Holiday Previews: ‘Family Guy,’ ‘Great News’ and More Festive Episodes

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Family Guy Sunday, Dec. 10, 9/8c, Fox

Will Peter Griffin finally learn the true meaning of Christmas? In this year’s holiday offering, the animated hit’s self-centered patriarch is visited by the ghost of a beloved actor (hint: he’s voiced by Don Swayze), who takes him on a Christmas Carol–esque journey to teach him a lesson. The episode also marks the final appearance of the late Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Peter’s boss, Angela. Says executive producer Danny Smith, “It chokes me up a little—but also makes me smile—that the last thing Carrie ­Fisher ever said on Family Guy was, ‘Everybody have a nice holiday!’” —Marisa Roffman

Michael Ansell/ABC

The Middle Tuesday, Dec. 12, 8/7c, ABC

With the kids all older now, Frankie (Patricia Heaton) decides it’s time the family has a real grown-up Christmas with their much classier neighbors the Donahues. Youngest son Brick (Atticus Shaffer) gets in the spirit, even wrapping his own present for the party’s big gift exchange. “It’s something he’s never done before,” executive producer Eileen Heisler says, “mainly because he was never allowed to handle scissors until now.” Eldest Axl (Charlie McDermott), however, rocks the sleigh
when he announces that he’s also old enough to skip midnight Mass. Oh, unholy night! —Aubry D’Arminio

Great News - Andrea Martin
Bill Inoshita/NBC

Great News Thursday, Dec. 21, 8/7c, NBC

For behold, we bring you tidings of Great News! The sitcom is set to air back-to-back episodes on December 21, ­including an eggnog-soaked installment about the cable station’s resident anti-Scrooge. “Carol [Andrea Martin] finds herself in a reverse Christmas Carol,” executive producer Tracey Wigfield explains. Turns out the overeager intern in the ugly sweater “learns that she has too much Christmas spirit and is driving everyone around her insane,” Wigfield says. Bah, humbug, indeed. —Damian Holbrook

Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O Friday, Dec. 15, 9/8c, CBS

From the land where palm trees sway, Hawaii Five-0 does Christmas the Hawaiian way, with a giant pig roast. Sure, thieving Santas try to ruin the ­holidays for the team, but they can’t dampen the festivities at Chez McGarrett when the lieutenant commander (Alex O’Loughlin) invites his colleagues (Dennis Chun, Kimee Balmilero, Shawn Mokuahi Garnett and Taylor Wily)—as well as some vets (played by real-life veterans)—over for a traditional feast. “If there’s anything this episode has, it’s heart,” says executive producer Peter Lenkov. And, it seems, a Christmas miracle. Lenkov teases: “A big event for one of our characters takes place at the party.” Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say! —Jim Halterman

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Check out all the merry shows on our nice list.

Christmas Calendar: Holiday Movies, Specials, Classics, and MarathonsSee Also

Christmas Calendar: Holiday Movies, Specials, Classics, and Marathons

Baby, it's cold outside ... so stay indoors and warm up with these TV goodies.