1) “MacGyver,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “Blue Bloods” season-openers, 8-11 p.m. Friday, CBS. In one sudden swoop, we get an entire night of adventure hours. That starts with Mac (shown here) and his team infiltrating a glamorous hotel; they must find someone with key information … but she has a new identity and a new face. Then Magnum’s new case leads to Higgins being shot and TC being abducted. And on “Blue Bloods,” Frank (Tom Selleck) and the City Council speaker (Whoopi Goldberg) clash over protests.
2) “SEAL Team” season-opener, 9 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. Here’s another key opener for CBS; by the end of the week, the network will only be missing two shows, “Evil” and the “Equalizer” reboot. “SEAL” opens with a two-parter: The team is in the mountains, trying to capture Al-Hazred, a terrorist leader. Soon, Jason (David Boreanaz) and Cerberus, the team’s dog, are separated from the rest. Then the search for Al-Hazred takes the team through some treacherous tunnels that are booby-trapped.
3) “CMA Country Christmas,” 9-10 p.m. today, ABC. Most years, this is two hours in front of a noisy audience. This time, however, it aims for the at-home feel of traditional holiday specials. Thomas Rhett hosts with his wife Lauren and their three daughters – the family he sings so warmly about in “Life Changes.” They’ll be joined by Tim McGraw, Kelsea Ballerini, and Gabby Barrett, plus Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line and Darius Rucker with Lindsey Stirling.
4) “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, NBC. The center’s first tree, back in 1931, was a 20-footer, decorated by handmade garlands. The current one is 75 feet high and 45 feet wide, with 50,000 lights. There will be no crowd this year, but there will be music – Dolly Parton with Jimmy Fallon, Kelly Clarkson with Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor with Earth, Wind & Fire, plus Gwen Stefani, Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Dan + Shay, Goo Goo Dolls and the Rockettes.
5) Diva specials, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. In a four-day stretch, three of the top female stars have holiday specials – two via streaming, one on CBS. Thursday has Carrie Underwood (any time, HBO Max); she’ll include a duet with John Legend and “Little Drummer Boy” with her 5-year-old son. Friday is Mariah Carey (any time, Apple TV+), with Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and dancer Misty Copeland. Sunday (8:30 p.m., CBS, but 8 p.m. PT) has Dolly Parton’s songs and stories, in “A Holly Dolly Christmas.”
6) “Next,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. As his mind crumbles from a degenerative disease (leading to hallucinations), LeBlanc races to stop the computer program that he created, then tried to scuttle. He doesn’t realize that his brother is the one who revived it. In a strong hour, LeBlanc and his daughter are bunkered and Shea (a cop) tries to rescue her son. Afterward, catch “Transplant” at 10 p.m. on NBC. A fairly good hour concludes with Dr. Hamed detailing the Syrian events that sometimes consume him.
7) “The Unicorn,” 9:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS. This starts gently, with Forrest handing out small presents at a party. But he gives a water gun to Ben’s son, leading to a warning: For a Black boy, even a toy gun can bring trouble. What follows is a layered look at the subtle effects race can have, amid suburban comfort. It’s flawed by the fact that Forrest is often a one-dimensional oaf. Still, it’s well-intentioned and wraps up a terrific CBS comedy block that has “Young Sheldon,” “B Positive” and “Mom.”
8) “Baby Chimp Rescue,” 5 and 10:15 p.m. PT Saturday, BBC America. Five years ago, Jim and Jenny Desmond moved to Liberia, to aid an island project for chimpanzees retired from medical research. It was their ninth African country, but this was different: Soon, they were asked to care for two baby chimps orphaned by hunters. More followed. As this begins, they have 19 chimps and are searching for a new home. Despite hints of tragedy, this is fun and funny, with good-spirited people and chimps.
9) “Christmas Ever After,” 8 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime. Ali Stroker keeps beating barriers. Paralyzed from the chest down at 2 (by a car accident), she went on to star in school musicals, graduate from New York University’s prestigious drama school and win a Tony last year in “Oklahoma.” Now she plays a novelist who faces writer’s block … until she meets a guy who’s like her main character. The film even found a pandemic-proof way to kiss: Plexiglass separated the lips, then was deleted via special effects.
10) ALSO: There are a lot more Christmas movies, plus specials. ABC’s “Disney Holiday Singalong” is 8 p.m. today … CBS has “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at 8 p.m. Tuesday … NBC has “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” at 10 p.m. Wednesday and a “Voice Holiday Special” at 8 p.m. Thursday. CW views past highlights of “Jingle Ball” (8 p.m. Thursday) and “Hollywood Christmas Parade” (8 p.m. Friday). Beyond that, Showtime debuts Bryan Cranston’s “Your Honor” series, at 10 p.m. Sunday.