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What to Watch on Thursday: A White House Christmas and an 'X-Factor' winner

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (8pm, ABC) - Linus and Lucy's little brother ReRun tries to avoid the family's holiday nuttiness by hanging out with Snoopy and Snoopy's brother, Spike.

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - After performances by One Direction and Pitbull, a winner is crowned in the Season 2 finale.

A White House Christmas: First Families Remember (8pm, NBC) - First Lady Michelle Obama and former first ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter share their holiday-theme White House memories. Also, a behind-the-scenes look at the White House staff and volunteers who decorate. Hosted by Meredith Vieira.

Burn Notice (9pm, USA) - In a two-hour season finale, Sam is shot and Jesse is captured during an ambush of the gang's escape attempt.

CMA Country Christmas (9pm, ABC) - Jennifer Nettles hosts this special featuring songs and memories of holiday experiences from country-music stars, including Scotty McCreery, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, the Band Perry and Keith Urban. Also appearing are Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins and John Legend.

2012: The End is Now (9pm, History) - An examination of doomsday prophecies and apocalypse preparations.

The League (10:30pm, FX) - Ruxin receives a gift from his dad (Jeff Goldblum) and Taco has a run-in with a mall Santa. The show's season finale episode airs at 11.

What to Watch on Wednesday: Holiday concerts and a new Miss Universe

Miss Universe Pageant (8pm, NBC) - The 61st annual beauty pageant is hosted by Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

A Home for the Holidays with Rascal Flatts (8pm, CBS) - Rascal Flatts hosts the 14th annual event to raise awareness of adoption. Featured musical performances by Rascal Flatts, Rachel Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Matchbox Twenty and "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips (left) -- who you know is going to sing that cool "Home" song.

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - In part one of the two-part season finale, the remaining acts perform for one last time.

WWE Tribute to the Troops (9pm, USA) - The 10th annual holiday celebration for the troops takes place in Norfolk with Kid Rock, Flo-Rida and the Muppets joining pro-wrestling superstars.

The Year with Katie Couric (9:30pm, ABC) - In a special edition of "20/20," Katie Couric recalls the biggest stories of 2012, including the presidential election, Hurricane Sandy, and mass shootings in Aurora, Co., and Newtown, Ct.. The special will feature interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.

Chicago Fire (10pm, NBC) - Several of the  firefighters are accused of stealing an expensive diamond necklace after responding to a kitchen blaze in an upscale townhouse. Meanwhile, Cruz tries to save his brother from involvement in an escalating gang war.

Happily Divorced (10:30pm, TV Land) - Fran fills in for Peter as Joan Collins' assistant, but manages to get her ex and temporary boss in hot water with a director.

What to Watch on Thursday: Underwood and Paisley again host CMA Awards show

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - In this two-and-a-half-hour episode, the remaining contestants visit the homes of the judges for mentoring.

CMA Awards (8pm, ABC) - The 46th annual awards show, broadcast live from Nashville, is emceed by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. This is the fifth year for the hosting duo. Underwood is a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year and Paisley is a nominee for Entertainer of the year. Schedule performers include Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson and the Band Perry.

Beauty and the Beast (9pm, CW) - A badly beaten teenager is found comatose in a dumpster, and later, Vincent offers to sacrifice himself.

Elementary (10pm, CBS) - Holmes conducts research in a hospital morgue and concludes that someone is killing weak and terminally-ill patients. He also learns more about why Joan walked away from her surgical career.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10pm, FX) - Charlie and Dee become romantically involved with two members of a wealthy family, which arouses jealousy in Mac, Dennis and Frank.

What to Watch on Wednesday: A silly sitcom break between debates

Gubernatorial Debate (7pm) - The first debate between gubernatorial hopefuls Walter Dalton (D) and Pat McCrory (R) will air on WRAL, WTVD, NBC-17 and UNC-TV. News 14 Carolina will air the debate on a one-hour debate, starting at 8. A special edition of "Capital Tonight" will air on News 14 at 10:30 with analysis of both the gubernatorial debate and the presidential debate.

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - The contestants travel to Miami for a boot camp, where they'll be judged and singing, dancing and performance style.

The Middle (8pm, ABC) - Frankie loses her job at the car dealership and decides to enroll in a technical school. Meanwhile, Axl begins his senior year of high school and Sue mentors a freshman.

