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Archive for Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas goes coast to coast

December 17, 2008

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President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will attend their final “Christmas in Washington” (7 p.m., TNT).

Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife, Robin, are scheduled to host the festivities for the fifth consecutive year. The concert, benefiting the National Children’s Medical Center, features performances by the Christian music group Casting Crowns, Tony-winning performer Kristin Chenoweth, country star Julianne Hough, Grammy winner Darius Rucker and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser.

The president and first lady also appear on “White House Christmas 2008” (8 p.m., HGTV) a look at this year’s holiday decorations. First Lady Laura Bush sits down to discuss this season’s theme, “A Red, White & Blue Christmas” and the executive pastry chef shares secrets behind the making of a giant gingerbread house fashioned to resemble the White House’s North Portico — made with more than 350 pounds of white chocolate and 125 pounds of gingerbread. Officials estimate the house to weigh about 500 pounds.

• It looks like half of New York city appears on “Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa” (7 p.m., NBC) featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Griffiths, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Jesse Martin, Uma Thurman and New York Mayor Bloomberg as himself. “Sopranos” stars Steve Schirripa and Tony Sirico also appear.

• Two PBS holiday specials take on a decidedly West Coast flair. “Dancing with the Stars” champ Kristi Yamaguchi introduces a San Francisco Ballet production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” on “Great Performances” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings). This Nutcracker takes place in San Francisco in 1915 right after that city’s World Fair.

• “L.A. Holiday Celebration 2008” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) focuses on the season with an emphasis on the many cultures of Los Angeles. Look for performance by 16 different groups reflecting the music of Africa, America, Korea, Mexico, Russia, the Philippines and other locales.

Other seasonal highlights

• Connie Sellecca and Corbin Bernsen star in the 2001 comedy “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (6 p.m., Family).

• An orphan helps the big jolly guy in the animated special “Christmas is Here Again” (7 p.m., MyNetwork).

• Stars of the Food Network share recipes on “All-Star Holiday Dishes” (7 p.m., Food).

• Boris Karloff narrates “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (7 p.m., Cartoon Network).

• The gang has to save the holidays in “Scooby-Doo Christmas” (7:30 p.m., Cartoon Network).

• “Christmas to the Extreme” (7 p.m., Travel) glances at home decorations taken to a whole new level of “taste.”

• Patrick Stewart takes on the role of Scrooge in the 1999 adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” (8 p.m., TNT).

• Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie host “Santa’s Funniest Moments” (8:30 p.m., MyNetwork).

Tonight’s other highlights

• A wealthy former cheerleader visits a depressed coal mining community on “Secret Millionaire” (7 p.m., Fox).

• “Costas Now” (8 p.m., HBO) glances back at 2008’s biggest sports stories.

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