Archive for Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Networks’ regifting has already begun

December 22, 2009


Chances are you haven’t even wrapped all of your presents yet, but the networks are already in serious regifting mode, reheating leftover repeats from the very recent past.

“Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special” (7 p.m., Fox) is probably best appreciated for its rapid costume changes and the “Idol” winner’s girl-group medley with Christina Applegate and Kristin Chenoweth warbling under identical blonde wigs. Fellow “Idol” champ David Cook shows up, as do country stars Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton.

• NBC doesn’t give you too many chances to forget about “The Biggest Loser,” its popular reality-contest spectacle. More than 40 participants from struggles past show up on “Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?” (7 p.m., NBC). And just in case you lose focus, there will probably be plenty of commercials for “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” the ninth edition of the weight-loss series beginning on the network on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

• Some series have been on television for so long that it hardly matters whether they’re repeats or not. “Law & Order,” “Cops” and “The Simpsons” all debuted when the first President Bush occupied the Oval Office. But they’re not the only series more than 20 years old. As it has since the days of Bob Saget, “America’s Funniest Videos” (7 p.m., ABC) offers a collection of holiday-themed mishaps caught on tape.

• Put “Pretty Woman” in the witness-protection program during the holidays, and you’ve got the basic gist of the 2003 made-for-TV holiday offering “Undercover Christmas” (8 p.m., Lifetime). A straight-laced FBI agent (Shawn Christian) has to keep a sassy cocktail-waitress witness (Jami Gertz) under wraps until she can testify. Events conspire to have them visit his family for Christmas, where she meets his snooty mom (Tyne Daly) and defrosts his family with her earthy personality. You’ll think Santa has bestowed the gift of clairvoyance, because there isn’t one scene in “Undercover” that you can’t predict.

• IFC continues to repeat old episodes of the hilarious “Arrested Development” (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., IFC), the clear inspiration for “Better Off Ted” (8:30 p.m., ABC), both starring Portia de Rossi.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Oregon State and BYU meet in the Las Vegas Bowl (7 p.m., ESPN).

• The top four compete on “Britain’s Missing Top Model” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• Vance’s past resurfaces on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS).

• As J.D.’s tenure grows short, he tries to win Turk’s approval on “Scrubs” (8 p.m., ABC).

• “From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians” on “Frontline” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) examines how Christianity moved from an outlaw sect to Rome’s official religion.

• “South Park” (8 p.m., Comedy Central) reels off four consecutive Christmas-themed episodes.

• Khandi Alexander guest stars as Lem’s fetching mother on “Better Off Ted” (8:30 p.m., ABC).

• Alicia feels the clock ticking as she tries to clear train workers on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A new case hits close to home for Alex on “The Forgotten” (9 p.m., ABC).

• “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO) glances back at the biggest and most touching sports stories of 2009.


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