Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Details and times are subject to change.
THE YEAR: 2022 9 p.m. on ABC. For over a decade, ABC and its anchors have offered an annual retrospective look at the year’s biggest news stories. (Of course, whether a look back at the past year sounds like a gift or a nightmare is something viewers will have to decide for themselves.) The 2022 program includes segments on pickleball, Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster saga and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
MOONFALL (2022) 9 p.m. on HBO. You know you’re in for a particular kind of movie when its trailer shows characters yelling “Hang on!” in three different scenes. And you know you’re in for the “hang on” kind of movie when it’s directed by Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”). Both things are true of “Moonfall,” a sci-fi disaster flick about two former astronauts (Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson) who join forces to save the planet after a geeky amateur researcher (John Bradley) discovers that the moon is heading for a collision with Earth. In a New York Times review, Ben Kenigsberg wrote that the movie’s off-planet element “flirts with the transcendently goofy,” but that “Emmerich spoils it by crosscutting to a useless narrative thread on Earth.”
AMERICAN MASTERS: GROUCHO & CAVETT 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). “If Groucho never existed, we would sense a lack in the world of comedy, like the planet in the solar system that astronomers say ought to be there.” Those words, attributed to the TV host Dick Cavett, kick off this feature-length documentary, which looks at the friendship — and mentorship — between Cavett and the pioneering comic Groucho Marx. Through new interviews with Cavett and archival footage of Marx (who died in 1977), the documentary follows Marx and Cavett’s relationship from their first meeting, at the funeral of the playwright George S. Kaufman in 1961, until Marx’s death, and looks at how their friendship was a bridge between two generations of comedy.
THE 45TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS 8 p.m. on CBS. This year’s Kennedy Center Honors recognized a multigenre, multigenerational group of artists: the singer Gladys Knight; the actor and filmmaker George Clooney; the rock band U2; the singer-songwriter Amy Grant; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León. The ceremony earlier this month, footage of which will debut on CBS on Wednesday, featured tributes to the honorees from an array of familiar faces, including Garth Brooks, Mickey Guyton, Ariana DeBose, Matt Damon, Sheryl Crow, Jason Moran, Alicia Hall Moran and Eddie Vedder.
REAR WINDOW (1954) and THE WINDOW (1949) 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on TCM. Here’s a novel midcentury-mystery pairing: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and “The Window,” a 1949 film noir directed by Ted Tetzlaff, who a few years earlier was the cinematographer on Hitchcock’s “Notorious.” These two movies also have somewhat similar setups. The classic “Rear Window” casts James Stewart as housebound photographer who believes there has been a murder at a neighboring home; “The Window” centers on a nine-year-old boy (Bobby Driscoll) who suspects the same.
READY PLAYER ONE (2018) 11 p.m. on TBS. To see two wildly different sides of Steven Spielberg, consider pairing his semi-autobiographical period drama, “The Fabelmans” (now in theaters), with his sci-fi bonanza “Ready Player One,” a movie that manages to be nostalgic despite being set in 2045. That’s because its dystopian world uses late 20th- and early 21st-century pop culture as its building blocks. The story, adapted from Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, centers on a young man (Tye Sheridan) searching for treasure left behind by a dead virtual-reality world-builder (Mark Rylance).
GONE GIRL (2014) 7:25 p.m. on HBO. The musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, of the band Nine Inch Nails, composed the scores of two movies playing in theaters right now: Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All” and Sam Mendes’s “Empire of Light.” For an earlier example of their movie music, see this thriller from David Fincher, about a husband and wife (played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) whose lives derail when the wife, Amy, goes missing, and the husband, Nick, becomes a suspect in her disappearance.
A SOLDIER’S STORY (1984) 8 p.m. on TCM. The playwright Charles Fuller won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1982 for “A Soldier’s Play,” about an investigation into the murder of a Black Army sergeant on a segregated Louisiana military base in the 1940s. And he wrote the screenplay of this film adaptation, which was directed by Norman Jewison and scored by Herbie Hancock. Fuller died in October, which makes the end of the year a poignant time to revisit the film.
NEW YEAR’S EVE SHOWS on various networks. How do you take your New Year’s Eve programming? With sugar? See MILEY’S NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY, hosted by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, at 10:30 p.m. on NBC. With extra twang? How about NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE: NASHVILLE’S BIG BASH, hosted by the singers Jimmie Allen and Elle King and the anchor Rachel Smith, at 10:30 p.m. on CBS. With a Times Square neon glaze? Try DICK CLARK’S NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2023 at 10:30 p.m. on ABC. For those without cable TV, or who just want to watch the New York ball drop with minimal fuss, there’s a free livestream of the Times Square scene at timessquarenyc.org.
DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER (2023) 9 p.m. on CNN. This new documentary about the singer Dionne Warwick’s art and activism pairs archival materials with an impressive slate of interviewees that includes Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Smokey Robinson, Elton John, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan and Alicia Keys. The doc picked up solid reviews when it opened at the Toronto International Film Festival last year; it makes its wider debut on Sunday.