Cartoon Network offers Puffed-up special

The Powerpuff Girls get their own holiday special. The hour-long adventure "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas" (8 p.m., Cartoon Network) features the dazzling animation and sophisticated graphic design that has made this series a delight for kids and grown-ups. Truth be told, "Fight" seems pretty padded at an hour. The wags at the Cartoon Network should know that the best holiday specials ("Charlie Brown" and "The Grinch") clock in at 30 minutes.

"Fight" pits the girls against their nemesis and kindergarten classmate Princess Morbucks. The rich and spoiled superhero wannabe takes her daddy's private jet to the North Pole to make sure that Santa grants her Christmas wish to become the fourth Powerpuff Girl. Once there, she discovers that she's on Santa's "naughty" list. Accustomed to always getting her way, Princess mixes up the "nice" and "naughty" files, dooming all of the good kids in the world to stockings filled with coal. Naturally, it's up to Townsville's troika of bug-eyed heroines to save the day (or rather the night) before morning arrives.

  • Fox and Friday nights just don't mix. This year's lineup was to be anchored by "Luis," "Wanda at Large" and "Boston Public." The first two shows have been canceled, and for tonight, at least, Fox has replaced "Public" with two new episodes of "A Minute with Stan Hooper" (Fox).

Maybe this Norm Macdonald production can attract a Friday-night audience. It never found one on Wednesdays. On tonight's episodes, female revelers want to join the male Christmas-caroling group "The Silent Knights" (8 p.m.), and Stan incites a burglary spree to teach the town a lesson (8:30 p.m.).

Tonight's other highlights

  • God asks our heroine to take the school bully to the school dance on "Joan of Arcadia" (7 p.m., CBS)
  • Sean Connery stars in the 1962 James Bond adventure "Dr. No" (7 p.m., UPN), the first film of the franchise.
  • Serena wants to dabble in motherhood on "Miss Match" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • Bonnie has an "It's a Wonderful Life" fantasy on "Life with Bonnie" (8:30 p.m., ABC), featuring Phyllis Diller.

Late night

Julia Roberts and Alkaline Trio appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Jennifer Connelly and Ruben Studdard on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

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