“Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker host this annual special built around the lighting of the iconic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, a tradition dating back to 1931 during the Great Depression. Before that breathtaking moment, however, the program presents festive holiday performances from Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek & Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel, NE-YO, Gwen Stefani, Lea Michele, Straight No Chaser and, from NBC’s upcoming midseason drama “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” Skylar Astin and Alex Newell.
In what may be literally the wildest reality competition series ever, each episode of this new unscripted program pits three live Grizzly bears living in a Utah sanctuary in a series of challenges against three human competitors. For obvious reasons, the designated challenges will reflect the natural instincts of the bears, two males and a female named Bart, Tank and Honey Bump. There are five challenges per episode, involving such tests as a team vs. team tug of war or giant log rolling.
Season 5 of this hit historical drama climaxed with a ferocious battle for Kattegat that ended with ruthless Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen) fleeing the field of combat, leaving his brother Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) to be crowned the rightful king by his mother, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). As the sixth and final season opens with a two-hour premiere, Bjorn struggles to fill his late father’s royal shoes while wrestling with the nagging suspicion that power inevitably overshadows moral considerations.
Adapted from an Australian sitcom, this new Fox comedy about a dysfunctional Chicago family launches a limited six-episode run tonight with two back-to-back episodes. Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”) and Elizabeth Perkins (“Weeds”) star as Sean and Ann Moody, whose joy at having their three adult children home for the Christmas holidays is less than boundless. Jay Baruchel, François Arnaud and Chelsea Frei play Sean Jr., Dan and Bridget, the younger Moodys. The series continues next Monday and Tuesday, with two episodes each night.