, and were together for eight years. After that is the 1984 crime drama Blood Simple, starring Frances McDormand and directed by Joel Coen. It was McDormand’s film debut. The couple was already married prior to production and have been together ever since, with McDormand appearing in a total of eight Coen brothers films. The evening concludes with the 1971 crime thriller Klute, starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. Their affair started prior to shooting, and after production ended they went on to create a documentary together about the war in Vietnam as part of the F.T.A. troupe. They broke up in Tokyo in 1971. — Evan McLean

“The Twilight Zone” New Year’s Marathon
Syfy, beginning at 2am (late-night)

Enjoy over 48 hours of Rod Serling’s classic sci-fi/fantasy anthology series The Twilight Zone as Syfy’s annual favorite programming event returns. This year, several stretches of the marathon — Dec. 31 between 8am and 4am, and Jan. 1 between 12pm and 10pm — will air with limited commercials.

Friday, Dec. 31

The Established Home
Magnolia Network on discovery+
New Series!

Designer Jean Stoffer takes on some of her most ambitious projects to date around her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She shares the inspiration behind her stunning designs, as well as the important role family plays in her life and business.

Restoration Road With Clint Harp
Magnolia Network on discovery+
Season Premiere!

In Season 2, carpenter Clint Harp again hits the road in search of incredible historical structures across the country that are in need of restoration, while exploring their origins and dreaming of their futures.

Queer Eye
Netflix
Season Premiere!

The Emmy-winning series returns for Season 6, with the show’s fearless ambassadors heading to Texas, with a home base in Austin, in search of a whole new roster of heroes in need of a little TLC.

Cobra Kai
Netflix
Season Premiere!

The dramedy that picks up the lives of characters from the 1984 film The Karate Kid nearly 40 years later returns for Season 4, with the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos joining forces to take down Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament. Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) try to maintain the dojo alliance, while Robby (Tanner Buchanan) goes all in at Cobra Kai. What tricks does Kreese (Martin Kove) have up his sleeve, and can Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) bury their decades-long grudge to defeat him?

The Lost Daughter
Netflix
Feature Film Exclusive!

In this psychological drama, Leda (Olivia Colman), while alone on a seaside vacation, becomes consumed with a young mother and daughter as she watches them on the beach. Unnerved by their compelling relationship, Leda is overwhelmed by her own memories of the terror, confusion and intensity of early motherhood and is forced to face the unconventional choices she made as a young mother and their consequences. Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris and Peter Sarsgaard also star in writer/director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s feature directorial debut.

Stay Close
Netflix
New Series!

In this British crime drama, three people each conceal dark secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect. Megan (Cush Jumbo), a working mother of three, has run away from a dangerous past. Ray (Richard Armitage), a once-promising documentary photographer, is now stuck in a dead-end job pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. And Broome (James Nesbitt), a detective, is unable to let go of a missing person’s cold case. When the past comes back to haunt them, it threatens to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them.

Best of Ancient History
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 6am

Including Legends of the Pharaohs, Tomb Hunters and Secrets.

Dance in the New Year!
MOVIES!, beginning at 1:30pm

Enjoy a toe-tapping New Year’s Eve with a five-film marathon of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ classic big-screen pairings, starting with the first time they danced together onscreen, in 1933’s Flying Down to Rio, followed by The Gay Divorcee (1934), the duo’s quintessential pairing in Top Hat (1935), Shall We Dance (1937) and Carefree (1938).

College Football Playoff Semifinals
ESPN, beginning at 3:30pm Live

The No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats face the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in the Capital One Orange Bowl in South Florida and the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs battle the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic to determine the two teams that meet for the title Jan. 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022
ABC, 8pm Live

In his 17th year, multihyphenate headlining host Ryan Seacrest will oversee New Year’s festivities in Times Square. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, America’s go-to annual New Year’s tradition, which celebrates the year’s very best in music. The show sets the stage to ring in the new year with more than five and a half hours of dynamic performances, and gives viewers a look at New Year’s celebrations from around the globe.

New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash
CBS, 8pm & 11:30pm

Country music’s hottest superstars ring in the new year from multiple locations in downtown Nashville. Performers include Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, Zac Brown Band and more.

CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live
CNN, 8pm

Pals Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are in New York, then hand off to Don Lemon and Co. in New Orleans.

