“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.
TV's best comedy
offers perhaps its best episode ... one that many viewers never
thought would happen: Sheldon – perplexed about all people and
(especially) women – ponders intimacy with Amy.
“Big Bang” has
always treated its characters with love and amusement. It spotlights
their flaws –big, gaping ones – while making them thoroughly
likable. Jim Parsons (who already has four Emmys for this role) and
Mayim Bialik (who deserves one now) bring warmth and humor. And
there's fun around them, including the “Star Wars” opening and
Bob Newhart as the ghost of Professor Proton.
“Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” 10 p.m., NBC.
This summer, viewers
saw Grylls plunge into the wilderness with intereting people, from
Drew Brees to Kate Hudson. Now we see a different sort of celebrity –
They're in Alaska
(with Secret Service people nearby, off-camera) walking a dense
forest and a glacial outwash. Along the way, they discuss global
warming and munch on salmon that Grylls found (after a bear had
chomped on it) and cooked. It's not exactly a White House dinner.
ALTERNATIVE: “How Murray Saved Christmas,” 8-9 p.m., NBC.
Mike Reiss writes
and produces “The Simpsons,” but he also wrote a book stuffed
with Seuss-quality wit and rhymes. Now he's turned it into the best
Christmas special since the Grinch and Charlie Brown.
The town of Stinky
Cigar (named to discourage tourism) is home to holiday figures, from
Santa to Cupid. Then disaster strikes; only Murray (Jerry Stiller),
the crabby deli guy, can save the day.
“Disney Prep &
Landing” and its sequel, 8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC. Christmas cartoons
collide, when NBC's “Murray” faces these two. Quick, slick and
fairly amusing, they show us Santa's high-tech team.
Jingle Ball,” 8-9:30 p.m., CW. Christmas music gets a youthful feel
here, with Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, 5 Seconds of
Summer, Calvin Harris, The Weeknd and more.
Countdown's Top 10 Stories of 2015,” 8-9 p.m., Fox. While pop music
bounces around CW, Fox counters with country. Darius Rucker hosts and
includes concert performances by Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean ad
Little Big Town.
Not So Family Christmas,” 9 p.m, NBC. This was sort of a family
Christmas in 2012, with music from Shelton and then-wife Miranda
Lambert; they divorced this year. Also in this rerun are Kelly
Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire and comedians Jay Leno
and Larry the Cable Guy.
“Mom,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. Octavia Spencer (an Oscar-winner for “The Help”) is back as
Regina. When she insists she's not an alcoholic, Christy and Bonnie
try to be supportive.
season-opener, 9-11:45 p.m., BBC America. Seething with intensity,
this series has already brought Idris Elba a Golden Globe plus three
more Globe nominations and three Emmy nominations. Now it returns,
with Luther on leave from his police job ... until a cannibalistic
“The 10 Most
Fascinating People of 2015,” 9:30-11 p.m., ABC. Barbara Walters
includes some movie/TV people (Amy Schumer, Bradley Cooper, Tracy
Morgan), but also has ballerina Misty Copeland, fighter Ronda Rousey,
designer Dona Karan, politician Bernie Sanders and surprises.