It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go this week. Most channels are rolling out their holiday-themed episodes and seasonal movies. Santa brought so many presents including the return of Summer Glau to the small screen in the Hallmark Original Movie “Help for the Holidays.” Apparently life is hard out there for an elf, even when you’re a cute as Summer Glau. Although she was also a Terminator, so maybe you should just stay on the “Nice” list to be safe.
“Fringe” returns from a three-week hiatus with all new episodes of the finale season. After the dark turn of events in recent episodes, Peter looks like he’s headed too far down the rabbit hole to ever return. Victoria’s Secret burns up the runway with its annual flashy and fabulous fashion show. Nothing says Christmas like a $2.5 million dollar bra and panties. But wait there’s more! The Fall Finales of half a dozen of your favorite shows air this week in addition to some classic television. Don’t miss a moment of it.
The television landscape isn’t as bleak as it seems. Each week we’ll countdown the best in sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal television for the viewer with discriminating tastes. Here is this week’s Watchlist for December 3 – 9.
Bones (8 p.m., Fox)
(“The Ghost in the Machine”) While investigating a boy’s murder, the team allows Avalon Harmonia (Cyndi Lauper) access to the body after she claims the boy’s soul hasn’t passed on. Avalon’s work causes the scientists to reexamine what they believe about life after death.
Tonight’s installment marks the 8th Season Fall Finale and 150th episode of the series. The episode was originally written and shot last season as one of four “bonus” episodes the show produced when they were given a shortened season because of Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy.
Castle (10 p.m., ABC)
(“Secret Santa”) In the 5th Season Fall Finale, Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a man dressed as Santa after he drops out of the sky in Central Park. Castle and Beckett get ready to spend their first Christmas together.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (10 p.m., CBS)
What better ways are there to kick off the holiday season than watching scantily clad women cavort on a runway? Tonight’s national broadcast of the glamorous and over-the-top fashion show took place in New York last month with Victoria’s Secret Angels Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, Lindsay Ellingson and many more. Musical guests Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars scheduled to perform.
Leverage (10 p.m., TNT)
(“The White Rabbit Job”) The scheme team taps into a most difficult con to thwart a businessman from ruining his company and by extension destroying the town it supports.
Note: Watch Rudolph light up for Santa in the Rankin/Bass television classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” airs tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS. The sixties stop-motion animation at its finest!
Arrow (8 p.m., The CW)
(“Vendetta”) As Oliver and Helena (Jessica DeGouw) grow closer, Oliver trains her to be his ally, complete with showing her how to use a crossbow. Diggle disapproves of Oliver sharing his secret with Helena as he’s not sure she can be trusted, but Oliver refuses to listen to his concerns. Helena’s quest for revenge proves to be too strong for Oliver to handle after she kills the head of the Triad and all hell breaks loose.
The Neighbors (8:30 p.m., ABC)
(“Merry Crap-mas”) The Weavers ask the Bird-Kersees to hide the multitude of Christmas gifts they’ve purchased for Amber, Max and Abby. But when Marty and Debbie are put off by their kids’ entitled attitude towards the holiday, they decide to return all the gifts and put the money toward a family vacation where they can focus on the true meaning of the holiday. There’s just one problem: Larry Bird has opened one of their gifts, spawning a frenzy of gift opening among the aliens and leaving the Weavers with no gifts and no way to pay for the trip. Can alien “Scrooge” Larry Bird save Christmas for the Weavers?
Dark Matters: Twisted But True (9 p.m., Science)
(“Remote Control Man, Cadavers for Sale, Einstein’s Revenge”)
Included: electronic mind control; human corpses for sale; a vendetta against Albert Einstein.
Ghost Hunters (9 p.m., Syfy)
(“Haunted Home for the Holidays”) In the 8th Season Finale, the team returns to the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Conn., at Christmastime to check out ghostly claims.
Supernatural (9 p.m., The CW)
(“Citizen Fang”) It took the 8th Season Fall Finale to bring us back to Benny’s storyline. Sam asks a hunter named Martin (Jon Gries) to keep an eye on Benny (Ty Olsson) without telling Dean. However, when Martin tells Sam there was a vampire kill and he thinks Benny is responsible, Dean defends his friend. When Martin decides to take things into his own hands, things get messy and Dean is forced to make a very hard decision.
