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TV THIS WEEK: Wonder Woman 1984, Soul & The Midnight Sky premiere; neXt series finale

By Trent Moore
Wonder Woman 1984

The streaming services are bringing the big-budget Christmas presents for the holiday season — including three would-be blockbuster films opening wide at home, on your TV.

Wonder Woman 1984 is easily the biggest story this week, as Warner Bros. kicks off its new release strategy to simultaneously drop its films on HBO Max and in theaters. Another major Christmas Day film drop is heading to Disney+, as Pixar's buzzy new original film Soul hits the service. So yeah, with theaters largely closed this holiday, the big movies are coming to us. But that's not all! Netflix is also in the mix, with its new post-apocalyptic film The Midnight Sky, with George Clooney directing and starring (joined by Rogue One's Felicity Jones).

Looking beyond film premieres, there are also plenty of new shows to check out across the week of Christmas. CBS All Access has new episodes of its The Stand miniseries and Star Trek: Discovery; and Amazon Prime has a new episode in the fifth season of The Expanse. Fox has several new episodes of its sci-fi thriller neXt, with the two-part series finale also on tap. The CW has a new Swamp Thing, and HBO has a new His Dark Materials.

If you're looking for comfort food, there are also some sci-fi friendly Christmas marathons on the schedule. BBC America has several Doctor Who holiday specials, and FXX will be running all your favorite Christmas episodes from The Simpsons. If you want holiday films, It's A Wonderful Life, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, and Scrooged are also airing.

Check out the full rundown below.


The Expanse (Amazon Prime), Tuesday - "Guagamela"

The future of The Belt has begun as Marco Inaros wages Armageddon against the Inners for a lifetime of oppression and injustice.


neXt (Fox), Tuesday 8PM - "File #9; File #10"

SERIES FINALE: NEXT targets Congresswoman Beatty again when Agent Shea Salazar seeks her help to stop it. Shea discovers a leak within her team, as Gina encounters trouble while trying to code the virus into an NSA server. Meanwhile, NEXT taunts LeBlanc with a new tactic relating to his illness and Shea and LeBlanc devise one last dangerous ploy to destroy NEXT, and save their lives, their families and the world.


The Midnight Sky (Netflix), Wednesday

PREMIERE: This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine (George Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to Earth, where a mysterious global catastrophe has taken place. Clooney directs the adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton's acclaimed novel Good Morning, Midnight, co-starring David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, and Tiffany Boone.


Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max), Friday

Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big-screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah. With director Patty Jenkins back at the helm and Gal Gadot returning in the title role, Wonder Woman 1984 is Warner Bros. Pictures' follow up to the DC superhero's first outing, 2017's record-breaking Wonder Woman, which took in $822 million at the worldwide box office.  The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.


Soul (Disney+), Friday

What is it that makes you... YOU? This Christmas only on Disney+, Pixar Animation Studios' all-new feature film Soul introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) — a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before — a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what's great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life's most important questions.


neXt (Fox), Monday 8PM - "File #8"

NEXT causes a crash and power outage after trying to manipulate a GPS system; LeBlanc needs to get into ZAVA to plant his virus to the server; Shea and Ty argue about how to protect their family; Ben gets into a conflict with his father.

His Dark Materials (HBO), Monday 9PM - "Malice"

Lyra and Will search for Will's father; Mrs. Coulter meets a formidable foe.


Escape Room (Starz), Monday 9PM

Six strangers visit a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles. Terror strikes when they soon learn each room is an elaborate trap that's part of a sadistic game of life or death.


The Expanse (Amazon Prime), Tuesday - "Guagamela"

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

Swamp Thing (The CW), Tuesday 8PM - "Loose Ends"

Swamp Thing is shocked to learn the truth of his own existence. He fights back against those who hunt him an in effort to preserve his world.

neXt (Fox), Tuesday 8PM - "File #9; File #10"

See more in our "Highlights" section above.


The Midnight Sky (Netflix), Wednesday

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (ABC), Wednesday 8PM

A mailman (the voice of Fred Astaire) explains why Santa has whiskers, lives at the North Pole and brings presents once a year. Animated.


The Stand (CBS All Access), Thursday - "Pocket Savior"

Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, CBS All Access' The Stand stars Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgård, James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, and many more. The limited event series will also feature an all-new coda written by Stephen King.

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access), Thursday - "The Citadel"

After making the jump in the second season finale, Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery finds the U.S.S. Discovery crew dropping out of the wormhole and into an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must together fight to regain a hopeful future.

It's a Wonderful Life (NBC), Thursday 8PM

Ruined by a miser (Lionel Barrymore) on Christmas Eve, a suicidal family man (James Stewart) sees life anew thanks to his guardian angel.

BattleBots (Discovery), Thursday 8PM - "Blood, Sweat and Gears"

Former Giant Nut winner Tombstone takes on rookie Slap Box and the part-frog, part-killer robot Ribbot takes on the feline-inspired MadCatter. Giant walker-bot Chomp makes its debut and End Game takes on Bloodsport in a messy main event.

True Terror with Robert Englund (Travel), Thursday 9PM - "Tidings of Terror"

A cemetery manager is tormented by inexplicable phone calls; a foolhardy citizen taunts an insane serial killer; and obsession drives a scientist to desperate lengths to save the woman he loves.


Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max), Friday

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

Soul (Disney+), Friday

See more in our "Highlights" section above.

The Simpsons Christmas Marathon (FXX), Friday

FXX has lined up a boatload of Christmas episodes from The Simpsons 30+ year run, in case you're looking for some throwback comfort food for the holiday.

Doctor Who Christmas Marathon (BBC America), Friday

While we wait for this year's holiday special, BBC America has put together a Christmas marathon featuring several of the franchise's recent holiday-themed specials — in case you need a refresher.

Scrooged (BBC America), Friday 9PM

A ruthless TV-network chief (Bill Murray) meets the ghosts of Christmases past, present and yet to come.


Jack Frost (IFC), Saturday 8PM

A man (Michael Keaton) who died on Christmas Eve returns to his wife (Kelly Preston) and son one year later in the form of a snowman.


2021 Fox Winter Preview (Fox), Sunday 9PM

A look at the new and returning shows; Mayim Bialik, Craig Robinson and Curt Menefee host.

The Outpost (The CW), Sunday 9PM - "Where Death Lives"

Talon and Zed learn painful truths about their relatives; Tobin makes a heroic rescue; Yavalla's horde grows as the outpost prepares for battle.

*TV listings via TV Guide, Zap2it and network listings.