“Kennedy Center Honors,” Oprah Winfrey Network, “Pretty Little Liars”


“Kennedy Center Honors”

Tuesday 9pm, CBS

The year is nearly over, and a new one is on the way (unless the mad serpent god Quetzalcoatl devours us all first, but that’s not scheduled to happen until 2012). That means that awards-show season is almost upon us. To get yourself warmed up for the red-carpet back-slapping, check out this classy special. For 33 years the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has honored artists from a variety of disciplines that it deems have “elevate(ed) the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world.” This year’s recipients include country legend Merle Haggard, Broadway composer Jerry Herman, dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones, Sir Paul McCartney and talk-show host/producer/living goddess Oprah Winfrey. They’ll be feted by various other luminaries in the music, theater, and art worlds, and even get face time with the Obamas.

Oprah Winfrey Network 

Saturday noon, OWN

Speaking of the divine Ms. O, this weekend will see the launch of her new cable venture (it replaces Discovery Health Channel). OWN will feature programming mostly geared toward women with families. Look for behind-the-scenes glimpses of her long-running talk show (which will end in 2011) and shows featuring her “all-stars” like financial guru Suze Orman, health expert Dr. Oz and the generally obnoxious Dr. Phil. It will also feature new shows for former “View” hosts Lisa Ling and Rosie O’Donnell, and a couple reality-TV offerings, including an upcoming documentary starring Fergie (the cash-strapped duchess, not the Black Eyed Pea). The first week on air will see the launch of several different series, acquired shows from other channels (like “Trading Spaces”), and teases for what’s coming in the future.

“Pretty Little Liars” 

Monday 8pm, ABC Family

ABC Family had a hit on its hands last summer with this racy teen soap, best described as a mix between “Gossip Girl” and I Know What You Did Last Summer. A group of spoiled, hot teen girls is rocked when its H.B.I.C. goes missing. A year later, they start receiving mysterious notes threatening to expose their secrets. They assume it’s the missing girl…until her body turns up very dead. Who is tormenting them? How does the person know all of their dirty laundry? One of the girls found out—and then was promptly hit by a car. Look for recognizable faces in the adult cast, like “Charmed” alum Holly Marie Combs and Laura Leighton, my beloved shit-stirring Sydney from “Melrose Place.”