Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 20. All times are Eastern.
Unsupervised (FX, 11:30 p.m.): TV reaches “clearance sale” status well before the stores every holiday season, and tonight finds multiple cable outlets (and a few broadcast networks) making sure their shelves are prepared for the new 2013 shipments come the second week of January. Sadly, that means saying one final farewell to Unsupervised, the crude little cartoon that, in spite of powerful lead-ins from Archer and The League, never found an audience on FX. Help send Gary, Joel, and Brandon Nowalk into 2013 on an up note by giving a look to the show’s series finale.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. However, the actions of the police who investigate the crimes and district attorneys who prosecute the offenders have no bearing on the kangaroo-court scenario playing out in this It’s Always Sunny season closer. Emily Guendelsberger still wants the Law & Order “doink doink” to play some part of the proceedings, though.
Burn Notice (USA, 10 p.m.): This is likely to be The A.V. Club’s final weekly review of the show—in other words, tonight Scott Von Doviak will issue a burn notice for Burn Notice. Six years in and we’re still unsure of what a burn notice actually entails.
The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Season four wraps up with an hour-long drive through Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a holiday-season sprint to the end of season four—one which still has room for Jeff Goldblum, because as Margaret Eby reminds us, Jeff Goldblum, uh, finds a way.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Jaaaaaaaaaake Siskooooooooooo. This morning you will be visited by three spiriiiiiiiiiits. They’ll all be your father, and they’re not really spiriiiiiiiiiits—it’s all a temporal incident Zack Handlen is trying to wrap his head around. But that’s still good for one final Dickens reference for the year, riiiiiiiiiiiight?
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): On a night when a Fox-owned property comes to an undignified end, another reaches its merciful conclusion. The X Factor crowns a champ and clears the deck for American Idol, while L.A. Reid jumps off the self-destructing show declaring “I’m getting too old for this shit!”
A White House Christmas: First Families Remember (NBC, 8 p.m.): Meredith Vierra looks back at 50 years of holiday celebrations at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Among the special’s revelations: Turns out the 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes featured Tricky Dick accidentally telling a group of children the truth about Santa Claus.
Project Runway Spotlight: Marchesa (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): Nominally tied to Georgina Chapman’s tenure as a Project Runway All Stars judge, Lifetime presents this Canadian documentary on the label Chapman built alongside Keren Craig—chopped and altered fit to the dimensions of a post-All Stars timeslot, of course.
Jersey Shore (MTV, 10 p.m.): The end of 2012 also brings the end of Jersey Shore, as the reality stars whose rise to fame was supposed to spell the end of Western Civilization finish their campaign unsuccessfully, with only millions of dollars and pickled livers to show for their efforts.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney Channel, 9 p.m.): Henry Selick and Tim Burton present the most versatile holiday film of the 1990s, a movie whose Gothic overtones and initial setting make it fit for Halloween screenings, while its conclusion and stop-motion animation blend perfectly with Christmastime fare.
Project Nim (HBO, 9 p.m.): In case the past month (and, really, the entirety of the whole last year) didn’t give you reason enough to bawl your eyes out, HBO’s making a big to-do about its special presentation of this 2011 documentary. Director James Marsh looks at a controversial study of the language capacity in chimpanzees, and alternately wonderful and harrowing observations about human nature ensue.
Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. San Diego State (ESPN, 8 p.m.): The Cougars and the Aztecs meet in the third game of the 2012 bowl season—more formally known as the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, because when you think “poinsettias,” the mind immediately turns to depositing those seasonal flowers at a regional credit union.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Sopranos: Todd VanDerWerff’s coverage of the HBO mob epic reaches its own, mysterious blank screen. “Don’t stop” sings Steven Perry, to which Todd responds, “No, I think I’d like to—and I’d rather not have to elaborate on my theories about the end of The Sopranos for another year or so.”