"The 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors" (8 p.m. WCCO, Ch. 4) promises another evening of top-flight entertainment with Buddy Guy strumming for Carlos Santana, Snoop Dogg rapping for Herbie Hancock, Sutton Foster dancing for Shirley MacLaine and Garth Brooks serenading Billy Joel.


I guess saving Santa Claus' bacon isn't enough anymore. In 1976's "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" (8 p.m. KSTP, Ch. 5), our favorite red-nosed creature has to save Baby New Year from an evil bird. It's far from a classic, but it does give us a chance to hear the voices of three favorite wise men: Frank Gorshin, Red Skelton and Morey Amsterdam.


For a somewhat serious take on the holiday, see how much squirming our hunky anchor does during "New Year's Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin" (8 p.m. CNN). Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Bill Hemmer helm coverage during "All-American New Year" (10 p.m. Fox News). Finally, if you've got youngsters staying up late, tune in for "TeenNick Top: New Year's Eve Countdown" (10 p.m. Nick), with Nick Cannon helping to count down the year's most popular videos.


Kristen Johnston's bout with a rare autoimmune disorder landed her in the Mayo Clinic and forced her to take a couple weeks off from "The Exes" (9 p.m. TV Land). Leah Remini, who showed off her comedy chops both on "The King of Queens" and by putting up with all those catty women on "The Talk," steps in for a multi-episode arc.


Things look particularly shaky for Joel and Julia on "Parenthood" (9 p.m. KARE, Ch. 11), but the most poignant moments on this new episode come courtesy of Ray Romano as his character, Hank, realizes just how much he's got in common with antisocial Max. He may not belong with Sarah Braverman, but he certainly would fit right in as a full-time regular on this underappreciated series.

Neal Justin