TV highlights, Dec. 21-31 

BREAKING: Bonaduce.
  • BREAKING: Bonaduce.

Begins 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22
VH-1 (Comcast Ch. 56)

Once, there was a ginger-haired, freckle-faced kid named Danny Bonaduce. He played the bass in a fake rock band, for a show called “The Partridge Family.” Fast forward 35 years — though several thousand gallons of booze, a couple of assault charges, and enough Colombian snow to drift in the city of Denver — and you’ve got “Breaking Bonaduce,” VH-1’s searing reality series about fame, addiction, redemption and one very screwed up ex-child star. Here, in this marathon of the first eight episodes of the second season, watch as Danny tries to stay sober, deal with his rage and win back the love of his wife, Gretchen, who left him last season after one too many “incidents.” Love the guy or hate him, you’re bound to feel his pain.

5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22
Bravo! (Comcast Ch. 50)

While Eddie Murphy has suffered a series of career setbacks and memorable flops in recent years — who can forget such clunkers as “Metro,” “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” and “Bowfinger” — he was once one of the biggest stars in the world, starring in undeniable classics like “Beverly Hills Cop” “Coming to America” and “Trading Places.” We always knew that Murphy was a diamond in the rough — something that seems on the verge of being proven, what with the Oscar buzz about his turn as a James Brown-esque singer in “Dreamgirls.” Here, Murphy fields questions about his life and career from host James Lipton and an audience of acting students.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

It’s a common dream for kids: Build something incredible in your backyard, using only scrap iron, youthful enthusiasm and ingenuity. For Arizona rancher Peter Robbins, however, the thought of building his own submarine never left him. In 2001, using his ranch as collateral, Robbins borrowed $1.5 million and set out to create his dream machine. Four years later, Robbins had created the Alicia — a six-person, homebuilt research submersible, built to go in search of sunken Nazi U-boats. Powered by a diesel truck engine and 60 forklift batteries, the Alicia features the world’s largest solid glass dome, capable of giving passengers in-the-round views of ocean life up to 300 feet below the waves. Join Robbins as he takes the Alicia for her maiden spin.

Begins 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30
Bravo! (Comcast Ch. 50)

TIVO ALERT! You’ve heard us gush about the new network drama series “Friday Night Lights,” which features the ins and outs of a small Texas town where winning at football is everything. If you can’t stand coming in at the middle of things, however, here’s your chance to catch up. Bravo! offers the first 10 episodes of the series, in order. Yes, that’s 10 full hours of hits, snits and some of the best action — on and off the field — in recent TV memory. Set the TIVO or the DVR and watch it later to your heart’s content. As frequent viewers, we can tell you: It’s well worth the trouble.

— David Koon



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