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Published: Monday, 12/24/2012

Holiday classics, reality TV among highlights

BY CHUCK BARNEY
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

DON’T MISS: Doctor Who: The Snowmen” — Whovians, rejoice. In a week largely devoid of fresh programming, the popular British sci-fi series serves up its latest holiday special. It’s set in 1892, when a chilling menace is threatening the world. A young governess (Jenna-Louise Coleman) calls on the Doctor (Matt Smith) for help. But our Time Lord is reclusive and determined not to get involved. Will he really abandon humankind? Or will he fight to save the world — and Christmas — from the icy clutches of evil snowmen that feed on human fear? 9 p.m. Tuesday, BBC America.

OTHER BETS:

TODAY: The recent admission by Julie Andrews that her beautiful, four-octave singing voice isn’t coming back makes us appreciate The Sound of Music even more. The Oscar-winning classic returns for its annual holiday airing. 7 p.m., ABC.

MONDAY: Yes, we’ve seen It’s a Wonderful Life about a thousand times. But it never hurts to make another trip to Bedford Falls to watch George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) learn lessons about family, faith, and friendship from a crusty old angel named Clarence (Henry Travers). 8 p.m., NBC.

MONDAY: So you really, really love A Christmas Story? We double-dog dare you to watch the 1983 film over and over during its traditional 24-hour marathon. 8 p.m., TBS.

TUESDAY: Mickey Mouse and his pals are among the featured attractions of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Shot in California and Florida, the holiday special includes performances by Lady Antebellum, Backstreet Boys, Colbie Caillat, Phillip Phillips, and others. 9 a.m., ABC.

TUESDAY: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas gets another airing tonight and if you’re not a big fan by now, you probably have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile. 8 p.m., ABC.

WEDNESDAY: The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors turns the spotlight on a fresh set of arts-and-and-entertainment standouts. On this year’s roster are musician Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, funny man David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, and members of the rock group Led Zeppelin. Caroline Kennedy hosts. 9 p.m., CBS.

THURSDAY: The clever title of the latest Project Runway episode is There’s No Business Like Sew Business. It challenges the five finalists to create high-fashion attire on a retail budget. 9 p.m., Lifetime.

FRIDAY: Teen Trouble is an uplifting new reality series in which San Jose-based behavioral specialist and motivational speaker Josh Shipp attempts to help families with out-of-control youngsters. His strategy? Deploy a little tough love while giving them a glimpse of how great life can be if they make some changes. 10 p.m., Lifetime.

SATURDAY: Oh, if only all our wars could be Food Court Wars. This new series has aspiring restaurateurs competing to win a year’s free rent in a food court space. Round 1 goes down at the Madison Square Mall in Huntsville, Ala. 10 p.m., Food Network.

James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's 1946 classic, "It's A Wonderful Life." It airs at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC. James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's 1946 classic, "It's A Wonderful Life." It airs at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC.
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Julie Andrews stars in the 1965 classic 'The Sound of Music.' Julie Andrews stars in the 1965 classic 'The Sound of Music.'
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