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Alastair Sim plays Scrooge in the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol,” which airs at 9 p.m. Thursday on TCM.

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TV picks for Dec. 19:  Christmas Carol, "The X Factor,” "Four Weddings and a Funeral”

  • December 18, 2013 - 1:40 PM

‘X’ does not mark the spot

Speaking of humbug, hard to be anything but grumpy about this season of “The X Factor” (7 p.m., KMSP, Ch. 9), which failed to generate any real sparks, at least not on the judges’ panel. It’s time, once and for all, that Fox makes a choice between Simon Cowell’s folly and “American Idol,” with the winner getting the full attention of the network, and hopefully, the burnt-out fans.

I think I love you

Writer Richard Curtis and actor Hugh Grant may have both reached their creative peaks when they teamed up for 1994’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (7 p.m., Ovation), a nearly seamless romantic comedy that established Grant as the most charming stutterer since Jimmy Stewart.

A cure for the humbugs

The Guthrie Theater isn’t the only institution that has a take on “The Christmas Carol.” TCM hosts an evening of five Hollywood interpretations of the Charles Dickens classic, starting with 1970’s “Scrooge” (7 p.m., TCM), featuring a definitive performance from Albert Finney. If you get through all five, treat yourself to a Christmas goose.

Neal Justin

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