A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory
A member of Andy Warhol’s inner circle (and likely his lover), Danny Williams made avant-garde films and designed lighting for the Velvet Underground before abruptly disappearing in 1966, presumably drowned in Boston Bay. As this film by his niece probes Williams’ life and death, it also sheds light on Warhol’s heyday and the colorful clique that comprised Warhol’s “Factory.” Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m., Sundance Channel

Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven
Cameras go behind the scenes of Le Cirque, the celebrated New York City eatery that caters to dignitaries and glitterati. But the real star of the documentary is owner Sirio Maccioni, a debonair and funny man who worked his way up from immigrant waiter to superstar restaurateur. Monday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m., HBO

The 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors
Actor Morgan Freeman, country music legend­ George Jones, pop diva Barbra Streisand, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and rockers Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of the Who were recognized this year at ceremonies taped Dec. 7. Presenters include Clint Eastwood, Lily Tomlin, Jack Black, Glenn Close, and First Lady Laura Bush; Caroline Kennedy returns as host. Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 9 p.m., CBS

Independent Lens: Operation Filmmaker
A wry parable about good intentions and clashing cultures, this documentary shows what happened when an Iraqi film student was thrust from the rubble of Baghdad into an American film production. Muthana Mohmed soon rebelled against the rigors of what was supposed to be a dream internship … then scrambled to avoid being sent back home. Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood
Between 1933 and 1940, more than 800 film professionals fled Nazi Europe for Hollywood. Film clips, vintage footage, and personal accounts trace the vast contributions that expatriates such as Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, and Fred Zinnemann made to American cinema, including such classics as Casablanca, Sunset Boulevard, and High Noon. Thursday, Jan. 1, at 9:30 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights

Masterpiece: Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) plays Thomas Hardy’s noble rural heroine in this two-part Masterpiece premiere. Sundays, Jan. 4–11, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac
Kevin Kline portrays the poet with the prominent proboscis in the Broadway production; Jennifer Garner is Roxanne. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Golden Globe winner Glenn Close returns as this superior legal-thriller series starts its second season; William Hurt joins the cast. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 10 p.m., FX