A house built by television goes for sale on television. “Selling Spelling Manor” (8 p.m., HGTV) offers viewers an inside look at the approximately 56,000-square-foot family home constructed by Candy Spelling for her husband, the late television producer Aaron Spelling, and their two children. For the record, that’s 14,000 square feet per family member!
Candy shows us the house’s many, many rooms, including a bowling alley, a billiard room, a doll museum, a screening room and various chambers dedicated only to china and silver and, of course, gift-wrapping. There are 27 bathrooms.
It’s sad to see that television associated with Aaron Spelling has come to this, a mash-up of “House Hunters” and QVC. The most telling moment arrives when we hear a rather cheesy approximation of the “Dynasty” theme — itself a rather cheesy approximation of a TV fanfare. It’s obvious the makers of this special couldn’t afford or wouldn’t spring for the rights to the real thing.
“Selling” briefly recalls the home’s controversial construction. Neighbors in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood were shocked at the size and scope of the excavation and building that went on for years. Even before its completion, the manor became a lightning rod for criticism and ridicule, a glaring example of materialism run amok. It resembles a Hyatt on steroids. Candy Spelling’s daughter, Tori, has launched her own cable series on Oxygen celebrating the normality of her new life in much more modest surroundings.
The search for a buyer for the massive pile — listed for $150 million — demonstrates how far HGTV has strayed from its modest origins. As Spelling’s real estate agent puts it, “We’re looking for a billionaire.”
• Year-end retrospectives continue with “The Year With Katie Couric” (8 p.m., ABC). It glances back on the best and worst of 2011 and highlights the year in film and television with interviews with Kristen Wiig and Chelsea Handler.
• Another special, “The Year the Earth Went Wild” (8 p.m., Discovery), looks at destructive weather in 2011. Of course, that title could have applied to 2010 as well.
Tonight’s other highlights
• A finalist departs on “The X Factor” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Viewers get one more chance to watch the 1965 animated special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (7 p.m., ABC). This year.
• Abed animates the holidays on “Community” (7 p.m., NBC).
• The machine spits out four numbers on “Person of Interest” (8 p.m., CBS).
• A treasure map leads to murder in the Everglades on “Bones” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Michael is put in charge of a crucial assignment on the season finale of “Burn Notice” (8 p.m., USA).
• Death in the diamond district on “Prime Suspect” (9 p.m., NBC).
• A chance to burnish tarnished reputations on the season finale of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (9 p.m., ).