The Gay "Magicians," Adele In New York, A Final Serving Of "The Soup": TV THIS WEEK

Plus: Amy and Tina host "SNL," Oprah checks out "The Color Purple," Luke McFarlane in "Christmas Land" and more!

With the holidays getting closer, you'd think the TV schedule would slow down. But the week ahead has plenty of highlights.

Monday, Syfy rolls out two new programs: At 8pm it's the debut of a new miniseries adapting Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, where aliens come to Earth and solve all of humanity's problems. But at what cost? (The TV version updates the story so the problems solved by the aliens include homophobia.)

Taking on a sci-fi classic like Childhood's End is a pretty daunting task but the SyFy production has a great look, plus a cast that includes Mike Vogel, Julian McMahon, Charles Dance and Ashley Zuckerman.

At 10pm. it's The Expanse, the network's first space drama since Battlestar Galatica. Based on the book series by James S. A. Corey, the show is set in a near-future where humans have colonized the solar system. There's a delicate political balance between Earth, Mars and the mining communities on asteroid belts—one that threatens to unravel after a freighter responds to distress signal.

Also at 10pm NBC adds another music special to the holiday season with Adele Live in New York City, featuring hits like "Someone Like YOu," "Skyfall" and "Hello."

Wednesday, we've got one more reason to turn to Syfy with the arrivalof The Magicians, about a group of students at Brakebills University a college for magic. (think a grownup, sexy Hogwarts.) One of the leads, Eliot (Hale Appleman), is gay.

Here's his character bio:

Acid-tongued and with a taste for the finer things in life, Eliot is one of the more established students at Brakebills. He's got an opinion on everything and - if you ask him - it's usually right.

Don't let his exquisite sense of aesthetics lead you into thinking life has been easy street. As Eliot is one to remind you, magic comes from pain. And he's a very good magician. He also makes a fantastic cocktail.

The Magicians debuts in January, but Syfy is previewing the first episode at 10pm, after Part 2 of Childhood's End.

Idris Elba graces the small screen again on Thursday at 9pm, when Luther returns with a two-hour special. In it, Detective Luther gets one of his most chilling cases when a cannibal serial killer is on the loose.

Thursday also brings a special episode of Running Wild at 10pm, when President Barack Obama joins Bear Grylls for an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. It's not just survival tips that come up—the two discuss climate change and energy issues, as well.

It's the end of an era Friday at 10pm, when Joel McHale hosts his final episode of E!'s The Soup.

This week, Saturday Night Live celebrates the holidays with the return of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who will host the show's Christmas episode. For Fey it's an extra-special occasion: Her fifth time hosting SNL.

Will we see Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin or other members of the Five-Timers Club welcoming her?

Sunday at 9pm, OWN airs Oprah Goes to Broadway, offering a backstage tour of The Color Purple with appearances by the show's stars, Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks and Jennifer Husdon.

And finally, Sunday at 8pm, Hallmark brings us Christmas Land, about a young woman (Awkward's Nikki Deloach) trying to sell off the Christmas tree farm she just inherited. But when she's swept up with the holiday spirit, will Jules Cooper change her mind?

Out actor Luke Macfarlane co-stars as love interest Tucker Barnes, the handsome lawyer handling her late grandmother's estate.

Latest News