Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, December 11. All times are Eastern.
Frozen/The Making Of Frozen: A Return To Arendelle (ABC, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.): Three years after it arrived in theaters, the Disney smash hit makes its network TV debut on ABC, accompanied by an hour-long special that will take a look at an upcoming Frozen holiday special. (No word yet on if this special will revive the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend movement and fulfill the need for Disney to have a gay princess.) So if you have children of a certain age, it looks like your viewing plans are set for tonight. But even if you don’t, this is still one of the better animated films of this decade, and its messages of acceptance and the bond between siblings are universally positive ones we can all use as this cold and uncaring year draws to a close.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s a Krustofski family reunion on The Simpsons as Krusty’s father Hyman and daughter Sophia return to the show. It‘ll be an interesting return, given that Jackie Mason’s Rabbi Krustofski passed away two years ago in a largely underwhelming manner and Orange Is The New Black’s Natasha Lyonne will be replacing Drew Barrymore as the voice of Sophia. Take heart, Dennis Perkins, for Krusty’s family life has produced true classics in the past and may yet do so again.
The Dick Van Dyke Show: Now In Living Color (CBS, 9 p.m.): CBS has experimented with colorizing its classic sitcoms for years with I Love Lucy, and for 2016 they’re casting a wider net and applying the practice to The Dick Van Dyke Show. More specifically, the season-three premiere “That’s My Boy??” where Rob is convinced they’ve brought the wrong baby home from the hospital, and the season five premiere “Coast To Coast Big Mouth” where Laura inadvertently reveals that comedian Alan Brady (Dick Van Dyke Show creator Carl Reiner) wears a toupee. Both those episodes were TV Club 10 selections, so regardless of our feelings on colorizing sitcoms, we can’t fault CBS for its selection process.
Premieres and finales
The 22nd Annual Critics Choice Awards (A&E, 8 p.m.): Silicon Valley star and alleged Uber driver slapper T.J. Miller reprises his hosting duties as the best in movies and TV from 2016 receive their due. It’s a few months earlier than last year’s ceremony, so there may be some late 2016 releases that fall out of consideration. Apologies to Gold, Assassin’s Creed, and Why Him?
Meant To Be (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): “Maddie, a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to a client’s wedding but her plans are derailed by car trouble. When a fork in the road leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas, an unexpected encounter and a group of strangers that start to feel like family will have her questioning what she’s really been missing in life.” Between this and the town of Cookie Jar a few weeks ago, these idyllic Christmas-obsessed towns have turned into our favorite part of the season.
Mighty Planes (Smithsonian, 8 p.m.): The season finale looks at “The Best Of Mighty Planes.” And also misses a key opportunity to title itself “Mightiest Planes.”
Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Starz, 8 p.m.): Speaking of “Let It Go,” Ash Williams is having a hard time doing that, as he gleefully bends the rules of time and space in an effort to save a friend who died fighting the Deadites. He also engages in a “old-school knock-down drag-out to save humanity,” which is the only kind of fight that Michael Roffman wants to see him engage in.
Blunt Talk (Starz, 8:35 p.m.): Also wrapping its second season tonight is the misadventures of Walter Blunt. Tonight’s finale has the title “Is This Because I Didn’t Call You,” which is perfectly fine as titles go but not befitting the marvelous length and obscene content that the show’s accustomed us to. Come on, when you have the episode title “How Is It That Every Conversation We Have Comes Back to the Size of Your Penis,” you have to save that shit for the end, Blunt Talk!
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): Normally The Walking Dead warrants a top pick when a big episode like the winter finale happens, but it’s still in the penalty box for batting its audience around with the botched Negan introduction. Zack Handlen’s not convinced we should let it out just yet, but he’s been relatively positive on the recent episodes as Jeffrey Dean Morgan continues to gradually take over the show much as Negan’s taken over Alexandria. Tell you what Zack, if Negan teams up with King Ezekiel’s tiger tonight and heads off into the wasteland to fight zombies to establish the new direction, that’ll convince us the show’s turned a corner.
The Last Man On Earth (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): The Last Man On Earth stumbled hard last week by providing no resolution to either Gail’s elevator confinement or Melissa’s descent into insanity, but its winter finale is in prime position to deliver for both. Can Gail shoot her way out of this predicament, or will Melissa shoot her way through one or more of her fellow survivors? (On the plus side for Mary Steenburgen, if her character Gail dies tonight her real-life husband Ted Danson has some connections in afterlife bureaucracy.) Vikram Murthi has his A.V. Club-issued bulletproof vest at the ready to answer these questions.
Divorce (HBO, 10 p.m.): The saga of the Dufresne marriage’s dissolution reaches a stopping point in the season-one finale, and Frances has a new lawyer who’s throwing the couple’s uneasy peace into uncertain territory. Man, if only Bret McKenzie was playing that lawyer, and then he and Frances’ former lover Julian could decide to start a band together and the show could become about that! What? Sorry for the digression Gwen Ihnat, but we must be the Flight Of The Conchords reunion we wish to see in the world.
Son Of Zorn (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10:30 p.m.)
The Dick Van Dyke Show, “The Curious Thing About Women” (Hulu/Netflix/Amazon): The return of The Dick Van Dyke Show got us nostalgic for the show in its black-and-white format. This episode is an absolute masterpiece from the classic series.