From a comic Christmas in Springfield to heartwarming holiday classics, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Crazy, Stupid, Love – Saturday, December 14, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m., Slice
SliceDumped after two decades of marriage, a middle-aged sadsack (Steve Carell) makes friends with a young lothario (Ryan Gosling), who schools him in the art of picking up women. Meanwhile, his wife (Julianne Moore) and kids have their own struggles with crazy, stupid love.
2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Saturday, December 14, 8 p.m., CBS
CBSChristmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a fly-by from the ruby-nosed, golden-hearted outcast who outshines Donner, Blitzen, Comet et al. one stormy Christmas Eve to guide Santa’s sleigh through the sleet and hail, to the rooftops of all the good girls and boys.
3. Watchmen – Sunday, December 15, 8 p.m. & 1:10 a.m., HBO Canada | Season Finale
HBO CanadaThere has been no new series this year more intriguing than Watchmen, not so much an adaptation of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel but an extension of it. As the first season concludes, answers have slowly spilled out, about everything from the bizarre plight of Adrian Veidt (thanks to a brilliantly bonkers portrayal by Jeremy Irons) to Angela’s (Regina King) hidden heritage to the shocking secret agenda of the Seventh Kavalry to why it occasionally rains squid. For those who’ve been watching the story unfold, it will be a long wait for the second season to arrive next year—but it’s a safe bet it will be worth it.
4. The Simpsons – Sunday, December 15, 8 p.m., City & Fox
CityConfirming that Springfield Mall really doesn’t vet its employees, Sideshow Bob (guest voice Kelsey Grammer) lands a job as Santa. Meanwhile, someone is stealing packages from porches. Scott Bakula and ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also guest star.
5. Disney’s A Christmas Carol – Monday, December 16, 7 p.m. & 9 p.m., YTV
YTVJim Carrey plays Scrooge and all three of the Ghosts that come to visit him, in director Robert Zemeckis’s 2009 motion-capture experiment. Also lending their voices/faces: Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, Colin Firth and the late Bob Hoskins.
6. Holidays With the Houghs – Monday, December 16, 10:01 p.m., NBC
NBCJulianne Hough may have recently parted ways with America’s Got Talent, but NBC still seems very much into the dancer-turned-actress-turned-reality-show-judge. Why else would they commission a special with Hough and her almost-as-famous brother Derek?
The twinkle-toed siblings recently joined forces to tape a star-packed holiday special. The festivities were held in front of a live studio audience at Universal Studios, where comedy sketches, musical performances and surprise guest stars made for a very merry Christmas. Considering both hosts got their start on Dancing With the Stars, we’re also expecting at least one show-stopping samba, foxtrot or tango.
7. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Tuesday, December 17, 8 p.m., ABC
ABCDepressed by the commercialization of the holiday season, Charlie Brown, with a little help from Linus, embarks on a quest to suss out the true meaning of Christmas, even as the rest of the Peanuts only seem to care about toys and decorations.
8. Empire – Tuesday, December 16, 9 p.m., Fox
FoxThe holidays can be tough for breakups, so it’s no surprise Lucious refuses to accept that his relationship with Cookie is over in this winter finale. Meanwhile, Andre’s lies finally catch up to him, Melody gets a helpful leg up at the ASAs and an emotional confrontation ends with “a bang.”
9. Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times – Wednesday, December 18, 8 p.m., ABC
ABCA few months back, Jimmy Kimmel teamed up with TV legend Norman Lear for Live in Front of a Studio Audience, a star-studded live special recreating an episode of All in the Family and an episode of The Jeffersons.
With a cast including Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei as Archie and Edith Bunker and Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes as the Jeffersons, this was nostalgia done right. And now they’re doing it again, with another episode of All in the Family partnered this time with Good Times.
So far, ABC has kept the casting under wraps, not even confirming if Harrelson and Tomei will reprise their roles as the Bunkers, let alone who’ll be playing the members of Good Times’ Evans family.
10. The Witcher – Friday, December 20, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixHas there ever been a greater time in television for fantasy lovers? This week’s debut of The Witcher looks to up the ante even further. The eight-part series is based on a stack of short stories and novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, and it’s been the talk of critics and fans alike for months now. The property has taken on several forms over the years—movies, TV shows and, most notably, a wildly popular series of video games. This Netflix version stars a silver-wigged Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a.k.a. The Witcher, a travelling monster-slayer for hire, one who has been training since he was a wee lad to slice and dice all the scary things.