TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Elf” (2003), 8
and 10 p.m., ABC Family.
Ever since 1996, “25 Days of
Christmas” has livened Decembers. Now there are lots of cable
copies, but the original is still busy and fun, starting today with
four big-screen movies.
The Richard Attenborough version of
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1994) is 12:30 p.m., with
Nicolas Cage in “Family Man” (2000) at 3 p.m. and Michael Keaton
in “Jack Frost” (1998) at 6.
But the highlight is “Elf,” which
puts Will Ferrell alongside a great supporting cast. There's Bob
Newhart, James Caan, Ed Asner, Peter Dinklage and a thoroughly
charming Zooey Deschanel.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: College
football, 8 p.m. ET, Fox.
For the second straight night, Fox has
a college football championship game. And this one – like Friday's
Pac-12 game – was affected by ineligibility.
Wisconsin lost three of its last four
regular-season games and had a 4-4 record, finishing four games
behind Ohio State and two behind Penn State. Both are ineligible, so
Wisconsin gets its division's shot at the title game; it faces
Nebraska (7-1 in conference play) for a trip to the Rose Bowl.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “It's a
Wonderful Life” (1946), 8-11 p.m., NBC.
After suffering from overkill for a
while, this Christmas classic now settles for two NBC showings each
year, one of them on Christmas Eve. Here's the other, with Frank
Capra directing Jimmy Stewart in the story of one man's impact on
“Life” shows its age at times –
in black-and-white, with a slow story. Still, it's warm and
Other choices include:
– “A Few Good Men” (1992), 7-10
p.m., Bravo. A great movie night starts here, with Rob Reiner
beautifully directing Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of his own
– “Made in Jersey,” 8 p.m., CBS.
In the TV tradition of New Jersey women, Martina is a big football
fan. Now she uses that to convince a former high school quarterback
to hire her law firm. Meanwhile, an accounting problem delays her
first pay check – which she really needs.
– More movies, 8 p.m., cable. You can
choose between action mega-films – “Inception” (2010) on TNT or
James Cameron's superb “Terminator 2” (1991) on AMC – or go
with dramas. Hallmark debuts “A Bride For Christmas,” with
Arielle Kebbel as someone who keeps almost marrying; Lifetime repeats
“Liz & Dick” (2012), which starts well – with glitz, glamor
and Lindsay Lohan – before fading
– “Criminal Minds,” 9 p.m., CBS.
This is a busy week for Brigid Brannagh, the “Army Wives” star.
On Tuesday, she was the guest villain in the return of “Leverage”;
in this rerun, she plays someone whose daughter disappeared. Exactly
seven years later, she suddenly goes missing.
– “Apollo 13” (1995), 10 p.m to 1
a.m., Bravo. Ron Howard superbly directed this true story of
astronauts almost lost in space. It was nominated for nine Oscars,
including best picture and supporting actors Ed Harris and Kathleen
Quinlan. Tom Hanks stars.
– “Saturday Night Live,11:29, NBC.
Daniel Craig hosts this rerun, with music from Muse.