TV column for Thursday, Dec. 7


TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY:
“The Orville” season-finale, 9 p.m., Fox.

Wait a second ... a
season finale already? Doesn't it seems like the season just started?
Tonight, “S.W.A.T.” has only its sixth episode; on Friday,
“Agents of SHIELD” has only its second.

Let's credit the
networks for trying to avoid reruns. “Orville” started early –
three episodes before the season officially began – only made 13
episodes and will save one for next season. It steps aside for
specials next week, a rerun or two and then a short-run music show.
Tonight, the ship crash-lands on another planet; also, Ed and Kelly
(who's his First Officer and ex-wife) consider getting back together.

TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY
II: “The Great American Baking Show,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.

Here's the second
half of ABC's effort to keep things cheery and rerun-free in
December. “The Great Christmas Lights Fight” (Mondays) and this
show each get a quick, three-week run.

This one – adapted
from a British show – had “Holiday” in its title last season.
That was removed, but it still airs in December, with holiday-worthy
food. That starts here with cake and morning treats. Anthony “Spice”
Adams – a starting defensive lineman during most of his nine-year
pro football career – hosts with Ayesha Curry. Paul Hollywood and
Johnny Iuzzini are judges.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Psych: The Movie,” 8-10 p.m., NBC.

For eight years,
this offered the sort of light adventure basic-cable was known for.
Shawn (James Roday), a cop's son, was merely a sharp observor, but
pretended to be a crime-solving psychic.

Now, three years
later, we get this movie. Roday (who co-wrote it) is back, along with
Maggie Lawson as his love interest, Dule Hill as his friend and
Corbin Bernsen as his dad. A colorful batch of guest stars includes
Zachary Levi, Ralph Macchio and Jimmi Simpson.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “A Nashville Christmas,” 8 p.m.ET, GetTV, rerunning
at 11.

Most of us are still
learning how to get GetTV. It's one of the “digi-nets” that exist
sometimes on cable and more often on stations' sub-channels,
available by digital antenna. But this is the time to find it; all
month, it reruns Christmas specials (tonight, Johnny Cash at 9, Mac
Davis at 10), plus this new hour.

Here are four great
talents – Wynonna Judd, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis and Emmylou
Harris – joined by gospel's Ashley Cleveland and bluegrass' Dailey
& Vincent. We haven't seen the whole hour, but a sampling –
Morgan doing a gorgeous “Christmas Song,” Judd and Tillis rocking
out – is promising.

Other choices
include:

“Gotham,” 8
p.m., Fox. In the “fall finale,” Carmine Falcone – former Mob
boss in Gotham City – is back in town. That complicates things for
his daughter Sophia and for Det. Gordon and Penguin. Meanwhile,
Alfred tries to get through to Bruce; Nygma tries to control his
Riddler persona.

“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Sheldon isn't really a natural
wedding-planner, but now he tries to use math principals. Also, Raj
blames his lack of confidence on his best friend, Howard.

“The Toy Story
That Time Forgot,” 8:30 p.m., ABC; and “Toy Story” (1995), 9-11
p.m., Freeform. First, catch this fairly good special – which is
preceded by the so-so “Shrek the Halls” at 8. Then switch to
cable and savor the original movie delight.

“Young Sheldon,”
8:31 p.m., CBS. It's time for some serious family warfare: Sheldon's
grandma refuses to give Sheldon's dad her brisket recipe.

“Mom,” 9:01
p.m., CBS. Steven Weber guests as the estranged brother of Bonnie's
boyfriend. Things get messy when he falls for Bonnie's daughter
Christy.

“Dian Fossey:
Secrets in the Mist,” 10 p.m. ET, NatGeo Wild, rerunning at 11. If
you missed Wednesday's debut of this compelling, three-week
documentary, here's another chance. And this time it's preceded at 7
p.m. ET by “Gorilla's in the Mist” (1988), with Sigourney Weaver
as Fossey.