Sanctuary

Sanctuary
10/9c Syfy
It would be silly to go through all the trouble of establishing a hidden city without installing some hard-core security measures to make sure your secret burg stays off the maps. Unfortunately, for Magnus and Co., those security measures are of the deadly variety. The team goes to Tibet in the mid-season finale in a bid to find a cure for Magnus' illness...and her father. — Michael Chant

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NBA Basketball
7/6c ESPN
Manhattan has more than just shopping and theater to attract attention this holiday season as pro basketball seems to have legitimately returned to Madison Square Garden. Led by Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton, the Knicks are on a roll that could signal the end of a six-year playoff drought. The Grinch is in town tonight, however, as LeBron James makes his first appearance in a Miami Heat jersey after spurning the Knicks on "The Decision" this summer. Both teams began the week with eight-game winning streaks. — Roger Leister

Yes, Virginia
8/7c CBS
Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon's famous letter to the editor of New York's Sun newspaper in 1897 asking if Santa is real is the basis of this delightful 2009 animated tale. Beatrice Miller provides the voice of Virginia, who searches for signs of Santa in her neighborhood but continually comes up empty. When she realizes the local paper's motto is "If you see it in the Sun, it's so," she dashes off a letter to its initially reluctant editor (voice of Alfred Molina) knowing the newspaper prints only facts. The convincing holiday script is aided by top voice talents, including Neil Patrick Harris and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Virginia's befuddled parents. — Tim Holland

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Christmas in Washington
8/7c TNT
It's beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas when funnywoman Ellen DeGeneres hosts the 29th annual holiday songfest from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Annually attended by Washington dignitaries, including the president and first lady, the Beltway-based bash features a roster of performers that includes popsters Mariah Carey and Miranda Cosgrove, tenor and classical crossover artist Andrea Bocelli, songstress Annie Lennox and R&B vocalist Maxwell. There will be glee, as actor-singer Matthew Morrison is also in the house. The gala was recorded on Dec. 12. — Dean Maurer

Top 40 Videos of 2010
9/8c VH1
VH1 counts down its picks for the top music videos of the year. Your job? Sit around wrapping holiday gifts, and every once in a while, shout something at your TV like, "Hey, (fill in the blank) doesn't belong on this countdown!" Or, "How could you leave (fill in the blank) off this list?!" You know...get in the holiday spirit. Numbers 40 through 21 are counted down in this hour; the final hour follows immediately. — Fred Mitchell

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Blais Off

10/9c Science
There's a saying that you can't reinvent the wheel, but what if the "wheel" is a time-honored favorite made out of dough and topped with tomato sauce and cheese? Richard Blais visits Patsy's Pizzeria, a Big Apple landmark, to whip up radical approaches to pizza in the premiere of the series that has the culinary modernist using science and technology to serve up new takes on traditional American dishes. — Michael Chant