Sunday, December 12th

Leverage, midseason premiere at 9pm on TNT

– Our favorite crew of thieving do-gooders are back just in time to bring some Christmas cheer. We had to wait the entire fall to see the last three episodes of season 3 and I hear it was worth the wait as we have a HUGE cliffhanger to look forward to in the season finale. When we last left the leverage team, they had enough dirt on Damien Moreau (Goran Visnjic) to go after him and so Nate decided to take that impossible challenge and run with it. In tonight’s Christmas-themed episode, Wil Wheaton reprises his role as manipulating hacker Chaos as the mastermind of a team of evil Santas in a scheme so complex it leaves Nate questioning his abilities. We can also look forward to seeing Parker happily dressed as an elf, and Eliot rocking the big man’s red velvet and white beard. It goes without saying that Eliot is by far the unhappiest Santa since Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa.

Monday, December 13th

Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You, music special from 9 to 10pm on ABC

– From the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, Mariah performing songs from her new holiday album, Merry Christmas II You. Viewers are in for a special treat as Carey sings unforgettable renditions of yuletide classics and original tunes, including her new holiday hit, “Oh, Santa!” She will also be belting out a new rendition of her all-time Christmas Hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from her new album. In the spirit of giving, the program will also feature Carey surprising some very special fans and helping to make their wishes come true.

Wednesday, December 15th

Paris The Luminous Years, special from 9 to 11pm on PBS* (check your local listings)

– Clarification: the city not the ditsy blonde who runs around with drugs in her purse. This special documentary explores a unique moment in Paris from 1905 to 1930, decisive years for our contemporary culture. The film tells the story of Paris as magnet; the catalyst and the transforming force that attracted the finest talents of the era, molding the lives and work of two remarkable generations. It examines the role that Paris played in shaping the arts of the early 20th century, as seen through the achievements of Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Aaron Copland, Ernest Hemingway, Henri Matisse, Vaslav Nijinsky, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and Igor Stravinsky. The draw that the city had for many artists is recalled via archival interviews with Chagall, Cocteau, Copland and Stravinsky, and the recollections of others via their letters and memoirs.

24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, series debut at 10pm on HBO

– On one side stands an outsized and famously raucous star from Russia, and on the other a young but spectacular leader adopted by the Steel City. The rivalry between the Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin and the Pittsburch Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, along with the differing personalities of head coaches Bruce Boudreau and Dan Bylsma, sets the stage for an all-out battle when the two teams meet outdoors on Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field – the culminating moment of this four-part sports series. For the first time, HBO’s hit series 24/7 will follow its subjects through their regular season, capturing all the behind-the-scenes action and drama of a bruising pro schedule.

Friday, December 17th

Christmas In Washington, special from 8 to 9pm on TNT

– TNT is going to ring in the holidays in musical style with its annual presentation of Christmas in Washington. Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, Rob Thomas and Usher are scheduled to join host George Lopez in TNT’s spectacular holiday celebration. Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, this is a holiday musical celebration benefiting the National Children’s Medical Center. The show will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, December 18th

WWE Tribute to the Troops, special from 9 to 10pm on NBC

– No one deserves our thanks more than the brave men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. That’s why Slim Jim and WWE are joining forces to pay Tribute to the Troops in the most patriotic show of the year. The holiday special features Superstars and Divas from both Raw and SmackDown joining celebrity guests such as Diddy-Dirty Money, Cedric the Entertainer, Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter, The View‘s Sherri Shepherd, country sensation Trace Adkins and Miss USA Rima Fakih to honor those who proudly fight in the name of freedom.

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