Let the Christmas specials, holiday favorites begin


By Kevin McDonough

Dedicated to the proposition that every town harbors lurid stories of depraved killers, the ID Network launches a new series that may inspire fear. Or flossing. Or both.

"Deadly Dentists" (10 p.m., TV-14) offers tales of tooth-pullers and cavity-fillers with malicious motives, shady pasts and rotten habits. Think about it: Who else has access to deadly narcotics, is trained in the dark art of sedation and has carte blanch to jam sharp and blunt instruments down the throats of perfect strangers?

The first episode recalls the sudden murder of a small-town dentist. At first suspicion falls on his wife, known to be holding out for a more lucrative divorce settlement. But a glance at the deceased's hidden past reveals much rotten just below the gum line!

• With Thanksgiving over, Christmas specials and holiday favorites explode like springs from some thrift store couch. Gone are the days when Hallmark alone owned the Christmas franchise. For some, it's nothing but mistletoe for the next four weeks.

Airing between traditional favorites, the brand-new 2017 special "DreamWorks Trolls Holiday" (8:30 p.m., NBC) includes original songs of the contemporary Broadway variety and a CGI take on the long-haired plastic playthings.

"Trolls" features a vivid color scheme that includes a shade of pink normally associated with antacids. While only brief snippets have been made available for review, they seemed instantly forgettable and utterly annoying to this admittedly crabby reviewer.

"Grammys Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special" (9 p.m., CBS) glances back at six decades of Grammy performances, surprises, tributes and memorable moments from artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and others.

Expect interviews and insights from Grammy winners and contenders including Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Bruno Mars, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, U2, and Keith Urban.

• Streaming today on Netflix, "Cuba and the Cameraman" presents the work of Emmy-winning documentarian Jon Alpert ("Baghdad ER"), who has spent decades shooting inside the blockaded Communist country.

Since 1972, Alpert has amassed more than 1,000 hours of footage. Alpert had unfettered access to Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro called him "The Journalist."


• The voice of Fred Astaire animates the 1970 special "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-G).

• Jimmy Durante narrates the 1969 cartoon "Frosty The Snowman" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-G). The voices of John Goodman and Jonathan Winters are featured in the 1995 sequel "Frosty Returns" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-G).

• Boris Karloff narrates the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-G).

"Great Performances" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) presents "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn," a Broadway musical adaptation of the 1942 movie musical.


• Arnold learns of his parents' origins in the 2017 feature "Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie" (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

• A woman discovers that her intended wants to pin a vehicular manslaughter rap on her in the 2017 shocker "Framed by My Fiance" (8 p.m., Lifetime Movie Channel, TV-14).

• Ryan Seacrest hosts "iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).


A dapper angel (Cary Grant) helps a man of the cloth (David Niven) keep his wife (Loretta Young) and his faith in the 1947 holiday fantasy "The Bishop's Wife" (8 p.m., This TV).


Morgan Freeman and Grace Gummer are on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS, r) * Jon Stewart, Woody Harrelson, Tony Bennett and Paul Shaffer are on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r) * Mark Wahlberg, Martin McDonagh, Walk the Moon and Nathan Davilmar visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) * Jeff Bridges, David Boreanaz and Liam Gallagher are on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).

© 2017, United Feature Syndicate