Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special

Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special
8/7c Fox
Multiplatinum country singer — and onetime American Idol winner — Carrie Underwood makes merry on this holiday hootenanny, performing songs from her latest album, Play On, plus past favorites and seasonal classics. Joining in on the fun are fellow country stars Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, Christina Applegate, Kristin Chenoweth and Sons of Sylvia, the country trio that backs Underwood on the Play On song "What Can I Say." — Jeff Gemmill

Men of Certain Age
10/9c TNT
Sharp performances and quick-witted ruminations on life and aging drive this likable dramedy about three longtime male friends. The pilot episode introduces the guys, best buds since college and now bonded in their efforts to pass through midlife challenges. The fortysomething trio include bighearted but somewhat maladjusted party-store owner Joe Tranelli (creator, writer and executive producer Ray Romano), who's struggling through a gambling problem and a crumbled marriage; Terry Elliot (Scott Bakula), a womanizing part-time actor whose glory days seem to be behind him; and pressured family man Owen Thoreau (Andre Braugher), who unhappily slogs through the 9-to-5 paces at his oppressive father's car dealership. — Dean Maurer

The Closer
9/8c TNT
It's prime time for crime when the cop series jumps back into its fifth season with a winter arc of new episodes. Southern belle Brenda Leigh Johnson goes like gangbusters to bust a gang. The case begins with a gang-related shooting and the resultant death of a 12-year-old boy, but the investigation really heats up when two more bodies surface. In domestic developments, Brenda is in store for a big surprise, thanks to Fritz. And Provenza's once-blooming love life now begins to wilt. — Dean Maurer

CSI: Miami
10/9c CBS
Some people just don't want to stand up and be counted. That's especially true with folks involved in illegal activities, as is the case tonight when a census worker is murdered. The death and investigation lead to a high-speed car chase, an explosion and life-threatening situations for Ryan and Natalia. Count us in! — Tim Holland

How I Met Your Mother
8/7c CBS
Viewers have become accustomed to accepting the fact that each new love interest for Ted probably won't get them any closer to knowing how he met the mother of his children. The prolonging of the mystery is tied to the continuation of the sitcom. But what if Ted is convinced he knows the perfect woman? This idolized object of his affection, played by JoAnna Garcia, suddenly becomes available to date, but he needs some help from his friends. Meanwhile, Marshall has an epiphany when he discovers a letter he wrote when he was young. — Bill Ecklund