TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “The X Factor,”
8 p.m., Fox.
Bruno Mars has been everywhere lately –
singing on the “Victoria's Secret Fashion Show,” hosting and
singing on “Saturday Night Live.” Now he has his second “X
Factor” performance of the season.
Then we learn who will be in next
week's finale. Tate Stevens, 37, and Carly Rose Sonenclar, 13, are in
the final four, alongside two teen groups. Fifth Harmony and Emblem3.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Scandal,”
10:02 p.m., ABC.
Last week's episode – sometimes
overwrought, always compelling – changed everything.
Fitz, the president, was shot. Sally
Langston, the vice-president, seized the interim presidency while he
lingered near death. Cyrus, the chief-of-staff who had cheated her
early in the presidency, raged.
Flashbacks showed that the First Lady
had long known about Olivia's affair with Fitz – and that Hollis,
the oil man, planned the fatal explosion that Quinn is accused of.
Now Olivia, back in the Oval office, forms a wary link with Langston,
while hoping for Fitz's recovery and searching for the shooter.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Glee,” 9
For its holiday special, the show has
four mini-musicals, linking in the style of “Love, Actually.”
Jake and Puck celebrate Hanukkah, Kurt
has a memorable Christmas and Artie has a key dream. Then there's Sam
and Brittany; feeling the Mayans foretold an apocalypse, they savor
their final days.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE II: “Live From
Lincoln Center,” 8-10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
The annual Richard Tucker Award has
propelled some of opera's top stars, including Renee Fleming and
Deborah Voigt. Now it has its first Hispanic winner.
Ailyn Perez, a soprano, is 33, a year
younger than the award. She was born in Chicago to Mexican immigrant
parents; her husband Stephen Costello won in 2009, making them the
first couple to win.
Tonight's show (with new host Audra
McDonald) includes a feature on her, plus performances by Perez,
Costello, six other opera stars, a chorus and members of the
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Other choices include:
– “Christmas Vacation” (1989) and
“Polar Express” (2004), 7 and 9 p.m., ABC Family. Two popular
holiday films rerun. The first has Chevy Chase and broad laughs. The
second is gorgeous, but short on plot and (due to the motion-capture
– “Up All Night,” 8 and 8:30
p.m., NBC. With a game show borrowing the 9 p.m. hour, NBC skips most
of its comedies tonight. The first episode involves trying to show
Amy her first snow. The second flashes back to the decision ro have a
hurried wedding with friends. Both descend into chaos.
– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. During a Dungeons and Dragons game, Sheldon revisits Christmas
memories. Also, the women try to find a girlfriend for Raj.
– Two and a Half Men, 8:31 p.., CBS.
Intent on finding a lover who doesn't know he's a billionaire, Walden
met Kate (Brooke D'Orsay). Now he's living with her and Alan is alone
– “Grey's Anatomy,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Bailey is usually strong and sturdy, but now she has the jitters and
wants to flee her wedding; Richard tries to talk her down. Also,
Meredith and Lizzie (Neve Campbell) argue; Derek considers risky
surgery that could restore full use of his hand.
– “Cheetah: Fatal Instinct,” 9
p.m. and midnight, Nat Geo Wild. A mother transforms her cubs to be
skilled predators. This is the final new “Big Cat Week” film, but
four of them will rerun Friday.
– “Elementary,” 10 p.m., CBS.
Sherlock Holmes must figure out how someone broke into a seemingly
impenetrable vault. Also, he meets Watson's parents and defends her
choice to be a “sober companion."
– “Nightmare Christmas,” 10 p.m.,
Investigation Discovery. We've had plenty of tales of holiday good
deeds. Now here are the guys who stole from a church on Christmas …
and the shoplifter who attacked someone with a stolen ornament …
and the woman who stabbed her husband because he opened his presents
early. The stories – often with comments from real-life victims –
are perversely entertaining.
– “Secrets of the Royal Nursery,”
10 p.m., Lifetime. Well, maybe not secrets. There's speculation by
“royal family experts” and by friends of William and Kate. Also,
a history of royal babies, a look at potential names and a review of
the royal marriage and its effect on England and beyond.
season-opener, 10 p.m., Tru TV. Guys dare each other to do stupid
stunts, then giggle absurdly. The witless results reflect poorly on
the male half of humankind.