What to watch
American Masters, 9 p.m., PBS: In Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind 'Little Women,' we learn that not only was Alcott an ardent feminist, but she wrote pulpy fiction under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard. You literary types may have known that already, but, hey, that's why we watch PBS.
CSI: Miami, 10 p.m., CBS: It's just your average, ordinary, run-of-the-mill home invasion involving the Russian mafia.
Rudolph's Shiny New Year, 8 p.m., ABC: This is that one where the Christmas fable helps the Baby New Year find its way to Dick Clark's house so he can have lunch with the guy who played the Joker on the old Batman TV series, or something like that.
The 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, 9 p.m., CBS: Mel Brooks, composer Dave Brubeck, mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen get the presidential treatment for being much more awesome than any reality show star will ever be.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 10 p.m., TCM: Finally, a popular flick on the channel that really does deserve to be called a classic movie.
Criminal Minds, 9 p.m., CBS: Nothing rings out the old year better than irrational fears about a deadly virus being unleashed on the populace as a chemical weapon.
Gossip Girl, 9 p.m., CW: Remember how the CW tried to up the cool quotient on this show by adding Tyra Banks and Hilary Duff? Well, refresh your memory.
CSI: NY, 10 p.m., CBS: When several young brides fight over a wedding dress, and one ends up dead, the team seems surprised. Apparently none of them ever got married.
NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly, 10 p.m., NBC: Carson Daly is the Guy Lombardo to Ryan Seacrest's Dick Clark. Maybe that's why Carson is the first one to come on.
Billboard's New Year's Eve Live, 11 p.m., Fox: This is the New Year's show no one ever watches. Seriously, Carmen Electra is the host.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2010, 11:30 p.m., ABC: It's so sweet Dick gets to keep his name on the show while the barbarian Seacrest is so far in the gate he's already pillaged the castle and is sleeping in Clark's room.
NHL Hockey, 1 p.m., NBC: Open-air games are proving to be so popular the NHL decided to appease hockey fans and go back to Fenway Park to showcase the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. Of course, we're not so sure we'll be up by 1 today.
Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular, 4 p.m., NBC: Brian gets his pals Michael Weiss, Yuka Sato, Kimmie Meissner, Alissa Czisny, Steven Cousins, and pairs Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko and Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon to prove to the kiddies that figure skating can actually provide a future career.
Great Performances, 9 p.m., PBS: Julie Andrews hosts From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2010 for those of you who didn't drink yourself stupid last night.
Joshua Gillin, [email protected]