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April 25, 2014

Holiday TV

'This Hour Has 22 Minutes': Nearly 20 Years Old, and Still Funny For the Holidays

by Stephanie Earp, posted Dec 12th 2011 4:00PM
This time of year is rife with holiday episodes, and for the most part, I think we TV audiences agree that we'd rather our favourite shows take an extra week off rather than produce what is often a badly-written show with too much room given to guest stars playing the parents of our lead characters (negative bonus points if one of them is Jane Kaczmarek, Elliott Gould or Candice Bergen).



But sketch comedy shows are the exception. Something about the holidays brings out the best -- and frequently the most acerbic -- in comedians, which is why I'm actually excited to watch the 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' holiday special (CBC on December 13 at 8PM). As cast member Mark Critch explains, "Christmas is about being together as a family even if the family hates each other. There's a slow build from forgetting to put out your sister's potato salad to your father yelling, 'I drink because I hate you!'"

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Justin Bieber Christmas Special: Coming Home to Canada

by Denette Wilford, posted Dec 12th 2011 12:40PM
Canadian Beliebers are all hot and bothered now that Justin Bieber is coming back to town.



The pop star is returning to Toronto to tape an exclusive holiday special for MuchMusic and CTV. 'MuchMusic Presents Justin Bieber: Home for the Holidays' is the perfect way to celebrate the fast-approaching yuletide season, as Biebs performs hits from his Christmas album, 'Under the Mistletoe,' his favourite covers, and, of course, the not-so-festive but equally cheerful "Baby."

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Christmas TV Specials 2011: When They're On, and What Channel

by Denette Wilford, posted Dec 7th 2011 12:45PM
We've made a list, checked it more than twice and there are definitely movies and specials that are naughty and nice -- in other words, classic holiday fare for anyone and everyone.



The holiday season has come rather rapidly, and in case you missed some of your favourites, don't sweat it. In typical TV form, they'll repeat, and sometimes on the same network (we're looking at you 'Frosty,' 'Shrek,' 'Charlie' and 'Rudolph').

It's the time of year when loved ones get together to eat, drink and be merry, but television gets into the spirit of things by airing specials, movies and variety shows. There are the classics that have been airing for decades ('It's a Wonderful Life,' 'Miracle on 34th Street'), and some other modern treats that have received a yuletide spin ('Elf,' 'Kung Fu Panda,' 'The Elf on the Shelf') but whatever you fancy, here are the gems you should definitely be watching this month.

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Our Holiday Gift Guide: Presents for Every TV Fan On Your List

by Maggie Furlong, posted Dec 1st 2011 11:00AM
I'm hard to shop for -- I fully admit that -- but the one way to my heart is with anything TV-related. Now that it's officially December, it's time to start putting up holiday decorations and brainstorming the perfect presents for everyone on your list ... even the picky people.

I've pulled together the best of the best holiday presents inspired by TV, including full series box sets of fan-favorite shows, a paperweight worthy of geek must-have status, a few books (yes, books) written by TV funny ladies and more gotta-have gear from the hottest comedies and dramas. There's something for all ages, all price ranges and all TV lovers.

So put your kids down for a nap in their leather jackets (you'll see), curl up with Big Joe (you'll love) and settle in for this epic list of TV-themed gifting goodness. Happy shopping!

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Jimmy Fallon and Jason Schwartzman Sing The Turkey Stuffing Song (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 24th 2011 8:30AM
Turkey Stuffing SongNothing says Thanksgiving like a glow-in-the-dark dancing turkey!

So while you're toiling in the kitchen today why not jam along with Jimmy Fallon and Jason Schwartzman singing the 'Turkey Stuffing Song' on 'Late Night.'

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Molly Shannon Elevates Passive Aggressive to an Art on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 24th 2011 5:00AM
Molly Shannon, 'The Middle' - 'Thanksgiving III''The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC) is absolutely killing it the past couple of weeks with guest stars. Last week it was Norm MacDonald as Mike's slacker brother, and this week it was Molly Shannon as Frankie's passive aggressive sister, Janet.

When the Hecks head to Frankie's family's house for Thanksgiving, Janet immediately starts to use that horrible passive aggressive technique that we all hate, and we all know someone who does it. More often than not, it's a relative who masks it with love.

