Dexter

Dexter
9/8c Showtime
Over the past three seasons, Dexter has chilled the Ice Truck Killer, made mincemeat of the Bay Harbor Butcher and even straightened out a putatively straitlaced assistant district attorney (Jimmy Smits) who had a homicidal bent. As Season 4 concludes, Dexter hopes to number the unholy Trinity Killer (played with perfectly diabolical menace by John Lithgow) among his victims before the police can get to the serial slayer. And to do so, Dexter is more than willing to take the law into his own hands. — Ray Stackhouse

The People Speak
8/7c History
A stellar group of prominent actors and musical artists lend their voices to tell the story of America's song of freedom — democracy — with the focus on the experiences of everyday people. The history of democracy unfolds through dramatic readings from letters and diaries, archival footage and musical performances. Among those participating are Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Bruce Springsteen, Morgan Freeman, Viggo Mortensen, Allison Moorer, Eddie Vedder, Marisa Tomei, David Strathairn, Don Cheadle, John Legend, Q'Orianka Kilcher and Kerry Washington. The documentary is based on Howard Zinn's book A People's History of the United States. — Bill Ecklund

Family Guy
9/8c Fox
Hugh Laurie lends his House voice (if not his dignity) to tonight's proceedings, in which Peter grabs the reins of Pewterschmidt Industries after Lois' dad, Carter, suffers a heart attack and lapses into a coma (that's where House comes in). Peter's management style certainly won't surprise regular Family Guy viewers, and taxpayers can be relieved that Pewterschmidt Industries didn't receive a bailout. Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons have voice cameos in their Big Bang Theory roles. — Paul Droesch

Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special
10/9c ABC
President Obama has had talks with many world leaders this year, but not Oprah. Until tonight, that is, when they down together for a one-on-one at the White House. (Actually, the show was taped Dec. 3.) The hour is also scheduled to include a separate interview with the President and First Lady Michelle Obama, a tour of the White House that focuses on holiday preparations, and a meeting with First Dog Bo. — Paul Droesch

The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty
9/8c A&E
The death of Michael Jackson led to renewed interest in all things Jackson, including not only the music but the mysteries surrounding personal issues and his family. Four of Michael's brothers — Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon — lift the veil of mystery to allow access to their lives in a new reality series. In the opener, they announce a 40th-anniversary album. Michael's death ends their dream of a reunion, but they carry on, though not without minor problems as Jackie gets angry when Jermaine erases his vocals in the studio. The premiere episode also follows the brothers on a visit to their hometown of Gary, Ind. — Bill Ecklund