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September 1, 2014

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Labor Dispute May Shut Down NBC's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

by Gary Susman, posted Dec 1st 2009 7:34PM
Will NBC's 12th annual 'Christmas at Rockefeller Center' special, scheduled for tomorrow night -- with singers and actors prepared to celebrate the lighting of the famed Christmas tree -- go dark?

That's the threat posed by members of National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 11, which issued a statement today saying it would halt the show via a wildcat strike if NBC doesn't make progress on stalled negotiations with the union, which has been working without a contract since March.

If the broadcast goes dark, don't blame the union -- blame NBC, says NABET-CWA Local 11 president Ed McEwan in the statement. "We can't let the Grinch at NBC steal another Christmas from thousands of honest working people," McEwan says in the statement. "This charade must stop. Christmas is supposed to be a time of goodwill, but the network's management is trying to hide behind their fancy lights while leaving their employees in the dark."

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What's On Tonight: Ab Fab, Man Vs. Food, Christmas Eve Mass

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 24th 2008 4:04PM
It's A Wonderful Life
  • TBS has A Christmas Story all night.
  • At 8, NBC has It's A Wonderful Life.
  • The CW has The Flight Before Christmas at 8, followed by The Story of Santa Claus.
  • ABC Family has the live action How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 8.
  • Comedy Central has two Christmas episodes of Futurama at 8, then several Christmas episodes of South Park.
  • FOX News Channel has A Fox and Friends Christmas at 8.
  • Also at 8: Disney has The Santa Clause 2.
  • At 8:40, BBC America has a new Catherine Tate Christmas episode, followed by an Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special.
  • At 9, Lifetime has the movie The Christmas Shoes.
  • TruTV has a new Most Shocking at 9, then two new episodes of World's Wildest Vacation Videos.
  • Hallmark has the movie The Most Wonderful Time of the Year at 9.
  • Nickelodeon has two Christmas episodes of Home Improvement at 9.
  • Showtime has a new Inside The NFL at 9.
  • At 10, Travel Channel has a new Man vs. Food.
  • At 11, Lifetime has two Christmas episodes of Will & Grace, followed by two Christmas episodes of Frasier.
  • At 11:30, CBS and NBC has Christmas Eve Mass and music.
  • At 1am, ABC has Christmas Eve Mass and music also.

Check your local TV listings for more.

(Most of the late night talk shows are pre-empted or repeats tonight, except Charlie Rose.)

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TV 101: The true meaning of TV Christmas specials (OR: You're a mean one, Mr. Black)

by Jay Black, posted Dec 24th 2008 12:03PM
See, a public domain alternative to the real thing is just as good... right?If there's one universal among TV Christmas specials it's this: they all seem to want to tell you what the "true" meaning of Christmas is. There are so many specials trying to explain the true meaning of Christmas, it actually makes you wonder if the power of TV to influence has been exaggerated. I mean, you'd think after watching approximately eleventy-five billion hours of holiday programming, we'd have gotten the point already.

Perhaps the reason why America continues to view Christmas less as a time for spiritual reflection than as one for reindeer sweaters, crass consumerism, and suicide contemplation is because our Christmas specials aren't really sending the messages that they claim to be. Sure, on the surface we're told about "peace on earth and goodwill to men, blah blah blah", but there's a bubbling subtext in these specials if you only look hard enough.

I've decided to put my New Jersey state college English degree to good use and break down what Christmas specials are really saying...

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Brought To You By... - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 21st 2008 2:02PM
Macy's logoLet's talk turkey. Actually, let's talk Thanksgiving Day commercials, which may or may not involve actual turkeys.

I know, you probably can't remember a Thanksgiving commercial to save your life. There have been a ton of them over the years, but 99.9% of them have to do with department store sales ("Before Thanksgiving Sale!" and "After Thanksgiving Sale!" with a "Thanksgiving Sale!" thrown in for good measure) and they all seem to blend into each other after a while. But there are have been a few over the years that are worth looking at again, and after the jump we'll take a look at them.

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Holiday spinoffs I'd like to see

by Paul Goebel, posted Dec 18th 2007 10:42AM

A Who in TroubleAs I was watching all my favorite holiday specials this season, it became clear to me that there's a desperate need for some new offerings. Then I started thinking that if weekly shows can spinoff characters then why can't specials? With that in mind, here are my ideas for spinoffs to make your holidays more festive.

Out of the Box
Nobody wants a Charlie in the Box...except Charlie. After years of being not being delivered by Santa Claus, Charlie from the island of misfit toys decides it's time to make a change. Determined to find himself and discover what he was really made for, Charlie travels the country living on the road and meeting adventures head on. After living the life of Kerouac, Charlie returns to share his wisdom with the jelly squirting gun, ostrich riding cowboy and the doll with the unnamed condition.

