Worth Watching: Vanna Subs for Pat on 'Wheel,' Guest Hosts for Corden on 'Late Late Show,' Caroling with 'The Moodys'
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Wheel of Fortune (syndicated, check local listings): For the next two weeks, Vanna White steps into Pat Sajak's role (if not shoes) during the annual "Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway" stunt, during which home viewers join studio contestants in reaping big prizes. These episodes were taped last month, when Sajak was recovering from abdominal surgery and his stalwart sidekick assumed the hosting duties. Because Disney is a partner in this year's giveaway, classic Disney characters will join Vanna on the set. (Does this mean Goofy will be turning the letters?)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (12:37 am/11:37c, CBS): It used to be a tradition, especially in the Johnny Carson Tonight Show era, that when a late-night host took some time off, celebrity guest hosts would fill in. And so it will be for James Corden's rambunctiously entertaining show for the next two weeks, while the host films the movie version of the Broadway musical The Prom for Netflix (with co-stars including Meryl Streep). Alicia Keys is the first guest host, and the lineup in nights to come include Melissa McCarthy, Jeff Goldblum, Ken Jeong, Chance the Rapper and Harry Styles, who guest-hosted for Corden two years ago.
The Moodys (9/8c, Fox): The family's hard-knocks Christmas continues with two more back-to-back episodes, in which Sean Sr. (Denis Leary) rallies the troops to go caroling in the neighborhood, a task he takes extremely seriously. Which means it's not the best time for son Dan's (Francois Arnaud) ex-girlfriend, Ali (Megan Park), to show up to be welcomed back into the family fold. Especially since he's carrying a new torch — for his cousin Marco's (Josh Segarra) girlfriend, Cora (Maria Gabriela de Faria).
Inside Monday TV: The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" superhero crossover event continues with Batwoman on a different night (8/7c), and a seemingly infinite number of guest stars, including Smallville veterans Tom Welling and Erica Durance, Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Bruce Wayne and a returning Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor… CBS's All Rise (9/8c) creates a new challenge for fledgling judge Lola (Simone Missick) when she uses her judicial power to fire a lawyer she feels isn't providing an adequate defense for his client. And Mark's (Wilson Bethel) fraught relationship with his crooked dad Vic (Tony Denison) becomes even more complicated when Vic is arrested for murder… If The Good Doctor is too heavy for you these days, consider binge-watching a third season of the Australian charmer The Heart Guy (streaming on Acorn TV), starring Rodger Corser as Hugh Knight, a former big-city doctor now practicing at his hometown clinic and trying to stay sober. Now that he's also a new parent, the stress isn't letting up. (He should watch Grey's Anatomy for pointers.)