FOX’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022
FOX, 8pm & 11pm

Live from Times Square in New York City, Ken Jeong and Joel McHale “Toast & Roast” all that was 2021 during another highly anticipated New Year’s Eve special featuring celebrity guests and musical performances.

2021: It’s Toast!
NBC, 8pm

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager raise a glass to 2022 with this two-hour, star-studded special that also offers a look back at the lighthearted and humorous moments that provided a much-needed break during the challenging 2021. The special will include interviews with celebrities, personalities and anchors including Michael Bublé, Willie Geist, Savannah Guthrie, Ed Helms, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Carson Kressley, Harry Lennix, Loni Love, Howie Mandel, Amber Ruffin, Al Roker, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Mike Tirico, Lisa Vanderpump, Johnny Weir and more.

New Year’s Eve “Thin Man” Marathon
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!

Spend your New Year’s Eve with Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) — the witty, hard-drinking, fun-loving, high-society couple who often find themselves embroiled in solving mysteries — and their lovable dog Asta for a night of all six of the comedy/mystery Thin Man films, beginning with the 1934 original, The Thin Man. The marathon also includes After the Thin Man (1936), Another Thin Man (1939), Shadow of the Thin Man (1941), The Thin Man Goes Home (1944) and Song of the Thin Man (1947).

United in Song: Celebrating the American Dream
PBS, 9pm

Ring in the new year with an all-star concert performed at Philadelphia’s historic Independence Hall. Chita Rivera hosts the event, which features performances by David Archuleta, Paulo Szot, Midori, Lea Salonga, Pepe Romero, Deborah Cox, Judy Collins, Cassadee Pope, Brandee Younger, members of the Washington Ballet and more, joined by Luke Frazier and the American Pops Orchestra.

How to With John Wilson
HBO, 10pm
Season Finale!

John Wilson’s documentary series that finds wisdom in New York City’s everyday experiences finishes its second season tonight.

Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party Hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson
NBC, 10:30pm Live; also live-streams on Peacock

NBC rings in 2022 with a two-hour, all-star celebration hosted by multiplatinum-selling recording artist Miley Cyrus and Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, alongside a star-studded lineup of special guests and musical performances, live from Miami. SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels executive produces this special.

Saturday, Jan. 1

Ghost Hunters
discovery+
New Series!

This reboot of the seminal paranormal investigation show Ghost Hunters features 12 new hourlong episodes, with the original members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) — Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, along with Shari DeBenedetti — reuniting to revisit their most chilling cases and investigate disturbing new hauntings. Joining the core team are a host of experts from different paranormal backgrounds who add their own points of view to each case. In the series premiere, “The Lost Souls of Joliet,” the TAPS team is joined by Dakota Laden, Tanner Wiseman and Alex Schroeder of the discovery+/Travel Channel series Destination Fear as they check out Old Joliet Prison, a now-shuttered former penitentiary in Illinois where volunteers are desperate for answers regarding unsettling paranormal activity that has been ramping up. New episodes are available Saturdays.

“Harry Potter” 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts
HBO Max

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and other cast from all eight Harry Potter movies reunite to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary.

“Columbo” Marathon
Cozi TV, beginning at 8am

Starting with today’s daylong marathon of episodes from Peter Falk’s classic detective series Columbo, Cozi TV is expanding its 2022 programming to include more of the series. Starting next Saturday, Jan. 8, Columbo will be part of Cozi’s weekly six-hour Saturday block of programming alongside episodes of McMillan and Wife, Banacek and McCloud, all of which were part of NBC’s famed Mystery Movie “wheel” series in the 1970s.

We Baby Bears
Cartoon Network, beginning at 10am
New Series!

This spinoff of the 2015-19 animated series We Bare Bears follows the ursine protagonists of that show — Grizz (voice of Connor Andrade), Panda (Amari McCoy) and Ice Bear (Max Mitchell) — in the magical adventures the brothers had when they were babies seeking a place to call home. Executive producer Manny Hernandez, who was supervising director on We Bare Bears, describes this series as “an adventure and traveling show … we are celebrating a lot of different cultures.” We Baby Bears launches with 10 episodes today; two new episodes then air Saturday mornings throughout the month beginning Jan. 8.

