Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, December 14. All times are Eastern.
Speechless (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): Speechless’ fall finale guest stars Julianne Hough as new choir teacher Miss Bloom, because the Houghs just can’t stop showing up to sing now, for some reason. “It’s Christmas time at the DiMeos, and Maya surprises everyone by embracing a newfound holiday spirit. But her view is put to the test when the family van is stolen, along with all their holiday gifts.” Wow. If Derek Hough ends up as the one who commit grand theft auto, don’t say you weren’t warned.
Star (Fox, 9 p.m.): Based on the TV Guide synopsis, Star is a “drama about three young women who form a group and battle to make a splash in the music industry.” Based on the press release, Star is actually a show about Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, and a bunch of “newcomer[s]” who are technically the stars… but are certainly no “Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award, Grammy Award, and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah.” What is the show, really? It’s a Lee Daniels drama that Molly Eichel will be reviewing; Danette Chavez called it a weak sophomore effort from Daniels in her pre-air review, which posts at 9 a.m..
Rectify (Sundance TV, 10 p.m.): Then, end the night with something completely different, as we say farewell to one of television’s most underrated series, Rectify. The hour and 50 minute-long series finale is titled “All I’m Sayin’.” You know: Like, “all I’m sayin’ is Rectify is one of the best shows on TV, and you are actively hurting yourself by not watching it.” In the episode, “Daniel envisions what his new life could be and begins to appreciate the progress he’s made; and Janet commiserates with a surprising confidante.” As usual, Erik Adams’ review will be required reading, just like the series itself is required viewing. And Erik also has an interview with show creator Ray McKinnon that will post after the finale.
Premieres and finales
Chance (Hulu, 3 a.m.): Hugh Laurie’s doctor show (no, the other one) closes out its first season with the Robert Zemeckis-directed episode “Fluid Management.”
The Goldbergs (ABC, 8 p.m.): Hehe. The Goldbergs’ fall finale is titled “Han Ukkah Solo.” Good one, regardless of actual plot.
Empire (Fox, 8 p.m.): As Empire reaches its own fall finale, all we ask is: Are they finally going to kill off Lucious? If not, we’ll ask again when it comes back. Then next finale. And the premiere after that. And the finale after that…
A Pentatonix Christmas (NBC, 8 p.m.): Obviously, Pentatonix are part of this, but you can also expect Kelly Clarkson and “Southern gothic soap opera” star Reba McEntire. You lose some, you win some.
Survivor/Survivor Reunion Special (CBS, 8/10 p.m.): Season 33 of Survivor ends tonight, with the two-hour finale “I’m Going For A Million Bucks” and follow-up Reunion Special. Join the remaining few as they fight to become the final three, then the Sole Survivor; and once that’s over, join Carrie Raisler in the discussion post to complain about millennials.
WWE Tribute To The Troops (USA, 8 p.m.): WWE’s 13 year tradition—as well as Holiday Week—continues with tonight’s two-hour presentation of Tribute To The Troops. And to get you in the spirit, how about taking this blast to the not-so-different past from 2013’s show:
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): Modern Family’s fall finale is a “Snow Ball,” which means: “When Manny and Luke put on the school’s lavish winter dance and end up over their heads due to a texting error, it is up to them to fix it before the end of the night.” TV’s Andy Daly and Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer guest star, which leaves Kyle Fowle with quite the predicament: Does he prepare for this episode with a nice stack of pancakes (divorce, pancakes) or just by watching a couple of Friends episodes?
Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): In this season’s Christmas episode, “Just Christmas, Baby,” “Zoey is college-bound, so Dre sets out to create the best family Christmas ever, even having Johan and his best friend, Gigi [a returning Tyra Banks], over for the celebration.” Ashley Ray-Harris will be the judge of whether or not this is the best family Christmas ever.
Designated Survivor (ABC, 10 p.m.): Big news for Zack Handlen: Designated Survivor is heading off for a bit with “The Oath,” just as “shocking information related to the Capitol bombing case gives President Kirkman reason to suspect there could be a traitor in the White House.” Oh.
Younger (TV Land, 10/10:30 p.m.): Younger’s third season ends tonight with a one-hour (meaning “two episode”) finale. We’re going to the Hamptons, baby, but unfortunately, not for any revenge: Instead, “Liza gets closer to Charles at a book fair; Kelsey feels neglected by Colin; and Liza faces some hard truths after an encounter with a famous life coach.”
Bong Appetit (Viceland, 10:30 p.m.): Viceland’s newest series claims to be “a combination that’s equal parts Naked Chef, Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa… with weed.” VICE’s Abdullah Saeed hosts the series, which “explores the making and consumption of high-end cannabis-infused foods with different chefs and party guests each episode.” Will Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg sue? That’s part of the excitement.
Vikings (History Channel, 9 p.m.)