Also Wednesday: Awkward Tree Lighting

nbc_xmax_tree2011-bigScratch one “Today” show host from the ill-timed annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (NBC, 8 p.m.). Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will still be there to assist in lighting the tree in the 85th annual ceremony. But Matt Lauer, fired just this morning, may just be lit in effigy.

Performers, meant to take your mind off of all of that, are to include Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, The Tenors and Seal.

Bruno Mars, who received six Grammy nominations Tuesday including album of the year, record of the year and song of the year, gets a chance to make his case in a one hour network special “Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

“The Vikings” (History, 9 p.m.) returns for its fifth season with a two hour premiere, with Ivar the Boneless taking power after murdering his brother Sigurd. Katheryn Winnick stars in the special “The Saga of Lagertha” (History, 8 p.m.) preceding it.

It would seem we know the story pretty well by now but here is yet another telling of the Laci Peterson disappearance with “Scott Peterson: An American Murder Mystery” (Investigation Discovery, 9 p.m.).

The underrated Hugh Laurie series “Chance” (Hulu, streaming) ends its second season.

“Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.) members recall brushes with celebrity.

Elliot tries to get ghosted on “Mr. Robot” (USA, 10 p.m.).

Bedbugs invade “Broad City” (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.).

Realizing the season finale is coming, “Survivor” (CBS, 8 and 9 p.m.) doubles up episodes.

Calvin and Portia feel overworked on “Empire” (Fox, 8 p.m.) and propose a strike.

“Mythbusters” (Science, 9 p.m.) tests the danger of water heaters.

CNN anchor Don Lemon is among the guests tonight on “Star” (Fox, 9 p.m.).

Jughead is caught in the middle on “Riverdale” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

A congressman is found passed in a hotel room next to a dead girl on an episode of “Chicago P.D.” (NBC, 10 p.m.) titled “Politics.”

“Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour” (A&E, 10 p.m.) goes to Kentucky.

Murray takes Adam on a driving lesson on “The Goldbergs” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

On “Designated Survivor” (ABC, 10 p.m.) the president goes on a secret mission to Afghanistan.

Thanksgiving dinner is still going on in “Dynasty” (The CW, 9 p.m.). That’s how the rich are.

On “Speechless” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.), JJ goes on a college visit with an ulterior motive.

Josh Gates looks for King John’s crown jewels on “Expedition Unknown” (Travel, 9 p.m.).

Benson investigates a rape on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

“Little Women: Dallas” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) go to a dude ranch.

“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) go on a retreat.

The producers of “American Housewife” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) have agreed this week not to make so much fun of Norwalk, after city fathers complained.

Kelly Rowland and George Lopez attend “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” (VH1, 10 p.m.). Then it’s Kelly and Sharon Osbourne and Rae Sremmurd on a holiday episode at 10:30 p.m.

Men’s college basketball includes Auburn at Dayton (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.), Penn at Villanova (Fox Sports 2, 7 p.m.), Clemson at Ohio State (ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.), Penn State at North Carolina State (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), Michigan at North Carolina (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), Chicago State at Marquette (Fox Sports 2, 9 p.m.), Miami at Minnesota (ESPN2, 9:15 p.m.), Boston College at Nebraska (ESPNU, 9:15 p.m.) and Duke at Indiana (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.).

Pro basketball has Washington at Philadelphia (NBA, 7 p.m.) and Golden State at Lakers (NBA, 10:30 p.m.).

Hockey has Tampa Bay at Boston (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: John Boyega, Rachel Bloom, Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Harry Connick: Billy Joel (rerun). Steve Harvey: Jermaine Dupri, Ariel Winter. Ellen DeGeneres: Bryan Cranston, Timothy Chalet, Armie Hammer, Daya. Wendy Williams: Chris Witherspoon, Lean Cohen. The Real: Terrence J, Kyle Anfernee.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Justin Timberlake, Carmen Yulin Cruz. Jimmy Kimmel: James Franco, Octavia Spencer, Brooklynn Prince, BTS. Jimmy Fallon: John Bodega, Kevin Nealon. Seth Meyers: John Oliver, Rachel Bloom, Will Dorsey Jr. James Corden: Armie Hammer, Juno Temple, Charlie Puth. Carson Daly: Heather Graham, Amy Shark (rerun). Trevor Noah: Talib Kweli. Jordan Klepper: Danica Roem. Conan O’Brien: Eric McCormack, Rob Riggle.


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