“It's a Wonderful Life” (1946), NBC or “A Christmas Story”
(1983), TNT and TBS; both 8 p.m.
collide, offering ways to keep grown-ups (and some kids) distracted
NBC annually shows
“Wonderful Life” -- the warm Frank Capra classic with James
Stewart – twice in December, including Christmas Eve. Cable has an
annual marathon of “Christmas Story,” the wryly clever look at
1940s boyhood; it reruns at 10 p.m., midnight, etc., for 24 hours.
“Blackish,” 9:31, 10 and 10:30 p.m., ABC.
Critics have praised
this comedy and ABC has boosted it. Here's the second straight
The first episode
has the parents quit spanking ... with some second thoughts. The
second has Andre convinced he should be chosen, so his office will
have a black Santa; also, his wife and mom both want to be in charge
of Christmas dinner. The third has Andre obsessing over his
ALTERNATIVE: “Doctor Who,” all day, BBC America.
Most years, this
splendid show has a special Christmas episode. There's a new one
coming at 9 p.m. Thursday; it's surrounded by a 117-hour marathon,
from 8 a.m. today to 5 a.m. Monday.
Tonight, the three
most recent Christmas episodes are featured. At 6 p.m. (rerunning at
11:40), a Scrooge-type character holds the fate of the spaceship on
which Amy and Rory are starting their honeymoon ... At 7:20, a World
War II wife struggles to raise her two kids ... At 8:40, Jenna
Coleman is Clara, a young nanny who becomes the new companion. That's
followed at 10 p.m. by the episode that brought all the Doctors
More movies, cable.
Kids can savor “How to Train Your Dragon” (2010) on FX. Grown-ups
get the clever “The Sting” (1973) at 7:15 on Sundance. Both will
like “Elf” (2003), at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.
“'I Love Lucy'
Christmas Special,” 8 p.m., CBS. Here's a quick rerun of an hour
that assembled two past episodes. The first has some so-so Christmas
scenes setting up flashbacks to great moments, including Lucy being
whisked away to have her baby; the second has the classic scene at a
candy factory's assembly line. Color has been added, with only
flashbacks remaining in black-and-white.
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. Sue doesn't have much experience being asked out; she ends
up with multiple dates to the prom. Also in this rerun. Axl needs
Brick's help with an offbeat book report.
“Fox & Friends
Christmas,” 8-10 p.m., Fox News Channel. Stuffed with talent –
Renee Fleming, Scotty McCreery, Jackie Evancho, a chorus, Rockettes
and more – this also has reflections.
8:30 p.m., ABC. In a rerun, Murray expects the usual Thanksgiving
fights with his brother. Instead, the brother has a surprise.
9 p.m., ABC. This rerun focuses on three dinners – Mitchell and Cam
on their own without Lily ... Phil and Claire hoping to question
Haley about her future ... and Jay getting some disquieting news from
Shorty and his wife (Chazz Palminteri and Jennifer Tilly).
p.m., CBS. In a transplanted rerun (after a transplanted “Madam
Secretary” at 9), the threat of a nuclear meltdown forces Walter to
work with a troubled former member of his team.
11:35 p.m., NBC and CBS. NBC catches midnight Mass at St. Peter
Basilica in Rome; CBS has Protestant services from Sioux Falls, S.D.