Worth Watching: 'Dark Materials' Finale, a 'Christmas Story' Food Challenge, Seth Rogen Plays 'Price Is Right'
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
His Dark Materials (9/8c, HBO): The lavish adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy ends its first season with young heroine Lyra (Dafne Keen) finding her father, Asriel (James McAvoy) and helping with his scientific efforts, even as the Magisterium closes in. There will be losses.
Food Network Challenge (10/9c, Food Network): With another marathon of the holiday classic A Christmas Story looming this week, it's a perfect opportunity to kick off a new season of the fan-favorite baking competition by using the 1983 movie as inspiration for the opening challenge. Host Ian Ziering tasks four accomplished cake artists to do their best to pay homage to the film, with edible leg lamps and edible bunny suits among the creations. (But will their tongue stick to it?)
The Price Is Right at Night: A Holiday Extravaganza with Seth Rogen (8/7c, CBS): With most of network TV dark for the next week or so, the daytime staple presents its second consecutive prime-time special, inviting comic actor Seth Rogen to "come on down" and play for Hilarity for Charity. The organization was founded by Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen to raise awareness and research into Alzheimer's disease.
Inside Monday TV: It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas in The CW's The Christmas Caroler Challenge (8/7c), which announces a winner at the end of back-to-back episodes… The sixth season of Smithsonian Channel's Secrets concludes with a "Crucifixion Mystery" (8/7c), in which archeologists examine a skeleton, unearthed in Italy in 2006, of a man believed to have been crucified in Roman Empire times, shedding new light on the barbaric practice… In a special and timely episode of History's Pawn Stars (10/9c), proprietor Rick Harrison leaves the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas to fly across the pond and check out a Star Wars-themed collection of props and collectibles.