TV column for Sunday, Dec. 10


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Frozen” (2013) and “Encore,” 8 and 10 p.m., ABC.

It's Kristen Bell
night on ABC, while celebrating the art of Broadway-style belting.
First is “Frozen,” a new classic that blends gorgeous animation
and big ballads sung by Bell and Idina Menzel.

Then comes a unique
reality show Bell produced: She assembles people who – 20 years ago
– did “Into the Woods” as their high school musical. Now –
boosted by Broadway directors and coaches – each returns to his or
her original role. These middle-age folks have just two weeks to
recapture their youth.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Bob's Burgers,” 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Fox.

For the first time
in its eight-season existence, this animated show has a one-hour
episode.

Linda plans a
holiday party at the restaurant, to spread neighborhood cheer. When
her prized ornaments are stolen, she starts questioning the guests.
The kids, however, have an alternate theory: They suspect this was
the work of The Bleaken, who is the anti-Santa.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: Season (or mid-season) finales, cable.

From amour to
zombies, this is a key night. The zombies are on AMC's “Walking
Dead,” which starts rerunning the season at 1:39 p.m.; its
“mid-season finale” is at 9 p.m., repeating at 11:28 (after the
10:28 p.m. “Talking Dead”). Then comes an eight-week break.

The love is on
“Outlander,” at 8 p.m. on Starz. Jamie's nephew Ian is missing
and an old adversary seems to be involved; Jamie and Claire race
through the Jamaican jungles, trying to rescue Ian.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: Movie adventures, cable.

Back in 1977, two
friends proved that wide-eyed adventures can be brilliantly crafted.
Steven Spielberg gave us “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”;
George Lucas had “Star Wars.” Now the former is at 8 p.m. ET on
Turner Classic Movies; the latter is 1:30 p.m. on TNT, with sequels
at 4:15 and 7:01.

They compete with
two more triumphs: James Cameron's “Terminator 2” (1991) is 8
p.m. ET on BBC America; George Miller's “Mad Max: Beyond
Thunderdome” (1985) is 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Viceland.

Other choices
include:

“Miracle on 34th
Street” (1947), 3 p.m., Sundance, rerunning at 5:15, 7:30 and 9:45
p.m. By

modern standards,
this is slow and stiff. Still, it's a classic, complete with a
9-year-old Natalie Wood.

“You Can't Fight
Christmas,” 7-9 p.m., TV One. Yes, most Christmas movies are kind
of fun. (There are new ones tonight on Ion and on both Hallmark
Channels.) Still, the stars seem to look the same; the plots seem to
feel the same. Here's the exception: The immensely likable Brely
Evans plays a designer, desperate to save a classic, black-owned
hotel. The plot is predictable, but the cast – including Persia
White as a sleek villain – is terrific. There are even some songs,
two of them sung by Evans.

“The Simpsons,”
8 p.m., Fox. Bart is missing and the whole town searches.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. A skilled assailant is determined to avenge
her father's death by killing a Brazilian diplomat.

“Counterpart,” 9
p.m., Starz. J.K. Simmons has been all over our TV and movie screens,
mainly as villains (including his Oscar-winning “Whiplash” role)
and in quirky insurance commercials. What he rarely gets to be,
though, is the central figure. Now he plays a lowly bureaucrat who
learns what his agency really does. This is an early peek at a series
that starts Jan. 21.

“Madame
Secretary,” 10 p.m., CBS. Elizabeth isn't really the hostess type,
but she hosts a holiday party in hopes of getting votes for a treaty.
Also, her husband scrambles to prove collusion with the Russians.