A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story Marathon
8/7c TBS
Butter up plenty of popcorn, gather the family and settle in for lots of holiday yuks as this 1983 classic airs in 12 consecutive screenings. Directed by Bob Clark (this is great enough to forgive him for Porky's), and written and wonderfully narrated by humorist Jean Shepherd, the film tracks the misadventures of Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a beamish lad in the 1940s who wants nothing else for Christmas but a Red Ryder BB gun. — Dean Maurer

SportsCenter Special: Decade in Review

4:30/3:30c ESPN
The Oughts are not permitted to end without a definitive highlight show from SportsCenter, the sports fan's nightly supplier of scores and highlights since 1979. It was a 10-year stretch that began with Dennis Miller in the Monday Night Football booth, Marion Jones and Tiger Woods on top of the world and the Yankees celebrating a title. We end with Jon Gruden on MNF, Jones and Woods thoroughly disgraced and (sigh) the Yankees celebrating a title. Those stories and more are neatly summed up in 90 whirlwind minutes. — Roger Leister

Catherine Tate Christmas Special 2
8:40/7:40c BBC America
If you're looking for a laugh this Christmas Eve, this holiday special from across the pond should do the job. British funny lady Catherine Tate is back with more seasonal skits featuring her wonderfully wacky characters, including Nan Taylor, the foul-mouthed granny; bratty teen Lauren Cooper; and Derek Fay, the man who's most certainly not gay, despite everyone believing otherwise. Also making an appearance is Welsh songstress Charlotte Church. — Karen Andzejewicz

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
8/7c ABC Family
Ever wonder how Santa got to be Santa? The creative folks at Rankin-Bass did back in 1970 and came up with a gem that's become a holiday perennial. Fred Astaire narrates the story of an orphan named Kris (voice of Mickey Rooney), who is given to a family of toymakers, the Kringles, to raise. When Kris grows up, he wants to deliver the family's toys to the children of Sombertown. But the town's mayor, the Scrooge-like Burgermeister Meisterburger, hates toys and won't allow anyone to have them. But kindly Kris won't take no for an answer. — Tim Holland

Raising the Bar
8/7c TNT
TNT played judge, jury and executioner to this Steven Bochco-produced courtroom drama by canceling it back in November, but three new episodes remain in the wake of that verdict. In a tightly wrapped Christmas Eve gift to fans of the show, all three of them air in succession tonight. In the first episode, Jerry tumbles into a moral quandary when it's discovered his client's testimony against a rapist might be utter fiction. A parallel plot involves Roz, who comes in possession of a baby after a regrettable turn of events. — Dean Maurer

Modern Family
9/8c ABC
Christmas comes but once a year, but this show is the gift that keeps on giving with an encore of its Dec. 9 episode. At the Pritchett house, Gloria and Manny sulk when Jay goes all Scrooge-y on their Colombian traditions, while Lily's first Christmas turns into impromptu dinner plans with a ho-ho-hobo for Cameron and Mitchell. And at the Dunphys, Phil puts the "no" in Noel when he threatens to X-out Xmas unless the kids fess up to a recent transgression. Fred Willard guest stars as Phil's dad. — Joe Friedrich