New programming tends to taper off during December as folks get busier with holiday parties and such, but there are still some specials and other events the networks would like you to consider, and I couldn’t resist mentioning a couple of Christmas classics.
Monday, December 9
Something for Everyone?
Devotees of musical theater will want to catch Six by Sondheim (9-10:30 pm, HBO), which looks at the stories behind the creation of half a dozen of this Broadway legend’s songs. At the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of quality and prestige is The Great Christmas Light Fight (9-10, ABC), which I believe needs no further explanation. Somewhere in the middle lies this year’s edition of The Sing-Off, which kicks off from 9-11 pm on NBC.
(P.S. Last week I accidentally overlooked the premiere of Rick and Morty, the new animated series from Community creator Dan Harmon. New episodes air on Mondays from 10:30-11 pm on Adult Swim.)
Tuesday, December 10
10 pm Multiple Choice
Tonight’s options: the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS (note that I’m not endorsing watching this, just making you aware that it’s on); the season 6 finale of Sons of Anarchy (until midnight, FX), in which there will undoubtedly be some shocking deaths; and a repeat of Sarah Silverman’s new comedy special We Are Miracles on HBO.
Wednesday, December 11
Extreme by Design (10-11 pm, PBS)
Design students at Stanford University work on products meant to improve the lives of people in developing countries.
Thursday, December 12
Basquiat (8-10 pm, Flix)
Painter Julian Schnabel wrote and directed this biopic about fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who in the space of a few years went from graffiti artist to protege of Andy Warhol. Cast includes Jeffrey Wright, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, and David Bowie as Warhol.
Friday, December 13
Mystery Men (7:30-10 pm, IFC)
I know this movie tanked in its initial theatrical release, but give it a chance (a lot of what happens at the box office has to do with marketing, which isn’t infallible). A misfit group of superhero wannabes ends up having to save their city for real, starring Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeanne Garofalo, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, and Paul Reubens.
Saturday, December 14
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8-9 pm, CBS)
How could I not mention it? The story of the little reindeer that could is told through stop-motion animation and has become a true Christmas classic. (The lesser but still watchable Frosty the Snowman follows at 9. Also tonight: for those of you who can’t resist, It’s a Wonderful Life gets its annual airing on NBC from 8-11 pm.
Sunday, December 15
Fox Sunday Animation Domination (8-10 pm, Fox)
There are Christmas-themed episodes across the whole block tonight (American Dad! at 9:30 twists the idea by telling the Krampus legend via flashback).
King of New York (1990)
This isn’t a great movie, but it has a compelling performance from Christopher Walken as Frank White, a drug dealer who has just been released from a long stint in prison and is trying to regain his stature in the city’s underworld. Directed by Abel Ferrara and also starring David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, Steve Buscemi, and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring from Breaking Bad).
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)