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

Thursday, February 22

Young Sheldon - "A Roulette Wheel and a Piano Playing Dog" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon realizes he is the weakest student in his class; Meemaw is looking to expand her gambling business.

Ghosts - "Man of Your Dreams" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sam learns that one of the ghosts’ powers is to enter the dreams of the livings and influence their decisions. Also, two of the ghosts think they’ve learned the secret to moving on.

The Conners - "Lanford, Toilet of Sin" (The CW, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jackie is faced with a difficult decision that brings the family and community together; Becky starts working a new late-night shift at Casita Bonita; Darlene goes to extreme measures to mend her relationship with Harris.

The Conners - "Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action" (The CW, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dan is disappointed when everyone but Becky forgets about his birthday; Darlene faces another issue; Dan excludes Jackie from the family Christmas Santa photo for mistreating Louise.

Son of a Critch - "Bonfire Night" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark and his friends are excited for bonfire night, but their innocent night takes a turn when Fox gets roped into her brother's illegal activities.

Children Ruin Everything - "Spontaneity" (The CW, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After hearing about Dawn's spontaneous trip to South America, Astrid is determined to be spontaneous herself, even if that means playing hooky from her responsibilities.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 19)

Thursday, February 22

  • Rory Scovel (Physical/Robbie/Ground Floor) - Catch Rory on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Chloë Sevigny (Russian Doll) - Chloë is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi appears on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Solar Opposites/Starved) - Sterling is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Melissa Rauch (Night Court/The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny will be on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) - NBC's Today catches up with Beanie in the 9am hour.
  • Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential) - Bradley talks about Maestro on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Dulcé Sloan (The Great North) - Dulcé kicks off the show with hilarious stories from her memoir Hello, Friends! on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Lisa Whelchel, Nancy McKeon and Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) - On a celebratory episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, the stars of one of Barrymore's favorite TV shows, The Facts of Life, are reuniting to wish her a happy 49th birthday.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-February)

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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