Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, Dec. 22. All times are Eastern.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (11 a.m.): We were going to say some crazy stuff about how long Zack Handlen’s been at his coverage of this series, but then we looked it up, and it was only since last April that he was covering it. Last April! That’s not all that long after all. But in that time, he’s seen things, man. Terrible things. Wonderful things. Incredible, splendiferous things. And he’s cultivated one of the most faithful, comment-happy readerships on the site, too. Read about the series finale; stay tuned for an announcement about what he’s doing next.
The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): Someone will win the big cash prize, and Emily Yoshida will get her Wednesdays and Thursdays back, as Simon Cowell’s big experiment in getting us all to watch another singing show comes to a whimpering end.
Beavis And Butt-Head (MTV, 10 p.m.): Beavis and Butt-Head know how lonely the holidays can be, which is why the final two episodes of the season air tonight and next week. It’s all right. It’s not like Kenny Herzog was gonna do anything else, guys.
The League (FX, 10 p.m.): The awarding of the Shiva draws near, as the season’s final two episodes air in a one-hour finale. Also appearing is Chicago running back Matt Forte. Margaret Eby hopes his time onscreen takes care of that knee injury.
Prime Suspect (NBC, 10 p.m.): NBC’s got two more episodes of this one to burn off, one tonight and one Jan. 5. Hayden Childs thanks them for not making him work next week, when he’ll be reveling and making merry, as the saying would have it.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): Jerry goes back to Florida in a loose sequel to “The Cadillac” that nicely exemplifies the differences between the show’s Larry David days and its post-Larry David days. Expect David Sims to expound upon that fact at some length.
Cheers (3 p.m.): A couple of fascinating and formless episodes present our reviewing crew with some attempts to theorize about what makes Cheers work, and Noel Murray offers the greatest possible theory on Cliff Clavin ever written.
TV CLUB ADVENT CALENDAR
Christmas on MTV (Wednesday): Meredith Blake remembers a time when MTV would set aside its relentless attempts to chase the current and air the same videos it aired every year on Christmas Day, complete with the four Christmas video types.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Christmas At Belmont (PBS, 8 p.m.): Laura Bell Bundy, star of stage and… sort of… screen, heads to Nashville for a concert that includes the Nashville Children’s Choir. Naturally enough, they’ll be singing lots of patriotic songs to celebrate Halloween.
Invasion Of The Christmas Lights 2/Extreme Christmas Trees (TLC, 9 p.m.): It’s not worth decorating for the holidays if you can’t get your obnoxious display featured on a cable channel somehow, as these two specials will hopefully prove.
The Woodmans (PBS, 10 p.m.): Photographer Francesca Woodman took her own life at the age of 22 in 1981. This new documentary explores her influence and her legacy, talking to her family to find out more about her and charting her work.
Billy On The Street (Fuse, 11 p.m.): We’ll be reviewing the first two episodes of this new series, based on the Funny or Die videos, in which a man named Billy accosts people on the street and asks them questions. It’s funnier than it sounds.
A League Of Their Own (AMC, 8 p.m.): Our wife is always quoting this movie, then expecting us to be just as excited by it as her. Look, wife. We can appreciate that this is a fun little movie without having watched it 500 times at the age of 14, okay?
The Thin Man/After The Thin Man (TCM, 8 p.m.): Something about these William Powell/Myrna Loy fast-talkin’ mysteries just makes us feel all jolly and festive inside, so it’s probably the best possible choice you could make to watch ‘em tonight.
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State at Arizona State (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Despite going 11-1, Boise State couldn’t get the BCS to call it back, so it’s heading to this game in the junior league bowl series. In case you hadn’t guessed, the game is played in Reno.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist (Wednesday): It’s your last chance for more John Teti snark until… well, until Project Runway comes back in a couple of weeks, which just seems early to us, but don’t mind what we think about TV scheduling.