‘The Goldbergs,’ ‘NCIS,’ & More Cheerful Holiday TV Episodes to Watch

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ABC/CBS
NCIS
Michael Yarish/CBS

NCIS

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 8/7c, CBS

Merry kid-mas. In this sweet episode, the team’s holiday gift comes wrapped in a baby blanket. While investigating a veteran’s murder, the gang finds a newborn with no identification. Putting their celebrations on hold, the work family jumps into caretaking mode.

Luckily, experienced dad McGee (Sean Murray) is on hand to offer swaddling tips to special agents Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), who volunteer to watch the infant overnight.

“The episode shines a light on homeless veterans,” executive producer Scott Williams says, “while delivering an uplifting story about families of every variety.” —Kate Hahn

Ellen's Game of Games - Elle DeGeneres
Mike Rozman/NBC

Ellen’s Game of Games



Wednesday, Dec. 12, 8/7c, NBC

The holiday season is the perfect time for a special hour of Ellen DeGeneres’s amusing show where ordinary folks play wacky games for a chance at $100,000. (Season 2 premieres on January 8.) Says resident announcer Stephen “tWitch” Boss: “The show takes adults back to one of the things that we enjoyed most from childhood — playing games. Seeing grown people acting as if they’re kids is joyous.”

For example, in “It’s a Wonderful Wife,” the Mrs. answers questions while hanging by wires over a vat of seasonal slop—but first, her husband must predict how many she’ll get right. As Boss explains, “she pays for [his wrong answers by being] dropped in mashed potatoes or casserole.” Have a messy, messy Christmas! —Jim Halterman

SAM LERNER, HAYLEY ORRANTIA, DAVID KOECHNER, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY
ABC/Richard Cartwright

The Goldbergs

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 8/7c, ABC

The first night of Hanukkah is nearly upon the Goldbergs. So you can imagine how thrilled Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) will be to learn that her eldest son, Barry (Troy Gentile), is getting psyched up to celebrate — yep! — Christmas, a previously forbidden holiday that’s finally within his grasp now that he’s engaged to Lainey (AJ Michalka).

“He can’t wait to sit on Santa’s lap and eat candy canes,” creator Adam Goldberg says. Adding to the festivities: The always-colorful Uncle Marvin (guest star Dan Fogler) and youngest son Adam (Sean Giambrone) attempt to make their own knockoff of a classic ’80s flick. Says Goldberg, “I wanted to do a love letter to what I consider the greatest Christmas movie of all time: Die Hard!” —Ingela Ratledge

FRESH OFF THE BOAT - CONSTANCE WU, RANDALL PARK, FORREST WHEELER, HUDSON YANG
Byron Cohen/ABC

Fresh Off The Boat

Friday, Dec. 14, 8/7c, ABC

Few things light up Jessica (Constance Wu) like the magic of Christmas. But there’s a lump of coal headed her way: Son Eddie (Hudson Yang) wants to skip the festivities in Orlando to visit his pal Nicole (Luna Blaise) in New York. “It’s a hard no from Jessica,” says supervising producer Rachna Fruchbom.

“That makes Eddie challenge her rigidity about traditions.” They’ll lock reindeer horns, setting the table for a Christmas Eve dinner that even dad Louis (Randall Park) can’t make merry. Fruchbom warns, “Eddie gets the best of her, which results in Jessica tearing down the tree!” —IR

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Deck the halls!

Glad tidings — and tons of television time — for all. Jingle all the way through December with these cheerful and bright Christmas episodes.

Click through the gallery above to find out more about them.

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Your Complete Guide to 52 Holiday TV Movies on Hallmark, Freeform, Lifetime & More

Including those from Lifetime, Freeform, Hallmark, and everything in-between.