“Survivor” finale, 8 p.m., CBS, with reunion at 10.
chance” edition has been dominated by people with recent “Survivor”
experience. Nine contestants were from editions 28 through 30; five
of them -- Spencer Bledsoe, Jeremy Collins, Tasha Fox, Keith Nale and
Kelley Wentworth – are in the running for the million-dollar prize.
And the 11
contestants who were in earlier editions? Only Kimmi Kappenberg has
survived; she's 43, a Long Island bartender who finished 12th
in the second one, some 14 years ago.
“Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas,” 8-9 p.m., NBC.
In a burst of
holiday ambition, NBC launched two animated musicals last year. One
-- “How Murray Saved Christmas,” rerunning Thursday – was
brilliant; this one is merely OK.
It starts with the
songs from the “Broadway” version of the “Elf” movie; the
opener is zesty, but the others are easy to ignore. It adds a new
script that's lame, but there's a good cast, led by Jim Parsons.
ALTERNATIVE: “Childhood's End” finale and “The Magicians,” 8
and 10 p.m., Syfy.
If you've seen the
first two chapters (rerunning at 4 and 6 p.m.), you're probably
hooked. Now this 1953 Arthur C. Clarke tale concludes, as we learn
what the alien overlords have planned.
Then comes an
advance hour of a series set for January. Based on the Lev Grossman
novels, “Magicians” is like Harry Potter meets “Catcher in the
Rye” ... but not always in a good way. The setting – a university
for people who do real magic – is fascinating, but the characters
(especially the central one) often seem to share the same weary soul,
making the story quite monotone.
“Star Trek Into
Darkness” (2013), 7-10 p.m., FX. Two days before his “Star Wars”
movie opens to mega-crowds, we can see J.J. Abrams' previous epic.
Film fans can also try HBO at 8 p.m.; “Gone Girl” (2014) has a
brilliant plot, plus superb, Oscar-nominated work by Rosamund Pike.
p.m., Fox. This rerun of the season-opener finds Lucious in prison,
while his ex-wife plans a mega-concert in support. Despite a few
flaws (including an absurd prosecutor), it's a strong hour.
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. A string of comedy reruns starts with Frankie taking a
drastic step to simplify Christmas: She'll have a minimalist tree.
9 p.m., ABC. Phil may have misjudged his father-in-law. He figures an
ultra-modern outdoor grill would be the perfect birthday present.
“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 9 p.m., NBC. Things are rarely easy for
Rollins. In this rerun, her mother (Virginia Madsen) throws her a
bridal shower, but that soon becomes entwined in a rape case and in
the return of Rollins' sister, who's a fugitive.
9:31 p.m., ABC. In addition to being chubby and cheery, Santa Claus
tends to be white. Now Dre hopes to change that, taking over the
Santa spot usually held by the head of human resources.
“Nashville on the
Road,” 10 p.m., ABC. A previous “Nashville” special had great
concert performances and bland interviews. Now a new one includes
glimpses and interviews about life on concert tours.