So it was worth it when finally Frankie stood up to her and the two had a sincere fight, airing out the grievances that have been plaguing them most likely for years. Round it out with Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke as the parents, and these are recurring characters we can truly be thankful for.

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Cochran Suspects Two Castaways are Having Sex on 'Survivor' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 24th 2011 12:00AM
'Survivor: South Pacific'It's Thanksgiving week, which means its time for another special edition of 'Survivor: South Pacific' (Wed., 8PM ET on CBS). Rather than move forward, we get to look back over the season and see new scenes. Usually, this is a tedious episode each year, but this time around it proved rather interesting as we've got a good crop of castaways this season.

We saw a lot more personality and cunning out of Cochran -- are they setting us up to watch him win the whole thing? -- through extra confessional scenes. But we also saw even more suffering from the season's most "fragile" player. Particularly when he had to share a bunk with Keith and Whitney, who were apparently doing more than cuddling for warmth.

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Caroline Loses Her Holiday Spirit on '2 Broke Girls' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 22nd 2011 1:00AM
'2 Broke Girls' - 'And the Very Christmas Thanksgiving'It's always been hard to believe that Caroline could remain so relentlessly perky considering what the character's been through. This week, though, we finally got a glimpse of what losing everything and everyone she's ever known has done to her emotionally on '2 Broke Girls' (Mon., 8:30PM ET on CBS), and it was about time.

Now, I don't want Caroline moping around every week -- as that appears to be Max's job -- but she does need to work through these emotions from time to time at least during her first year as part of the working class. Kudos to her for taking a bad situation (can't afford new mixer) and turning it into a potentially winning one.

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'Doctor Who' Star Matt Smith Strips, Plus a Sneak Peek at the Christmas Special (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 21st 2011 11:00AM
'Doctor Who' Christmas special'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith performed a striptease on TV Friday night, but it was all for a good cause. As part of the BBC's annual 'Children in Need' telethon Smith stripped off a signature 'Doctor Who' outfit before putting it up for auction together with a signed script.

Talking on this morning's 'BBC Breakfast' Smith said he hopes the items will fetch as much as possible, and he reiterated his belief that "bow ties are cool." He also talked about the "massive challenge" of taking on a role that's been part of the British cultural landscape for 50 years. Smith joked that at a recent party he was starstruck to meet two of his predecessors in the role, David Tennant and his father-in-law Peter Davison, thinking "Wow, it's Doctor Who!" before realizing "I'm Doctor Who!"

'Children in Need' also showcased a sneak peek at that staple of the festive season, the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special. Catch it and Smith's striptease after the jump.

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Joe and Bonnie are Reunited With Their Son on 'Family Guy' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 21st 2011 9:20AM
'Family Guy'Thanksgiving on 'Family Guy' (Sun., 9PM ET on Fox) brought a happy family reunion for Joe and Bonnie Swanson. They'd been mourning the death of their soldier son Kevin, but he turned out to be alive.

Kevin tells his happy parents that he'd been in a coma ever since his quarters blew up, but a suspicious Joe keeps finding holes in his story and pushes Kevin to admit the whole truth. "I never was in any coma. I bailed. I faked my death and went AWOL." That's when the police officer in Joe takes over: He slaps the cuffs on Kevin and prepares to take him in. Can Bonnie stop him?

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Justin Long Is the Male Jess on Thanksgiving Episode of 'New Girl' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 16th 2011 2:00AM
Justin Long, 'New Girl' - 'Thanksgiving'It was a Thanksgiving celebration on 'New Girl' (Tue., 9PM ET on FOX), which means all the traditions like turkeys in the dryer and dead old ladies on the toilet. Wait, that doesn't seem right.

But it was funny, as the gang found themselves relocating to a neighbor's apartment when their dryer turkey experiment led to a fire in their apartment. Never mind that the lady of the house was dead, it gave us time to get to know Jess' bizarre male counterpart Paul, played by Justin Long.

So was it weird seeing someone just as goofy as Jess driving the guys crazy, or do we like the idea of her finding someone like herself she can enjoy? Of course, if they're too much alike, doesn't that mean he'll soon be driving her crazy? Future episodes perhaps ...

