What to Watch This Slow, Extended Weekend: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, The Mob Doctor, and Call the Midwife's Christmas Special

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What to watch on Thursday, December 27...

8pm, ABC
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
Everyone’s favorite blockhead spends New Year’s Eve just the way you’d expect: enveloped in Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace. Will he finish his book report in time to attend Peppermint Patty’s big bash? Well, how often do these sorts of things usually work out for Charlie Brown? The special from 1986 is followed at 8:30pm by 1980’s “She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown,” in which Peppermint Patty turns to Snoopy for the sort of skillful ice-skating coaching that only a bipedal beagle can provide.

8pm, Fox
The Mindy Project
Fox caps off a week of spotlighting its Tuesday-night comedies through mini-marathons with four episodes of Mindy Kaling’s rookie sitcom. The evening kicks off with “Thanksgiving,” an episode some folks considered to be a turning point for the show, followed by “Teen Patient,” the pilot (weirdly sandwiched in the middle, but okay), and “Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party,” guest-starring Kaling’s former Office cohort Ellie Kemper.


What to watch on Friday, December 28...

8pm, HBO
Game of Thrones
The Season 2 replay deals out three more episodes tonight, reaching its peak with the epic penultimate installment, “Blackwater,” at 10pm. Relive all the good times with reluctant general Tyrion, drunk-ass Cersei, professional disemboweler Bronn, and flame-fleeing Sandor just like it was your first trip to war-ravaged King’s Landing all over again.

9pm, ABC
Back to the Beginning with Christiane Amanpour
In the conclusion of this two-part special, the correspondent visits the Middle East to explore the roots of the Abrahamic tradition. Biblical tales are examined, as well as historic sites and artifacts tied to the origins of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.


What to watch on Saturday, December 29...

8pm, CBS
Made in Jersey
Last week I joked about how CBS still hadn’t finished burning off Made in Jersey. It seems my disbelief was premature, because here come TWO MORE new episodes: “The Farm” (which hopefully won’t involve zombies milling around a barn) and “Ridgewell,” wherein Martina must testify against her own client. Are we completely sure CBS actually canceled this show? Is Made in Jersey the new Rules of Engagement? Only time will tell.

8pm, Fox
The Mob Doctor
CBS ain’t the only one who can dump unaired episodes on Saturday night. “Confessions” guest-stars Michael Madsen and Jennifer Beals (who, considering last year’s one-and-done The Chicago Code, is having bad luck in the Windy-City-set-and-shot-crime-related-drama department).

SERIES PREMIERE, 10pm, Food Network
Food Court Wars
Sadly, this new show does not appear to be about a vicious territorial struggle between a Cinnabon and a Sbarro for control of the lucrative tables near the wishing fountain. Instead, aspiring mall-based restaurateurs compete to win one year of rent-free food court space. In the premiere, a hot dog joint and a shrimp-and-grits outfit go head-to-head, with a slot at Huntsvile, Ala.’s Madison Square Mall on the line.


What to watch on Sunday, December 30...

4pm, Hallmark
The Santa Incident
Santa’s sleigh is shot down by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Old St. Nick must set up a secret toy workshop and elude federal investigators with the assistance of a kindly nurse (Ione Skye). I’m not an expert on these things, but this may be Abu Nazir’s most harebrained infiltration plot yet.

5pm, ABC
Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
The Baby New Year is missing, and only the intrepid rouge-tinted reindeer can find him in this Rankin/Bass-produced sequel to the Yuletide hit. Rudolph doesn’t have money. What he does have is a very particular set of skills, skills which make him a nightmare for people like you... assuming you happen to be an especially foggy night. Comic all-stars Red Skelton, Frank Gorshin, and Morey Amsterdam also lend their voices as Rudolph’s baby-seeking compatriots.

7:30pm, PBS
Call the Midwife
This show wouldn’t be a proper British import without a Christmas special. And what more pious way to commemorate the season than with the nurses and nuns of Nonnatus House, serving the communities of London’s East End in the 1950s? In this 90-minute installment, Jenny searches for the child of an elderly vagrant, while Chummy organizes a nativity play, and according to PBS.com, “mishaps ensue.” If there’s one thing I know about PBS, it’s that it doesn’t throw around the term “mishaps” lightly, so brace yourselves.

10pm, HBO
With Season 2 just around the corner, relive a first season highlight, “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident.” Hannah is caught off-guard when Adam plumbs unexpected personal depths, and Shoshanna freaks the hell out on crack in one of 2012’s funniest comic setpieces.