What if they stopped all the competition, eliminations and prizes in the singing shows? You’d be left with an old fashioned variety special. And that’s what “The Sing-Off Holiday Special” (NBC, 8 p.m.) seems to be. It features holiday songs as performed by winners from each season, including the group that prevailed in last week’s third season finale, Pentatonix.
It plays against another two hour network music special, the newest and least significant country music show. Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth host the “American Country Awards” (Fox, 8 p.m.) from Las Vegas. Blake Shelton, the Band Perry, Eli Young Band and Pistol Annies are among the performers; winners are determined by fan votes. Its bigger competition: a replay of the CMA Awards (CMT, 8 p.m.).
“The Mortified Sessions” (Sundance, 8 p.m.) are billed as embarrassment for celebrities, digging up old work and bad hairstyles of their past. But the first couple of episodes, featuring the past of Ed Helms, Mo’Nique, pictured above, and Eric Stonestreet is pretty benign. The stars provide their own childhood pictures, for one thing. And when it comes down to it, they’re pretty closed-lipped on the details of their early lives. But there’s some interesting things in the Stonestreet interview, especially his revelation that the early clown career he embarked on has hanged with him on “Modern Family,” where he has also donned the makeup.
“Strangers No More” (HBO, 6:45 p.m.), a look at an Israeli public school where Jews, Muslims and Christians all study, which won the Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short, makes a television premiere.
The bicentennial of Charles Dickens is in February. But Turner Classic Movies salutes him each Monday this month because of one of his best known works “A Christmas Carol” (TCM, 9:45 p.m.). They’re playing the 1938 version with Reginald Owen, but the 1984 version of “A Christmas Carol” (AMC, 8 p.m.), with George C Scott, is also on.
Other Dickens work on Turner Classic Movies tonight are: “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (TCM, 8 p.m.), “David Copperfield” (11:15 p.m.), “A Tale of Two Cities” (TCM, 1:130 a.m.) and “Oliver Twist” (3:45 a.m.).
It was “Oliver Twist” by the way, that was also an inspiration for writers trying to imagine the early life of Peter Pan in the miniseries “Neverland” (Syfy, 9 p.m.), concluding tonight. Part one re-airs at 7.
It’s been a strange cycle for rapper T.I.: reality series, jail, reality series, jail. Out again, it’s time for “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” (VH1, 9 p.m.).
An online personality makes his TV debut on the new daily talk show, “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” (Current TV, 7 p.m.).
It’s the second to last episode of “Enlightened” (HBO, 9:30 p.m.), a show that may be more accurate than other comedies in reflecting the desperation of the time and the underlying need to question the system (though all Amy is occopying currently is her mother’s house).
More home network promotion comes tonight on “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (NBC, 10 p.m.) with a profile of Jimmy Fallon.
There’s a Santa mishap on “The Closer” (TNT, 9 p.m.). And this is on again: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (ABC, 8 p.m.), preceding something new, “Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.), a sequel to the excellent original animated special.
One of the more unrealistic thing on “2 Broke Girls” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) has been a horse. The girls try to seek winter housing for it tonight.
Alongside the Cake Boss and his “Next Great Baker” (TLC, 9 .m.) comes the new “Candy Queen” (TLC, 10 p.m.), following the operation of event planner and candymaker Jackie Sorkin in Los Angeles.
It’s San Diego at Jacksonville on Monday Night Football (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.).
Kelly Ripa: Jeffrey Donovan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paula Deen, Derek Hough. The View: Jane Fonda, Paula Anka. The Talk: Ellen DeGeneres: Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern.
David Letterman: Jonah Hill, Kristen Johnston, Ryan Adams. Jay Leno: Robert Downey Jr., Abigail Breslin, Alison Krauss & Union Station. Jimmy Kimmel: Christina Applegate, Guy Ritchie, Jack’s Mannequin. Jimmy Fallon: Steve Martin, Emily VanCamp, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa. Craig Ferguson: Justin Long, Noomi Rapace. Tavis Smiley: Steven Naifeh & Gregory Whie Smith, Marie Lu. Carson Daly: Paul Patranella, Bill Allen, Radical Face, Weezer. Jon Stewart: Ben Lowy. Stephen Colbert: Jimmie Johnson. Conan O’Brien: Alec Baldwin, Damon Wayans Jr., Yelawolf. Chelsea Handler: .