What's On: Ellen Plays 'Games,' Kit Harington in 'Gunpowder,' Remembering 2017 with Sorrow and Laughter
Ellen's Game of Games (10/9c, NBC): A raucous circus that makes Hollywood Game Night seem as challenging as Jeopardy! by comparison, this amped-up version of the silly and sometimes messy games from Ellen DeGeneres' delightful daytime show is airing at a peculiarly late hour (bolstered by a lead-in from The Voice's last live performance show before Tuesday's finale). When it returns in January, it will be airing on Tuesdays at 8/7c, a time more fitting for the physical-comedy shenanigans DeGeneres presides over with grinning gusto.
Gunpowder (10/9c, HBO): More peculiar scheduling in a three-hour miniseries airing over three nights (concluding Wednesday)—basically a three-hour movie—telling the violent historical story of a failed 17th-century Catholic murder plot in England against oppressive Protestant King Games I. A key conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot: nobleman Robert Catesby, played by Game of Thrones' Kit Harington, who's a descendant of the real Catesby and a driving force behind this production.
The Year in Memoriam 2017 (10/9c, ABC): Good Morning America's Robin Roberts hosts a special looking back at the legends we lost this year, few remembered more fondly than Mary Tyler Moore, whose tribute features Valerie Harper, Ed Asner, Dick Van Dyke and Bernadette Peters. Among others whose legacies are lovingly recalled: Don Rickles, Glen Campbell, Tom Petty, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lewis.
The Daily Show's The Yearly Show 2017 (11/10c, Comedy Central): Or you could look back through the irony-tinted perspective of Trevor Noah and his satirical team, mocking the news and those who reported it in a special taped at New York City's Gramercy Theater.
Inside Monday TV: Acorn TV veers from its usual Anglophile formula with the six-part French-language mystery series The Accident (streaming Monday), in which a widower refuses to believe his wife died by accident in what appears to be a drunken automobile collision. His investigation reveals many a secret in his community. … CBS's Scorpion (10/9c) revives one of the Christmas season's most well-worn premises when Walter (Elyes Gabel) hits his head while working on Christmas Eve and dreams of a world where Team Scorpion never existed. … Jack Maxwell, better known as Travel Channel's Booze Traveler (11/10c), is back for a new season of globe-trotting guzzling. He begins in Tahiti, which sounds like a great escape this type of year, drink or no drink.