TV highlights for the week

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Making toys for all the children in the world is joyous work -- but it's a tough job, too.

That goes double for Nick Snowden, who's in charge of the family business when, just three days before Christmas, one of his reindeer is snatched and sold to the local zoo. As if there weren't enough to worry about this time of year, Nick has to rescue Buddy the reindeer -- and fast.

Fortunately, Nick hatches a plan. He'll go through Sandy, the zoo employee who is taking care of Buddy and, as it happens, has lost the Christmas spirit since the death of her parents. Nick's first order of business: taking a room at the quirky boarding house where Sandy lives.

Inasmuch as Nick is played by Tom Cavanagh ("Ed") and Sandy by Ashley Williams ("Good Morning Miami") is it any surprise that fellow cutie-pies fall for each other, and that, along the way to springing Buddy for his holiday rounds, they rediscover the true meaning of Christmas?

ABC Family airs "Snow," a for-all-ages holiday film, 7 p.m. today.

Other shows to look out for:

C-SPAN debuts "Q&A," a weekly series of hourlong conversations with prominent figures from a range of fields, today at 7 p.m. In the premiere, host Brian Lamb chats with David Levin, co-founder of the "Knowledge is Power Program." In future weeks, he'll talk to Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, "NBC Nightly News" anchorman Brian Williams and Ronald Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

It's time to ring out 2004 on Comedy Central, as events from this wacky year are put through the ringer by comedians including Andy Dick, Greg Giraldo, Kathy Griffin, D.L. Hughley, Norm MacDonald and Colin Quinn. Airing from the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, "Comedy Central's Last Laugh '04" will mock wardrobe malfunctions, Martha Stewart in stripes, and, quite likely, the presidential race. The 90-minute special airs today at 8 p.m.

"Karroll's Christmas" does an outrageous twist on Charles Dickens' classic Christmas fable. In this A&E film, Allen Karroll is a frustrated greeting card writer wallowing in a deep Christmas depression. Then, on Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghosts of "A Christmas Carol" who mistake Allen for his awful neighbor, Zeb Rosecog, the world's most bitter man. During the night, they take Allen on a riotous tour of Rosecog's past, present and future. Then, when Allen awakens the next morning, he sets to work helping Rosecog find redemption before it's too late. Tom Everett Scott ("ER") plays Allen, Wallace Shawn ("The Princess Bride") is Rosecog, and the ghosts are played by Larry Miller, Alanna Ubach and Verne Troyer (Mini Me from "Austin Powers"). The film airs Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Bill Moyers makes his final appearance this week on "Now," the PBS newsmagazine he founded three years ago. A mainstay of serious TV journalism since the early 1970s, Moyers, 70, is retiring to write a book about Lyndon Johnson, for whom he worked before and during Johnson's presidency. Meanwhile, the invaluable "Now" will carry on with David Brancaccio as host. Moyers' final report for "Now": how the right-wing media has become a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. It airs Friday at 7:30 p.m. (check local listings).

Sarah Bishop, a struggling artist, and her estranged sister Beth, a successful advertising executive, are reunited days before Christmas when their father suffers a mild stroke. He wants only one thing for the holidays: to return with his daughters to the idyllic community and family home they abandoned after his wife's death. There, sweet memories stir Sarah's impossible dream: That her mother might be with them. Could such a miracle happen? Hallmark Channel airs "Angel in the Family" at 8 p.m. Saturday, starring Ronny Cox and Meredith Baxter as the parents, with Tracey Needham as Sarah and Natasha Gregson Wagner as Beth.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: