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July 30, 2014

holiday

The Twelve Days of Festivus: Seven shows a-thrivin'

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2009 11:03AM
john lithgowOn the seventh day of Festivus, TV gave to me... Seven shows a-thrivin'.

The 2009-2010 season is a great one to be on TV-- especially for returning dramas and new comedies. If we had 20 days of Christmas, I probably could have filled the list with shows that were either thriving right out of the gate or making a resurgence after being on the air for several years. As it is, we just have seven slots, so here are some noteworthy series that are thriving this year.

Dexter
I've always liked Dexter, but it's never been appointment TV for me. I've generally been content to wait until the season came out on DVD and knock all of the episodes out in a weekend. However, after a creative dip in season 3, I've found myself positively glued to my television every Sunday night that season 4 has aired. John Lithgow absolutely made the season as the creepy Arthur Mitchell. Plus the finale? I know some of you saw the big twist coming at the end, but I certainly did not. Who doesn't like to end a season with their jaw on the floor?

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All Bob wants for Festivus

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2009 4:02PM
SeinfeldIt's the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you "be of good cheer" and hearts glowing and parties for hosting and everything else that Andy Williams sings about. Oh, and everyone celebrating the season with big metal poles and the airing of grievances towards their family.

Here's my wish list for what I want to see this year. Happy Festivus everyone!

  • Lost to end on a good note. I don't ask for the entire series to make sense or even for every single question to be answered, but I do want the ending to be satisfying. The final season does scare me, though, if rumors (spoiler spoiler spoiler!) that the bomb reset everything and all of the dead characters are alive again are true. That could be too "Bobby Ewing in the shower," you know? We'll see. I have high hopes.

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Nickelodeon unwraps schedule of holiday presents

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 9th 2009 3:02PM
Spongebob Squarepants will lead the Christmas march at Nickelodeon.The Nickelodeon family of networks is recruiting all of its top stars to fill its holiday line-up.

You might need to take a break here, as this is a pretty extensive list of specials and such -- all featuring Spongebob Squarepants and his fellow animated megastars. For all listings, make sure to check local listings for times, etc.

Starting off, on Saturday, Dec. 12, the network's "Naughty or Nice Night" will feature new holiday episodes of True Jackson, VP and The Troop.

Nickelodeon will also show repeats of holiday-themed episodes of hit SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly and The Fairly OddParents, starting this week -- with a marathon on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The network will also serve up "Miranda Madness" from Dec. 14 through Dec. 24, from 4 - 8 PM, featuring themed marathons of iCarly and Drake & Josh.

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Neil Patrick Harris is Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 3rd 2009 2:33PM
This looks like something a fan made up on the web but it was actually created by CBS. It's to promote the upcoming airings of Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns, as well as How I Met Your Mother. Is there anything Neil Patrick Harris isn't in these days?

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Did NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center seem a little surreal to you?

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 3rd 2009 12:41PM
Rockefeller Center treeSo we didn't have any major walkout or cutting of the electricity during the live broadcast of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting on NBC last night. But we did have enough things to talk about the day after.

I could discuss the lip synching that a lot of the acts decided to do (I'm looking at you, Barry Manilow) and point out just how bad Rod Stewart is at doing either old standards or soul songs. But I really want to talk about Jane Krakowski. She hosted (along with Chuck's Zachary Levi) and it was a little...surreal.

This was a variety show that wasn't too different than a special TGS that the 30 Rock gang might put on, and it almost seemed like it was Jenna Maroney hosting. Krakowski basically plays a really exaggerated version of herself on 30 Rock, and I was waiting for her to say something clueless or potentially racist or have a cat jump on her face and scratch her.

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This CBS holiday promo from 1966 would never be done today

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 2nd 2009 6:02PM
Here's a subtle, beautiful "Season's Greetings" promo from CBS in 1966. This would never happen in 2009, of course. It's not loud or wacky enough. But wouldn't it be a nice breather in between people getting killed on Criminal Minds and people getting killed on CSI: NY? And can you imagine what sort of good will CBS would generate if they showed something like this again? TV fans would love it.



[via Scrubbles]

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Tomorrow night's Christmas tree lighting on NBC could be more interesting than usual

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 1st 2009 6:02PM
NBC logoI'm not quite sure what to make of this web site. It's called nbcstolechristmas.com and it has a How The Grinch Stole Christmas-ish rhyme that seems to imply that tomorrow night's live Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree lighting show on NBC might not go off the way the network wants it to.

If I'm reading the rhyme correctly, NBC is refusing to negotiate with employees over some dispute, and unless they agree to negotiate, "the crew may just might, do something that would be NBC's blight" and that "they'll be forced from 30 Rock." That's rather vague (and ominous). Could it mean the lights won't work? Dozens of NBC employees streaking live on national TV?

The poem also mentions hosts Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi and suggests that music guests Shakira and The Roots might not be able to play. Hmmmm...well, it's one way to get people to watch the show, that's for sure.

(Update: The Live Feed has the story.)

[via Damian Holbrook]

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Fred Willard checks in to Modern Family

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 18th 2009 9:02AM
fred_willard_headshotThere's an old adage in show business that says something to the effect that casting is half the battle. If you cast a part well, you're sure to have a winning finished project. If that's true, then the casting of Fred Willard on Modern Family is sure to be a hit. I won't reveal what role Fred will be playing til after the jump, so if you don't want to know, don't read on. Suffice to say, the very funny Mr. Willard is being given a great opportunity to shine.

