Thursday, November 24, 2005

Network Holiday Programming: ABC

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope you are all with your familes on this special day, whether you celebrate the holiday or not, all families should be together on this day.

Before I start with the holiday programming news, BET is airing a sitcom/comedy Thanksgiving Day marathon today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring the Wayans Bros, Jamie Foxx Show and In Living Color! Click here for details.

Today I will break down ABC's holiday programming for this holiday season. Don't forget to tune in tonight for the classic animated special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at 8 p.m. ET/PT followed by the network television premiere of the hit animated movie Finding Nemo!
ABC starts off the holiday season with a look back at the life of Pope John Paul II with a brand new telefilm on his life.

Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II: Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist, King Kong) stars as Pope John Paul II, portraying thisextraordinary man over the course of 60 years. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) stars as Cardinal Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland, and Joaquimde Almeida (24) portrays Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was brutally murdered during the Pope's reign. Lorenzo Minoliand Judd Parkin, Emmy-nominated executive producers of the acclaimed telefilms Jesus and Nicholas' Gift, have teamed again to produce this original movie for television. The project was shot on location in Rome and Lithuania. Airs Thursday, December 1 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: In the perennial favorite created in 1970 by Rankin-Bass Productions (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman) Fred Astaire narrates this timeless tale of Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney), a young boy with an immense desire to do good things for others. In his home village of Sombertown, Kris has started a gift factory where he builds toys and gives them to all the local children. But when the evil ruler, Burgermeister Meisterburger (Paul Frees), bans toys from the land, Kris is forced to go directly to Mother Nature and ask her for assistance. With the help of magical elves and several special reindeer, Kris overcomes the Burgermeister and delivers toys to children all over the world, earning him the name Santa Claus. Narrated by Fred Astaire, the vocal cast features Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle, Keenan Wynn as Winter, Paul Frees as Burgermeister Meisterburger, Grimsby, the soldiers and the townsmen; Joan Gardner as Tanta Kringle, Robie Lester as Jessica and Andrea Sacino, Dina Lynn, Gary White and Greg Thomas as the children. Airs Friday, December 2 from 8 to 9 p.m.

America's Funniest Home Videos Christmas:
America's Funniest Home Videos celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with a Christmas-themed episode. Hilarious holiday moments include clips of kids with unusual reactions when they open their gifts on Xmas morning, chaos when things go wrong at Christmas pageants, a holy poodle running amok during a Nativity play, and a little boy who wheels and deals with Santa for this year's gifts, on America's Funniest Home Videos hosted by Tom Bergeron. Airs at a special night and time on Friday, December 2 from 9 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

A Charlie Brown Christmas & Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales:
The ABC Television Network will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the beloved Emmy Award-winning PEANUTS special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in 1965. The hour will also include a series of Christmas-themed animated stories entitled Charlie Brown Christmas Tales, based on Schulz's work, in which each of the beloved PEANUTS characters - Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Sally - star in his or her own charming animated vignette. A Charlie Brown Christmas will air with Spanish audio via Secondary Audio Programming (SAP). In the digitally-remastered 1965 special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees everywhere during the Christmas season. Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant, and Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, Charlie Brown needs Linus' help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is. The cast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" includes Peter Robbins ("Charlie Brown"), Christopher Shea as ("Linus"), Tracy Stratford ("Lucy"), Chris Doran ("Schroeder") and Sally Dryer ("Violet"). Airs Tuesday, December 6 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT and again Friday, December 16 frm 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