“Hart to Hart” Movie Marathon
Ovation, beginning at 11am

Enjoy back-to-back airings of all eight of the made-for-television follow-up Hart to Hart movies that Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers made between 1993 and 1996, reprising the roles of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart — a wealthy, jet-setting couple who frequently find themselves embroiled in mysteries and working as unpaid detectives to solve them — from their 1979-84 series.

133rd Rose Parade
NBC, 11:30am Live

After a year off because of the pandemic, NBC returns to its now 95-year-old (between radio and television) New Year’s Day tradition of broadcasting the famed Rose Parade from Pasadena, California. Acclaimed actor/educator LeVar Burton has been announced as this year’s grand marshal. This Is Us stars Chrissy Metz and Susan Kelechi Watson host NBC’s coverage. (Note: Your market may also be airing the optional coverage of the parade that NBC is offering its affiliates beginning a half-hour earlier.)

College Football
ABC, ESPN & ESPN2, beginning at 12pm Live

New Year’s Day college football bowl games are Penn State vs. Arkansas in the Outback Bowl (ESPN2), Iowa vs. Kentucky in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl (ABC), Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (ESPN), Ohio State vs. Utah in the Rose Bowl (ESPN) and Ole Miss vs. Baylor in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (ESPN).

Doctor Who: “Eve of the Daleks”
BBC America, 2pm

BBC America will air three Doctor Who specials in 2022 as part of the BBC’s centenary celebration, and the first one is the New Year’s Day global premiere of the holiday special “Eve of the Daleks.” Jodie Whittaker’s time as the Thirteenth Doctor concludes this fall.

A Face in the Crowd
TCM, 3:15pm
Catch a Classic!

Andy Griffith gives an extraordinary performance as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, the lead character of this 1957 Elia Kazan-directed drama that marked Griffith’s screen debut. Although Rhodes is a Southern character like Griffith’s kindly and beloved Sheriff Andy Taylor from the actor’s later classic sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, this man’s charming accent and folksy “aw-shucks” persona is not the genuine article, and instead hides a cruel, ambitious and egomaniacal personality that only grows as the one-time drunken drifter finds himself — thanks to the radio journalist (Patricia Neal) who discovers him (and later regrets the monster she created) — rising as a nationally renowned media personality and political demagogue. If you only know Griffith from his sitcom, check out his dynamic acting range here as Rhodes, a role that helped the actor become a star and really should have earned him an Oscar nomination. Besides being ignored by the Academy, A Face in the Crowd also had mixed reviews on its original release, and wasn’t overly successful at the box office. But time has looked kindly on the film, which was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2008, thanks not only to Griffith’s performance but also the story’s look at the volatile intersection of media, celebrity and politics that appears ever more prescient with each passing year. — Jeff Pfeiffer

AMC’s Must Watch Movie Month
AMC, beginning at 5pm

AMC has deemed the month of January as its “Must Watch Movie Month,” and begins the film fest with a Lethal Weapon movie marathon. Every night, typically at 8pmET/PT, a blockbuster film will air, from The Great Outdoors and Gran Torino to Friday night network premieres like Midway (Jan. 7), Mad Max: Fury Road (Jan. 14) and Edge of Tomorrow (Jan. 21). You can expect to find something to catch your interest.

NHL Winter Classic: St. Louis at Minnesota
TNT, 7pm Live

The NHL’s Winter Classic outdoor game airs on TNT for the first time as Jordan Kyrou and the St. Louis Blues face off against Kirill Kaprizov and the Minnesota Wild at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Crikey! It’s the Irwins
Animal Planet, 8pm; also streams on discovery+
Season Premiere!

In the Season 4 premiere, Bindi and Chandler’s daughter Grace discovers her new world at Australia Zoo, while Robert and the team attempt the biggest gator move in the zoo’s history; for the first time, they will try to capture 10 alligators from Gator Lake, home to over 40 crocodilians. Meanwhile, Terri helps her Sumatran Elephants as they learn to use a purpose built, giant runway which will allow them to freely move around the Zoo. And Bindi later encounters the joys and tragedies of another Koala breeding season.

Where Your Heart Belongs
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Original Film!

Mackenzie Sullivan is a New York-based marketing executive struggling to keep her clients. When she returns home to a rural maple farm to help her best friend plan her wedding in just two weeks, Mackenzie learns the hard way that the love and support of family and true friends means more than she’d imagined. Stars Jen Lilley and Christopher Russell.

