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July 30, 2014

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Five cancelled shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 19th 2009 10:00AM
Guiding LightOn the fifth day of Christmas, TV gave to me ... five cancelled shows ...

Every new season, a network will cancel a show (at least) that a ton of people like. Of course, every year the networks cancel shows that nobody likes. The five shows on this list include a little of both. Feel free to list other shows in the comments, but these are the five that stood out to me in 2009.

1. Guiding Light. I had to put Guiding Light at number one. You can't put the cancellation of a show that was on every weekday for 72 years at number three or number five. It just wouldn't be right, even if the show did limp to its end. The longest-running soap opera (and one of the longest-running shows on TV, period) started on radio in 1937 and switched to television in 1952 (it was actually on both radio and TV for a while). The last episode aired in September.

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What's your favorite Christmas special or movie?

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 17th 2009 6:59PM
GrinchI'm the rare type of person whose favorite Christmas movies of all-time also happen to be my favorite movies of all-time period, It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

We're in the middle of December now and we're all watching our favorite Christmas movies or animated specials (either on TV or via DVD), so I thought I'd ask which is your favorite. (I know, I didn't include every single Christmas special ever made, but that's why God created the word "other").

What's your favorite Christmas special/movie?
It's A Wonderful Life167 (12.9%)
Miracle on 34th Street72 (5.5%)
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer111 (8.6%)
Santa Claus is Comin' To town16 (1.2%)
A Christmas Story271 (20.9%)
The Year Without A Santa Claus37 (2.9%)
White Christmas71 (5.5%)
A Christmas Carol (any version)90 (6.9%)
Frosty The Snowman11 (0.8%)
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)236 (18.2%)
A Charlie Brown Christmas216 (16.6%)

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Here's an above average Christmas commercial for a below average beer

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 10th 2009 2:02PM
Continuing our month-long look at commercials from Christmases past, this is a beer ad from the late 70s. What's interesting is that it's a rather long commercial, especially compared to commercials today, and you don't even know what the ad is for until it's almost over, about 54 seconds in.

Also, I'm not sure if who won the game, but Chicago was leading St. Louis 21-0 in the 3rd quarter.

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Yes, Virginia, Neil Patrick Harris has yet another show coming up

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2009 4:28PM
Neil Patrick Harris is slowly taking over the world. He's a hit on How I Met Your Mother, he's hosting the Tonys and the Emmys, he's Dr. Horrible, he's singing on Batman, he's on Twitter, and his voice can be heard in inappropriate network promos. Now his voice can be heard again this Friday at 8PM, on the new Christmas special Yes, Virginia.

Has this story been done before? You'd think it would be a natural as a holiday classic.

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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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Long before I'm Lovin' It, McDonald's commercials featured a purple thing

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2009 2:28PM
McDonald's commercials used to feature H.R. Pufnstuf-like characters and storylines. But they were great. Now we get "I'm Lovin' It," which I think is one of the lamest tag lines in fast food history.

Continuing our month-long look at Christmas commercials, this one features Grimace and Birdie and is from 1987.

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Batman and Robin did their Christmas shopping at Zayre

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 7th 2009 2:37PM
When I was a kid, the big department store in my area (Boston) was Zayre. Anyone else remember that chain?

Here's an interesting TV commercial for the stores. Apparently Batman and Robin shopped there. And not as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, they actually shopped as Batman and Robin, in their costumes. Yeah, I'm sure that didn't cause a ruckus.

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Rudolph the Ratings Bully beats ABC, NBC, and FOX

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 3rd 2009 5:28PM
RudolphThis is the kind of TV ratings news that warms my heart: last night's airing of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on CBS was the most-watched show of the entire night on any of the other networks, including Christmas in Rockefeller Center, So You Think You Can Dance, The Middle, The Grammy Nominations Concert, and Glee.

The Rankin/Bass Christmas special with the dentist elf and random misfit toys grabbed an impressive 10.7 million viewers.

That's pretty good for a 45 year-old animated special that we've all seen 97 times (and probably own on DVD), no? There's something amazingly comforting about that: the same Christmas specials (Rudolph, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, It's A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, etc) are pulled out every single year and we still watch them. It's the sort of television comfort food that we can't resist.

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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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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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What's your favorite Christmas special?

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 1st 2008 8:06AM
It's A Wonderful Life
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.

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Here's Stephen Colbert on Martha Stewart - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 24th 2008 7:00PM
ColbertThis is 35 kinds of awesome.

Stephen Colbert appeared on Martha last Friday (repeated tonight at 8 on Fine Living Network) and now the video is available online (after the jump - might take a minute to load). Stephen and Martha talk about his new Christmas special and even make a mistletoe ball together. Colbert gets a lot of good lines in (when Martha says she's upset he didn't call her to be on the show, Colbert says he did and she told him "to go to hell") and it's just really funny to see Colbert's persona go up against Martha's prickly persona. It's also great how Colbert says a simple phrase like "hot fudge." (I love the part - and so does the audience - where Colbert puts glitter on the mistletoe part, though I think Martha is kinda ticked he's using so much.)

I want a red and green sweater with a giant "S" on it. Though I fear people will think I'm making some sort of Superman reference and not a Christmas reference.

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And the highest-rated show in Comedy Central history is ... - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2008 8:07AM
Jeff DunhamYou would think that the highest-rated Comedy Central show of all-time would either be an episode of South Park or one of the nightly news satire programs, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. It's actually none of those. The biggest audience-getter was a Christmas special featuring various puppets.

The Sunday debut of Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special grabbed 6. 6 million viewers. South Park held the record before and is now in second place.

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First two minutes of Doctor Who available online

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 15th 2008 3:03PM
Doctor WhoThe BBC broadcast the pre-title sequence (about two minutes) of the Doctor Who Christmas Special slated for Christmas Day 2008 for their Children In Need special on November 14th. It can be viewed here on the BBC website. One word of caution: it can only be viewed from a European IP address, possibly even only a British one.

Fortunately, I have managed to avail myself of those two minutes and I'm already excited about the episode. While I look forward to seeing a new face as the Doctor, it's still a shame that next year is likely David Tennant's last year in the title role.

Based on his brief appearance, David Morrisey could be a potentially good Doctor. However, I am of the opinion that anybody who can have fun with the role can be a good Doctor, since the Doctor can be anybody. I'm very much looking forward to the day after Christmas, when I can download the...uh, I mean hear about the Christmas Special from those who have watched it.

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How much do you know about holiday episodes?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 26th 2007 3:04PM

The Simpsons
I'm one of those suckers who really loves a good holiday episode of a TV show. Whether it's Friends or The Simpsons or The West Wing, I get all choked up when a couple gets together or a family learns the true meaning of Christmas and a carol is played at the end. I still remember the Christmas episodes on Guiding Light in the 80s, with Nick visiting and helping out Philip and Beth and Rick and other Springfield citizens. (Wow, not only do I love Christmas on TV, I love Christmas on soap operas...yikes).

AOL has a 10 question quiz about Christmas TV. How much do you know about The Wonder Years, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Home Improvement? This is the best I've ever scored on one of these AOL quizzes. I got 9 out of 10. Damn you, Grey's Anatomy!

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