“Childhood's End” and “The Expanse” debuts, 8 and 10 p.m.,
While others stay in
holiday mode, Syfy launches an ambitious burst – a mini-series
(“End,” through Wednesday) and series-openers (“Expanse,”
today and Tuesday and “The Magicians,” Wednesday).
Arthur C. Clarke's 1953 novel, has a compelling start as aliens
assume control of Earth; using a farmer (Mike Vogel) as go-between,
they eradicate poverty and pollution ... while people worry about
what's next. By comparison, “Expanse” sseems, at first, to be
cold, distant and military, locked into space ships and asteroid-belt
despair; stick around, because a richly layered story emerges.
II: “Adele Live in New York City,” 10 p.m., NBC.
with the “Voice” finalists. For two hours, four talented people
will have their last chances to impress us; but just as we start to
vote, we'll hear THE voice.
That's Adele, doing
songs from her new album – already setting records – and her past
hits. Not a live special (despite the title), this focuses on last
month's concert, her first in four years, at the Radio City Music
Hall. It also includes backstage footage.
ALTERNATIVE: “Fargo” finale, 10 p.m., FX.
The best new show of
2015 concludes strongly ... we'll assume. This is the only episode
that wasn't available to reviewers; the previous nine, however, have
been simply brilliant.
Last week brought a
shoot-out between police, the Gerhardt gang from Minnesota and a
Kansas City gang. Most people were killed; a key cop survived only
via the distraction of an apparent spaceship. (We'll have to forgive
such quirks in an otherwise-great show.) But the focal points –
good-hearted Ed and Peggy Blomquist – fled, as did Hanzee Dent, who
had turned on and killed his Gerhardt bosses.
ALTERNATIVE II: “The Trials of Jimmy Rose,” any time,
played by Ray Winstone) is fresh from prison, ready to savor life.
But while he was behind bat – two stints, totaling 24 years – the
world changed. His wife has secrets. His daughter loves him, but his
son resents him. A grandson is happy; a granddaughter faces drugs and
This starts a
strong, British mini-series that will be released over the next three
Monday. Like New Zealand's “Brokenwood Mysteries” (which has a
new movie available today), this has accents that are tough to
pierce. Get past that, however, and you have a sharp character drama
with a slick finish.
8-10 p.m., NBC. The final four singers have their last chance to
gather votes, with Blake Shelton and Adam Levine on top, as usual.
Shelton has Barrett Baber and Emily Ann Roberts, Levin has Jordan
Smith. Gwen Stefani has Jefferey Austin; Pharrell Williams has no
Fashion Show,” 8 p.m., CW. Here's a quick rerun of CBS' special, in
case you missed some of the nuance the first time.
p.m., CBS. Kara and her Aunt Astra (Laura Benanti) have very
different views of Kara's mother. Also, Cat (Calista Flockhart) could
be ousted from her own company.
“Just in Time for
Christmas” (2015), 8-10 p.m., Hallmark. This starts with a
way-too-familiar tale of alternate paths. It then added a likable
star (Eloise Mumford) and the usual “Hall of Fame” quality.
“Jane the Virgin,”
9 p.m., CW. It's the baby's first Christmas and his parents have
different views of the holiday. Also, Jane has trouble with her
scholarship; her dad, the telenovela star, distrusts his intern.
p.m., CBS. On Christmas Eve, a fierce rain could break a dam and
destroy a town.
Angeles,” 9:59 p.m., CBS. Dark deeds and bright decor combine,
after a suspected spy is killed by a truck carrying Christmas trees.