Brian McKnight and Desiree Ross star in “A Country Christmas Story” with Dolly Parton on the Lifetime Network. (Jack Zeman/Lifetime Network)
tv highlights

“A Country Christmas Story” (Lifetime at 8 p.m.) follows a young Appalachian girl who has her sights set on becoming a country star. Her talent takes her to a singing competition hosted by Dolly Parton at Dollywood, where she reunites with her musical father, played by Brian McKnight, and uncovers the legacy of African Americans in the world of country music.

Women from around the world come to Crocus City Hall in Moscow to compete in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories for “Miss Universe 2013” (NBC at 9). The 62nd annual gala, hosted by Thomas Roberts and Mel B, is slated to have musical performances from Panic at the Disco and Emin.

“SNL” (NBC at 11:30) is a repeat this week with Miley Cyrus playing host and musical guest.

Sunday talk shows: “Platts Energy Week” (WUSA at 7:30 a.m.) interviews China Resources Gas Group’s Ken Ong; “This Week in Defense News” (WUSA at 8) has Adm. Robert Papp; “BioCentury This Week” (WUSA at 8:30) features the Mount Sinai Hospital’s Kenneth Davis; “Fox News Sunday” (Fox at 9) hosts New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R); “White House Chronicle” (WETA at 9) has author Paul Dickson and Hearst Newspapers’ Chuck Lewis; “State of the Union” (CNN at 9) features Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and former senator Robert Dole (R-Kan.).

“Government Matters” (WJLA at 9:30) hosts FierceGovernment’s Ryan McDermott; “This Week” (ABC at 10) features governors Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Rick Perry (R-Tex.); “Newsmakers” (C-SPAN at 10) talks to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa); “This Is America & the World” (WETA at 10 and WHUT at 6 p.m.) talks to Nicaraguan Ambassador Francisco Campbell; “Meet the Press” (NBC at 10:30) has Christie; “Face the Nation” (CBS at 10:30) talks to Christie and former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.

Sunday night, Rob Lowe is John F. Kennedy and Ginnifer Goodwin is Jackie in “Killing Kennedy” (National Geographic at 8). The film chronicles one of the most shocking events in American history, following two men from very different backgrounds on a collision course with fate.

SERIES PREMIERE: “Thicker Than Water” (Bravo at 9) follows Ben and Jewel Tankard, who called themselves “The Black Brady Bunch.” This Southern family integrates their strong religious conviction with their penchant for the finer things in life.

SERIES PREMIERE: According to “The Drama Queen” (E! at 10), to make fame last a lifetime, Hollywood hopefuls need one thing: Marki Costello. Whether at home with her family or running the show at her business, Costello is the queen bee.

— Rachel Lubitz