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Archive for Friday, July 6, 2012

‘Community’ rolls out an evergreen

July 6, 2012

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Christmas seems to be breaking out all over the network dial. “Community” (7 p.m., NBC) repeats its savage, silly “Glee” send-up from last year’s holiday episode.

When the campus choir is busted for copyright infringement, its bubbly, sweater-vested director, Cory Radison (Taran Killam, “Saturday Night Live”), tries to enlist the study group members to take their place, bewitching them one by one with songs perfectly pitched to their particular eccentricities.

The best of the silly songs has to be “Baby Boomer Santa,” an anthem of one generation’s self-centered view of the universe that appeals to the doddering Pierce (Chevy Chase).

This is a memorable “Community” episode that will appeal to fans of the series and may turn some disinterested viewers into regulars. An evergreen, if you will.

• ABC updates a holiday special that originally aired in 2005. Hosted by Barbara Walters, “Heaven — Where Is It? How Do We Get There?” (8 p.m.) premiered shortly before Christmas that year.

In that special, Walters went overboard, combining the soft-focus pizzazz of celebrity journalism with inane supernaturalism. Her search for heaven took her from New York to Hollywood to Nepal. She discussed the afterlife with priests, rabbis, ministers, scientists and skeptics. And, as I wrote at the time, she chatted “with enough celebrities, major and minor, to book ‘Larry King Live’ for a solid week.”

In the 2005 special, Walters discussed near-death experiences with a number of notables, including actress Elizabeth Taylor, who not only described going to heaven, but also mentioned a meeting with her late husband, Mike Todd. Apparently, Richard Burton was otherwise engaged.

Taylor has died since the first “Heaven” aired. There’s no word if she appears in this update.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Three members infiltrate a whaling ship on “Whale Wars” (8 p.m., Animal Planet).

• A teen fears he’s opened a deadly portal in his own house on “The Dead Files” (8 p.m., Travel).

• Tales of animal mutilation in Colorado interest the stars of “Chasing UFOs” (9 p.m., National Geographic).

• A decision to walk down the aisle in a ball gown and cowboy boots inspires an intervention on “Randy to the Rescue” (9 p.m., TLC).

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