Christmas week is historically dominated by specials, with many regular programs either airing repeats or being pre-empted.
However, with country music shows continuing to get high ratings, Faith Hill becomes the latest star to take center stage Wednesday night with her second annual A Home for the Holidays benefit concert on WTVF-5 at 7 p.m. It's a show that not only features plenty of music and a diverse guest list, but also supports a fine cause — finding homes for foster children.
More than 25,000 kids have found homes thanks to this program, and Hill, who talks in the current issue of TV Guide about her own experiences being adopted as an infant, goes all out to ensure that a wide range of styles and sounds are on display during the program.
This year's guest cast includes fellow country performers Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood, plus Latin pop-rocker Shakira and R&B/urban music icon Mary J. Blige. Expect lots of seasonal and holiday tunes, plus spirituals and hymns in the hour-long event.
More Christmas fare
With Christmas on a Friday this year, the networks will present plenty of programs celebrating the event right through the week.
I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown gets things started Monday at 7 p.m. on WKRN-2. On Wednesday, WNPT-8 airs Christmas at Belmont at 7 p.m.
Perhaps the most popular holiday film of all time It's A Wonderful Life will be shown Thursday at 7 p.m. on WSMV-4, and they'll also air SNL Christmas 2009 on Christmas night at 7.
Mary McDonnell was one of the main reasons for the success of Battlestar Galatica, but she's also become a favorite recurring villian on TNT's The Closer.
Monday night the fifth season comes to a close with McDonnell's Captain Sharon Raydor, head of the Force Investigation Division, returning once more to plague Kyra Sedgwick's squad.
Only this time it turns out she wants a rather large favor, and the request will lead to some rather difficult problems and situations for both characters. Because of its popularity, TNT continues to split The Closer into two seasons, retaining enough episodes to air it during off-peak times for the network.
That works well in terms of the ratings, but it also means there's a long time between Monday's finale and the start of another season.
New Year's celebrations
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest (Dec. 31 at 11:30 a.m. WKRN-2) once more features the venerable Clark (health willing) appearing alongside with principal host Seacrest. This year's guest roster includes The Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, Colbie Caillat, Robin Thicke and guitarist Orianthi.
New Year's Eve with Carson Daly (10:30 p.m. WSMV-4) features Green Day as the main guests.
Fox also has its entry into the competition with Billboard's New Year's Salute"(11 p.m. WZTV-17) Kris Allen is the main guest along with Sean Kingston and Allison Iraheta. Carmen Electra serves as the host.
'Real World' returns
It seems a strange time to debut a reality show, but after 22 years The Real World certainly has an established audience.
The Real World - Washington, D.C. starts its 23rd season Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. on MTV with eight 20-something types ranging from a former cult member to a right-wing vegetarian, aspiring rock singer and sex-starved cartoonist from Denver.