I Want A Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!:
Produced and animated by the same team that gave us the now classic "PEANUTS" specials from the late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz's famed comic strip, I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! will air FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on The ABC Television Network. I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! centers on ReRun, the lovable but ever-skeptical younger brother of Linus and Lucy. It's Christmas vacation and, as usual, ReRun-s big sister is stressing him out, so he decides to turn to his best friend, Snoopy, for amusement and holiday cheer. However his faithful but unpredictable beagle companion has plans of his own, giving ReRun reason to ask Snoopy to invite his canine brother Spike for a visit. When Spike shows up, it looks like ReRun will have a dog for Christmas after all- but then the real trouble begins. Airs Friday, December 9 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Hope & Faith and Hot Propeties Holiday Episodes: On Hope & Faith, "Christmas Time" -- Faith surprises the entire family with personal, extravagent Christmas gifts, including an expensive gold watch for Charley.
When Charley realizes he forgot to buy a gift for his beloved employee, Hassan, Hope, inspired by Faith's generosity, encourages him to give Hassan his treasured championship watch. Later, Charley is furious when he discovers that the "gold" watch Faith bought for him is a fake. Feeling extremely guilty, Hope insists that Faith attempt to retrieve Charley's watch from Hassan, but in the end, Faith really surprises them with an uncharacteristically magnanimous gesture. On Hot Properties, "It's a Wonderful Christmas Carol on 34th Street" -- After getting into a car accident while Christmas shopping, Chloe goes on a journey with three ghosts. Clint Black guest stars. Airs on Friday, December 9 from 9 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas MOVIE-- The curmudgeonly recluse Grinch, who hates Christmas, becomes annoyed with the out-of-control Christmas festivities in Whoville, the town lying below his cave dwelling on Mt. Crumpit. But after the Grinch conspires to deprive the Who's of their favorite holiday by sneaking into town on Christmas eve to steal everything associated with the holiday, he learns that the spirit of Christmas goes much deeper than tinsel and toys. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas stars Jim Carrey and Jeffrey Tambor. Airs Saturday, December 10 from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. An abbreviated AFV airs at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Holiday Wishes:
Each designer goes back to visit one family who has received a makeover in the past and to join them on a mission to pay their good fortune forward, in a special two-hour holiday episode. Airs Sunday, December 11 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT and again Thursday, December 22 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Grey's Anatomy
Christmas Episode:
A young boy needs a heart transplant but doesn't seem to want it, and his treatment causes Burke and Yang to have philosophical differences. Meanwhile, when the interns rally to help Alex prepare to re-take his exam, Meredith has to remind Izzie of the true spirit of the Christmas holiday; and despite a reconciliation with his wife, Derek isn't in a festive mood. Airs Sunday, December 11 from 10 to 11 p.m. ET/PT.

According to Jim & Rodney Christmas:
On According to Jim, "The Gift of Maggie" -- When Cheryl and Dana's mother, Maggie (Kathleen Noone), visits for the holidays, Jim and Cheryl compete with Ryan and Dana for her affection. On Rodney, "O Christmas Trees" -- Rodney and Trina have a bitter feud over which angel to put on a Christmas tree that her father, Carl, overcharged them for. So when Rodney goes to Carl's office to demand a new, free family tree, he finds that Carl has been living down and out in his office. In the true spirit of Christmas, Rodney decides to make peace with Carl and invites him to live with them until he gets back on his feet. Airs Tuesday, December 13 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

George Lopez & Freddie Celebrate the Holidays: On George Lopez, "George is Being Eflish and Christ-Misses His Family" --
George tells a white lie to avoid visiting Angie's family for the holidays, but regrets it when he spends Christmas alone. Broadcast with Spanish audio via SAP. Then on Freddie, "I'll Be Homeless for Christmas" -- Tis the season for a Christmas party, so Freddie invites his neighbors in the complex to celebrate with his family and friends. But when a jealous neighbor reports to the board that Freddie is breaking the rules by having too many people living in his condo, Freddie has to get a petition signed by the majority of the tenants allowing them to stay. However, when Freddie goes door to door, he realizes his neighbors share no good will towards his family who have not been the most conscientious, but can they win them over? Broadcast with Spanish audio via SAP. Airs Wednesday, December 14 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The Wonderful World of Disney The Santa Clause
:
When Santa falls from a roof and can't get up, Scott Calvin tries on the big red suit only to find he's inherited the role of Saint Nicholas. Starring: Tim Allen (Home Improvement), Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond), Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold. Airs Thursday, December 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT. A special edition of Primetime follows at 10:00 p.m. with Peter Jennings' last documentary. He is reporting on America's Health Insurance Crisis.

The Sound of Music:
Maria, while waiting to take her vows, is sent to the home of the widowed and retired navy Captain Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) to care for his seven rambunctious children. Maria discovers the children, who have previously run off several governesses, are most in need of a little love. When she teaches them to sing, she wins the love of the children and the captain. The film is based on the real-life story of the von Trapp family. Maria's book, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers," first became a German movie and later a successful Broadway musical before its Oscar-winning release in 1965. In 1938 the von Trapps escaped their native Austria and Nazi occupation to avoid Captain von Trapp's being forced to serve in the German navy.
Airs Saturday, December 17 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET/PT

