Christmas trees have been composted, and the awards season descends. Doesn’t that sound like a January haiku? Santa’s red suit has given way to no end of red carpets, continuing tonight with the 16th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards (8 p.m., VH1).
Who are these critics? And who will they reward? The night’s honors will reflect the choices of the Broadcast Critics Association, representing some 250 television, radio and online critics.
The ballet drama “The Black Swan” leads the pack with 12 nominations, including one for Best Picture. As with the Oscars, a total of 10 movies vie for that award. Look for a few different categories, including Best Young Actor/Actress and Best Ensemble Cast. But things don’t get as silly as the MTV movie awards with categories like “Best Kiss.”
For the record, last years Critic’s Choice Awards anticipated eventual Oscar winners in every major category, deviating only slightly in the case of Best Actress when they split the difference and awarded both eventual Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and Meryl Streep (for “Julie & Julia”).
l Two nights from now, Ricky Gervais will host the Golden Globe Awards on NBC. Tonight, fans of the writer-turned-actor-comic will have to settle for his two-dimensional form in the cartoon comedy “The Ricky Gervais Show” (8 p.m., and 8:30 p.m., HBO).
Clearly inspired by the mid-century animation of “The Flintstones” variety, “Show” offers a cartoon visualization of the podcasts recorded by Gervais, his writing partner Stephen Merchant (“The Office”) and sidekick and comic foil Karl Pilkington. Much of the humor involves Gervais and Merchant’s blisteringly brutal reactions to Pilkington’s peculiar takes on bizarre subjects.
l Viewers who can’t get enough 49th-state scenery don’t have to wait until a new “Gold Rush: Alaska” (9 p.m., Discovery) begins. “Flying Wild Alaska” (8 p.m., Discovery) precedes that popular cable series. As the title suggests, it follows intrepid pilots who help residents traverse the vast state by air, often at considerable risk. The 10-episode series “stars” the eccentric flying Twetos family, who brave blizzards and mountainous terrain to ferry passengers to remote locations near the Bering Sea that have never seen a highway.
Tonight’s other highlights
• A ruthless meteorologist (Nicole Kidman) arranges a hit on her husband in the 1995 drama “To Die For” (6:45 p.m., IFC), directed by Gus Van Sant.
• Allison is enlisted in a missing persons case on “Medium” (7 p.m., CBS).
• On two episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares” (Fox), a step back in time (7 p.m.), a marriage ended and a restaurant on the brink (8 p.m.).
• A bumbling teen (Michael Cera) strikes a number of artistic poses in the 2010 comedy “Youth in Revolt” (7 p.m., The Movie Channel).
• A club promoter’s murder inspires a trip to Barcelona on “CSI:NY” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Death by clown is no laughing matter on “The Mentalist” (9 p.m., CBS).