What's On: Them Chickens Jackin' My Sleigh
Now it's really the holiday season, so all your favorite Christmas specials (and apparently the Black Eyed Peas) have to creep out of the closet, hog primetime, and infect your placid day with enough nostalgia that only a VH1 special could explain. I can't watch any classic claymation without thinking of Michael Ian Black making doe eyes and wondering if Santa was carrying latent homosexuality in that sack. Did that not ever happen? Fine.
Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Countdown to Music's Biggest Night [9 PM, CBS]
LL Cool J hosts the dazzling build-up to the 52nd Grammy award nominations, and he's accompanied by learned virtuosos the Black Eyed Peas, Sugarland, Maxwell, and an obscure new combo called Nick Jonas and the Administration. When do we get to hear from Joe Jonas and the Principal's Office? Kevin Jonas and the Half-Hour Recess? At any rate, let us allay our biggest fear straight-away: Fergie herself acknowledges that she is not eligible for nomination until 3008.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes [8:30 P.M., PBS]
The leggiest carolers since Burl Ives line up again for the annual extravaganza of light, sound, and metronomic crotch flashes. The program features routines like "Living Nativity" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," though I'd prefer that they scrap that in place of the undead mash-up "Parade of the Living Nativity," directed by George A. Romero.
The Middle [8:30 PM, ABC]
Frankie (Patricia Heaton) sees what she suspects is the perfect family and emulates them by trying to instate peace among her kids. Plus, Mike (Neil Flynn) might fire Aunt Edie after she botches things at the quarry. Yep, it's all pretty Midwestern, this show: Coming up: Maybe the door frame in the basement isn't the securest place to hide during a tornado after all.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer [8 PM, CBS]
But back to Burl Ives. The classic (and remarkably short) Rankin/Bass special remains a generational touchstone, and tonight we reacquaint ourselves with the Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph's grating happiness, and -- my favorite -- the Abominable Snow Monster of the North (aka The Bumble). Let's go back in time and remember the first time we dreamed of composing our own water ballet to "Silver and Gold." I don't care that I'm projecting.