Friday, November 25, 2005

Breaking News: Pat Morita Passes Away at 73; Network Holiday Programming: NBC

Before we continue to our holiday programming feature, we have some bad news to report. Actor Pat Morita passed away yesterday from natural causes. Morita was best known for his role of Arnold on the sitcom Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid films. Morita was a well known fixture on many sitcoms as a guest star, too. He made his start on sitcoms on an episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. in 1967. Some of the other sitcoms he guest starred on are The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love American Style, Green Acres, The Odd Couple, The Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H, Welcome Back Kotter, Chico and the Man, The Love Boat, Laverne & Shirley, Fresh Prince, Family Matters, The Hughleys, Yes Dear, and as Ah Chew on Sanford & Son. He was everywhere and was a very funny man. He recently appeared on ABC's 30th Anniversary Reunion for Happy Days back in February. He still has a few independent movie roles still to be released. He will for sure be missed. Pat Morita was 73 years old. Click here to read the AP story.

Today we will move on to NBC. NBC will kick their holiday season off with the annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, November 30, the last day of November sweeps.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center is a star-studded, one-hour special broadcast live from Rockefeller Center in New York City and celebrates the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree. The popular musical lineup for the special will include a mix of current hits and favorite holiday music. Airs Wednesday, November 30 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT

The Happy Elf -- NBC makes this Christmas memorable by celebrating the holiday season with Grammy-winning performer Harry Connick Jr. (NBC’s Will & Grace), starring in his first ever CGI-animated family holiday special, The Happy Elf. Connick provides the voice for the animated narrator who tells the story of Eubie the Elf, one of Santa’s helpers whose overly enthusiastic, rose-colored view of the holiday season is put to the test when he sets out to bring Christmas joy to a dreary town called Bluesville. The Happy Elf also stars the talented voice cast of Carol Kane, Lewis Black, Mickey Rooney and Rob Paulsen. This holiday event also includes all new original holiday songs written and composed by Connick. Airs Friday, December 2 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT followed by a Christmas themed episode of Three Wishes from 9 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Sitcom Christmas Episodes of My Name is Earl and The Office. For Earl, “White Lie Christmas” -- As the holiday season nears, a few secrets are exposed when Earl (Jason Lee) attempts to cross number 74 off of his list: "always ruined Joy's Christmas." Earl, Randy (Ethan Suplee), and Catalina (Nadine Velazquez) enter a radio contest to win a brand-new car for Joy (Jaime Pressly) to make up for all of the thoughtless Christmas presents Earl gave her while they were married. While Randy and Catalina vie over the car, Earl finds out that Joy's parents believe that he's still their son-in-law -- and that he's just returned from the war in Iraq. Joy is afraid to tell her father, an alleged racist, that she is now married to Darnell (Eddie Steeples), prompting Earl to play the part. For The Office, “The Christmas Party” -- Morale at the office Christmas party hits an all-time low after Michael (Steve Carell) suggests a game of “Yankee Swap” with the $20 secret Santa gifts -- and everyone vies for the iPod he bought for Ryan (B.J. Novak). In an effort to raise his staff’s sagging spirits, Michael introduces vodka shots and things liven up while Jim (John Krasinski) worries that the sentimental gift he got for Pam (Jenna Fischer) will end up in Dwight’s (Rainn Wilson) hands. The hour airs on Tuesday, December 6 from 9 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

E-Ring Christmas: "Christmas Story" -- On Christmas Eve, JT (Benjamin Bratt) works in Special Ops on a humanitarian relief mission to help an Afghan village that helped Delta several years ago and now finds itself confronting bad weather and an advancing Taliban force – and help must come from unusual places to make the mission work. Meanwhile, Samantha (Kelly Rutherford) meets JT's father who needs a favor, much to JT's dismay. Dennis Hopper and Aunjanue Ellis also star. Airs Wednesday, December 7 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Will & Grace and ER Holiday Episodes: For Will & Grace, “A Little Christmas Queer” -- The gang spends the holidays at the house of Marilyn Truman (guest star Blythe Danner) while Grace (Debra Messing) and Will's (Eric McCormack) brother share some holiday romance. In addition, Will's 10-year-old nephew is clearly gay -- and it bothers Will that his mother Marilyn is more tolerant towards the boy than she was of her son. Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally also star. For ER, “All About Christmas Eve” -- After a little girl is mistakenly shot, Drs. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) and Weaver (Laura Innes) desperately try to bring her back to life while Nurse Haleh (Yvette Freeman) holds her annual choir tryouts and everyone is surprised at who is chosen to sing the solo. In addition, Eve (Kristen Johnston) crosses the line with a patient and causes management to get involved. Abby (Maura Tierney) and Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) exchange Christmas gifts but, Abby's gift for him is bigger than expected. Shane West, Parminder Nagra, John Leguizamo and Linda Cardellini also star.
Will & Grace airs at a special time at 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday, December 8. ER airs from 10 to 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Holiday Classic Movie -- It's a Wonderful Life: NBC marks a milestone for the nation's visually impaired as the network presents this exclusive and special telecast of Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. Through a process of Descriptive TheatreVision, the special presentation will be described for the blind and visually impaired by former President George Bush. Bush's description will inform the viewer of what is occurring on the screen, filling the blanks where no dialogue or other sounds tell a visually impaired person what is happening during a television presentation. The film follows the life of George Bailey (Stewart) from childhood to maturity in the town of Bedford Falls. On what might be his last Christmas Eve, a discouraged Bailey wants to throw his life away. Fortunately, Clarence (Henry Travers), a second-class angel, is sent to show him the value of life. After Clarence gives Bailey a view of Bedford Falls without him, Bailey realizes how precious his life is and gets a second chance. He comes to learn that Clarence was right when he said, "No man is a failure who has friends." The film, which earned Oscar nominations for best picture, director, actor and film editing, was produced and directed by Capra. Airs Saturday, December 10 and Saturday, December 24 from 8 to 11 p.m. ET/PT both nights.

