This Week in TV: 'The Orville,' Christmas Day NBA and College Football Playoff

The last full week of 2018 brings a bit of a respite from the Peak TV onslaught.
Michael Becker/FOX
'The Orville'

Even Peak TV takes a break once in a while. The final full week of 2018 is light on new programming, even on the streaming services, but there will be a sizable dose of live sports to carry the week.

Below is The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of some of the coming week's highlights. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but THR can point the way to some worthy options. All times are ET/PT unless noted.

On broadcast…

Returning: The Orville (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Sunday, Dec. 30, Fox) gets an NFL-fueled launch as the network uses its last regular-season doubleheader to lead into the season two premiere (times are approximate).

Specials: ABC has an NBA tripleheader on Christmas Day, capped with a Lakers-Warriors matchup at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; Call the Midwife airs its Christmas special at 9 p.m. Tuesday on PBS; the annual Kennedy Center Honors air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

Finale: Season two of Midnight, Texas comes to an end at 8 p.m. Friday on NBC.

On cable…

Special: You didn't think Hallmark would air 38 original Christmas movies and then take the actual holiday off, did you? The network's series When Calls the Heart airs a Christmas special at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Sports: The two semifinal matchups in the College Football Playoff air Saturday on ESPN. Notre Dame versus Clemson is up first in the Cotton Bowl (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT), followed by Alabama and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl at 8 ET/5 PT.

On streaming…

New: Selection Day (Friday, Netflix) is a coming-of-age drama from India about two brothers raised by their obsessive father to be star cricket players — only, one of them doesn't like the sport.

Returning: Teen comedy Alexa & Katie debuts its second season Wednesday on Netflix.

In case you missed it…

The novel Vanity Fair has been adapted a bunch of times. The latest is a British miniseries now streaming stateside on Amazon. Viewers may not find much new here, says THR's review, but a strong performance from Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp carries it.