The Neighbors (8:30pm, ABC) - This show is incredibly silly, but it makes me laugh. Tonight, the Weavers take their alien neighbors to a local New Jersey mall to shop for school clothes. Meanwhile, Debbie worries that Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her husband Larry Bird have a secret agenda involving the abduction of her underachieving human children.

Presidential Debate (9pm) - The first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, UNC-TV, News 14, Fox, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC.

Supernatural (9pm, CW) - Season 8 begins with Sam and Dean being reunited after a year apart. Dean departs purgatory and locates Sam, but Sam finds it difficult to leave the life he enjoys to join Dean on a new hunt.

Life After Top Chef (10pm, Bravo) - A new series traces the lives of four former "Top Chef" contestants as they pursue culinary careers in their home cities. We get Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jennifer Carroll in Philadelphia, Spike Mendelsohn in Washington, D.C., and Fabio Viviani and Los Angeles.

What to Watch on Wednesday: New 'Survivor' season has NC player

Survivor: Philippines (8pm, CBS) - The 25th season begins with 18 castaways being stranded on the Caramoan Islands and being divided into three tribes. Included in the mix are three former players who were medically evacuated from previous games, as well as "Facts of Life" star Lisa Whelchel and a Winston-Salem cosmetologist (Dana Lambert, right). (More on this season's players.)

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - I'm hearing good things about Britney Spears as judge on "The X-Factor!" See for yourself tonight as auditions continue.

Royal Pains (9pm, USA) - In the Season 4 finale, Hank comes to some conclusions about his life while treating a volleyball player with odd symptoms. Elsewhere, Divya's fling with Rafa yields unexpected results.

Big Brother (9:30pm, CBS) - The jury questions the finalists and votes for the winner.

Paranormal Witness (10pm, Syfy) - A family learn that their new Connecticut home was once a funeral parlor. That could explain the strange incidents that occur there.

Top Chef Masters (10pm, Bravo) - The chefs instruct a mystery guest to make a dish in the season's penultimate episode. Later, they mentor culinary students.

What to Watch on Wednesday: 'X-Factor' returns with Britney and Demi

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - Season 2 begins with new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato joining Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid for an evening of auditions.

Ghost Hunters (9pm, Syfy) - The TAPS crew investigate a camp in Georgia and a haunted home in Marion, N.C.

Royal Pains (9pm, USA) - Boris calls on Hank again to travel the globe to help Dmitry. Meanwhile, Hank and Harper grow closer and Paige continues to navigate the fallout from the revelation of a family secret.

Guys with Kids (10pm, NBC) - A new comedy about three dads in their thirties opens with Chris needing to find a babysitter so he can attend a basketball game without his ex-wife finding out.

Top Chef Masters (10pm, Bravo) - The chefs participate in an underground dining event by creating an epic picnic-style meal.

Family Guns (10pm, National Geographic Channel) - A new reality series documenting the daily life at New Jersey's International Military Antiques, a family-run supplier of military collectibles. In tonight's opener, IMA manager clashes with his father over what to do with their most valuable pieces. Elsewhere, staffers risk their jobs by making unauthorized purchases of two rare, mint-conditioned World War II sniper rifles.

What to Watch on Thursday: 'X-Factor' finale, holiday specials

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - The winner is crowned in the first season finale.

Disney Prep & Landing (8pm, ABC) - A veteran elf (voice of Dave Foley) is passed over for a promotion and instead gets paired with an eager rookie. The two encounter a violent snowstorm on Christmas Eve, making their job more challenging. "Prep & Landing 2" follows at 8:30, and "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" airs at 9.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (9pm, ABC Family) - A classic. Family man Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to stay home and provide a warm, fun-filled Christmas for his family. But things don't go exactly as planned.

Braxton Family Values (9pm, We) - Toni needs surgery, so the family gathers around her.

Prime Suspect (10pm, NBC) - NBC is burning off another new episode while they think no one is watching. While, I'm watching. Tonight Jane and Evrard investigate a murder in Chinatown that occurred during a game of mahjongg. Also, Reg shares a secret about Jane with Matt.

