1) “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” 8 p.m., ABC. Amid the sameness of Christmas specials, a few stand out. One is the “Grinch” cartoon, which has its next airing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on TNT; another is “Charlie Brown” (shown here), an eternal pleasure. Yes, it’s sometimes funny and often fun; the theme song makes us smile, Snoopy’s dance makes us laugh. But it also has soul, Scripture and anti-commercialism … which isn’t easy when surrounded by commercials.
2) “Same Time, Next Christmas,” 9-11 p.m., ABC. Nothing says Christmas like island sunshine, right? As soon as the cartoons finish (with “Charlie Brown Christmas Tales” rounding out the hour), this movie debuts. Lea Michele (“Glee”) plays someone who met her childhood sweetheart during her family’s annual Hawaiian vacation. Years later, they meet again, but circumstances intrude.
3) “Project Runway” opener, 9:30-11 p.m., Bravo. First, we see last season’s final three episodes, at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. Then new contestants arrive … and are virtually ambushed. At the airport, these people (all strangers) are told to pair up and design something reflecting space exploration.
4) “A Saturday Night Live Christmas Special,” 8-10:01 p.m., NBC. Once a year, NBC assembles some of its holiday sketches. It has 45 years to choose from – everything from Steve Martin’s “Christmas Wish” and Debbie Downer to Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah humor.
5) “Making It,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. Christmas isn’t the only holiday, you know. Tonight, craftsfolks are told to make a wreath and a lawn demonstration reflecting any holiday. We soon get bits of Halloween, Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, even Chinese New Year and an Easter/Passover blend. It’s a fun episode, with one quirk: We love the hosts (Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman), but increasingly dislike the two judges, particularly after tonight’s ouster.