Prancer Returns (November 20; 8 to 10 p.m.; USA) sneaks Christmas in a couple of days before Thanksgiving, with an 8-year-old (Gavin Fink) suddenly removed from Chicago to the Michigan sticks because of his parents’ divorce, his suddenly single mother (Stacy Edwards) uncertain whether she should be dating the grammar-school vice-principal (Michael O’Keefe) or the storytelling handyman (John Corbett); there also is a baby reindeer who grows up to be magical. At least Stacy isn’t blonde.
Fashion Victim: The Killing of Gianni Versace (November 20; 8:30 to 10 p.m.; Cinemax) interviews everybody who ever knew either Versace or his killer, Andrew Cunanan; visits his Bomarzo-like mansion on the Gay Riviera of Miami; spends some decadent time on runways ogling the dog-collar styles and at parties commenting on “sensation play”; sociologizes about fashion as theater, a substitute for ideology, and something needed by the nouveau riche to tell them who they are; and chats at crazy length with Cunanan’s Filipino father, who is convinced that his son was set up by mobsters in the drug trade. Elton John and Princess Di are mentioned.
My Uncle Silas (November 26; 9 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13), based on five stories by H. E. Bates, stars Albert Finney in a made?for?Albert Finney Masterpiece Theatre role as “a sinner and a nonconformist” – that is, a poacher, a lecher, a drunk, and a rogue – who, with a little help from Charlotte Rampling and Sue Johnston, teaches his 10-year-old grand-nephew Joe Prospero how to have fun in the country in the early years of the last century, after which there would be no more fun until Carol Burnett.
The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers (November 26; 10 to 11 p.m.; CBS) could have been twice as long as far as I’m concerned. Carol, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway look back at clips from eleven slapstick seasons, fall apart all over again, answer questions from the audience, and seem never to have gone away at all. Here’s an idea: After the wonderful Elaine Stritch At Liberty closes at the Public Theater, why not pair her up with Carol, as in the old Julie Andrews days, and have them sing Sondheim or do whatever else they want to do?