8 p.m. on ^ ), “The Middle" — Everybody’s going back to school, including Frankie (Patricia Heaton), who’s determined not to take just any job after being fired from the car dealership. She decides to enroll in tech school to prepare for a real career. It’s a new year of high school for Axl (Charlie McDermott), now a senior, and sophomore Sue (Eden Sher), who’s mentoring a freshman (Bailey Buntain, “Bunheads").
8 p.m. on % (, “The 2012 Miss Universe Competition" — Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic host the 61st annual competition from Las Vegas. Contestants from more than 80 countries will be judged in three categories — swimsuit, evening gown and interview — as they vie for this year’s title of Miss Universe.
8 p.m. on (CW), Movie: “Noel" — Alan Arkin, Susan Sarandon and Penelope Cruz star in this 2004 holiday story of several strangers — all of them a little short of seasonal spirit — whose lives intersect with the sort of result you’d expect from a Christmas movie. Do we dare use the “M" word ... “miracle"?
8 p.m. on AMC, Movie: “White Christmas" — Some purists may sniff that 1942’s “Holiday Inn," of which this 1954 musical is a partial remake, is a superior piece of work. The fact remains that this latter vehicle for Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen has become a compulsory part of the yuletide celebration for millions around the world.
9 p.m. on &, “Criminal Minds" — Morgan (Shemar Moore) has more than the usual investment in a case in “Foundation," since the BAU’s search for a missing youngster prompts memories of his own background. Another boy (guest star Jonathan Castellanos) who apparently escaped from the same abductor is found in an Arizona desert, but his reluctance to talk about his captivity hinders the effort to find the other youth.
9 p.m. on FAM, Movie: “Disney’s A Christmas Carol" — One of the most enduring of all holiday stories gets a fresh screen workout from director Robert Zemeckis and Jim Carrey in this inventive 2009 retelling. Carrey expectedly plays miser Ebenezer Scrooge, but thanks to the motion capture technique, the actor takes on several other characters in the Charles Dickens classic as well.
10 p.m. on % (, “Chicago Fire" — The holiday is hardly dull for the firefighters in the new episode “Merry Christmas, Etc.," as their response to a kitchen blaze in a swanky home has a surprising outcome. The rescuers are accused of swiping a diamond necklace from the house, leaving Casey (Jesse Spencer), Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and others the targets of an internal investigation.