“The Wiz,” 8-11 p.m., NBC.
Let's credit NBC for
the boldly trying a live musical annually. The first, “Sound of
Music,” was good; the second, “Peter Pan,” wasn't. Now we get
this soulful variation of “The Wizard of Oz.”
The 1976 movie drew
criticism for casting Dianna Ross, then 32, as teen Dorothy; this
version has newcomer Shanice Williams, 19. She's joined by Ne-Yo as
Tin Man, David Alan Grier as Cowardly Lion and Elijah Kelley as
Scarecrow (the Michael Jackson role in the movie). Queen Latifah is
the Wiz, with Common as her gatekeeper and Mary J. Blige as Evilene,
the wicked witch.
II: “CMA Country Christmas,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.
On a night of music
overload, this concert collides with NBC's “Wiz.”
hosts and performs, with lots of other country people – Martina
McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Charles Kelley (of Lady Antebellum), David
Nail, Dan + Shay and newcomers Mickey Guyton and Kelsea Ballerini.
But there are also plenty of crossover stars – Darius Rucker,
Jewel, Pentatonix, Brian Setzer, Lindsey Stirling and Michael W.
ALTERNATIVE: Animation, 8 p.m., ABC and FX.
ABC reruns two
popular tales. “Toy Story that Time Forgot” (8 p.m.) has our
heroes visit a home where scary toys take their roles too seriously;
“Shrek the Halls” (8:30) has Shrek perplexed by a holiday.
The first is pretty
good, the second is so-so ... but we prefer the splendid “Rio”
(2011), at 8 and 10 p.m. on FX. A tropical pet in Minnesota is told
he may have a mate in Rio de Janeiro. From there, the film explodes
with vibrant colors, music and humor.
“The Santa Clause”
(1994), 6 p.m., ABC Family. This clever Tim Allen movie shows up a
lot each December. It's followed by Vince Vaughn's moderately funny
“Fred Claus” (2007) at 8:15.
(2006), 6:45-9 p.m., HBO. On a big night for Broadway musicals, we
get this strong movie version. It drew eight Oscar nominations, with
wins for Jennifer Hudson and the sound-mixing.
“Bones,” 8 and 9
p.m., Fox. We're used to seeing Phyllis Logan as the head housekeeper
in “Downton Abbey,” where the servants are treated with respect.
Now she's in a rerun episode centering on the murder of an immigrant
maid. The second rerun has Booth risking a return of his gambling
Junior,” 8 and 9 p.m., Lifetime. Last week's opener (rerunning at 7
p.m.) introduced designers ages 13-17. In tonight's first challenge,
they use items found in a car wash; in the second, they split into
teams to prepare a mini-collection. These repeat (in reverse order)
at 10:02 and 11:02.
Football, 8:30 p.m.
ET CBS, with pre-game at 7:30. For the second straight Thursday, the
Lions and Packers get national attention. On Thanksgiving, the Lions
won their third straight; they're at home again, with a 4-7 record;
the Packers lost their fourth game in the last five, but are still
7-4. The game wipes out tonight's “Big Bang Theory,” but reruns
are from 8-10 p.m. on TBS.
9 p.m., CW. Desperate to save Cami, Klaus follows devious clues
planted by Aurora.
“Top Chef,” 10
p.m., Bravo. The season opened Wednesday, packing three challenges
into a busy hour. That reruns at 9 p.m., preceded by other reruns
starting at 6 a.m. Then the surviving 16 chefs split into four teams;
each must create a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles.