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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: December 14

A select viewing guide for Friday, December 14

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DRAMA CSI: NY (CBS, CTV, 8 p.m.) Crime does not take a break this time of year. Originally broadcast in 2010, tonight’s episode of this sturdy crime-procedural series has become a holiday viewing tradition. CSI boss Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) and his forensics team are summoned to a busy Big Apple department store where the manager has been found dead–right in the display window! A timely message on the value of Christmas bonuses.

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COMEDY The Simpsons (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.) American television’s longest-running series began on a festive note. Following teaser animated segments on The Tracy Ullman Show, The Simpsons officially debuted on December 17, 1989 with this decidedly dark holiday outing. During a trip to the local mall, Bart sneaks off and gets a tattoo, forcing Marge to spend all the family’s Christmas money on laser surgery to get it removed. Homer, meanwhile, is stiffed for his Christmas bonus and takes a job as a department store Santa in hopes of earning a few bucks. It all ends up with Homer and Bart at the local dog track on Christmas Eve with the family’s few remaining dollars riding on a longshot mutt called Santa’s Little Helper. The rest is TV history.

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REALITY Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids (TLC, 9 p.m.) Midway into its third season, this series filmed at the Bridals by Lori salon in Atlanta remains one of the fastest and funniest shows on the TLC schedule. Naturally, most of the on-screen action arises from pre-wedding disagreements between brides-to-be and their immediate families over frock details. Tonight, a bride-to-be named Marla and her sister bicker over her bridesmaids’ skin-tight dresses, while another bride-to-be named Lindsey wants her bridesmaids to have low-cut necklines. Think of the wedding pictures!

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NEWS Dateline (NBC NBC, 10 p.m.) In this special holiday edition of the venerable newsmagazine, Today Show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb provide a much-needed checklist for viewers who may have just realized the big day is only 10 days away. Topics covered include office-party etiquette, regifting and how to take the car keys away from festive revelers who may have had a few too many eggnogs. Also: A happy holiday message from America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon, aka Mr. Mariah Carey.

Eric Liebowitz

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MOVIE The Holiday (W Network, 9 p.m.) ‘Tis the season for feelgood fare. This frothy romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet was roasted by critics back in 2006, but that didn’t stop the film from cleaning up at the boxoffice. Diaz plays Amanda, a workaholic L.A. film producer who only recently discovered her boyfriend is engaged to another woman; Winslet plays Iris, a London-based newspaper editor whose sweetie just slept with his secretary. The pair make acquaintances online and agree to swap domiciles for respective recuperative holidays. In short order, Amanda falls for Iris’s handsome brother Graham (Jude Law), while Iris becomes smitten with the affable composer Miles (Jack Black–seriously!). Watch for fleeting cameos by Dustin Hoffman and Lindsay Lohan.

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