In The Hot Seat: What to watch (or not) on TV talk shows the week of December 24
Monday, December 24
Watch: Still don't have a plan for your holiday meals? Chef Jacques Haeringer can help on "The Talk." "Good Morning America" is also focusing on last-minute holiday solutions, including gift-wrapping and…the gifts themselves. And give yourself the gift of a random guest combo when Matt Damon and Aretha Franklin visit "Kelly & Michael."
Skip: "The Chew" and "The View" take the week off. Also airing reruns through the weekend: Kimmel, Leno, Letterman, Fallon, and Ferguson; "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report"; Conan and Ellen.
Skip: Everything else. You've got Christmas cookies to eat, people! Focus!
Tuesday, December 25
Watch: Looks like "Good Morning America" has new content, though it's likely not live – once the dust has settled on your gift-giving, watch chefs Mario Batali and Rachel Willen battle for best-gingerbread-house bragging rights. Then get down to the important work of fighting over whose new DVDs to marathon first.
Skip: Holiday money-saving tips on "The Talk." That horse isn't just out of the barn; it's four counties over.
Wednesday, December 26
Watch: We wouldn't ordinarily mention a reunion show, but 1) Andy Cohen is an excellent chat host himself, 2) "Real Housewives" reunions actually pack all the seasons' dramas into a much smaller package, so you can watch them instead of the eps, and 3) it's a thin week, so: "The Real Housewives of Miami" gather to discuss the season just ended on Bravo. And don't miss the President and First Lady as they talk to Barbara Walters on the holiday edition of "Nightline."
[Related: The biggest daytime-TV biffs of 2012]
Thursday, December 27
Watch: Planning to catch up on the Oscar hopefuls this week? Liz Vaccariello of "Reader's Digest" is on "GMA" with 13 things theater employees won't tell you. Alas, that's pretty much all we have to recommend…
Skip: …as every other chatter is dark, it seems like.
Friday, December 28
Watch: It's a rerun, but "Casual Friday with Jeff Probst" on "Rachael Ray" features the Cake Boss plus Probst playing agony aunt ("agony uncle"?) for female viewers. Sounds super-weird, so check it out.
Skip: Another quiet night for the talk shows, but if you're dialing around for a good rerun, don't let the clicker stop on "The Late Late Show," where the random guest combo is terrifying (Mindy Kaling and Carrot Top).
Aretha Franklin at the inauguration in 2009. We forgot about the hat; it's still amazing.