What to What to Watch Tonight: The X Factor, The Hour, and the Season Finale of The Challenge

By Andy Daglas

Dec 19, 2012

What to watch on Wednesday, December 19...

The X Factor
With a $5 million dollar recording contract on the line, you can be damn sure Fox will pad this finale out to cover its entire primetime schedule tonight and tomorrow. The first installment of the two-part, four-hour ordeal serves up the finalists’ last live performances of the season.

9pm, BBC America
The Hour
[Checks summary for Episode 4, in which Bel and Freddie try to take down an organized crime network while also wrangling with a story about the NATO summit.] [Doesn’t see phrase, “Romola Garai runs away with Andy to a villa in the south of France.”] [Sighs.] [Watches anyway because this show is splendid.]

9pm, History
American Restoration
Restoring stuff doesn’t slow down for the holidays—nay, there are sleighs and shops and other bric-a-brac that need careful craftsmanship. And if the Christmas festivities need an extra dose of good cheer, well, the team’s good friends from Pawn Stars just might be happy to stop by.

10pm, NBC
Chicago Fire
These firefighters save lives every day. But can they save... Christmas? That’s a freebie from me to you, NBC promo department. Anyway, in “Merry Christmas, Etc.,” some of the crew is accused of pilfering expensive jewelry after extinguishing a blaze in a ritzy townhouse, while Cruz tries to keep his brother from getting sucked into a gang war.

The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons
Teams Brooklyn, San Diego, and Las Vegas are the only ones left standing as the former Real World casts compete for a $250,000 grand prize. The final challenge pits the teams against the harsh desert of Namibia. This has to violate any number of the treaties and international laws instituted in the wake of Jersey Shore’s Italy sojourn, which prohibit the export of MTV casts to other sovereign nations.

10:30pm, TV Land
Happily Divorced
When Fran is pressed into service as an assistant to Joan Collins (played by guest-star Joan Collins), will she perform with dignity and aplomb? Or, this being a sitcom, will she stumble into one wacky mishap after another? And did we mention guest-star Joan Collins? And did you not realize it is still actually 1991 on TV Land?

– Kevin Pollack on Chelsea Lately, 11pm, E!
– Jamie Foxx, Carl Reiner, and the winner of The Voice on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Seth Rogen and John Witherspoon on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35 am, CBS
– Eric Stonestreet, L.A. Reid, and Aimee Mann & James Mercer on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 12am, ABC
– Ed Burns, Victor Cruz, Jeff Musial, and the Backstreet Boys on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
– Judd Apatow and Joanne Froggatt on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS


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