Happy New Year, Charlie Brown
8 pm/ET ABC
Although not a holiday perennial like A Charlie Brown Christmas, this 1986 special is charming. Charlie Brown rings in the New Year at a party with a thick book: Tolstoy's War and Peace, which he has to read over the holidays. Still, Charlie takes part in some of the festivities before he settles down to read — only to miss the evening's surprise.
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Kennedy Center Honors
9 pm/ET CBS
The 31st annual gala in Washington, D.C., hosted by Caroline Kennedy, honors Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, Twyla Tharp, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. The who's who of celebrities feting the six includes Beyoncé, Garth Brooks, Clint Eastwood, Alan Jackson, B.B. King, Brad Paisley, Queen Latifah, Joss Stone, Lily Tomlin, Randy Travis and Denzel Washington. As usual, the honoree list is heavy on singers, which always makes for stellar, lively tributes. — Tim Holland
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Rudolph's Shiny New Year
8:30 pm/ET ABC
Everybody's favorite red-nosed reindeer proves he isn't a one-trick pony when Santa sends him on a mission to find the aurally enhanced Baby New Year. Although not quite the equal of other Rankin/Bass holiday favorites, this 1976 tale boasts the same great animation, some memorable characters — notably the comically menacing buzzard Aeon — and the voices of Morey Amsterdam, Frank Gorshin and narrator Red Skelton. — Joe Friedrich
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8 pm/ET PBS
So maybe little green Martians were merely figments of overactive imaginations. But that doesn't preclude the very real possibility that Mars hosted life of some sort in the distant past or, for that matter, is home to a microbe or two even now. Here, Harvard paleontologist Andrew Knoll and NASA planetary scientist Christopher McKay offer their interpretations of what the evidence suggests. — Jeff Gemmill
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10 pm/ET ABC
Eli's impatience about his love life led him to Dr. Chen's rival, who reluctantly agreed to apply the risky "Dark Truth" method for a peek at the future. Instead of glimpsing his own romantic prospects, however, Eli witnessed a troubling development regarding his brother's elopement, and let's just say that nothing can stay in Vegas if it never happens. Eli is now desperate for another look at what's to come, but is he in danger of going to the well once too often? — Joe Friedrich
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