Once Upon a Mattress: The legendary Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman - two "queens of comedy" and both six-time Emmy Award winners -- top a spectacular cast, also featuring Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare (Broadway's Take Me Out), Elf star Zooey Deschanel, Spin City and Arli$$ star Michael Boatman, Frasier's Edward Hibbert, Broadway heartthrob and Tony nominee Matthew Morrison (The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray, Sex and the City) and the irrepressible Tom Smothers, in the "Wonderful World of Disney" presentation of the delightful musical, Once Upon a Mattress, a world premiere, two-hour made-for-television movie, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 (7:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. In this whimsical, fractured telling of the classic fairytale, "The Princess and the Pea," O'Hare plays Prince Dauntless, the handsome hero desperate to find a wife, who comes in the unlikely person of the lovable - and definitely not shy -- Princess Winnifred, as portrayed by Ms. Ullman. Ms. Deschanel plays Lady Larken, one of the beautiful ladies of the court frantic to marry Sir Harry, a powerful and influential knight portrayed by Morrison. Boatman takes the part of King Sextimus' sidekick, the Jester, whose father was a performer as well. Hibbert plays the Wizard, the Queen's confidant, and Smothers portrays King Sextimus, the benevolent but unfortunately mute ruler to Ms. Burnett's conniving and loquacious Queen Aggravain. Airs Sunday, December 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?: Anchored by Barbara Walters, Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There? explores the meaning of heaven with religious leaders of the major faiths, scientists, people who say they believe in heaven because they have been there, with celebrities who are vocal about their beliefs and even with terrorists. Airs Tuesday, December 20 from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

George Lopez Classic Christmas Episode: Join George for a classic holiday special from 2004.
George may have to eat some humble holiday pie when he accuses his mother of being a Scrooge. Airs Wednesday, December 21 from 8 to 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

I'll Be Home For Christmas: Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement), Jessica Biel (7th Heaven), Gary Cole and Eve Gordon star. Jonathan Taylor Thomas portrays a California university student named Jake whose father sends him an airline ticket so he can fly home to New York. Jake has alternate plans: he wants to cash the ticket and persuade his girlfriend, Allie (Jessica Biel), to join him at a beach resort. The stakes get higher when Jake's dad promises to give Jake a restored '57 Porsche if he gets home for Christmas. The fly in the ointment is Eddie, Jake's rival for Allie's affections, who strands Jake in the desert dressed in a Santa suit and takes off with Allie, who believes Jake has stood her up. Jake sets out on a hilarious cross-country odyssey in the Santa suit to earn his car and get his girl back Airs Saturday, December 24 from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. A special holiday AFV encore airs before at 8:00 p.m.

Walt Disney World Christmas Parade: Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, (Live with Regis and Kelly) host Walt Disney World's 22nd Annual Christmas Day Parade telecast from the heart of the Magic Kingdom, with special performances from the Disneyland Resort in California. Ryan Seacrest (Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006) will lead the parade and concert performances from Disneyland Resort. The special will highlight a variety of celebrity appearances and musical performances, including: Star War's Hayden Christensen; country superstar band Lonestar; acclaimed model, actress and singer Vanessa Williams; The View's Star Jones; Mary Poppins' Julie Andrews; golf champion Tiger Woods; award-winning actor John O'Hurley, Dancing with the Stars; sister songstresses Aly and AJ; American Idol Fantasia; tween pop group The Cheetah Girls; and young stars of Disney's newest movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -- Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes and William Moseley. Airs Sunday, December 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon ET/2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT/or check local listings.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 25

Wrecked - "The Dark Prince Returns" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
With Karen gravely injured, Owen and Danny must journey to the center of the island to defeat Chettywompwomp; Florence learns more about Karen's back story; Pack, Todd and Jess face a futile task.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 24)

Tuesday, September 25

  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Catch Sofia on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Judy Greer (Kidding/Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Natascha McElhone (Californication) - Natascha is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Norm Macdonald (The Show Norm/A Minute with Stan Hooper) - Norm drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Jackie Thomas Show/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • The Cast of Modern Family - Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Rel - Lil Rel Howery, Sinbad, Jessica "Jess Hilarious" Moore and Jordan L. Jones are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa dishes on her new Netflix movie Nappily Ever After on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Leighton Meester (Single Parents/Making History) - Leighton talks about Single Parents on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am, on GMA Day at 1pm and on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk) - Ron talks about A Million Little Things on the BUILD Series at 4pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third Season
09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest