'Rudolph' a Christmas Tradition, 'This Is Us' Fall Finale, Comedy Central's 'Goatface'
A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8/7c, CBS): The oldies are still goodies, and that absolutely applies to the tuneful adventures of Rudolph, whose memorable title song is crooned by Burl Ives (who also voices Sam the Snowman, the show’s narrator). First seen in 1964, this stop-motion animated charmer celebrates the shy reindeer with the glowing schnoz who saves the day one foggy Christmas Eve, but only after running away with another misfit: Hermey, the elf who’d rather be a dentist.
Freeform brings merriment to the holiday season with 25 days of magical family films and specials.
This Is Us (9/8c, NBC): As the much-loved drama prepares for a holiday hiatus, there are some turning points for the Pearson brothers in the fall finale: Kevin (Justin Hartley) finally makes it to the Vietnam village where Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) once served, hoping to find answers to his dad’s hidden history, and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) debates his rival in the race for a council seat.
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Goatface (10/9c, Comedy Central): This ethnically diverse comedy quartet — comprised of Hasan Minhaj (formerly of The Daily Show, now with his own Patriot Act Netflix series), Asif Ali, Fahim Anwar and Aristotle Athiras — formed their troupe in 2011 and gained a following with their viral sketches on YouTube. Their first prime-time showcase is a mix of stand-up routines (revealing their “Starbucks names” is a highlight) and racially barbed sketches, including a riff on pop culture’s brand-name sneaker fetish.
Choose among 11 series, from 'Gotham' to 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine.'
Inside Tuesday TV: After last week’s bombshell, Sarah Chalke (aka “Second Becky”) returns to ABC’s The Conners (8/7c) as Andrea, meeting up with Becky (Lecy Goranson) for the first time since last season’s surrogacy snafu… Dre (Anthony Anderson) finds Junior (Marcus Scribner) an intern job at his office on ABC’s black-ish (9/8c), which is more than a bit eye-opening… A hit franchise takes a seasonal twist in back-to-back episodes of HGTV’s House Hunters: Home for the Holidays (9/8c), where prospective buyers (including Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay and wife Sarah) look to close on a property in time to trim the tree… A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (9/8c) is back for a third season, with the actress-advocate exposing more abuses while interviewing former church members and officials… Followed by A&E’s six-part docu-series The Devil Next Door (10/9c), which looks inside North Carolina’s infamous Word of Faith Fellowship Church, alleging instances of physical and mental child abuse, separation of children from parents, forced labor and intimidation. … Taking police ride-alongs to the next level, Investigation Discovery’s 10-part series Body Cam (10/9c) uses body-cam and dash-cam footage, as well as dispatch and radio transmissions, to put viewers as close to the patrol action as possible… On the fall finale of NBC’s New Amsterdam (10/9c), saintly Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) convinces his oncologist, Dr. Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), to enroll him in a clinical trial to battle his throat cancer.