Deadly Infidelity
Lifetime, 8pm
Original Film!

When a woman awakes from a monthlong coma, she discovers that the last five years of memories with her husband and daughter are gone. But things go from bad to dangerous when a man she doesn’t remember appears, claiming that they had a passionate affair. Stars Kate Watson, Anna Marie Dobbins and Houston Rhines.

Great Performances: “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2022”
PBS, 8pm

Great Performances continues its tradition of ringing in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the world-famous Musikverein, with actor Hugh Bonneville returning as host for a fifth year. The concert features guest conductor Daniel Barenboim leading the Vienna Philharmonic in performances of favorite Strauss family waltzes.

When Nature Calls
ABC, 9pm
Season Finale!

In “The Optimistic Mosquito,” Helen Mirren narrates a documentary examination of the animal kingdom featuring a mosquito that wants to do good in the world, a chipmunk that over-packed trying to outsmart the TSA, an old wild boar looking for love and Anaconda ASMR. Following is the season finale, “Omen Cat,” in which hippos solve crimes ripped from the headlines, a cheetah is haunted by everyone it ever ate, a snake celebrates its 30th birthday alone and more.

Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name
CNN, 9pm

“You’ve Got a Friend” is more than an anthem for Carole King — who wrote, recorded and won a Song of the Year Grammy for it — and James Taylor, for whom it was a No. 1 hit. The song also defines their longtime mutual admiration and support for each other, manifested in 2010’s Troubadour Reunion world tour, the centerpiece of director Frank Marshall’s captivating concert doc. “You and I probably just have the same musical DNA,” says Taylor, who first urged King to sing her songs in public in 1969 at L.A.’s famed Troubadour club, where she played in his band. Reflecting on the arena tour, which often feels like two greatest-hits concerts on one turntable stage, King notes, “We do it for each other, but what they’re seeing is us having a great time together.” Happily, we get a ringside seat as they trade off signature songs, including one uninterrupted 35-minute stretch. Other documentaries may shed more light on these artists’ lives, but none will offer as much pure musical satisfaction in showing how they played.

The ’80s: Top Ten
Nat Geo, 9pm; all episodes streaming on Disney+
New Series!

Rob Lowe executive produces and hosts this six-episode series, with two hours airing this evening and the next two nights, that offers fun and nostalgic top 10 countdowns of various 1980s topics in each hourlong installment. Tonight’s first episode is “Watercooler Moments,” a look at everything from Charles and Diana’s wedding to the burning question of “Who Shot J.R.?” and more. That is followed by the “Streetwear” episode, which reveals the inside stories behind ’80s fashions like Air Jordans, Ray-Bans, shoulder pads, the Miami Vice look and more. The entire series will be available to stream on Disney+ beginning Dec. 31.

The Incredible Dr. Pol
Nat Geo Wild, 9pm
Season Premiere!

As Season 20 begins, the vet staff see canine patients for broken legs, bulbous cysts and overgrown nails, and they treat a hypothermic horse, a constipated cat and reindeer.

Deadly Cheers
Lifetime, 10pm
Original Film!

Brianna (Camille Calvin) and her teenage daughter Julie (Katherine Marsh) move to a new town where Brianna will be the high school’s new assistant principal, while Julie joins the highly regarded competitive cheer team under the esteemed Coach Allison (Shannon Skiles). When one of the cheerleaders suffers a mysterious accident, Coach Allison will stop at nothing to cover it up, even if it means sacrificing her own cheerleaders.

New York Homicide
Oxygen, 10pm
New Series!

New York is a shining beacon of opportunity to people across the world, and the convergence of almost innumerable cultures, customs and languages makes it a true melting pot. It’s a city with a gritty core, where tensions run high. This new 12-episode series details the brazen crimes that happen in New York and the intense work by law enforcement and civilians who race to take murderers off the streets.

Kindred Spirits: “The Lurker”
Travel Channel, 10pm; also streams on discovery+

Amy Bruni, Adam Berry and Chip Coffey investigate an 1850s manor in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where an eyeless entity looms over sleeping guests. Bruni and Berry attempt an off-the-cuff experiment that bends paranormal reality so much they shock themselves.