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A select viewing guide for Monday December 10
REALITY Income Property (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) When people need help making the monthly mortgage payment, they reach out to Scott McGillivray. The professional contractor and Tom Cruise lookalike, helps homeowners add rental units to their domiciles in this popular series. In each episode, Scott meets with the owners to examine the available space, after which he provides them with two computer-generated blueprints for the proposed renovation (always a luxury version and a cheap option). In the first show of tonight’s mini-marathon, he meets a single mom named Lori, whose home requires some serious maintenance upgrades before she can rent out a main-floor apartment. Seven more episodes follow.
FAMILY Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (CBC, 8 p.m.) You’re a durable one, Mr. Grinch. A seasonal network staple since its very first broadcast way back in 1966, this program still ranks above most Christmas-TV perennials, courtesy of the brisk animation style of cartoon legend Chuck Jones and the inspired voice work of horror-film icon Boris Karloff, who both narrates and supplies the voice of the titular grump. As everyone knows, the story involves the green misanthrope’s plan to spoil Christmas for all the happy residents of Whoville. With dog Max in tow, the Grinch poses as Santa and proceeds to rob every single house of presents and holiday trappings. Will the Whos down in Whoville all cry boo-hoo?
GAME SHOW Take It All (debut; NBC, 9 p.m.) What sort of Faustian deal has Howie Mandel signed with NBC? In recent years the Canadian-born comedian has performed yeoman’s work for the peacock network, including hosting Deal or No Deal and guest-judging on America’s Got Talent, but now he’s hosting this game show oddity based on “one of the most popular party games in America.” It begins with a contestant selecting a fabulous prize–think luxury cars, exotic trips and the like–which leaves the next player with a dilemma: Do they take a prize already revealed, or take a chance with another yet unopened prize, which could be even more valuable, or possibly worthless. The whole shooting match comes down to two finalists, one of whom will take all the prizes, and the other will go home empty-handed, but surely wiser for the experience.
MUSIC Michael Buble: Home for the Holidays (NBC, Citytv, 10 p.m.) As the folklore surrounding Canadian singer Michael Buble goes, the first time his family ever noticed his singing talent was during the holiday season when they heard him belting out White Christmas on a car ride. In this festive special, Buble returns to his hometown of Vancouver (hence the program title) where he celebrates the season in song with Rod Stewart, Blake Shelton and fellow Canuck Carly Rae Jepsen. Songs will include jazzed-up versions of Jingle Bell Rock, Let It Snow and Winter Wonderland, but the highlight will be Buble’s duet of White Christmas with Bing Crosby himself, performed through the magic of computer regeneration.
MOVIE The Man Who Saved Christmas (Vision, midnight) Based on real-life events, this 2002 TV movie casts former Seinfeld regular Jason Alexander into the role of toy maker A.C. Gilbert, owner of a successful toy company in the early 1900s. During the First World War, the American military requests Gilbert retool his toy factory for the production of wartime goods. He complies at first, but when the U.S. government actually asks citizens to refrain from celebrating Christmas in order to support the war effort, Gilbert changes his mind and resumes toy production, to the delight of hundreds of thousands of kids. Even wearing a bizarre lacquered hairpiece, Alexander delivers a remarkable performance.