Willard, who was terrific on Everybody Loves Raymond, not to mention all the Christopher Guest films like Best In Show and A Mighty Wind, was on sitcom TV just last season on Fox's Back to You. In fact, it was on that show that Fred worked with Modern Family's Ty Burrell. Now they get to do it again.

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Macy's magical commercial: 150 years in the making

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 27th 2009 5:20PM
macys_worlds_largest_storeRecently, when I shared my view about a certain Dell computer commercial, some of you thought I was a moron. Okay, we'll call it a difference of opinion. However, just to show you that I'm not a grumpster, allow me to extol the virtues of the Macy's commercial that celebrates this iconic American department story that's been around for over 150 years.

What makes The Magic of Macy's so much fun is that it doesn't tell you why the place is legendary, it shows you why. All those film clips from movies and television, years before anyone was using mentions like these for commercial purposes, underscore how much a part of pop culture Macy's was.

(It still is, to some extent, but the days of one brick and mortar store dominating the business landscape are long gone.)

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A guide to Labor Day marathons and specials

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 4th 2009 6:10PM
Jerry Lewis MDA TelethonAh, Labor Day. Isn't it great to have the summer over (yes, I consider Labor Day as the end of summer) and the new TV season about to begin?

Here's a list of the various marathons, specials, and sports that you can see on Sunday and Monday. Let us know if we've missed anything.

Sunday

  • At 8 AM, Hallmark has a Golden Girls marathon.
  • At 9, USA has a Law and Order: SVU marathon.
  • At 10, WE has a marathon of Girlfriends episodes.
  • At 10:30, TV Land has a Beverly Hillbillies marathon.
  • At 11, CBS has U.S. Open coverage.
  • At 1 PM, Discovery has a Planet Earth marathon.
  • Bravo has a Top Chef: Las Vegas marathon at 1.
  • At 3, Spike has a Band of Brothers marathon.
  • NBC has the Deutsche Bank Golf Championship at 3.
  • At 5, TV Land has an Andy Griffith Show marathon.
  • At 9, it's the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (check local listings).

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Ratings for holiday specials ain't what they used to be

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 21st 2008 12:20AM
Star Wars Holiday SpecialTV Week reports that the ratings for various holiday special repeats are in decline as compared to last year. I'm curious as to why this is the case.

Network television is a free medium, and all but the most impoverished can afford some form of hardware to watch it. So why is viewership down? Is the recession dulling the holiday spirit? Are people selling their televisions in order to afford the mortgage?

I recall that someone once told me that the pro-wrestling industry always garners worse ratings during a recession. I always thought that was a strange statement to make, but there is some logic to it. Most pro-wrestling is on cable, which people have to pay for and is usually one of the first things to go when money gets tight. These holiday specials are on network TV.

The explanation in the article is the ubiquity of DVD and downloads. Nobody has to wait anymore to watch holiday programs. If this is the case, the television industry better step up their plans to change the medium before the viewership changes it for them.

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Yule Log 2008: A review

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2008 10:09AM
It's approaching midnight, it's in the single digits outside, and I really don't feel like watching regular TV right now. I feel like having something on while I get under the covers and read. Time for the Yule Log!

This season (Jay reviewed one a couple of years ago), Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, and Bright House all have the Yule Log on their On Demand service (via iN Demand). It's that scene of a crackling fireplace to get you in the Christmas mood. It's especially good if you don't have a fireplace of your own (duh), and it's in HD! I have Comcast digital, and to access it, go to your On Demand menu, then scroll down to HD On Demand, then go to TV Entertainment. You'll see a "Yule Log & More" category (not sure how to get to the section on other cable systems - maybe it's the same?).

But wait, there's more...

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What are your Turkey Day TV traditions?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 26th 2008 3:09PM
Kate and AllieAre there TV shows and/or movies that you watch every Christmas? If you're like me, you try to catch It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Bad Santa, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph and other specials. And on Halloween we have, well, Halloween and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

But what about Thanksgiving? Do you have any TV traditions for this holiday?

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Hey, look! Labor Day weekend marathons!

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 30th 2008 10:41AM
ScrubsLabor Day marks the end of summer (yeah, don't tell me summer ends later in September, if it's Labor Day and the kids are back in school, summer is over), and you could spend the weekend at the beach, having a barbecue, or doing something athletic outside. Or, you could stay in all weekend on your couch and watch a TV marathon! Here's a list of some marathons you can see this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Saturday, August 30

  • At 6am, TCM starts a marathon of Katharine Hepburn movies.
  • At 7, History Channel has a marathon of Ax Men.
  • At 9, USA has a Starter Wife marathon.
  • Also at 9, Sci-Fi has a marathon of monster movies, including Carnosaur, Reptilian, Beneath Loch Ness, Eye of the Beast, King of the Lost World, and Black Swarm.
  • At 10, Bravo has a Shear Genius marathon.
  • At 11, History Channel has a bunch of Ice Road Truckers episodes.
  • At 11:30, Discovery Kids has a marathon of Flight 29 Down episodes.
  • At 2pm, Spike has a CSI marathon.

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South Park: Fantastic Easter Special

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 4th 2007 11:36PM

south park(S11E05) When this episode began, I figured eventually there would be some explanation as to why it is we color Easter eggs and why a rabbit hides them, some kind of explanation of these traditions and their pagan roots. However, by the end I was glad the story went where it did, because this was both the "worst" episode of South Park this season, and incredibly funny. I say "worst" because of all the horrible gags, like "The Hare Club for Men," and William Donahue's "double cross" that had me simultaneously cracking up and saying, "my god, that was a terrible joke."

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