TV tonight: Modern Family, Charlie Brown Christmas and SNL Christmas

Cameron on Modern Family fights to save a tree.

Photo: ABC

WASHINGTON, November 28, 2012 ― The sitcom Modern Family is just that: a show about modern families. It is a fairly typical family-based sitcom with a “modern” twist. The three families in the show all represent a part of the American demographic that has broadened in recent years, apparently confounding conservatives in the process.

Executive producers Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan knew what they were doing when they created this show. They embraced the diversity that has become the norm in America. This past Thanksgiving when we all sat down with our extended families, chances are they included some flavor of at least one of the characters portrayed on Modern Family.

By including something for everyone, the show has developed a broad based appeal that has resulted in 16 Emmys in 4 seasons, and a permanent spot in the top 20 most-watched shows on TV. Next election, instead of depending on faulty exit polls for making predictions, maybe the “experts” should just poll the characters on Modern Family. The results in all probability could not be any further off than those predicting a landslide for Mitt Romney. And such a tally would be a heck of a lot more entertaining than listening to the talking heads make fools of themselves yet again.

All times below are EST.

8 p.m. A Charlie Brown Christmas and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

ABC: Charlie Brown Christmas: (Repeat) In the Emmy and Peabody-winning animated cartoon from 1965, the gang mounts a holiday pageant as Charlie Brown bemoans Yuletide commercialism. Also: “Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa,” a short featuring the prep-and-landing elves on a covert mission to Santa’s office, with Betty White providing the voice of Mrs. Claus.

CBS: Survivor: Philippines: (New) A food auction is held.

FOX: The X Factor: (Live) Performances by the finalists are featured. Also: the video “Scream and Shout.”

NBC: Christmas in Rockefeller Center: (Live) Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie host the 80th annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Manhattan. Adding glow are artists performing holiday songs and current hits.

CW: Arrow: (New) The Huntress, who is the daughter of mob boss Frank Bertinelli (Jeffrey Nordling), arrives in Starling City. Oliver (Stephen Amell) is smitten with her but soon learns she is hiding some dark secrets.

9 p.m. Big-box store Christmas shopping and memorable SNL Christmas skits in this hour.

ABC: Modern Family: (New) Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) reluctantly joins Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) in a campaign to save an old tree in a park. Meanwhile, Jay (Ed O’Neill) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) are out of their element at a kid’s party with an Olympics theme; and Gloria’s (Sofia Vergara) pregnancy makes a trip to a big-box store with Claire (Julie Bowen) a memorable one.

Tonight on Modern Family: Mitch tries to help out Cam in her attempt to save an old tree in their local park. (Credit: ABC)

CBS: Criminal Minds: (New) An attendee at a popular motivational-speaker’s conference in Seattle is murdered and the speaker himself disappears soon afterward. Meanwhile, Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) is puzzled when Morgan (Shemar Moore) refuses to attend a dinner honoring an old family friend.

NBC: SNL Christmas: (New) Memorable holiday sketches from “Saturday Night Live” are presented.

CW: Supernatural: (New) Castiel (Misha Collins) tells Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) that he wants to become a hunter, and he helps them investigate a case in which a man’s heart literally burst through his chest. The probe reveals that other strange murders have occurred in town, all of which resemble deaths from cartoons.


ABC: Suburgatory: (New) After getting a makeover from Dallas (Cheryl Hines), George (Jeremy Sisto)  is pleased with his new suburban look until some of his friends visiting from New York City consider it—and his girlfriend—as sources of amusement.

10 p.m. An awkward collaboration and a dead body on the Vegas strip in this hour.

ABC: Nashville: (New) Marshall Evans pushes for Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Rayna (Connie Britton) to collaborate at an event at the Ryman Theater; when Peggy’s desperation escalates, Teddy (Eric Close) is forced to tell Rayna the truth; Scarlett (Clare Bowen) gets closer to Gunnar (Sam Palladio).

CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (New) The CSIs help local law enforcement on the strip, until a dead body is found in a car. Meanwhile, Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) discovers some surprising facts about his daughter.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Life After Top Chef at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Restaurant Impossible at 9 p.m. on Food Channel

American Restoration at 9 and 9:30 p.m.

Border Wars at 9 p.m. on NGC

Ghost Hunters at 9 p.m. on SyFy

Toy Hunter at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Moonshiners at 9 and 10 p.m. on DSC

Top Chef at 10 p.m. on BRAVO

American Horror Story: Asylum at 10 p.m. on FX

Restaurant Stakeout at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Invention USA at 10 and 10:30 p.m.

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Poseidon at 8 p.m. on AMC

The Three Musketeers on SHO

Lucky Number Slevin on Sunday

The Professional on REELZ

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on FMC

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas at 9 p.m. on CINEMAX

Hanna at 9 p.m. on MOMAX

Van Helsing at 9 p.m. on STARZ

Apollo 18 at 10 p.m. on SHO

The Andromeda Strain at 10 p.m. on TCM

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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