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TV Highlights (Dec. 28, 2020): 'Oz' and plenty of reruns tonight
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TV Highlights (Dec. 28, 2020): 'Oz' and plenty of reruns tonight

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The 1939 musical fantasy “The Wizard of Oz” (7 and 9:15 p.m. TNT) airs twice tonight on TNT.

The beloved film has a rather interesting side history. “Oz” and its star Judy Garland became so associated with the gay community that during the pre-Stonewall era, the term “Friend of Dorothy” became a kind of secret code for a gay man.

During the McCarthy era, when suspected gay “subversives” were hounded out of Washington jobs and teaching positions, zealous FBI agents were convinced that the “Friends” represented a secret underground organization. Agents went looking for the ringleader, “Dorothy,” to no avail.

TONIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTSThe 2016 drama “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” (7 p.m., NBC) stars Alyvia Alyn Lind as a young Parton and Ricky Schroder and Jennifer Nettles as her parents.

Holiday chaos on “9-1-1” (7 p.m., Fox, rerun).

The New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills in NFL action (7 p.m., ESPN; 7:15 p.m., ABC).

The school of hard Knox on “L.A.’s Finest” (8 p.m., Fox).

An anthrax expert stands trial after a terror threat on “Bull” (9 p.m., CBS, rerun).

“Vernon Jordan: Make It Plain” (9 p.m. on Channel 10, 10 p.m. on Channel 11, PBS) profiles the civil rights leader.

CULT CHOICECompiled and released in 1957, “The Golden Age of Comedy” (noon, TCM) offered clips of funny films from the silent era. At the time, “talkies” had been around for barely 30 years, but these snippets of Will Rogers, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were presented as ancient history, relics from a bygone era.

SERIES NOTESSecond chances on “The Neighborhood” (7 p.m., CBS, rerun) ... Improvisations on two episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (7 and 7:30 p.m., CW, rerun) ... Bob needs to man up on “Bob Hearts Abishola” (7:30 p.m., CBS, rerun) ... “Let’s Make a Deal Primetime” (8 p.m., CBS, rerun) ... Illusionists audition on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (8 p.m., CW, rerun) ... Jane Lynch hosts “Weakest Link” (9 p.m., NBC, rerun).

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