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Tony Bennett and Justin Bieber to Perform on 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 11th 2011 6:00AM
Tony BennettJoy to Beliebers and their grandparents: The original pop star, Tony Bennett, will be showing Justin Bieber how it's done when they both perform at NBC's annual live Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' later this month.

The roster of big name performers announced by the network spans not only generations, but also genres, with singers Michael Bublé, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill, Carole King, Katharine McPhee and 'The Voice' winner Javier Colon performing a mix of current hits and holiday classics.

NBC announced that the hour-long special on November 30 will be hosted by the 'Today Show's Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie and will -- natch -- also feature seasonal high-kickers, The Radio City Rockettes. Prior to the primetime telecast, WNBC and other NBC affiliates (check your local listings) will also air an additional live hour of the special.

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TV-Inspired Halloween Costumes

by AOL TV Staff, posted Oct 20th 2011 11:00AM
'The Walking Dead': more than just zombiesHalloween is just days away, but you've still got time to pull off an awesome conversation-starting costume.

Where better to look for inspiration than to the reality TV stars, possibly fake baby bumps and memorable TV characters that have made headlines lately?

From our favorite zombie dodgers, to Nancy Grace (optional accessory: an exposed nipple) in one of her 'Dancing With the Stars' ensembles, to a very clever new use for grandma's old Rascal scooter, we've got you covered with costume ideas for men and women.

After the jump, our picks for the hottest TV-inspired Halloween costumes, sure to give you all the tricks and treats you need to make the holiday as pop-culturally relevant as possible.

Share your own clever costume ideas in the comments ...

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What's On Tonight: 'Fiesta Bowl,' 'Dear Genevieve,' 'Primeval,' 'House of Anubis'

by Rich Keller, posted Jan 1st 2011 12:30PM
A new season of 'Primeval' airs tonight at 9 on BBC America.Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local TV listings for additional information.

* = Series/Season Premiere
** = Series/Season Finale
# = New Day/Time

Happy 2011 everyone! If you're tired of the marathons and the bowl games there are a few season premieres this evening. Also, make a note that today marks the transformation of Discovery Health to OWN -- the Oprah Winfrey Network.

8:00 to 9:00
PBS: 'Great Performance' -- (90 minutes) The annual concert with the Vienna Philharmonic
EPSN: 'Fiesta Bowl' -- 8:30 start for Connecticut and Oklahoma
Univision: 'Sabado Gigante' -- (180 minutes)
HGTV: 'Candice Tells All'* and 'Dear Genevieve'*
Nickelodeon: 'House of Anubis'*
OWN: 'Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes'*

9:00 to 10:00
PBS: 'Austin City Limits' -- 9:30 start for a performance by Cheap Trick
BBC America: 'Primeval'*
Bio: 'Celebrity Ghost Stories'
CNBC: 'The Suze Ormon Show'
HUB: 'Dan vs.'* -- Two episodes
OWN: 'Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes'

10:00 to 11:00
BBC America: 'The Graham Norton Show' -- Alan Davies; 'X-Factor' judge Louis Walsh, singer-songwriter Eliza Doolittle
CNBC: 'Til Debt Do Us Part' -- Two episodes
HGTV: 'House Hunters'

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What's On Tonight: Tom Arnold Stand-Up Special, 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown,' 'Dick Clark's Rockin New Year's Eve'

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 31st 2010 12:30PM
Tom Arnold's first stand-up special, 'Tom Arnold: That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It,' airs at 9PM on Showtime.Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local TV listings for additional information.

* = Series/Season Premiere
** = Series/Season Finale
# = New Day/Time

We've already broken down the day's marathons, bowls and festivities in a 'What's On Tonight Extra' column. So, you may want to read that first if you're looking for more deatils about some of the shows listed here.

6:00 to 7:00
Disney Channel: 'Shake It Up New Years' -- (120 minutes)

7:00 to 8:00
ESPN: 'Chick-fil-A Bowl' -- 7:30PM start for Florida State vs. South Carolina

8:00 to 9:00
PBS: 'Washington Week With Gwen Ifill' and 'Live From Lincoln Center' -- (120 minutes) 8:30 start for the New York Philharmonic's performance
CNN: 'Anderson Cooper's 360 All the Best, All the Worst 2010'
SyFy: 'WWE Friday Night SmackDown' -- (120 minutes)

The rest of the schedule and the late night lineup after the jump.

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