'A Charlie Brown Christmas' is one of the TV specials we most associate with and look forward to at Christmas every year, and this week marks the 45th anniversary of the premiere. It was on Dec. 9, 1965, to be exact, that the Peanuts gang made its cartoon debut, in a special that almost didn't make it to air.
In March, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim told Maxim "season cinco" would end the series run and discussed 'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie,' co-produced by Will Ferrell and set to hit theaters in 2011.
On Monday, in an announcement the pair had been hyping on Twitter for days, they revealed plans in a YouTube video for their one-hour 'Chrimbus Spectacular,' which will feature dyspeptic comic Neil Hamburger and Pusswhip Banggang (Tim and Eric in full rock band mode), and for 29-date tour.
The special premieres December 5 on Adult Swim.
Yes, Labor Day has only just come and gone, but it's already Holiday Special Season in the world of TV. And this year we've got some goodies coming up in the shape of holiday specials from the makers of 'Shrek' and 'Kung Fu Panda.' And rumor has it that the 'Panda' special will even air in 3D!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation for the 30-minute, primetime holiday specials 'Scared Shrekless' and 'Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special.' The move continues a relationship between the companies that started with last year's specials, 'Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space' and 'Merry Madagascar.'
Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios, said that "NBC is proud to team with DreamWorks Animation to broadcast such quality holiday programming that includes some of their many popular film characters. ... These animated specials will provide top-flight family entertainment for fans of all ages."
Does that mean they'll continue to air 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'? Yes. 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'? Yes. 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'? Of course. 'Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!'? That one isn't as popular, but ABC does own the rights. 'You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown'? Possibly around the next presidential election.
Tuesday at 8 PM on NBC, you'll hear his voice in Merry Madagascar, playing Marty the zebra for the third time, along with returning regulars Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith. He's confident it's not the last time he'll voice Marty, either, with Madagascar 3 in the works.
So why does a guy who can do anything he wants spend time in front of a microphone pretending to be a cartoon animal?
"Money," he says jokingly, speaking on a conference call on Wednesday. "No, no they're good. You realize as you get longer in this business, the only thing that keeps you working is doing good stuff. You know, I mean the box office is great, too, but if people don't like what you do the moment the box office isn't fair, they don't want to work with you anymore."
Hey, it's December!
That means that the Christmas specials are about to start, if they haven't started already. Tonight we have How The Grinch Stole Christmas (8:30pm on ABC) and on Wednesday we have Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (8pm on CBS). And still to come, of course, are It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and many more. Not to mention all of those Lifetime Christmas movies where someone falls in love around the holidays, plus all of the Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows. I think Heroes is going to have a special episode where Santa goes up against Sylar.
I would have to say that after all of these years, It's A Wonderful Life is still my favorite. I love The Grinch and Rudolph and A Charlie Brown Christmas as much as the next person (Frosty has never been a favorite, though), but It's A Wonderful Life is the movie I have to stop and watch if I come across it channel surfing.
Every week it's the same damn thing: the top 20 network shows always include a few CSIs, a couple of Law and Orders, and a bunch of reality shows and game shows. Why doesn't the Nielsen list reflect what I watch every week? Why do people complain about the Nielsens when the numbers say that, well, somebody is watching those shows every single week.
Sure, it's great to see a show like Heroes or Lost or Old Christine or even ER crack the top 20 on some weeks, but most weeks the list is a mystery to me. In my mind, this is my dream Top 10 for any given week. (I could try to name 20 but I think after 10 I probably couldn't think of any shows and that would depress me.)
- At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by the season finale of Survivor and the reunion show.
- ABC has A Charlie Brown Christmas at 7, followed by The Santa Clause 2.
- NBC has a new Football Night In America at 7, then the Chiefs vs. the Chargers.
- Also at 7: Food Network has the Nigella Bites Christmas Special, followed by Emeril's Happy Happy Holidays.
- At 7:30, The CW has a new Reba.
- At 8, FOX has a new Simpsons, followed by new epsisodes of American Dad and Family Guy, then a repeat Family Guy.
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) airs on ABC Family at 8.
- TBS is showing National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation all night.
