TV highlights: President Obama on 'Mythbusters,' 'Fashion Forward: Making It,'
As if it isn't enough drama when Frankie's parents (guest stars Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke) come to spend the holiday with the family on "The Middle" (ABC at 8), Frankie makes an unpopular decision when she declares she wants a "simple" Christmas - translation, less emphasis on gifts.
President Obama arrives on the Discovery Channel on Wednesday night, as he stops by "Mythbusters" (Discovery at 9) to give the hosts a special assignment. The myth to bust this week? Whether ancient Greek scientist Archimedes set fire to a Roman fleet using only the rays of the sun reflected off a mirror. Though the myth has been tested (and busted) twice before on the show, the president requests that they give it another try with the help of more people.
Chef Ramsay challenges the final four chefs to create a dish that combines flavors from the food of two countries on "Hell's Kitchen" (Fox at 9), and eliminates two contestants from the competition.
Sweet baby Lily doesn't seem like the kind of toddler who would bite other kids on the playground, but Mitch and Cam are horrified to learn otherwise on "Modern Family" (ABC at 9); meanwhile, the grown-ups get Luke and Manny ready for their first school dance.
Josh and Brent reminisce about the first season of their reality show chronicling life on a farm in Upstate New York on "The Fabulous Beekman Boys' Holiday Special" (Planet Green at 9), and offer a preview at the second season, premiering next spring.
Ever wondered who's responsible for the truly crazy outfits that pop up on "Gossip Girl"? One-hour special "Fashion Forward: Making It" (CW at 9), hosted by "Twilight" actress Ashley Greene, profiles the show's stylist, Eric Daman, and also looks at celebrity designers and their clothing lines, including Tory Burch, Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Alexander Wang, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville.
Jules decides that fixing Bobby's boat - so it's able to actually go in the water - is the key to reviving his confidence on "Cougar Town" (ABC at 9:30), while Travis deals with some jealousy issues when his new girlfriend, Kirsten, isn't pleased about his friendship with Laurie.
New series "Hookers: Saved on the Strip" (Investigation Discovery at 10) chronicles the life of Annie Lobert, who makes it her faith-based mission to help prostitutes in Las Vegas change their lives.
Look, a Jonas brother on "Top Chef: All Stars" (Bravo at 10)! Why? We're not sure. Anyway, Joe Jonas gives the contestants a task involving the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
"Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS at 11:35) hosts journalist Barbara Walters, actress Jayma Mays and musical guest Alison Balsom.
Actors Jeff Bridges and Rico Rodriguez visit "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC at 11:35).
- Emily Yahr