American Horror Story: Asylum (10 p.m., FX)
(“Unholy Night”) A murderous Santa wreaks havoc on Briarcliff. Sister Jude faces off with the Devil. Arden has a shocking encounter in the Death Chute. Ian McShane guest stars.
Deals from the Darkside (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Cruel Shoes & Jack the Ripper Knife”) A pair of hand forged German torture shoes and Gestapo handcuffs are found. A novelist claims to own a knife used by serial killer Jack the Ripper.
Note:The countdown to music’s biggest night begins with the Grammy Nominations Concert Live at 10 p.m. on CBS. It’s really nice of the Grammys to hold a concert counting down to the MTV Video Music Awards.
Big Bang Theory (8 p.m., CBS)
(“The Fish Guts Displacement”) Amy takes ill and Sheldon becomes her nursemaid, while Wolowitz takes a fishing trip in order to bond with his father-in-law.
Last Resort (8 p.m., ABC)
(“Cinderella Liberty”) The crew of the Colorado wait for a goodwill visit from their families, a visit that will soon turn into a nightmare as Marcus must consider the unthinkable once again. Meanwhile, the true reason for the nuclear devastation in Pakistan is revealed.
The Vampire Diaries (8 p.m., The CW)
(“We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street”) When Stefan confronts Damon with a suspicion about Elena, Damon has no choice but to help Stefan investigate. Searching for answers, Damon and Stefan visit modern day New Orleans to see if they can find anyone who remembers the events of their last visit in 1942, including one of Damon’s former flames, Charlotte (Madeline Zima). Elena, Caroline and Bonnie share a girls’ night while the Salvatore brothers are out of town, and emotions run high when Elena delivers some shocking news. At Hayley’s (Phoebe Tonkin) urging, Tyler confronts one of Klaus’ hybrids, Kimberly (Alyssa Diaz), and the situation quickly escalates into violence. Finally, Damon is faced with a heartbreaking decision.
Beauty and the Beast (9 p.m., The CW)
(“Trapped”) JT suspects that Catherine is the trigger of Vincent’s blackouts, so to disprove this theory, Vincent allows JT to inject him with endorphins and sedatives that force him into a fugue state. In flashback, Vincent recalls his time in Afghanistan when he received his first super soldier shot, and remembers who injected him with the DNA altering substance. He also recollects how the other soldiers experienced unpredictable side effects, including fugue states, and is relieved to know that Cat isn’t causing his blackouts. Vincent shares his memory about Murifield with Cat, who experiences some recollections of her own. Then, as Cat and Tess investigate the attempted murder of a teen pop star (Max Schneider), Evan suspects that Cat is deliberately protecting the vigilante who saved him in the subway.
Person of Interest (9 p.m., CBS)
(“C.O.D.”) Finch and Reese’s surveillance skills are pushed to the limit when a New York City cab driver’s number comes up and any one of his passengers could be involved in the impending crime.
Elementary (10 p.m., CBS)
(“You Do It to Yourself”) Holmes investigates a college professor’s murder. Meanwhile, Watson gets a call from a former lover who asks for her help.
Fringe (9 p.m., Fox)
(“The Human Kind”) Peter presses on in a passionate mission to defeat the Observers. Olivia encounters a very intuitive and oracle-like person named Simone (Jill Scott) as she looks to recover a key piece of equipment for Walter. Meanwhile, Peter finds himself in a perilous situation as he observes Windmark (Michael Kopsa.) If there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon, it’s that Walter seems to know about Peter’s transformation now. But is there anything that Walter can do to slow it down or limit its effects on Peter?
Ghost Adventures (9 p.m., Travel)
(“Crazy Town”) The team visits a Texas hotel that’s said to be infested with ghosts. During their investigation, Zak experiences a personality change and he becomes more aggressive.
