TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “The Amazing
Race” finale, 8 p.m. (or later, with football overrun), CBS.
Still in the running for the
million-dollar prize are three couples – dating (Jeremy Cline and
Sandy Draghi), engaged (Ernie Halvorsen and Cindy Chang) and married
(Marcus and Amani Pollard),
Pollard – a tight end who scored 40
pro-football touchdowns – is the best-known. From 2001-3 – as
Peyton Manning and the Colts moved to the top – he caught 130
passes, 17 of them for touchdowns.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “The 12 Dates
of Christmas,” 8 p.m., ABC Family; repeats at 10.
In its 12th year, the “25
Days of Christmas” line-up tends to be stuffed with reruns. This is
its only new movie; fortunately, it's terrific.
The story is a “Groundhog Day”
variation, with the same chaotic Christmas Eve repeating a dozen
times. But the script peppers that with great touches – some funny,
some warm – and twists.
Amy Smart is wondrous in the lead, with
Mark-Paul Gosselaar solid in support. Under director James Hayman (a
key “Ugly Betty” producer-director) this is gorgeous in its look
and its music; new songs – from Jordin Sparks and Michael Buble,,
respectively – open and close the film.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Once Upon a
Time” (8 p.m.) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005, 9
Something special happens when a
fanciful, fantasy story is handed to a director who has visual flair.
That was the case with “Charlie.”
Under the deft touch of Tim Burton – with great work from starr
Johnny Depp and composer Danny Elfman – it was the best movie of
And it seems to be the case each week
with “Time,” which jumps between worlds. Tonight in fairy-tale
land, the queen seeks someone to assassinate Snow White. In our
world, the same characters are in Storybrooke, Maine, mourning a
death; now, one of them recalls shards of that other world.
Other choices include:
– “The Simpsons,” 8 p.m., Fox.
This year's Christmas episode flashes forward 30 years. In a
high-tech Springfield, Bart and Lisa – both married, with kids –
ask Homer and Marge for parenting advice.
– “A Very BET Christmas,” 8 p.m.,
BET. Expect lots of music and memories, with Monica, Lloyd, Robin
Thicke, Mindless Behavior, Elle Varner, Jacob Latimore ad Jawan
– “Stalking the Mountain Lion,” 8 p.m., Nat Geo
Wild. The second “Big Cat Week” begins with two hours in the
Rocky Mountains – Casey Anderson pursuing mountain lions, then
Boone Smith studying cougars. At 10 p.m., “Cat Wars” eyes a rare
and violent collision of lions and cheetahs in Africa.
– “The Good Wife,” 9 p.m. (or
later, with overrun), CBS. When a guilty verdict stuns the defense
and the prosecution, Alicia scrambles for a solution.
– “Bag of Bones,” 9-11 p.m., A&E.
In the first half of this miniseries, adapted from a Stephen King
novel., an author (Pierce Brosnan) mourns his wife. At a lakeside
home, he sees a bluesman's ghost.
– “Boardwalk Empire,:”9 p.m.,
HBO. The second season ends with Nucky facing trial.
– “Luck,” 10 p.m., HBO. This
series debuts Jan. 29, but HBO is giving the opener a sneak preview.
David Milch (“Deadwood”) set it in the world of horse-racing;
Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte star.