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Tune In Tonight: Kennedy Center Honors brew a whole lotta love
December 26, 2012
Always fun, occasionally annoying and even educational, the Kennedy Center Honors (8 p.m., CBS) return for the 35th time. As they do every year, they pay tribute to artists whose works have enriched America’s popular culture and fine arts. The list always contains a name unfamiliar to many, as well as folks so famous that you have to wonder if this national honor is simply the icing on their celebrity cake.
Tune In Tonight: Unwrap marathons, movies and basketball
December 25, 2012
Christmas is here, and TV programming is ready to help you embrace the day — or avoid it entirely.
Tune In Tonight: Will NBC ever dump Trump?
December 19, 2012
In a move that surprises and saddens many decent, thoughtful people, NBC continues to broadcast “The 2012 Miss Universe Competition” (7 p.m., NBC). It’s not because people are all that agitated about an international beauty pageant. It’s because “Universe” is owned by Donald Trump, and they’re dumbfounded that the network still has anything to do with him.
Tune In Tonight: Is 2012 the year of the thoughtful athlete?
December 18, 2012
Signs that we’ll soon be auld lang syne-ing our way out of 2012 arrive with increasing frequency. “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO) gathers a round table of wise men and women (including Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Jon Frankel, Bernard Goldberg, Armen Keteyian and Andrea Kremer) to discuss and review the best sports stories of the year.
Tune In Tonight: Less is much more in ‘Picture Paris’
December 17, 2012
For good and bad, and sometimes worse, television is rigidly predictable. Not only when it comes to plots, but the format and length of its offerings.
Tune In Tonight: Lineup has holiday flicks, reality ‘events’
December 16, 2012
Christmas comes early for fans of Casper Van Dien. The “Starship Troopers” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” star appears in “Christmas Twister” (4 p.m., ION).
Tune In Tonight: Family values in a funhouse mirror
December 15, 2012
Parents of multiples certainly have their hands full. That’s understandable. But the arrivals of quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets, septuplets and octuplets (and counting) have also resulted in questionable behavior by the media. Some years back, Diane Sawyer seemed to take personal ownership of the McCaughey septuplets. And then there was that TLC train wreck about the Gosselins.
Tune In Tonight: Christmas bunny hops down the rabbit hole of cute confusion
December 14, 2012
Gosh, it’s a good thing Beatrix Potter is dead! The holiday special “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale” (6 p.m., Nickelodeon) is cloying and annoying in new, yet familiar, ways. It’s wrong from the start. It’s a cute desecration at best.
Tune In Tonight: Basic cable an endless amateur hour
December 13, 2012
There is terrible, and there is deliberately terrible. And there is a difference. “Nightmare Christmas” (9 p.m., ID) deserves credit for trying to combine predictable holiday programming with a certain audience’s insatiable appetite for true crime docudramas.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Fascinating’ or forgettable?
December 12, 2012
Who can resist an annual roundup? “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012” (8:30 p.m., ABC) is a special that always straddles the high and low of politics, media and popular culture. Some of those profiled are well known, while others are celebrities we probably hadn’t heard of this time last year and who have a good chance of fading from memory. Among the announced guests, I’d put gymnast Gabby Douglas and pop sensation One Direction in the latter category. But whatever happens, they’re indelibly linked to our memories of this passing year.
Tune In Tonight: Two-dimensional performances that endure
December 11, 2012
It’s funny what endures — and what doesn’t. I’m often struck by the fact that several generations who have never seen Fred Astaire dance or even watched his movies know him from his voice-over in the 1970 holiday special “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (7 p.m., ABC). The same might be said of Boris Karloff (”Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) or Jimmy Durante (”Frosty the Snowman”).
Tune In Tonight: ‘Dynasty’ Christmas extols virtues of ‘Pirducken’
December 5, 2012
“Duck Dynasty” (9 p.m., A&E) celebrates the season with “I’m Dreaming of a Redneck Christmas.” For the uninitiated, this popular cable series follows the antics of the Robertson family. Their patented duck call has made them quite wealthy, but that doesn’t stop many family members from behaving like backwoods stereotypes. In many ways, it’s a reality variation of a sitcom. Imagine if the Clampetts on “The Beverly Hillbillies” got rich and never left Bug Tussle.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Rudolph’ and ‘Victoria’s Secret’: together again
December 4, 2012
CBS maintains its odd holiday tradition of pairing the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated musical “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (7 p.m.) with the ludicrous lingerie special “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (9 p.m.). For years, I’ve never seen the connection. But I like to point it out.
Tune In Tonight: Spend an hour with ‘The Hour’
November 28, 2012
Viewers who can’t wait for the sixth season of “Mad Men” to arrive can console themselves with the season premiere of “The Hour” (8 p.m., BBC America). Set in 1957 in the London studio of a struggling news program, “The Hour” is filled with period fashions, habits (smoking and drinking) and attitudes (sexism galore and adultery).
Tune In Tonight: A brother’s keeper no longer
November 21, 2012
Families gather together for Thanksgiving. And not everyone enjoys it. But chances are, even your worst holiday nightmare can’t compare to the grim sibling dynamics described in “My Brother the Serial Killer” (8 p.m., ID).