The League (10pm, FX) - Two new episodes close out Season 3 tonight. In the first episode, Kevin and Jenny bet on the playoffs and Taco wants Ruxin to get more invovled with Taco Corp. In the second, Taco teams up with the Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte for the Shiva and Sacko Bowls.

What to Watch on Wednesday: 'American Horror Story' season finale

A Home for the Holidays with Martina McBride (8pm, CBS) - Martina McBride hosts this 13th annual event to raise awareness about adoption. Musical performances by McBride, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige, and others.

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - The remaining acts perform in part one of the two-part season finale.

Work of Art (9pm, Bravo) - Season 2 ends with the final artists at work on a full solo exhibition, then presenting their collections at a grand gala opening. The episode ends with the naming of the winner. Kymia Nawabi of Durham is one of the finalists in the competition. (If the competition was for nicest artist, she'd win in a landslide.)

American Horror Story (10pm, FX) - In tonight's season finale, Constance, one of the few actual living humans left in this series, schemes to raise Tate's demon baby as her own. Jessica Lange (right) was nominated last week for both SAG and Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of Constance. Excited to see how long it takes dense Ben (Dylan McDermott) to figure out what kind of hell he's dealing with -- and if North Carolina's Lost Colony and the Croatoan mystery get another shout-out this week.

Top Chef: Texas (10pm, Bravo) - The chefs concoct quick-fire dishes based on fans' Twitter instructions. Then the chefs honor their culinary teachers by creating a tribute meal. Singer Patti LaBelle is the guest judge.

Hot in Cleveland (10pm, TV Land) - The ladies treat their neighbors to makeovers, while Elka adjusts to dating a younger man (John Mahoney).

The Exes (10pm, TV Land) - Haskell's online girlfriend pays a surprise visit, but she's also in for a shock because Haskell has been using Phil's picture as his own.

What to Watch on Wednesday: 'Happy Endings' for Christmas

The X-Factor (8pm, Fox) - The competition is down to the final five acts.

Harry's Law (9pm, NBC) - Harry, Oliver, and Cassie defend a mother accused of euthanizing her infant son who had an incurable debilitating disorder.

Becoming Santa (9pm, OWN) - An unjolly guy decides to recapture his lost Christmas spirit by becoming a Santa Claus. But before donning the red suit, writer-producer Jack Sanderson must go to Santa School.

Happy Endings (9:30pm, ABC) - A cash-strapped Max (Adam Pally, right) agrees to play Santa for Penny's charity function. Also, Jane realizes she accidentally gave her housekeeper the cash she'd put aside to pay for a Christmas vacation instead of the $200 Christmas tip that she intended. "The Middle" and "Modern Family" also have Christmas-themed episodes tonight.

American Horror Story (10pm, FX) - Violet learns about the rules of the house and Constance is questioned by police. We also learn how Larry got burned (it wasn't trying to save his family, says show creator Ryan Murphy).

CSI (10pm, CBS) - The CSIs work with the FBI to investigate the murder of a rancher who is also a ballistics expert.

Revenge (10pm, ABC) - Emily uncovers something Nolan has been hiding and uses it to take aim at Tyler. Also, Victoria reclaims some of her lost power, but her relationship with Conrad grows more sour.

Psych (10pm, USA) - I am excited to see any episode titled "The Tao of Gus." Tonight, Shawn and Gus hide a witness at a remote commune populated by eccentric intellectuals while they investigate a murder that the witness claims occurred in broad daylight.

Durham man suing 'X-Factor' posts online petition

The 86-year-old Durham man who has sued Fox's "The X-Factor" and its executive producer Simon Cowell, has launched a website with a petition he hopes will get him another chance to be on the show.

Hy Marks flubbed his "X-Factor" audition in June after he says the show's producers wore him out filming promotional spots for the new series. Marks and his son Stephen Marks of Florida, who also auditioned, say that after hours of grueling work in the 90+ degree Miami heat, the elder Marks was too wiped out to deliver a good audition.

Their lawsuit, filed in September, requested that the "The X-Factor" give Marks another chance to audition under normal conditions.

The new website,, has video of Marks singing and a petition you can sign if you want to see him on "The X-Factor."

"The X-Factor" debuted well in September but has slipped in the ratings. They are currently down to 12 acts. The next episode airs Wednesday night at 8 p.m. 

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