Shatner's Raw Nerve
10 pm/ET Biography
Being on a talk show is often referred to as being in the "hot seat" — and for good reason. The host can ask almost anything, and if the guests are celebs, they might have more skeletons in the closet than most people. The guests on William Shatner's new talkfest walk willingly into the fire, as the whole purpose is for Shatner to go boldly where other hosts haven't gone before and find those sensitive subjects that most guests fear. In the "hot seat" for the opener is Valerie Bertinelli. — Bill Ecklund
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Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
8 pm/ET ABC
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
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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10 pm/ET NBC
Benson has long tried to suppress the painful memories of the sexual assault she experienced while working undercover in a prison last season, but tonight she comes to a point where she can no longer do that. The trigger is the case of a missing marine who is pregnant with her rapist's child. When the woman turns up dead, Benson's reaction threatens her ability to work the case. She enlists Fin's assistance with the investigation and also seeks help for herself from a therapist. — Jennifer Sankowski
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According to Jim
9 pm/ET ABC
If you thought Jim's life was difficult with three kids, how will he deal with two more? His wife, Cheryl, gave birth to twins at the end of last season, and tonight the comedy's eighth season begins with back-to-back episodes. In the first, Jim blames the loss of one of the babies' blankets on the other kids, who are guilt-tripped into doing the household chores. In the second, Jim must find Cheryl a new confidant when her sister and best friend, Dana, moves away. — Joe Friedrich
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Real Housewives of Orange County
10 pm/ET Bravo
Bravo squeezes more dramatic juice from Orange County in the season's second outing. Here, Gretchen gets her motor running, persuading her fiancé to go motorcycle shopping. And Tamra's hubby gears up, too: He quits his job at a luxury-car dealership and starts up his own home business. Alas, times aren't OK in O.C. real estate, but that doesn't stop real-estate agent Jeana from doing some mean business. Then there's Lauri, who visits her daughter and learns about her start-up skin-care business. — Dean Maurer
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Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008
Shatner's Raw Nerve