1) “Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire,” 8 p.m., CBS. Amid the cascade of look-alike Christmas cartoons, we need variety. That’s what we get from this drolly clever film and (at 8:30) it sequel, “Legemd of the Lost Tribe.” These were made in England, then redubbed with Americans (plus Hugh Grant as Blitzen) doing the voices. Ben Stiller plays Robbie (shown here), whose dad is Rudolph; his real dad (Jerry Stiller) plays Old Jingle and Trash Bag. Britney Spears is Donner, with Leah Remini as Vixen.
2) “The Story of Santa Claus,” 9 p.m., CBS. Ed Asner has played Santa Claus at least eight times (plus Marley, God and a nutcracker), but this is the show people see most often. It tells how Nicholas Claus – nicknamed Santa by his wife (Betty White) – grew up in an orphanage, learning to make toys. Later, magically transplanted to the North Pole, he met elves who could help him deal with quantity.
3) “Saturday Night Live,” 10 and 11:29 p.m., NBC. Years ago, Justin Bieber was the opening act on a Taylor Swift tour. Now we can catch both, via reruns. First, Swift hosts a 2009 episode; then Bieber is music guest, in a recent episode hosted by Issa Rae.
4) Movies. “Call of the Wild” – Jack London’s Klondike tale of John and his dog Buck – had been made four previous times, but never like this: With a computer-animated Buck, this (like the book) focuses much more on him. Harrison Ford is solid as John, in a fairly good film. That collides with a classic musical (“An American in Paris,” 1951, at 8 p.m. ET on Turner Classic Movies), plus new Chrigtmas movies at 8 p.m. on Hallmark and Lifetime and 10 p.m. on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
5) ALSO: “All-Star Nickmas Spectactular” (9 p.m., Nickelodeon) offers comedy plus music from Ne-Yo, JoJo Siwa and That Girl Lay Lay. And there’s lots of football, led by top-ranked Alabama hosting Auburn (ranked No. 22) at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. In primetime, ABC has Oklahoma (No 14) at West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. ET; at 8, Fox has Arizona at UCLA.