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TELEVISION

Monday's TV Highlights: Jennifer Hudson hosts her own holiday special

HOLIDAY TREAT: In the one-hour special "Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas," the Academy Award-winning singer and actress travels to Chicago to relive childhood Christmases at 8 p.m. on ABC.

December 14, 2009

SERIES

How I Met Your Mother: The gang struggles to quit smoking in this new episode (8 p.m. CBS).

The Sing-Off: This new unscripted competition series pits eight a cappella groups from across America competing to win a recording contract. Nick Lachey hosts (8 p.m. NBC).

The Vampire Diaries: This favorite among some teams re-airs its pilot episode (8 p.m. KTLA).

Accidentally on Purpose: Worried that she will ruin Christmas, as she has so often in the past, Billie (Jenna Elfman) tries to hide the fact that she and Zack (Jon Foster) are living together from her parents (Fred Dryer and Nancy Lenehan) in this new episode (8:30 p.m. CBS).

Two and a Half Men: Charlie (Charlie Sheen) coaches Jake (Angus T. Jones) in the fine art of infidelity while his girlfriend is away for Christmas in this new episode. Carl Reiner guest stars, with Holland Taylor and Conchata Ferrell (9 p.m. CBS).

The Big Bang Theory: Leonard is horrified when his mother (Christine Baranski) visits in this new episode (9:30 p.m. CBS).

Castle: The death of an up-and-coming rock star, whose body is found in a scene that appears staged from her recent music video, leads Castle and Beckett (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) into the world of obsessed fans, jealous colleagues and sleazy managers, but in this repeat episode it's Castle's daughter (Molly Quinn) who discovers a vital clue (10 p.m. ABC).

Chef Academy: As alliances begin to take shape among the classmates at Novelli Academy, one student begins to get on everyone's nerves while another in this repeat episode is awarded a dinner cooked by Chef Novelli (10 p.m. Bravo).

Bank of Hollywood: Ordinary people pitch their extraordinary ideas to the rich and powerful, hoping for funding for their dream projects in this new series from producer Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m. E!).

SPECIALS

The Real Jesus: In trying to shed light on the so-called missing years in the life of Jesus, this new documentary explores and offers informed conjecture about the difficult life Jesus might have had living as a Jew under Roman rule in 1st century Nazareth, as well as reasons why the cleansing message of John the Baptist might have held such a strong appeal (5 and 8 p.m. National Geographic).

MOVIES

What Would Jesus Buy? The Rev. Billy Tallen and his Stop Shopping Choir embark on a cross-country crusade against the commercialization of Christmas in this 2007 documentary from filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (9 p.m. Sundance)

Inkheart: A man with the ability to bring storybook characters to life accidentally summons one of the most evil beings in literature in this 2009 thriller starring Brendan Fraser and Paul Bettany (10 p.m. Cinemax).

SPORTS

Pro football: The Arizona Cardinals visit the San Francisco 49ers (5:30 p.m. ESPN).

Pro basketball: The Washington Wizards visit the Clippers (7:30 p.m. FS Prime).

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