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Nielsen ratings for the week ending December 17

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 20th 2006 8:40AM
Jeff Probst1. NCIS (CBS)
2. Deal Or No Deal - Mon (NBC)
3. Survivor - Finale (CBS)
4. House (FOX)
5. Criminal Minds (CBS)
6. CSI: Miami (CBS)
7. CSI: NY (CBS)
8. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
9. Sunday Night Football (NBC)
10. CSI (CBS)
11. Survivor (CBS)
12. NFL Sunday Post Game (NBC)
13. 60 Minutes (CBS)
14. The Santa Clause 2 (ABC)
15. The Unit (CBS)
16. Survivor - Reunion (CBS)
17. The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
18. Biggest Loser (NBC)
19. Numb3rs (CBS)
20. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC)

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Comprehensive holiday television schedule

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 25th 2006 11:29AM
a christmas storyOkay. Now that I've eaten turkey and pumpkin pie, bring on the holiday TV! Already, we've been subjected to Christmas commercials, but now the good holiday television really begins. USA Today was kind enough to put together a comprehensive list of holiday specials (new and traditional) that air between now and Christmas Day.

Here are some of the notables:
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC, Tuesday Nov. 28 at 8 pm;
  • Polar Express, ABC, Friday December 1 at 8 pm;
  • Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, ABC, Tuesday December 5 at 8 pm;
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, CBS, Friday December 8 at 8 pm;
  • Frosty the Snowman, CBS, Friday December 8 at 9 pm;
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version), ABC, Saturday December 9 at 9 pm;
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version), ABC, Tuesday December 12 at 8 pm;
  • It's a Wonderful Life, NBC, Saturday December 16 at 8 pm;
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, TBS, Sunday December 17 at 8 pm;
  • A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version), TNT, Wednesday December 20 at 8 pm;
  • A Christmas Story (24-hour marathon), TBS, Sunday December 24 at 8 pm;
  • Yule Log, INHD, Monday December 25 at 7 am.

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The Grinch comes to Broadway

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 18th 2006 4:01PM

grinchHow the Grinch Stole Christmas, Chuck Jones' beloved animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic children's book, is being re-imagined yet again, this time as a Broadway musical. The producers of the musical are staging a contest to find Whos, and they're looking for talented kids ages eight to fourteen who are five feet tall or less. If you happen to fit that description, or if you're a parent wanting to experience your failed Broadway dreams vicariously through your child, the deadline to submit your tape is August 30. The finalists will appear on the Today show on September 7, and a winner will be chosen on the air. All losers will be executed. Wait, sorry, only the first part of that is true.

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Jenny McCarthy dating Jim Carrey

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 10th 2006 5:00PM
Jenny McCarthyYou've seen her on The Drew Carey Show, you've seen her on One On One, you've seen her on Hope and Faith, and you've seen her on her own show last year, the short-lived Bad Girl's Guide on UPN. Now, you can see her on...Jim Carrey!

Sorry, that was rude. I guess I just don't see these two together. Sure, they're both goofy and all that, but for some reason I'm just surprised at the pairing. Why? I don't know, that's Dr. Phil and Oprah territory. There's just something about these two being together that doesn't quite click.

But what the hell do I know. I'm a very lonely man.

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What's on tonight: Christmas with the Browns, the Grinch, Robert Mitchum

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 22nd 2005 4:59PM
  • FOX has two repeat Christmas episodes of The O.C., starting at 8pm.
  • ABC has a repeat holiday ep of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at 8, followed by Primetime at 10.
  • CBS is repeats tonight, with Without A Trace, CSI, and then another Without A Trace.
  • Yup, another night of Deal or No Deal on NBC. It's on at 8, followed by repeats of Joey, Will and Grace, and ER.
  • UPN has repeats of Everybody Hates Chris, Love, Inc., Eve, and Cuts, while the WB has repeats of Smallville and Everwood.
  • If you missed, CNBC is running last night's finale of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart at 8.
  • ABC Family has Jim Carrey in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, also at 8.
  • What the hell is Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute On Ice? Is that serious? It's on Bravo at 8.
  • Some Christmas stuff on PBS tonight: Christmas at Belmont and Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Check local listings.
  • At 9 on CNN, Larry King has author Kay Redfield Jamison and Art Linkletter.
  • Lifetime has the movie Christmas In My Hometown at 9, while Food Network repeats the Gingerbread Challenge.
  • At 10, Nip/Tuck repeats the Quentin Costa episode from last night.
  • More Christmas merriment: the "Christmas With The Browns" episode of Being Bobby Brown. It's on Bravo at 10.
  • Also at 10, TCM has Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in Holiday Affair.
  • HBO Comedy at the George Carlin special Playin' With Your Head. It's on at 10 too.
  • At 11, a new episode of Isaac on Style Network, with guests Andie MacDowell, chef Todd English, and designer Betsey Johnson.

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