Wednesday TV: ‘State of Play’ Returns, ‘Model’ Named

The 2003 “State of Play” (BBC America, 10 p.m.) returns to the space where “Luther,” “The Hour” and “Whitechapel” all played earlier this season. And it’s surprising not only how well it holds up – especially compared to the truncated 2009 Russell Crowe movie of the same name adapted from it – but how timely it continues to be.

In the wake of wiretapping charges and the demise of British tabloids, it’s right up to date, though its central investigation – the death of a politician’s researcher – is more akin to news of a decade ago.

It’s a sparkling script by Paul Abbott (of “Cracker” and the original “Shameless”), and a remarkable cast familiar from so much other good work from David Morrissey and Polly Walker to Kelly Macdonald – Mrs. Schroeder of “Boardwalk Empire” – and Bill Nighy (pictured). David Yates, who went on to do “Harry Potter,” directed.

The six part series will tide you over through the holidays.

For the 17th finale on “America’s Next Top Model” (The CW, 9 p.m.), a winner will be named from the remaining three from the all-star roster, Lisa D’Amato, 30 of Los Angeles, from season five; Alison Harvard, 23, of New Orleans, of season 12; and Angelea Preston, 35, of Buffalo, of season 14.

The 70th anniversary of the Day that Will Live in Infamy is marked by a new special, “Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After” (History, 8 p.m.).  It’s also reflected in the films on Turner Classic Movies: “From Here to Eternity” (8 p.m.), “Task Force” (10:15 p.m.), “To the Shores of Tripoli” (12:30 a.m.), “Air Force” (2 a.m.) and “They Were Expendable” (4:15 a.m.).

Mostly, TV marks the coming of Christmas. So there’s every thing from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (ABC Family, 9 p.m.) and the 1984 “A Christmas Carol” (AMC, 8 p.m.) for the third night running; “Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.), “An Accidental Christmas” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.), “The Christmas Blessing” (Lifetime Movie Network, 8 p.m.), “The Uptimate Christmas Present” (Disney, 8:30 p.m.), “Farewell Mr. Kringle” (Hallmark, 10 p.m.), “Comfort and Joy” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) and “The Christmas Hope” (Lifetime Movie Network, 10 p.m.).

“Up All Night” (NBC, 8 p.m.) has a sweet first Christmas episode. And Yuletide themes run through other network sitcoms tonight from “The Middle” (ABC, 8 p.m.), and “Suburgatory” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.) to “Modern Famliy” (ABC, 9 p.m.) and “Happy Endings” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.).

After a break last week, there’s a new episode of “Revenge” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

“American Horror Story” (FX, 10 p.m.) asks the question: How obnoxious can a show be and still seem watchable?

For as dirty a job as it is chasing wild boars, the “Lady Hoggers” (A&E, 0 and 10:30 p.m.) don’t seem to mess their outfits.

Just five are left to sing on “The Sing-Off” (Fox, 8 p.m.). But each one has to sing twice tonight.

Relatives visit “Survivor: South Pacific” (CBS, 8 p.m.). Russell doesn’t show up but his brother does.

College basketball includes Arizona at Florida (ESPN, 7 p.m.) and Xavier at Butler (ESPN, 9 p.m.). In hockey, it’s Flyers at Sabres (versus, 7:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Zac Efron, Andrew Carmellini, Josh Groban. The View: Bill Clinton, Cheryl Hines. The Talk: NeNe Leakes, Donald Faison, Jackie Evancho. Ellen DeGeneres:Katherine Heigl, Lenny Kravitz. Wendy Williams: Janna Robinson. Rosie O’Donnell: Jim Belushi, Randy Jackson.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Jessica Biel, Tom Dreesen, the Black Keys. Jay Leno: Lea Michele, Adam Carolla, Neil Diamond. Jimmy Kimmel: Jane Fonda, Russell Brand, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. Jimmy Fallon: Zac Efron, Method Man, Coldplay. Craig Ferguson: Trace Adkins, Michael Palascak. Tavis Smiley: Niall Ferguson, Kristen Dunst. Carson Daly: Nelson George, Tom Morello, Bear Hands. Jon Stewart: Ralph Fiennes. Stephen Colbert: David Hallberg. Conan O’Brien: Michael Moore, Ellie Kemper, Sean Patton. Chelsea Handler: Jaime Pressly, Bobby Lee, Jen Kirkman, Dov Davidoff.

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