Archive for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday themes ring in and out

December 13, 2011


We’re only one night removed from Barbara Walters’ always-ridiculous “The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year” show, and one can feel the holiday worm begin to turn. A full dozen days before Christmas, I get the sneaking sense that the TV schedule is finishing up with the big shopping holiday and moving on to year-end retrospectives. Christmas tends to peter out when you start celebrating in late October.

Look for Christmas-themed episodes of “Glee” (7 p.m., Fox) and “New Girl” (8 p.m., Fox). “Raising Hope” (8:30 p.m., Fox) sends up that most Christmas-y of movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as Jimmy wonders what things would be like had he not met baby Hope’s homicidal and soon-to-be executed mother.

• On the retrospective front, Rob Lowe hosts “CMT Artists of the Year 2011” (8 p.m., CMT), a roundup of country music favorites from the last 365 days, including Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift.

• NBC returns to the year’s most overhyped media event with “William and Kate: Inside the Royal Marriage” (7 p.m.), hosted by “Today” correspondent Natalie Morales.

After gorging on this royal rehash, viewers can watch another winner mount the scales on the season finale of “The Biggest Loser” (8 p.m., NBC).

• TNT’s new mystery movie franchise continues with “Good Morning, Killer” (8 p.m.), based on a novel by April Smith.

I’ve come to think of these made-for-television dramas as a nightmare vision of Hallmark movies. Instead of a harried young woman finding love in a picture-postcard setting, she often winds up on a mortician’s slab or ends up investigating a cadaver’s sad fate.

Tonight’s mystery even stars Hallmark regular Catherine Bell. In her turn in that network’s “The Good Witch” franchise, she often hides her attractiveness while playing the wise, if sexless, proprietor of a candle shop.

In “Killer,” Bell is all woman. She even walks with a rather sensuous swagger. Bell plays an FBI agent who can’t keep her hands off her boyfriend, which complicates their assignments together. Cole Hauser and William Devane also star.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Will Forte and Jennifer Grey reveal childhood secrets on “The Mortified Sessions” (7 p.m., Sundance).

• A butler leads an heiress astray in the 1967 comedy “Fitzwilly” (8:45 p.m., TCM), starring Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon (”Get Smart”).

• A ghost hunter joins his prey on “Unforgettable” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A child vanishes after his nanny dies in a hit-and- run on “Body of Proof” (9 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

A couple of urban slobs (Bill Murray and Harold Ramis) join the Army in the 1981 service comedy “Stripes” (7 p.m., VH1 Classic).


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