Sunday, Dec. 1
“Lost Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs”
Science Channel, 8 p.m.
This two-hour special explores the latest research about the Kush Empire, the final golden age of ancient Egypt that was powered by the last great pyramid-building boom. New evidence has shown that this empire was ruled by black pharaohs who were conquerors from Egypt’s southern neighbor Nubia (now known as Sudan).
“Godfather of Harlem”
Epix, 9 p.m.
In the days following the assassination of President Kennedy, Bumpy (Forest Whitaker) must defend himself against mob charges of killing a made man and send his family away for safety. An inappropriate comment about Kennedy leads to Malcolm’s (Nigel Thatch) expulsion from the Nation, and Bumpy realizes he will have to protect his friend against a slew of enemies.
“Holiday Gingerbread Showdown”
Food Network, 10 p.m.
Host Paige Davis tests the skills of three gingerbread artists in a series of holiday-themed challenges. Judges Mary Berg, Maneet Chauhan and Adam Young determine the winner of each episode, who will advance to the grand finale, where they will square off in the ultimate showdown. The clock is ticking on dreams of the $25,000 prize. Only one will be crowned best gingerbread artist and will be featured in Food Network magazine.
Monday, Dec. 2
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
CBS, 8 p.m.
The longest-running holiday special in television history returns as Rudolph and his friends — Hermey the elf, Yukon Cornelius and others — save Christmas in this classic Rankin/Bass special featuring the voice of legendary performer Burl Ives.
“Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On”
A&E, 9 p.m.
This four-hour documentary, airing over two nights, offers an intimate look into Garth Brooks’ life as a musician, father and man as well as the moments that have defined his decade-spanning career and seminal hit songs, featuring interviews with those who know Garth best, including Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban and James Taylor.
NBC, 10 p.m.
The eight-episode second season of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s crafting competition series will air as a “binge-worthy” holiday treat. After premiering Monday, episodes will continue Dec. 3 to 5 and Dec. 9 and 10, before concluding with a two-hour finale Dec. 11. Makers from Miami to Portland, Oregon, take fans through everything from office makeovers to 3D holiday creations.
Tuesday, Dec. 3
“Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special”
ABC, 8 p.m.
This variety special will showcase the energy of Music City from Nashville’s iconic War Memorial Auditorium through a combination of Brad Paisley’s signature humor, unexpected surprises, heartfelt field pieces and rousing musical performances. Guests include Kelsea Ballerini, Hootie & the Blowfish, the Jonas Brothers, Peyton Manning, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and more.
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
NBC, 8 p.m.
In this original 1966 TV special based on Dr. Seuss’ classic story, Boris Karloff narrates and voices the title Grinch, who schemes to steal every material vestige of Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. But the Grinch ultimately discovers he can’t remove the spirit of Christmas from the Whos’ hearts. An encore presentation will air Dec. 25.
Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.
The reality series returns for another raw and intense look at life and death on the front lines of law enforcement. Each story shows the world as officers see it from the moment they get the call from dispatch. Between body camera and dashcam footage, dispatch and radio transmissions, viewers get an authentic play-by-play as the pursuit intensifies.
Wednesday, Dec. 4
“Man vs. Bear”
Discovery Channel, 9 p.m.
Each episode of this competition series pits three grizzly bears — Bart, Honey Bump and Tank — against three new human competitors at their Utah sanctuary to test the limits of strength, speed and stamina. All challenges will be based on the bears’ natural instincts as well as predatory skills and actions, from tug of war to using brute force to roll giant logs.
Fox, 9 p.m.
This three-night, six-episode comedy follows a tight-knit but slightly dysfunctional family of five, all of whom gather in their hometown of Chicago for the “perfect” holiday. From breakups to arrests to sharing one bathroom, each family member is packing their own eccentricities and hiding secrets from the others — as if the holidays were all about carols and eggnog! Denis Leary, Elizabeth Perkins, Jay Baruchel, Chelsea Frei and Francois Arnaud star.
History, 9 p.m.
The hit historical drama returns for its sixth and final season with a two-hour premiere. The 20-episode season will air in two parts; after Wednesday’s premiere, eight episodes will air over the following eight Wednesdays, with the remaining 10 episodes to air in 2020. Series regular Katheryn Winnick will make her directorial debut with an episode this season.
Thursday, Dec. 5
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
ABC, 8 p.m.
When he fails in his attempt to restore the proper Christmas spirit with a forlorn little tree, Charlie Brown needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is in this classic 1965 special.
Bravo, 9:30 p.m.
Sixteen new hopefuls are ready to take the runway by storm and make fashion history. Host Karlie Kloss is back, along with Christian Siriano as the mentor and returning judges Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell and Elaine Welteroth, to decide who has what it takes to make it in the industry.
Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.
Legendary Houston homicide detective Fil Waters recounts his six most famous cases in this new series. In each episode, viewers go into the interrogation room, where they witness firsthand how Waters uses his questions to craft a pathway to the truth, with a strategy and expertise that only a top-notch homicide detective can develop.
Making It: “Wreathy Street”
NBC, 10 p.m.
The makers celebrate the holidays with Nick and Amy. First, in the Faster Craft, they will make a wreath out of unconventional materials. In the Master Craft, they will build an interactive lawn display, showcasing their favorite holiday.
Friday, Dec. 6
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan returns as the title character in this acclaimed period comedy. As Season 3 opens, Brosnahan’s Midge is taking her stand-up to the next level, embarking on her first national tour.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”) directed this incisive and compassionate portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta star.
“In the Long Run”
Starz, 10 p.m.
Idris Elba leads this semiautobiographical comedy about an immigrant family in 1980s London. In Season 2, Walter is elected union representative at the factory, but a strike makes things complicated for everyone. Bagpipes is threatened by Leon’s arrival and Agnes finds a job with the local council.
Saturday, Dec. 7
“The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!”
Nickelodeon, 7 p.m.
“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” comes to life on television! The production — filmed in front of a live studio audience — reunites original cast members from the Tony-nominated Broadway show to celebrate the cartoon’s 20th anniversary.
“A Christmas Love Story”
Hallmark Channel, 8 p.m.
A youth choir director (Kristin Chenoweth) who needs to write a big song for a Christmas Eve show is distracted when a boy with a golden voice joins her choir, which comes as a surprise to his widowed father (Scott Wolf).
“Saturday Night Live”
NBC, 8:30 and 11:30 p.m.
Jennifer Lopez makes her third appearance as “SNL” host, while recording artist DaBaby will make his first appearance as musical guest.