All Times Eastern


Pledge Week Specials

PBS Check your local listings for specials this week such as Great Performances: Domingo, Netrebko & Villazon, Three Stars in Vienna, with operetta passages from soprano Anna Netrebko, tenors Placido Domingo and Rolando Villazon and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Panda Tales, the story of the San Diego Zoo’s giant panda program and new cub Zhen Zhen; The Priests Live at Armagh Cathedral, with Belfast Catholic Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan and David Delargy, the Irish Philharmonic and many stars performing “Panis Angelicus” and much more; and Victor Borge: 100 Years of Music & Laughter, with the late pianist Borge’s best comedic sketches.

SUNDAY, 1 p.m.

The Universe

HISTORY Four successive 60-minute episodes of this series analyze gravity, deep space missions, speculation about “parallel universes” and the speed of light. A re-air. Advisory: TV-PG.

MONDAY, 9 p.m., 11 p.m.

Unsolved History Special: JFK: Inside the Target Car

DISCOVERY CHANNEL John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Catholic president of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas 45 years ago. In this show, probers get “surprising results” by using “21st century forensics” to re-create the crime. Advisory: TV-PG.

TUESDAY, 8 p.m.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

ABC The late entertainer Fred Astaire narrated this 1970 stop-motion animated Christmas special, one of many from Rankin-Bass Productions. The story “explains” Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” laugh and other Christmas traditions. TV-G.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

CBS In this Rankin-Bass Productions stop-motion animated Christmas special from 1964, young reindeer Rudolph perseveres despite taunts and ostracism from others and ends up guiding Santa’s sleigh thanks to his much-mocked shiny red nose.

THURSDAY, 9 p.m.

Everest: Science in the Death Zone

SCIENCE CHANNEL To advance emergency medicine, a team of trauma doctors climbs Mount Everest, which at 29,029 feet tops mountaineering’s death zone (23,000 feet and up): The low level of oxygen means people cannot survive for long. TV-G.

SATURDAY, 8 a.m.

American Eats: Holiday Foods

HISTORY Here is the history of the turkey dinner, stuffing, cranberry sauce and other treats that most American families prepare on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Advisory: TV-PG.

SATURDAY, 9 a.m.

How St. Nicholas Became Santa

EWTN Deacon Bernie Marquis explains to kids that the real Santa Claus is none other than St. Nicholas of Myra, the fourth century Catholic bishop beloved for his gift-giving.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.