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A select viewing guide for Monday, Dec. 19
REALITY Antiques Roadshow PBS, 8 p.m. One of very few network programs airing new episodes (the other being Fear Factor), the rambling Roadshow team ponders the value of several objects grouped under the theme of “Forever Young.” To that end, the appraisers examine some original artwork for a vintage Dr. Seuss lunchbox and a child’s shoe autographed by baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The highlight is an embroidered silk picture, believed to have been created in 1819, that is valued between $60,000 and $80,000. Gift box sold separately.
FAMILY A Chipmunk Christmas ABC, 8:30 p.m. If the little ones haven’t conned you into taking them to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, this holiday cartoon might buy you some time. Of course the kids will immediately realize that the 1981 special is far less imaginative than the current incarnation of the Chipmunks, which were originally created for a novelty song way back in 1958. The minimalist plotline has the singing rodent trio booked for a high-profile appearance at Carnegie Hall – but only if they can locate Alvin’s missing harmonica. Not as slick as the movie, but still pretty cute.
REALITY Cake Boss: Next Great Baker TLC, 9 p.m. Who knew the cake business was so intense? There’s serious competition at work in this popular series, which follows 13 aspiring cake artists trying to bake (or claw) their way to the top of the game. The format follows pretty much every other cooking show on television and the prize at the end of the rainbow is $100,000, a four-page feature in Brides magazine and the opportunity to work side-by-side with master baker Buddy Valastro, aka tThe Cake Boss. In tonight’s holiday edition, the bakers are broken into two teams, each tasked to create their most original festive cake for the annual Valastro family Christmas party. Before it’s over, one baker is taken to the hospital. That’s intensity, baby.
DOCUMENTARY Changing Face of the Queen CBC News Network, 10 p.m. What a difference six decades can make. When Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, Britain was still cleaning up from the war and rationing food. Today, Buckingham Palace has its own Facebook page. This lighthearted documentary examines the legacy of Elizabeth’s reign in advance of next year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Via interviews with royal-watchers, the film speculates on when Her Highness will finally abdicate the throne, but spends more time attempting to answer the really important questions. Such as: What’s really in the Queen’s handbag?
MOVIE Scrooge TCM, 10:15 p.m. The must-see movie of the 1970 holiday season, this big-budget film places Charles Dickens’ classic story into a musical setting. The inimitable Albert Finney chews up the scenery, and proves a capable singer, as the miserly Scrooge. Acting veteran Alec Guinness rattles the chains as the ghostly Marley, who warns Scrooge of impending visits from three spirits on Christmas Eve. Of course everyone knows the Dickens story by now, so watch this version for the lavish musical numbers, particularly Finney’s venomous performance of I Hate People.