TV THIS WEEK: Ascension premieres, Legend of Korra's finale, and more!

Last week, we saw the midseason finales of quite a few of the series we follow here, so the next few days overall are a bit light on new TV. That doesn't mean there aren't things to look forward to, though. This week Syfy's eagerly anticipated Ascension miniseries premieres, and over on NBC we get a brand-new fantasy Christmas special starring Buddy the Elf. Plus, the series finale of The Legend of Korra arrives on Friday, midseason finales for Person of InterestScorpion and Atlantis hit, and Bruce Campbell's playing Santa Claus on The Librarians.

Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?

Highlights of the Week

Ascension (Syfy) Monday, 9 p.m. - "Night One"

Miniseries event! - All year long, we've talked about Syfy's mission to move back toward hard sci-fi programming, and though we've still got a while to wait for some of the projects that resulted from that mission, we don't have to wait any longer for Ascension, the miniseries event that combines space travel, alternate history and a murder mystery. In case you haven't heard, the series imagines that, in 1963, the United States government launched a generation ship with 350 volunteers onboard for a century-long journey through space, in the hopes that humanity would survive beyond Earth if the Cold War ever turned into something hotter. Halfway through the journey, though, as the voyage reaches its point of no return, the voyagers experience their first-ever homicide, and the entire mission is questioned. The first images from the series of people in 1960s fashion, surrounded by 1960s decor as they go about their daily lives in space, were instantly compelling, and now we get to see the full story unfold with a cast that includes Brian Van Holt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica). Check out a preview below, and remember that the series airs nightly from now until Wednesday, for two hours each night. 

Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas (NBC) Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Holiday special! -  Every Christmas season for the past decade or so, families everywhere have taken some time for another viewing (or two, or 10) of Elf, the 2003 fantasy film starring Will Ferrell as a human living among the elves at the North Pole who journeys to New York City to meet his biological father and, ultimately, save Christmas. Ferrell himself always refused to return to the title role for a sequel, lest the magic of the original film be cheapened, but that doesn't mean there aren't other ways of re-igniting a little Elf magic, and this year NBC has done it. Buddy's Musical Christmas is not so much a sequel as it is a musical stop-motion retelling of Buddy's journey from the North Pole to New York, and this time the title role will be voiced by The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, alongside Mark Hamill as Buddy's father, Kate Micucci as Jovie and Ed Asner reprising his role as Santa Claus. It might not be the Buddy you know and love, but it just might become a new holiday classic in your house. Check out a preview below.

Legend of Korra ( and Nicktoons) Friday, streaming online and broadcast at 10 p.m. on Nicktoons - "Day of the Colossus" and "The Last Stand"

Series finale! - For one scary moment over the summer, it seemed like The Legend of Korra might not get to this moment, but here we are: the series finale of one of the most acclaimed animated shows in recent years. We've talked before about how unlikely it was that a series following up the critical darling that was Avatar: The Last Airbender would wind up this good, but Korra did, and it even beat the odds of cancellation by capturing an audience that would eagerly follow it anywhere. A few months ago, when Korra was yanked from Nickelodeon's broadcast schedule, fans were afraid they'd never see it again, but then the creators revealed that the show was merely going to where most of its fans were already viewing it: online. Via streaming, Korra wrapped up its third season and launched its fourth, and now it's ending its run with a double whammy of streaming and a traditional broadcast on the Nicktoons network Friday night. Korra's one of those shows that weathered a format change by not just surviving, but thriving, and this week its fans get to celebrate with a farewell. Check out a preview below.

Christmas Icetastrophe (Syfy) Saturday, 9 p.m.

Original movie! - If you were hoping to combine your holiday festivities with the corny fun of a Syfy original movie this Christmas, we've got you covered. Your holiday troubles might include an annoying in-law or two, a crowded mall or a shipping delay on that special gift, but for the residents of this small town, Christmas brings with it a terrifying meteorite that could leave everyone frozen. Starring Victor Webster (Continuum) and Jennifer Spence (Stargate Universe), Christmas Icetastrophe might just be the perfect companion for a little spiked eggnog, and it might even make your holiday struggles seem a bit more bearable. 

The Librarians (TNT) Sunday, 8 p.m. - "And Santa's Midnight Run"

Now that we've had a couple of weeks with TNT's new original series, we thought we'd check in and see how things are going, and it's very much a case of so far, so good for The Librarians. As of this writing (early Monday) we haven't seen the ratings for week two of the show, but the series premiere was a resounding success, pulling in 5.4 million total viewers with its initial broadcast and a Live+Same Day total of 7.3 million viewers (with 2.3 million in the key 18-49 demographic). That edges out TNT's The Last Ship to make The Librarians the most-watched cable series debut of 2014. That's not just good news for TNT, which now claims the top two new cable shows of the year, but for The Librarians franchise. The response to the new series has been just as enthusiastic, if not more so, as the response to the original series of films. Now we just have to see if viewers will stick around. This week, the Serpent Brotherhood's out to get Santa Claus (special guest star Bruce Campbell!), and it's up to the Librarians to stop them. Check out a preview below.

Monday, December 15

Scorpion (CBS) 9 p.m. - "Dominoes"

Midseason finale! - Team Scorpion try to save a boy on Christmas Eve when he gets trapped in a beachside cave and the rising tide threatens to drown him. 

Ascension (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Night One" 

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Tuesday, December 16

Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas (NBC) 8 p.m. 

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Ascension (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Night Two" 

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Person of Interest (CBS) 10 p.m. - "The Cold War"

Midseason finale! -Samaritan shows the extent of its power by erasing crime from New York City for a day in a bold attempt to force the Machine out of hiding.

Wednesday, December 17

The 100 (CW) 9 p.m. - "Spacewalker"

Midseason finale! - Clarke returns to Camp Jaha with troubling news. Meanwhile, Finn struggles with the aftermath of his actions.

Ascension (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Night Three"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) 10 p.m. - "Orphans"

Midseason finale! - Desiree grows suspicious of Maggie. Meanwhile, Pepper exhibits troubling behavior.

Thursday, December 18

Elementary (CBS) 10 p.m. - "End of Watch"

Holmes and Watson join the NYPD manhunt for a cop killer. Meanwhile, Sherlock searches for the creator of a "recovery bag" who is posting personal statements Holmes made in sobriety meetings.

The Almighty Johnsons (Syfy) 11 p.m. - "Does This Look Like Asgard?"

Season finale! - In the season-two finale, Gaia's 21st birthday arrives and she prepares for the ceremony where her fate will be determined; at the same time, Mike asks Ty for help but discovers he is no longer a god.

Friday, December 19

Legend of Korra ( and Nicktoons) Streaming and 10 p.m. on Nicktoons - "Day of the Colossus" and "The Last Stand"

Series finale! - Read more in our Highlights section above.

Saturday, December 20

Atlantis (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "The Grey Sisters"

Midseason finale! - Jason tries to save Ariadne and embarks on a dangerous quest into the unknown.

Christmas Icetastrophe (Syfy) 9 p.m.

Original movie! - Read more in our Highlights section above.

Sunday, December 21

The Librarians (TNT) 8 p.m. - "And Santa's Midnight Run"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

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