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What to Watch on Friday: Lifetime Christmas movies start, ‘Slender Man’ victim speaks

Sweet Mountain Christmas (8 p.m., Lifetime) - With this festive Megan Hilty production, Lifetime launches its “It’s a Wonderful Christmas” slate of new holiday movies that continue through Dec. 25. For the debut film, Hilty — fresh off her incredible turn as country music icon Patsy Cline in the Lifetime movie “Patsy & Loretta” — plays a musician set to headline a Christmas concert in New York City, but makes a pit stop in Tennessee to visit her family. Will romance derail her professional commitments in the big city?!

20/20: The Wicked (9 p.m., ABC) - Payton Leutner speaks out for the first time after her two friends stabbed her 19 times and left her for dead in the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 2014. Her friends, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, said they did this to prove themselves to a fictitious character known as “Slender Man.” All of the girls were 12 years old at the time. In addition to Leutner’s interview with David Muir, there are interviews with investigators from the case.

Dateline (9 p.m., NBC) - Years after a Montana man is found dead, his son opens up a box of case files searching for what really happened.

A Merry Christmas Match (9 p.m., Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) - In this new HMM movie, a woman spends her time working in her mother’s antique shop in a small ski village, and then one day she meets a man who makes her wonder if she should have left town and followed her dreams.

Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous (9 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - This American Masters documentary paints a portrait of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and includes interviews with Rothko’s children and leading curators and art historians. The film also includes clips of actor Alfred Molina performing segments from Rothko’s diaries and clips from the Tony Award-winning play “Red” starring Molina as Rothko.

Songwriting with Soldiers (10 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - In this special, professional artists work with veterans and families to help them relay their experiences with war and the return home through lyrics and song.

Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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