By Chuck Barney Contra Costa Times
Here’s what’s happening on TV this week:
The 46th Annual CMA Awards: Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return for the fifth time to host this celebration of country music goodness. Eric Church leads the pack with five nominations, including nods for best single, song and music video of the year for “Springsteen.” Performers include Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and the Band Perry. 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC.
Tonight: “Ellen DeGeneres: The Mark Twain Prize” puts the spotlight on the comedian and daytime talk-show host as she becomes the 15th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Among those paying tribute: Lily Tomlin, Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth and Steve Harvey. 8 p.m., PBS.
Wednesday: We sincerely hope that this will be the year when Linus finally makes his annual Halloween vigil pay off in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” But we’re not counting on it. 8 p.m., ABC.
After letting their imaginations run wild, the final three finalists on “Face Off” find out who came out on top in the battle of special-effects makeup artists. Audience voting determines the winner. 10 p.m., Syfy.
Thursday: On “30 Rock,” Liz and Jack (Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin) come to the alarming realization that Jenna (Jane Krakowski) and her fan base could tip the scales in the election. How did that go undetected by the pollsters and pundits? 8 p.m., NBC.
Friday: It’s the fourth season of “Undercover Boss,” and we’re stunned that the rank-and-file employees shown in this reality series still haven’t caught on to the ruse. Guess that’s why they’re not in charge. 8 p.m., CBS.
Reba McEntire returns to prime time in the mildly amusing sitcom, “Malibu Country.” She plays a newly divorced country singer who moves with her kids and her mother (Lily Tomlin) to a strange, alien land known as Southern California. 8:31 p.m., ABC.
Saturday: We just had Halloween and already there’s a holiday movie on the air. In “Christmas Song,” two music teachers (Natasha Henstridge and Gabe Hogan) face off in a Christmas-carol competition. Will they find harmony? 8 p.m., Hallmark.