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Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Christmas in Washington8 pm/ET TNT It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas at the 27th annual holiday songfest. Read on for previews of Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, Top Chef, Spectacle and White House Christmas 2008.

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Christmas in Washington
8 pm/ET TNT
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas at the 27th annual holiday songfest. It won't be a silent night, not with this eclectic roster of slated performers, which includes Christian pop-rock group Casting Crowns, actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth, country artist Julianne Hough, rock vocalist Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish fame) and a cappella group Straight No Chaser. Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw host the gala from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. — Dean Maurer
Wanna see Julianne Dancing instead? Go to our Online Video Guide for clips.
Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
8 pm/ET NBC
Christmas gets warm and (literally) fuzzy, with visions of the Muppets dancing in our heads. Song, comedy and celeb guest turns intertwine in this holiday romp featuring Kermit and his furry friends, who unwittingly prevent three letters from reaching Santa Claus. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and these creatures will be stirring when they attempt to deliver the notes to the jolly fellow himself. Their odd odyssey involves a lonely girl, a taxi driver (Whoopi Goldberg), an amiable ticket agent (Uma Thurman) and a bitter security guard (Nathan Lane). Jane Krakowski, Jesse L. Martin, Petra Nemcova and Steve Schirripa also star. — Dean Maurer
Love the Muppets? Visit our Online Video Guide for more.
Top Chef: New York
10 pm/ET Bravo
The cooks poured it on last week for series judge Gail Simmons' bridal shower, creating some genuinely good fare for the big event. Danny, however, was all wet (as were his mushrooms), so he and his uniquely crafted facial hair were sent packing. His culinary colleagues continue without him in tonight's supersize, holiday-themed outing, with domestic guru Martha Stewart overseeing the quickfire challenge. Then, the cooks cater a Christmas cocktail party hosted by actress and guest judge Natasha Richardson, with proceeds benefiting AIDS research. — Dean Maurer
For clips of Top Chef, visit ourOnline Video Guide.
9 pm/ET Sundance
In a lighthearted and revealing discussion, former president Bill Clinton sits down with Elvis Costello to talk about how deeply music has influenced his life. Clinton chats about his youthful dreams as a fledgling sax player, the recordings he played in the White House and the shared skills of musicians and politicians; he also offers astute observations on Elvis Presley, John Coltrane, the Beatles and others. — Michael Scheinfeld
For more on President Clinton, visit our Online Video Guide.
White House Christmas 2008
9 pm/ET HGTV
Despite the upcoming changes that will soon take place in the White House, traditions remain strong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thousands of visitors tour the grounds each year to admire extravagant Christmas decorations, which are designed by a team of decorators, volunteers and staffers. Tonight, host Sabrina Soto gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the decoration process and the collaboration that goes into creating the festive displays. — Brie Hearn
For clips of White House Christmas, visit our Online Video Guide.