1) “Annie Live,” 8 p.m., NBC. The surge of live TV musicals has been a mixed blessing. Shows have ranged from great (“Grease,” “Hairspray”) to awful (“Peter Pan,” “Little Mermaid”). Now NBC plays it safe … just as it did in when it started the surge in 2013 with Carrie Underwood in “Sound of Music.” It takes a familiar show, filled with jaunty tunes, and inserts strong singers – Harry Connick (as Warbucks), Nicole Scherzinger and Megan Hilty. Celina Smith (shown here) stars, with Taraji Henson as Hannigan.
2) Christmas specials, 8-11 p.m., ABC. First are two animated reruns – “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” at 8 p.m. and “The Toy Story That Time Forgot” at 8:30; characters from great movies bide their time in OK holiday shows. At 9 p.m., we get this year’s final two hours of “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” Families go to extremes … including (really) a life-size gingerbread house.
3) Movies, cable. While ABC has the extremes of real-life decorations, AMC gives us a fun, fictional version. That’s Chevy Chase’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989), at 8 p.m. on AMC, which follows with “Polar Express” (2004) at 10:15. Earlier, Freeform has “Home Alone” (1990) at 3:10 p.m. and its sequel (1992) at 5:40. But the night’s best film has nothing to do with the holidays; Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are delightful in “American Hustle” (2013), at 7:38 p.m. on Starz.
4) “B Positive,” 9:30 p.m., CBS. This show is full of great characters, most of them human. Not to be overlooked, however, is Cannoli, Gina’s giant white dog; tonight, he’s a big hit at the retirement home she owns. That wraps up a night of new episodes for the excellent CBS comedies … starting with “Young Sheldon” trying to confront the university’s mysterious chancellor.
5) Music honors. The Soul Train Awards aired Sunday, on an overcrowded TV night; you can catch a rerun at 9 p.m. on BET, with performances by Ashanti, Maxwell, Leon Bridges and many more. Also rerunning is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, at 9:40 p.m. on HBO. There will be performances by some of the inductees (Carole King, Foo Fighters, Go-Gos) plus Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Bryan Adams, more. Other inductees include Jay-Z, Tina Turner and Todd Rundgren.