VGA TEN (9 p.m., Spike)
Samuel L. Jackson returns for his fourth time as host of the Tenth Annual Spike TV Video Game Awards with a “special video cameo from Neil Patrick Harris.” For the first time, the awards will be broadcast on Xbox Live. Users will be able to “play” the show as it airs live. Responses to poll questions will be tabulated in real time on screen for the Xbox Live audience and users with Xbox Smartglass will get a unique second-screen experience that updates in real time alongside the show content. Additionally, Spike TV and Entertainment Weekly have partnered to create the first-ever “Entertainment Weekly and Spike VGA Best Game of the Decade” award.
Exclusive world premieres debuting at “VGA TEN” include Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, Epic Games’ Gears of War: Judgment, Obsidian Entertainment’s South Park: The Stick of Truth, Konami’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite, Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington and 343 Industries’ Halo 4: Spartan Ops with additional exclusive World Premieres. The event will feature musical performances by Linkin Park, Tenacious D, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Wolfgang Gartner.
The Dead Files (10 p.m., Travel)
(“The House of Death”) Volunteers at an arts center in Clinton, N.C., fear that the place is haunted. During their investigation, Steve discovers evidence of a suicide, while Amy falls mysteriously ill.
A Haunting (10 p.m., Destination America)
(“The Exorcism of Cindy Sauer”) A Georgia single mom coping with the sudden death of her husband enlists a pastor to perform an exorcism after becoming convinced that a dark force is haunting her.
Haven (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Last Goodbyes”) Audrey works on the Bolt Gun Killer case with the only other person in Haven who hasn’t succumbed to a deep sleep.
Hunted (10 p.m., Cinemax)
(“Snow Maiden”) In the Season 1 finale, Sam’s cover is blown, and Jack Turner resolves what to do about the evidence he’s gathered, leaving Sam and the Byzantium team scrambling to stop him.
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (6 p.m., The Hub)
(“The Golem Part 1 & 2”) Two kids learn a secret about their grandma when they travel to Russia with her ashes. Jeremy must use his grandma’s secret to stop a vile creature from harming his sister and his grandma’s old village. Kacey Rohl guest stars.
12 Disasters of Christmas (9 p.m., Syfy)
(“Original Telefilm”) Just in time for the joyous holiday season, the Syfy Original Movie takes on the ancient Mayan prophecy of worldwide destruction at the end of 2012. A father (Ed Quinn) learns that his daughter (Magda Aponowicz) is really the “Chosen One” who, alone, can stop further catastrophe – if he can stave off the lunatic townspeople blaming her for the community’s destruction. Battlestar Galactica’s Donnelly Rhodes also guest stars.
Celebrity Ghost Stories (9 p.m., Biography)
A house’s murderous history is uncovered by Linda Blair; Carlos Mencia is saved by a spirit; Victoria Rowell learns that her childhood home was built on a burial ground; and Dot Jones is terrified by a ghost.
The Haunting of (10 p.m., Biography)
(“Chazz Palmenteri”) Chazz Palminteri confronts a ghost at a restaurant in the Bronx.
Note: CBS broadcasts more television favorites with ”Frosty the Snowman” and “The Flight Before Christmas” airing tonight. Check your local listings.
Help for the Holidays (8 p.m., Hallmark)
(“Original Telefilm”) Although she loves Christmas, Santa’s elf Christine (Summer Glau) wonders if there could be more to life than making toys in the North Pole. When Santa receives an emergency wish from a little boy in Los Angeles, he puts Christine on a special assignment, sending her to L.A. to give the VanCamp family—mom Sara (Eva La Rue), dad Scott (Dan Gauthier), and their two kids Ally (Izabela Vidovic) and Will (Mason Cook)—a holiday wake-up call. Will Christine fail her assignment and be sent back to the North Pole for good, or will the VanCamps come to their senses about the meaning of Christmas?
Dexter (9 p.m., Showtime)
(“Do You See What I See?”) It’s Christmastime, and Debra learns it may be better to receive when she gets a tip from Hannah’s father, one that could lead to incriminating Dexter in a crime. Meanwhile, Dexter discovers that the man behind his mother’s death has been released from prison. Yvonne Strahovski guest stars.
The Mentalist (10 p.m., CBS)
(“Panama Red”) In the 5th Season Fall Finale, the CSI team investigates a young botanist’s murder and finds a connection in the medical-marijuana subculture. Meanwhile, Cho’s work with the rapid-response team puts him back in Summer’s orbit.