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A select viewing guide for Wednesday, December 19
REALITY Cheer Perfection (TLC, 8 p.m.) We probably should have seen this show coming. TLC tested this unscripted concept set in the world of competitive cheerleading on viewers last summer; now comes the weekly series. The format focuses on professional cheerleading coach Alisha Dunlap, who demands absolute perfection from the young athletes executing handsprings and roundoffs at her annual boot camp. As might be expected, everyone involved takes it way too seriously and two mothers almost come to blows in tonight’s original pilot. In the series premiere, Coach Dunlap kicks off another cheerleading season and right away two competitive moms are trying to get their kids on the elite squad. Go, team!
PAGEANT Miss Universe Pageant (NBC, 8 p.m.) Seriously? The Miss Universe competition is still going on? This year’s show will broadcast live from a Las Vegas casino and will feature contestants from more than 80 countries competing in the traditional categories of evening gown, swimsuit and interview. Take note that Miss Universe Canada 2012 Sahar Biniaz will not compete as scheduled. The Iranian-Canadian dropped out of the competition last month due to “unforeseen personal circumstances” and will be replaced in tonight’s show by runner-up Adwoa Yamoah of Calgary. Make us proud.
NEWS 20/20: The Year with Katie Couric (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) New Year’s Eve is still nearly two weeks away, but it’s never too early for networks to look back at the year that was. In this roundup special, former anchor and current daytime talk host Katie Couric teams with People magazine to rewind the biggest news stories of the past 12 months. Expect much attention to go to the resignation of General David Petraeus, the reelection of U.S. president Barack Obama, the death of Whitney Houston, the political conflict in Syria and the Summer Olympics in London. And now that Justin Bieber is so yesterday’s news, expect a good chunk of the program to recap the freakish global success of boy-band One Direction.
DRAMA Chicago Fire (NBC, Global, 10 p.m.) Welcome to the mean streets of Chicago, where the cops, firefighters and paramedics are all well-tanned and attractive, even after pulling 12-hour shifts. Launched two months ago, this show merges pulse-pounding action sequences with occasional flashes into the personal lives of the principal characters. The key players include Firehouse 51 boss Matthew (Jesse Spencer), his rescue-squad counterpart Kelly (Taylor Kinney–he’s Lady Gaga’s boyfriend!) and the veteran firefighter Christopher (David Eigenberg). In tonight’s show, Christopher and his partner put out a kitchen fire in a swank Manhattan townhouse and are immediately accused of stealing a valuable necklace.
MOVIE White Christmas (AMC, 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.) It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without sitting through this holiday chestnut one more time. The 1954 film stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as Bob and Phil, two ex-GIs who resume their careers as nightclub entertainers following the Second World War. Enter the leggy sister act of Betty and Judy (Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen), with whom the soldier boys become instantly smitten. In short order, all four are en route to a foundering Vermont inn owned by the boys’ old commanding officer, played by Dean Jagger. Note: If you only want to hear Der Bingle croon the title tune, just watch the last 15 minutes.