TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” 8
Back in 1933, the Rockefeller Center celebrated its first
Christmas with a giant tree. Now, 80 years later, the tree-lighting (once
confined to “The Howdy Doody Show”) has become a primetime spectacle.
The “Today” crew hosts, introducing top female voices –
Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Jewel and Ariana
Grande – plus the Goo Goo Dolls and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Mob City” debut, 9 and 10 p.m., TNT.
Back in 1947, we’re told, Los Angeles had all the elements –
crime, corruption and potential. It had new money and new mobsters, taking over
this city and Las Vegas; it was ripe for “film noir” stories.
Now that’s being re-created by writer-director Frank
Darabont, in the same form he did with “The Walking Dead” -- a six-hour mini-series
that could lead to more. Skillfully crafted, with jazzy music and a stylish
look, this introduces one honest cop (Neal McDonough) and lots of real-life
crooks, led by Bugsy Siegel (Ed Burns) and Mickey Cohen. Somewhere in between
is Teague (Jon Berenthal), a cop and former war hero, on the precarious edge
between good and evil.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Arrow,” 8 p.m., CW.
Amid all its stone-faced, macho types, “Arrow” has the
welcome addition of Barry Allen.
Comic-book buffs know he’ll someday be Flash, but that’s
later. For now, he’s a lab guy, the perfect counterpoint to Felicity, our hero’s
brainy assistant. They have a lot to worry about, with steep-powered villains
banging down doors; don’t expect closure tonight, but this promises good things
Other choices include:
“The X Factor,” 8-10 p.m., Fox. Last week, Josh Levi and
Lillie McCloud were sent home, leaving only one act apiece for Paulina Rubio
(boys) and Kelly Rowland (over age-25). Simon Cowell still has two groups; Demi
Lovato still has two girls … after young Rion Paige survived the sing-off
against Levi. Tonight, the six acts sing opposite songs – one from a diva and
one in a stripped-down version.
“Saturday Night Live Christmas,” 9-11 p.m., NBC. Just a week
after giving us its Thanksgiving special, “SNL” does the same with Christmas,
again assembling four decades of holiday sketches.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. Cam obsesses on coaching,
showing the other team no mercy. Meanwhile, Claire struggles with being the
boss’ daughter and Phil tries to teach about optimism.
“Killer Contact,” 10 p.m., Syfy. If you happen to believe in
these things – little meters indicating that ghosts are offering accurate
answers – then this reality show offers a huge breakthrough in the Jack the
Ripper case. If not, it’s a lot of nonsense, albeit neatly packaged in old
“Kirstie,” 10 p.m., TV Land. This cable network likes doing
traditional-style situation comedies with familiar stars. This one has Kirstie
Alley of “Cheers” (as a Broadway star suddenly meeting the grown son she put up
for adoption), with Michael Richards of “Seinfeld” in support.
“Best Ink,” 10 p.m., Oxygen. The third season starts for
this tattoo competition, hosted by Pete Wentz.