Watch it

“Rubicon” (8 and 9 p.m., AMC). Series premiere. The start of a terrific new thriller series starring James Badge Dale (“The Pacific”) as an analyst for a think tank who uncovers a massive shadow-government conspiracy. The 8 p.m. pilot episode first ran after the “Breaking Bad” finale in June; the 9 p.m. episode is fresh. If you like quality TV, check ’em out. It’s slow-paced, but smart and compelling. Check out my previous review here.

“Mad Men” (10 p.m., AMC). A late-arriving surprise and an unwelcome guest threaten the agency’s Christmas party.

Record it

“Ultimate Air Jaws” (9 p.m., Discovery). Shark Weeks kicks off with a new look at the jumping great whites of South Africa, shot in HD with super slo-mo. Looks way cool.

“The Next Food Network Star” (9 p.m., Food Network). The cooks make a dish based on an emotion and serve it to Eve Longoria Parker. Whatever, just end the charade and declare Aarti the winner.

“True Blood” (9 p.m., HBO). Sookie makes a desperate effort to rescue Bill.

“My Boys” (10 p.m., TBS). The gang goes barhopping for Mike’s birthday, and Steph learns her book might be made into a movie.

“Hung” (10 p.m., HBO). Damon’s emergency threatens Ray’s “date” with an important client. I’m falling waaaay behind on this. I need to pull a catch-up marathon.

“Entourage” (10:30 p.m., HBO). I missed it last week, but didn’t really miss it. That doesn’t bode well. Tonight is guest-star-a-palooza, with Jessica Simpson, Aaron Sorkin, Mike Tyson, Sasha Grey, Bob Saget and Stan Lee. Now that would be an interesting crowd to have dinner with.

“Childrens Hospital” (10:30, Cartoon Network). The title is “This Kid’s Getting a Vasectomy.” Enough said.

Skip it

“HGTV Design Star” (10 p.m., HGTV). There are some really crappy designers this season. You get the feeling Vern wants to spit on half of them.

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