Laughter and Tears (‘Million Little Things’) on an All-Christmas ABC, Nat Geo’s ‘Paris to Pittsburgh’
A critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Modern Family (9/8c, ABC): The network’s family-comedy lineup goes all out with new Christmas episodes, with the centerpiece being the Emmy-winning hit, which finds Haley (Sarah Hyland) eager to share the blessed news of her unexpected pregnancy to the rest of her family — who as usual are too busy with their own crises, including Claire’s (Julie Bowen) exasperation that Phil (Ty Burrell) has borrowed the family’s Christmas tree for a house showing.
Other yuletide situations: On The Goldbergs (8/7c), Barry (Troy Gentile) is jazzed that he finally gets to celebrate Christmas now that he’s engaged to Lainey (AJ Michalka); Katie (Katy Mixon) worries about keeping the peace between her estranged parents (Wendie Malick and Patrick Duffy) at the holidays on American Housewife (8:30/7:30c); and on Single Parents (9:30/8:30c), Owen (Andy Favreau) surprises Angie (Leighton Meester) with a Christmas Eve gift, and when she runs to Will (Taran Killam) for help, she discovers Will is terrible — or so it seems — at picking presents for his daughter Sophie (Marlow Barkley).
A Million Little Things (10/9c, ABC): Or if you’d rather weep into your eggnog, the tear-jerking drama’s winter finale brings the gang together for the first Christmas since Jon’s (Ron Livingston) suicide. Complicating things further is widow Delilah’s (Stephanie Szostak) struggle with telling her kids about her pregnancy.
Paris to Pittsburgh (9/8c, National Geographic): Sounds like a travel special, but this documentary from Bloomberg Philanthropies and RadicalMedia takes a global look at the controversial issue of climate change, and how individuals and communities are taking on the challenge of committing to responsible energy efficiency. A special focus is on Pittsburgh, whose mayor, Bill Peduto, decides to take up the cause despite federal inaction and denial.
Inside Wednesday TV: Streaming on YouTube Premium: the comedy series Champaign, Ill., starring Adam Pally (Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Veep) as members of a famous rapper’s (Jay Pharoah) entourage who must readjust to the real world when their meal ticket suddenly dies… Gina Gershon guests on The CW’s Riverdale (8/7c) as Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) mom from Toledo, who takes in her son and fellow fugitive/BFF Archie (KJ Apa)… Fun and games on NBC, with new holiday editions of Ellen’s Game of Games (8/7c) and Little Big Shots (9/8c)… Prentiss (Paget Brewster) is cooking up a romance with fellow Fed Andrew Mendoza (Stephen Bishop) on CBS’s Criminal Minds (10/9c), but work as usual gets in the way — in this case, a “blast from the past” psychopath who’s stealing the hearts of prominent businessmen (assuming they have them to begin with).