On TV this week
SERIES FINALE Gossip Girl, 8 p.m., CW Now that the whole cast is out of high school, can we please identify the Gossip Girl? Thank you.
DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury, 8 p.m., Fox The village of Berk from How to Train Your Dragon is getting ready for the holidays when all the dragons leave. Maybe their union contract expired when DreamWorks became a right-to-work studio.
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, 8:30 p.m., Fox Manny convinces Sid he's on Santa's naughty list, so the sloth heads to the North Pole to try to convince St. Nick otherwise. Scientifically, wasn't the North Pole much closer back then, before it shifted to where it is now?
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown, 9 p.m., Fox The gang tries to persuade Linus to get rid of his security blanket ahead of his grandmother's visit. Hey, you don't need to get rid of his most marketable character trait right in the middle of Christmas shopping, you know.
SERIES PREVIEW 1600 Penn, 9:30 p.m., NBC Imagine if Bill Pullman played the president from Independence Day without any alien invasion, as a comedy. That doesn't sound all that funny.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, 8 p.m., ABC Yet another showing of this holiday staple, involving a social misfit who is constantly bullied by his peers and is tricked into directing a Christmas pageant in a cruel bid to make him embarrass himself.
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, 8 p.m., CW Joan Cusack wants to tear down the Muppet Theatre, but the problem isn't so bad that David Arquette and Whoopi Goldberg can't help. That dissipates all the dramatic tension in a hurry.
Doomsday Preppers, 9 p.m., NatGeo A woman prepares herself for the unlikely event that a major hurricane hits New York City. Good thing we don't have to worry about that any time soon.
My Three Wives, 10 p.m., TLC Meet the husband and three wives that inspired HBO's Big Love. Wait, why didn't they just make this a reality show to begin with?
A Home for the Holidays With Rascal Flatts, 8 p.m., CBS Time to feel good about kids who get adopted out of foster care. Mind you, they didn't all get adopted by Melissa Etheridge, but most are probably pretty happy anyway.
The 2012 Miss Universe Competition, 8 p.m., NBC Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic form perhaps the best demographic-wary hosting duo in the history of television for this 61st installment of the pageant. We can't wait for Giuliana to ask the contestants what kind of adversity they've faced.
The Year With Katie Couric, 9:30 p.m., ABC Katie talks about the biggest stories of 2012. Ironically, no one wanted to see her do this as anchor of CBS Evening News.
Chicago Fire, 10 p.m., NBC The crew rescues some rich folks from a burning house, only to be accused of stealing a diamond necklace. They'll remember that the next time you call about a fire.
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!, 8 p.m., ABC This 2003 special features Linus and Lucy's little brother ReRun, who is so desperate for affection he turns to Snoopy. That's an empty well, young man.
SEASON FINALE The X Factor, 8 p.m., Fox Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom announce this season's winner. It's the contestant who can unsuccessfully describe why Khloe is famous.
A White House Christmas: First Families Remember, 8 p.m., NBC Meredith Vieira talks with Michelle Obama and other first ladies about what's been memorable at the White House over the holidays. Threats to ruin the economy and government shutdowns are always fun.
CMA Country Christmas, 9 p.m., ABC Jennifer Nettles hosts this special for a third year, which really makes us wonder how far in advance they taped it, since she just gave birth to a baby boy she named Magnus.
SERIES FINALE Jersey Shore, 10 p.m., MTV The dark times pass, as the guidos and guidettes leave us in relative peace after six seasons. Well, as much peace as we can muster after Hurricane Sandy scoured the area following the series wrap.
The Happy Elf, 8 p.m., CW An elf in charge of cataloging the naughty and nice list finds that a place called Bluesville is full of bad folks. How far away is that from Seaside Heights, N.J.?
Michael Buble: Home for the Holidays, 8 p.m., NBC Christmas Canadian-style is mysteriously a lot like Christmas in America. Wow, TV sure does teach us a lot!
Christmas in Washington 2012, 8 p.m., TNT Conan O'Brien hosts a celebration for the first family that features Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, Scotty McCreery and Gangnam Style singer Psy. This next term really will be different.
Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour, 9 p.m., ABC Amanpour leads a trip through the history of religious faith. Conclusion: Every religion says don't kill your neighbors, but very few of them follow that instruction.
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, 9 p.m., CW A cartoon about child who wants to know why his elderly grandmother hasn't returned home on Christmas Eve. Telling him his grandmother was waylaid by a random caribou is certainly better than telling him she had too much eggnog and passed out in a snowbank. — Joshua Gillin [email protected]