‘Beauty and the Beast’ at 30, a ‘Ghost’-ly Hour, Simpsons at the Opera, ‘Parent Test’

Josh Groban and H.E.R. headline a 30th-anniversary celebration of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. CBS hit Ghosts expands to an hour for a rollicking Christmas episode. A new Simpsons short features the singing Bocelli family. ABC puts parents to the test in a new reality show.

Martin Short and David Alan Grier in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'
ABC/Christopher Willard

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration

Special

Disney invites you to be their guest to mark the 30th anniversary of the Oscar-winning animated classic, brought to life in staged live-action performances of the Alan MenkenHoward Ashman score alongside scenes from the beloved film. Headliners include everyone’s favorite EGOT, Rita Moreno, as the narrator, R&B star H.E.R. as Belle, Josh Groban as the big-voiced Beast, Broadway’s Joshua Henry as Gaston, Martin Short as the irrepressible Lumiere, David Alan Grier as the cantankerous Cogsworth and Shania Twain as the lovable Mrs. Potts.

Rebecca Wisocky, Richie Moriarty, Danielle Pinnock, Devan Chandler Long, Sheila Carrasco, Asher Grodman, amd Roman Zaragoza - 'Ghosts' Season 2
Bertrand Calmeau/CBS

Ghosts

There are surprises and delights a-plenty in a two-part, hourlong holiday episode of the CBS hit comedy, sparked by Sam’s (Rose McIver) addiction to Christmas-themed romcoms. The fun begins when she tries to matchmake husband Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) visiting sister Bela (Punam Patel) with her platonic and clearly smitten BFF Eric (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s Andrew Leeds). Turns out ghostly bro Trevor (Asher Grodman) has other ideas on how to make the holidays merry for Bela, with truly bewitching complications. In a more poignant subplot, Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) reflects on his past to try to explain his romantic ambivalence towards fellow Revolutionary War-era ghost Nigel (John Hartman). Ghosts continually reminds us that passions are alive and kicking in the spirit world.

'The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in Feliz Navidad'
Disney+

The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in Feliz Navidad

Special

The latest animated short produced exclusively for Disney+ brings The Simpsons into the world of high culture, when Homer unexpectedly surprises Marge with a gift for the ages: a musical encounter with opera superstar Andrea Bocelli and his family, 25-year-old son Matteo and 10-year-old daughter Virginia. Their version of “Feliz Navidad” is being released today and can be heard on the Bocellis’ new album A Family Christmas. This is also The Simpsons’ anniversary week, coinciding with the Dec. 17, 1989 premiere of the series on Fox. Times and TV have changed, but not those wacky Simpsons.

The Parent Test - ABC

The Parent Test

Series Premiere

Ali Wentworth hosts this social experiment with parenting expert Dr. Adolph Brown, in a series that contrasts the parenting approaches of 12 families. They’re observed while participating in special challenges meant to spark conversation and debate on how they’re raising their children. In a preview episode, before the series begins a run on Thursdays at 9/8c in January, the families take on the High Dive and Yes Day challenges.

The Yule Log:

Inside Thursday TV:

  • CSI: Vegas (10/9c, CBS): There’s no happily-ever-after for two attendees of a Regency Romantic Festival who are found murdered. Investigating the crime, the CSI team finds surprising links to previous cases.
  • The Game (streaming on Paramount+): A players’ strike creates tension in a new season of the sports dramedy.
  • Fleishman Is in Trouble (streaming on Hulu): A reunion party leads to more soul-searching for the spiraling Toby (Jesse Eisenberg), his restless BFF Libby (Lizzy Caplan) and their bud Seth (Adam Brody).
  • Harry & Meghan (streaming on Netflix): The hit docuseries presents Volume II, with the final three episodes focusing on the couple’s historic split from the royal family.
  • Call Me Miss Cleo (streaming on HBO Max): A documentary from Gunpowder & Sky follows the turbulent history of TV call-a-psychic celebrity Miss Cleo, whose Psychic Readers Network in the 1990s attracted government scrutiny over allegedly deceptive business practices. (Cue the joke “We should have seen that coming.”)
  • Love for the Ages (streaming on Peacock): Well past the seven-year itch, three middle-aged Latino couples from L.A. trade in their spouses for a younger model to test the strength of their relationships in an eight-part series (the final four episodes drop next Thursday).
  • The Spectacular (streaming on Topic): From the Netherlands, a taut four-part drama about the investigation into violent IRA attacks on British soldiers stationed in the Dutch region of Limberg, Germany.