TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.
Jimmy Fallon might have been happy
staying with “SNL” for a lifetime. He had grown up on it and on
talk shows; he savored doing sketches, co-anchoring “Weekend
Update” and meeting music guests.
Fallon left the show (after six years)
in 2004, for a so-so movie career and then a thriving late-night show
that's in its third season. He's popped back on “SNL” for some
sketches, but this will be his first hosting gig; Michael Buble is
the musical guest.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Christmas Comes
Home to Canaan,” 8 and 10 p.m., Hallmark.
Amid all the holiday fluff, the 2009
“Christmas in Canaan” was a fairly solid movie. Billy Ray Cyrus
was quietly convincing as a widowed farmer, resisting racism in 1960s
Now two of the boys – one white, one
black – he raised are grown and a younger son nears surgery. That
means the city, an attractive doctor (Gina Holden) and more.
There are times when the problems seem
contrived, simply to stretch the story. Still, the basic decency of
the characters is both believable and refreshing.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Method to the
Madness of Jerry Lewis,” 8 p.m. and midnight, Encore.
For people who grew up on an older
Jerry Lewis – a little overwrought in movies, a lot overwrought in
person – this is a revelation. It focuses on his early days as an
innovator with boyish charm.
We see why the Europeans like Lewis –
a true “auteur” who wrote, directed, starred and even invented a
video playback system. Encore will show examples in a marathon, from
his directing debut (the 1960 “Bellboy”) at 1:50 p.m. to his best
film (the 1963 “Nutty Professor”) at 10:05.
Other choices include:
– Football, 2:30 p.m. to midnight ET,
ESPN. The bowl-game season starts with a triple-header. It's the New
Mexico Bowl (Wyoming and Temple) at 2:30, the un-famous Famous Idaho
Potato Bowl (Utah State and Ohio) at 5:30 and the New Orleans Bowl
(Louisiana-Lafayette and San Diego State) at 9.
– “Pride & Prejudice” (2005)
and “The Notebook” (2004), 6 and 9 p.m., Oxygen. Here's an
exceptional double-feature of richly emotional stories.
– “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), 7
and 9:15 p.m., TNT. Families can again savor this classic.
– “Frosty the Snowman,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. A cartoon string starts with this pleasant trifle. It's followed
by the weak “Frosty Returns” at 8:30 and the pretty good “The
Story of Santa Claus” at 9.
– “Wipeout,” 8 p.m., ABC. In a
rerun, challenges include “jingle balls,” “nutcracker sweet”
– “CMA Country Christmas,” 9-11
p.m., ABC. Here's a rerun of a concert that catches a wide range. Amy
Grant, the contemporary Christian star, is there; so is her husband
Vince Gill, but he's singing with Miss Piggy. Brian Setzer, the
former Stray Cats swinger, is there; so are “American Idol”
alumni ScottyMcCreery, Lauren Alaina and Kellie Pickler. Others
include Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Darius Rucker,
plus Sugarland, Rascal Flatts and Little Big Town.
– “Soul Surfer,” 9-11 p.m.,
Starz. After losing her arm to a shark at 13, Bethany Hamilton
returned to surfing competitions. That story is competently told
here, with AnnaSophia Robb starring.