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Bublé and Bennett are the last men standing (and crooning) in the TV holiday war

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (Photo: Billboard)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 20. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Michael Bublé Sings And Swings (NBC, 8 p.m.): There isn’t a whole lot of new TV to go around in the week leading up to Christmas, so Michael Bublé wins this round somewhat by default. Not that we don’t love a good croon. But when the press release reads “Bublé sings fan favorite pop hits as well as jazz standards that he has perfected over his career,” it’s likely that this concert special will be a lot like his last concert special, and the one before that and the one before that. Which is to say, not very special. This show does stand out, however, for being recorded in Manchester. No, not the one by the sea. That wouldn’t be a very fun concert, now would it?


Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come (NBC, 9 p.m.): The swinging party continues on NBC just one hour later with Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday. Recorded at Radio City Music Hall, the two-hour special features a performance from Bennett himself, as well as tributes from Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Rufus Wainwright, and Stevie Wonder. Bruce Willis will also be making an appearance (hopefully a non-musical one), as will Alec Baldwin. Will the two of them duke it out over their political views? And will Bruno tag in Bocelli when things are looking grim for Team Trump? Say, this all sounds pretty exciting. Maybe this should have been our first listing. Then again, Michael Bublé’s in this concert, too, meaning that, no matter which big-band extravaganza we went with, you’re stuck with him. Also, his special airs first.

Chopped Junior (Food, 8 p.m.): This one’s called “Got Elk?”, and yet, there’s oddly no mention of elk in the episode description. Does this mean the big holiday surprise is the kids being tasked with cooking a reindeer? Are reindeer even the same thing as elk? Get it together, Chopped Junior.

Premieres and finales

Scream Queens (Fox, 9 p.m.): Outside of WWE Smackdown! Live, none of our regularly covered shows are airing tonight, meaning that none of them currently have premieres or finales. So we’ll kindly remind you of Scream Queens, which is a thing we used to write about. Its second season ends tonight, and is titled “Drain The Swamp.” In it, the cast takes would could be their final stand against the serial killer The Green Meanie, which we’re assuming is Steve Bannon dressed in a leprechaun outfit.


Regular coverage

WWE Smackdown! Live (USA, 8 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Toys (Netflix): We admittedly haven’t watched this one in a while, but it’s on Netflix and sort of has a Christmas theme to it. We think? All right, maybe not, but we distinctly remember there being snow at some point accompanied by kids singing. Plus, as the title suggests, it has to do with toys—albeit ones that get repurposed for wartime. Nathan Rabin categorized it as a “Fiasco” for My Year Of Flops all the way back in 2007, and as he will tell you, fiascoes certainly have their merits.


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