What To Watch: TV Picks For December 19-25 (Christmas Edition)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19
"Terra Nova" (8 p.m. ET, Fox) two-hour season finale
Thanks to eroding ratings and tepid critical reception, it's possible that this season finale will turn out to be a series finale when renewals are announced in May -- so if you're still watching, savor the dino-goodness while you can. The 11th Pilgrimage arrives in Terra Nova and the mysterious Phoenix Group in 2149 makes its move to pillage the past with the help of Lucas and Mira. Meanwhile, Jim and Taylor team up in a last stand against the Phoenix Group, a colonist makes the ultimate sacrifice and a decision is made that will change life in Terra Nova forever.
"Who's Still Standing?" (8 p.m. ET, NBC) series premiere
Jared Young, a volleyball coach from Conway, Arkansas, tests his knowledge against 10 opponents in a head-to-head trivia battle. If Young defeats five of the contestants, then he has the opportunity to walk away with the amount he has won up until this point -- or press his luck and try for the $1 million grand prize. However, one wrong answer from Young or one of his competitors and they will be dropped through the floor and eliminated. Yes, you should take the title "Who's Still Standing?" literally. Ben Bailey of "Cash Cab" hosts.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20
"Mystery Movie Night: Deck the Halls" (8 p.m. ET, TNT) original telefilm
Based on the first book in Mary and Carol Higgins Clark's series of holiday mystery novels, this warm-hearted story brings together two of the authors' most popular characters. Cleaning-woman-turned-private-eye Alvirah Meegan (Kathy Najimy) and Detective Regan Reilly (Scottie Thompson) investigate the kidnapping of Regan's father and a young female driver just before the holidays. The race is on to rescue the pair and get them home in time for Christmas.
"Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas" (10 p.m. ET, BBC America) special presentation
This festive double-bill features Chef Ramsay and family as they demonstrate how to prepare some of their favorite Christmas recipes, including turkey, roasted chili and tumeric potatoes, and chocolate mint truffles for dessert -- as well as alternatives like roast ham and Beef Wellington.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21
"This is Justin Bieber" (9 p.m. ET, TLC) one-hour special presentation
Give the teenage girl in your life all she really wants for Christmas -- a special that takes viewers "beyond the music and past the hype with an intimate look into the inner workings of Justin Bieber's world." Featuring acoustic performances from Bieber's holiday album, the show follows the teen pop idol on a private tour of London, performing on "The X Factor" in the U.K. and collaborating with British rapper Tinie Tempah.
"American Horror Story" (10 p.m. ET, FX) season finale
If the Bieber special puts you in a bloodthirsty mood, there's the 90-minute culmination of Ryan Murphy's twisted horror series to sate your craving, as Constance schemes to raise Tate's baby as her own.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22
"The League" (10 p.m. ET, FX) one-hour season finale
On the season finale, the race is on for the Shiva and the Sacko. Taco teams up with Chicago Bears' running back Matt Forte and one of the guys is unable to manage his own team for the big game, leaving The League to figure out who will run it for him.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
"Chuck" (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
We're a little disappointed that NBC is choosing to bury brand new "Chuck" amid a slew of reruns where no one will bother to look for it, but for those of you who have time for TV on Christmas Eve's eve, this holiday episode should prove to be a delight. Chuck and Sarah discover who's behind the plot to destroy Carmichael Industries. Meanwhile, Ellie's plans for a perfect Christmas begin to come apart. At the Buy More, Morgan and the gang must fend off angry customers as a computer virus threatens to ruin Christmas.
"The Take" (9 p.m. ET, Encore) series finale
Tom Hardy's gritty British drama series comes to a climactic close. Jimmy has grown from a young naive boy to become a hardened and powerful man, who knows what he needs to do to become the boss. Meanwhile, Jackie and Maggie share a secret they plan to keep from everyone.
"Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse" (10:30 p.m. ET, TBS) season finale
Angela and Marcus must explain their marital issues to their son, and the two are forced to resolve their differences.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24
"Doctor Who: Best of the Christmas Specials" (8 p.m. ET, BBC America) special presentation
Celebrities and "Who" fans weigh in on the best Christmas specials and magical moments from the cult series' long and storied history.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25
"The Yule Log" (On Demand)
There are few things that set the Christmas mood faster than watching "The Yule Log," the classic two-hour loop of a crackling fire accompanied by Christmas music. It's available On Demand until Jan. 2, and in a new development, you can now watch on all of your mobile devices. There's just something that just feels right about relaxing in front of a fire during the holidays ... even if it's on your iPad.
"Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe" (9 p.m. ET, BBC America) 80-minute special presentation
It's Christmas Eve, 1938 when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home on this year's "Doctor Who" Christmas Special. He promises to repay her kindness -- all she has to do is make a wish. Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief after a personal loss, but she's determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever. The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible, and that wishes can come true ...
"Leverage" (9 p.m. ET, TNT)
The team is on the hunt for a philanthropist's missing wife, but in the process, they encounter a dedicated crime ring that's running sweetheart scams.