Joey Christmas: In a special one-hour episode, as the holidays near, Alex' (Andrea Anders) is moved to express to Joey (Matt LeBlanc) her true feelings for him. Airs for a full-hour on Thursday, December 15 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: – The hit theatrical film returns and it's Christmas time again as the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (Chevy Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. Airs Sunday, December 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

2005 Radio Music Awards -- The biggest names in music will celebrate the holiday season live from Las Vegas at the 2005 Radio Music Awards (RMAs). Considered by the music industry as the “Golden Globes of music award shows” because of its casual party-style, this year promises to be even bigger than last with its move to December and inclusion of holiday songs. The 2005 RMA nominees include 50 Cent, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Destiny’s Child, Nelly, Gwen Stefani and many more. The “2005 Radio Music Awards” is executive-produced by David Broome, Anthony Eaton, Von Freeman and Paul Joseph. Airs Monday, December 19 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 16

The Goldbergs - "The Pina Colada Episode" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Murray and Geoff team up to pull Beverly, Barry and Erica out of their shared misery that Lainey has left town. Adam’s dread of gym class is amplified when Coach Mellor’s brother, Coach Nick (guest star Bill Goldberg), arrives and uses fear as a motivator. Meanwhile, Coach Mellor (guest star Bryan Callen) prepares for the next step of his life.

Schooled - "Lainey's All That" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Hoping to gain respect among her colleagues at school, Lainey comes up with a misguided plan to give an awkward and insecure student a full makeover. Meanwhile, Principal Glascott and Coach Mellor take friendly competition to a new level when they are both romantically interested in the math teacher.

Modern Family - "Blasts from the Past" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Phil and Claire decide to take a cycling tour through Italy before they become grandparents, and Dylan (guest star Reid Ewing) introduces them to his mom who has an interesting past. Meanwhile, Cameron and Mitchell discover some interesting reading material in Lily’s room and decide to confront her about it, while Gloria and Jay discover their respective great uncles may have fought on opposing sides of a war.

Single Parents - "All Aboard the Two-Parent Struggle Bus" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Will’s ex, Mia (Vanessa Bayer), shows up unexpectedly for Sophie’s birthday, Will gets frustrated that she undermines his rules with Sophie. Angie tries to help Will cope by having a fun girls’ night at her place and by giving some co-parenting advice, but Poppy reveals and Will quickly learns that Angie isn’t the best advice giver. Meanwhile, inspired by Mia’s humanitarian work, Miggy and Graham decide to give some items to charity but regret it immediately and seek out help from Douglas to get the items back.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Grant Allocation Derivation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard is caught between a rock and a hard place when he’s responsible for distributing extra grant money. Also, Bernadette turns the backyard playhouse into a hideaway from her husband and kids.

Young Sheldon - "A Mother, a Child, and a Blue Man’s Backside" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mary bans Sheldon from reading a mature comic book, and Sheldon decides it’s time to stop living under Mary’s thumb.

Schitt's Creek - "The Crowening" / "Love Letters" (Pop, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Moira films a movie in Bosnia, hoping to revive her career, while David tries to take his relationship to the next level; Moira loses sleep stressing over old love letters, while David and Stevie get held up at the store.

grown-ish - "In My Feelings" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The gang waits for the mysterious drop of a modern-day musical genius.

You're the Worst - "The Pin in My Grenade" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jimmy and Gretchen reveal that they're forgoing a traditional wedding, opting instead for a courthouse elopement.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Wednesday, January 16

  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Watch Lily and Jane on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about Black Monday on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/The Ellen Show/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Frankie Shaw (SMILF/Blue Mountain State) - Frankie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. Frankie and Rosie O'Donnell (Gimme a Break!) also talk about Showtime's SMILF on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy drops by E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love/Operation Petticoat) - Jamie Lee chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Fam/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Schitt's Creek - Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Sam talks about the YouTube original Champaign ILL on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest