According to my calendar, we're still in November. But the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime have been churning out Christmas movies at a furious pace for weeks now! And the networks have
already aired many of the holiday's most anticipated specials.
"Christmas In Rockefel ler Center" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-G) is already a repeat. Call me old-fashioned, but somehow this all seems too much too soon.
Viewers who don't resent the onrush and are looking for something new could do worse than "CeeLo's Magic Moment" (8 p.m., TV Guide). This special, taped in that Christmassy village known as Las Vegas, features the judge on "The Voice" warbling Christmas carols and holiday favorites with Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo and other assorted Muppets, as well as Eric Benet, Rod Stewart and singers made famous by their appearance on "The Voice."
With so many musical competition shows and other
reality-TV variations on the traditional variety show, I'm surprised and disappointed that there aren't more specials like this. Who wouldn't want to see a Christmas episode of "Dancing With the Stars" or "American Idol"? Or better yet, an "American Idol/X Factor Christmas Carol," with Simon Cowell returning as Scrooge? Clay Aiken was born to play Tiny Tim.
There was a time when many popular series at least incorporated Christmas themes into their plots. On "Dragnet," Joe Friday even took time from lecturing punks on the evils of marijuana to celebrate a holiday miracle or two.
Why haven't we seen more holiday-themed episodes of reality shows?
Perhaps the "Doomsday Preppers" on the National Geographic Channel could take out time from fearing the apocalypse to celebrate "Christmas In Doomsday." Come on, CMT. Where's "Christmas on Redneck Island"? Hey, even owners of cable's many tattoo parlors and pawn shops must get a little misty around the holidays. You'd need subtitles to share the joy of "Honey Boo Boo's Holiday On Ice," but it would be worth the effort.
The makers of such reality fare probably know it's best to avoid the holidays entirely. People like to associate Christmas with the heartwarming uplift of George Bailey's Bedford Falls. And reality shows seem to be set in the more squalid corners of television's Pottersville.
---Speaking of "It's a Won derful Life," the 2000 fantasy "The Family Man" (8 p.m., ABC Family) offers an update of that movie, as well as the Scrooge story. A soulless Wall Street tycoon (Nicolas Cage) gets a glimpse of the fulfilling life he might have enjoyed with his college sweetheart (Tea Leoni). In my own particular alternative universe, Leoni would be a bigger star than Cage.
---Stanford hosts UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship football game (8 p.m., Fox).
---A resort owner returns to "Un dercover Boss" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---A hidden guest causes seiz-
ures in a 7-year-old on "Monsters Inside Me" (8 p.m., Animal Planet, TV-PG).
---Campus life can be murder on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Mulling her imminent dis-
appearance, Audrey stumbles upon a confrontation with the Bolt Gun Killer on "Haven" (10 p.m., Syfy).
TCM invites viewers to stay up late with three anti-drug education films from 1968-72: "Distant Drummer: Flowers of Darkness" (4:45 a.m.); "Distant Drummer: A Movable Scene" (5:10 a.m.) and "Curious Alice" (5:45 a.m.).
---Vanessa's job with an oil company becomes an issue on "Last Man Standing" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Division needs help on "Nikita" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Reba feels protective on "Malibu Country" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---A new twist on the wristwatch comes under scrutiny on "Shark Tank" (9 p.m., ABC, r).
---Lovato's undercover assignment comes to an abrupt end on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Fairy tales can come true on "Grimm" (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
---Here comes the Huntress on "Arrow" (9 p.m., CW, r, TV-14).
---Max Greenfield, Chris Franjola, Sarah Colonna and Dov Davidoff appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
---Robin Williams and Lianne LaHavas appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS, r).
---Jay Leno welcomes Marisa Tomei, Carson Daly and Il Volo on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Tim Allen, Manny Pacquiao and Flo Rida appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (midnight, ABC, r).
---Taylor Lautner, Kevin Pollak and the Wallflowers chat on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Tim Meadows and Mayim Bialik on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.