- At 9, Discovery has Holiday Mythbusters.
- Hallmark has A Boyfriend For Christmas at 9.
- At 10, Showtime has a new Dexter.
- At 8, ABC has a repeat Ugly Betty, followed by repeats of Grey's Anatomy and Men in Trees.
- CBS has a new Survivor at 8, then repeats of CSI and Shark.
- NBC has a new, one hour episode of The Office at 8, then new episodes of Scrubs and 30 Rock, then a repeat ER.
- There's a new 'Til Death on FOX at 8, then new eps of The War at Home and The O.C.
- ABC Family has The Polar Express at 8.
- Food Network has more holiday cooking tonight: at 8, it's Essence of Emeril, followed by Paula's Home Cooking, Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Holiday, and the Nigella Bites Christmas Special.
- Oxygen has Christmas With The Dickinsons, a reality show with Janice Dickinson.
- Also at 8: Bravo repeats the Christmas in Rockefeller Center, followed by A Clay Aiken Christmas.
- At 9, Lifetime has the movie Crazy For Christmas.
- TLC has the special Holiday Blunders at 10.
- At 10:30, Cartoon Network has Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas.
- Animal Planet is showing the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Dog Show all night.
Wait a second. December 8? Isn't that a little eary for a classic Christmas special? I know that every company starts to celebrate and advertise Christmas earlier and earlier every single year (this year all the stores in my area had Christmas decorations for sale right next to Halloween candy in October), but shouldn't shows this classic be aired closer to December 25, or at least repeated later in December after the December 8th airing?
- NBC starts its week long launch of the new game show Deal or No Deal. It's hosted by Howie Mandel and getting some bad reviews. It's on at 8pm and followed by the 2005 Radio Music Awards.
- FOX has two eps of Arrested Development: a new ep at 8 and a repeat at 8:30. They're followed by a new Nanny 911.
- CBS has a new King of Queens tonight, followed by new New Year's episode of How I Met Your Mother, an Xmas Two and a Half Men, a New Year's Out of Practice, and CSI: Miami.
- ABC has a new Wife Swap at 8, followed by the Packers vs the Ravens on Monday Night Football.
- UPN is all repeats tonight: Everybody Hates Chris, One on One, Girlfriends, and Half and Half. Same over on the WB, with 7th Heaven and Related.
- ABC Family has Home Alone 2 at 8.
- It's a meeting of the superchefs on Emeril
Live, as Emeril and Paula Deen join forces to
fight crimecook some home cookin'. It's on Food Network at 8.
- Bravo is running Kathy Griffin's Allegedly special at 8 and then again right after.
- Also at 8: Disney has Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas.
- Do you watch American Life network? It used to be Nostalgia (and then Good Life or something like that?) They show some cool shows. Tonight at 8 it's Harry O, followed by 77 Sunset Strip and Surfside 6!
- At 9, TLC has a new Untold Stories of the E.R.
- Also at 9, Lifetime has the movie His and Her Christmas, about two writers who have rival Christmas columns in two different papers in the same city.
- On Food Network at 9, a special "Wintertime Treats" of Unwrapped, followed by The Secret Life of...Christmas, which tells the history of the holiday.
- On E! at 9, True Hollywood Story focuses on the American Idol girls. It's followed by a new Dr. 90210.
- At 9 on Hallmark, Kathy Ireland stars in the movie Once Upon A Christmas.
- At 10, the guys of American Chopper create a special Christmas bike for the children of the Make A Wish Foundation. It's on Discovery.
- On A&E at 10, a new Airline, followed by a new MovieReal, which focuses on Memoirs of a Geisha.
- Also at 10: TNT has a new Wanted, while Comedy Central has Denis Leary's Merry F****** Christmas Special.
- At 11, the History Channel has Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas. Maybe you can watch this and The Secret Life Of...earlier and compare the two?
- Also: the syndicated South Park is running the episode "Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo." Check local listings.
- At midnight, a repeat of Emeril's All-Star Holiday Bash on Food Network, while Nickelodeon has an Xmas ep of Roseanne and Disney has an Xmas ep of Phil of the Future.
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