Archive for Friday, December 11, 2009

Good deeds rewarded

December 11, 2009


The TeenNick network, formerly The N, presents “The TeenNick HALO Awards” (7 p.m.). If you don’t get the TeenNick network, you can catch them an hour later on Nick at Nite (8 p.m.).

LeBron James, Alicia Keys, Hayden Panettiere and Justin Timberlake will present awards to young people who’ve dedicated their time to philanthropic causes. The winning charities include an AIDS awareness program, an institute for oceanographic study, an organization that provides safe alternatives to drugs and violence, and a program to help people with scoliosis.

Nick Cannon (“America’s Got Talent”), who conceived and organized the awards, is your host. Look for a personal message from first lady Michelle Obama.

• Don’t go looking for Jennifer Love Hewitt and “Ghost Whisperer” tonight. But you can hear her voice in the computer-animated special “Yes, Virginia” (7 p.m., CBS), based on the true story of a newspaper’s editorial response to a young girl’s query about the existence of Santa Claus. Neil Patrick Harris and Alfred Molina can also be heard, as can Beatrice Miller (“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”), who provides the voice of Virginia.

• “Adult Swim” (11 p.m., Cartoon Network) rebroadcasts the “The Office Christmas Special,” parts 1 and 2, the raunchy, cringe-worthy yet occasionally touching 2003 special that helped wrap up the original British version of “The Office.”

Fans of both the American and British version of this show will be arguing forever over the merits of each. But the original has the virtues of running only two seasons and wrapping up with this special, a story that shows a slightly softer side to lead David Brent (Ricky Gervais) and hints at a romantic resolution for Dawn and Tim, the “Jim and Pam” of this version of “The Office.”

One of the big differences between American and British television is the fact that some truly great British comedies run for two or three excellent seasons and call it a day, whereas successful American comedies tend to ramble on well past their time. On NBC’s “Office,” we’ve seen Jim and Pam get together, get married and now plan for a family. Will the show be around when their child enters college?

• “Law & Order” (7 p.m., NBC) continues to rip stories from the recent headlines with the story of a campaign worker found dead with the word “FED” inscribed into his body.

• FYI: Last week’s series finale of “Monk” was seen by nearly 10 million viewers, making it the most-watched drama on basic cable — ever.

Holiday highlights

• Sam Elliott and Cloris Leachman star in the 1989 fantasy “Prancer” (7 p.m., AMC).

• Tim Allen reprises his jolly role in the 2002 sequel “The Santa Clause 2” (7 p.m., ABC Family).

• Matthew Broderick portrays a persnickety suburbanite upset by decorating excess in the 2006 comedy “Deck the Halls” (7 p.m., FX).

• A theme park exposes its secrets on “Behind the Magic: Disney Holidays” (7 p.m., HGTV).

• David Huddleston, Dudley Moore, John Lithgow and Burgess Meredith star in the 1985 fable “Santa Claus: The Movie” (9 p.m., AMC).

Tonight’s other highlights

• Now that’s she’s on her own, Echo feels beside herself on a two-hour installment of “Dollhouse” (7 p.m., Fox).

• As she recuperates from brain surgery, Alison fears she’s lost her powers on “Medium” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Betty and Hilda worry about blessed events on “Ugly Betty” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Liz goes undercover at great peril on “Numb3rs” (9 p.m., CBS).


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