On TV this week
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!, 8 p.m., ABC This 2003 attempt to manufacture nostalgia doesn't work as well as the usual specials, but it'll give the kids something to watch.
Cat Dancers, 8 p.m., HBO Ron Holiday, who was part of a troupe who performed with big cats (read: lions and tigers) waxes on about his wife, Joy, and their lover, Chuck, both of whom were eventually killed by tigers. Wait, Chuck was lovers to both of them? That's the juicy part.
SEASON PREMIERE Intervention, 9 p.m., A&E The wife watches this show so she can, as she puts it, feel better about her own problems. Apparently there's lots of people who feel that way, since another season of depressing lifestyles is here.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, 8 p.m., ABC Now this is a holiday special: A consumerist sister, a spiritualist pal, a dog who decorates your tree and a big-headed bald kid confused about it all.
Spirit of Christmas, 8 p.m., MNT Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie and Brian McKnight sing our kind of Christmas songs. For two hours!
Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football, 10 p.m., HBO Even with eleventy billion bowl games on this time of year, we've got to remember that not too long ago, college teams were still mostly all-white affairs. The best part of this doc is 1970's USC-Alabama game, when Bear Bryant's Tide got rolled by the integrated Trojans.
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, 8 p.m., NBC Another new holiday special, this time involving Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Sirico and Madison Pettis as Kermit and pals take kids' letters to the North Pole. Good thing the puppeteers will have at least one hand covered for the trip.
SEASON FINALE Stylista, 9 p.m., CW With print publishers laying off workers all over the country, a job at Elle could be the best or worst prize at all, depending on your point of view. The winner's finally working, but for how long?
The White House Christmas 2008, 9 p.m., HGTV This behind-the-scenes look at how the presidential home is decorated confirms our suspicions: No one cares if they misplaced the extra box of lights this year.
SEASON FINALE Parking Wars, 10 p.m., A&E It's been great to see Philly on screen again, if for no other reason that since the Phillies beat the Rays in the World Series, this show reminds us that we're much better off living here.
Million Dollar Password, 8 p.m., CBS There's nothing else on tonight, what with all the midseason hiatuses, so let's watch William Shatner and Aisha Tyler help folks win some dough.
Could You Survive?, 9 p.m., Discovery Health These kinds of shows, with their terribly depressing titles, are no fun this time of year, since the answer is usually a resounding no. Now: A wildfire. At 10: An earthquake.
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, 10 p.m., VH1 Is it just us, or is Rod Stewart's kid just plain annoying? Shave that scruff off your face and get a job.
Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown, 8 p.m., NBC Christmas specials, YouTube style.
Ghost Whisperer, 8 p.m., CBS Melinda helps a confused ghost who must face hard facts about her marriage — like the fact that she's dead, maybe?
The E! True Hollywood Story — Young Hollywood: A to Zac, 8 p.m., E! In case The Juice* (page 24) isn't enough about this stuff for you.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org