Month: November 2022

Best-bets for Nov. 28: Bright lights, strong singers … and Bumper

1) “The Great Christmas Lights Fight” opener (shown here), 8-10 p.m., ABC. For six hours (over three Mondays), we’ll see supersized holiday displays. Each hour has four homes, with one chosen as the winner. Tonight has a piano and a mini-golf course, both playable, and a ride through Lollipop Land. One display sprawls over a 90-acre farm; another (on a mere four acres) glows with 250,000 lights. Read more…

Best-bets for Nov. 27: a busy night for dance, music, more

1) “Magical Musical Celebration,” 8-10 p.m., ABC. Now ABC seizes the holiday. It debuts “Mickey Saves Christmas” (simulcast on Disney cable channels) at 7, reruns “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” at 7:30, then has two hours in Disney parks. There’s music from Derek Hough (shown here) and his sister Julianne Hough, who are the hosts, pluys Maren Morris, Ne-Yo, Meghan Trainor, Becky G, Jordin Sparks, Il Volo, Chloe Flower, Black Eyed Peas, Run DMC and David Foster and Katharine McPhee. Read more…

Chippendales: big biceps, big profits, big scandal

The Chippendales world began modestly enough, 43 years ago. A failing night club tried some strip shows using male dancers.
Then things soared in odd ways. There were huge crowds, big profits, creative differences … and investigations for murder and arson and more.
That’s already been the subject of movies, books and, last year, a four-part Discovery+ documentary. Now there’s the “Welcome to Chippendales” mini-serie (shown here), on Hulu. The third episode is Nov. 29, with the others on the next five Tuesdays.
This is a true story, peppered with odd details. “It has this glossy, kind of campy overlay, because it’s the Chippendale dancers,” said, Annale Ashford, who co-stars. “And then underneath that, there’s the belly of everything that was happening socially.” Read more…

Best-bets for Nov. 26: Awards show nudges cartoons aside

1) “TheGrio Awards,” 8-10 p.m., CBS. In a late switch, CBS has pushed two Christmas cartoons to next Saturday. Instead, it debuts these awards for Black icons (plus “Jeffersons” producer Norman Lear). Patti LaBelle (shown here) will sing and receive an award. Also singing are Yolanda Adams, Tyrese and Fantasia. Other awardees are Dave Chappelle, Jennifer Hudson, Kenan Thompson, Queen Latifah, Tyler Perry, Ben Crump, Allyson Felix and more. Read more…

Here’s an all-inclusive (almost) list of Christmas TV

When the Thanksgiving Day parade (shown here) begins, one thing will be clear: TV’s Christmas season has begun.
Yes, some cable channels have slipped in some new movies early. They’re like that.
But the rush begins on Nov. 24-27. During those four days, the Christmas line-up includes at least 20 new cable or streaming movies … three new music specials … one new cartoon special, plus eight classics (including “Grinch” and “Frosty”) … and a few classic big-screen movies, including “Wizard of Oz” (twice), “Polar Express” (twice) and all-day marathons of “Elf” and “Christmas Vacation.”
And all of that is before the Freeform channel starts its annual “25 Days of Christmas” rush. Read more…

Best-bets for Nov. 25: Grinch, Frosty, Josh, more

1) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8 p.m., NBC. One of TV’s greatest half-hours(shown here) sprang from a convergence of genius. Dr. Seuss wrote the witty story and Chuck Jones – a mastermind behind Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner – animated it brilliantly. Boris Karloff narrated and Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Tony the Tiger) sang about a mean one, Mr. Grinch. Read more…

Week’s top-10 for Nov. 28: a three-reindeer week … and more

1) “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more. For 58 years, Rudolph has been TV’s top reindeer; now CBS has a three-deer week. “Rudolph” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, followed at 9 by the debut of “Reindeer in Here” (shown here). The bumbling Bliz (Adam Devine) may have ruined Christmas; he tries to save it, with the help of his oversharing friend and a lonely boy. And the witty “Robbie the Reindeer,” bumped last week by an awards show, is 8 p.m. Saturday. Read more…

Best-bets for Nov. 24: Parade launches Christmas season

1) Thanksgiving Day parade, 9 a.m. to noon, NBC and CBS (but on the West Coast, CBS will delay until about 1 p.m. PT. The mega-parade has 12 bands, lots of balloons and 28 floats, often with stars onboard. It will be Jimmy Fallon with the Roots, Mario Lopez with his family, Gloria Estefan with her daughter and granddaughter and Santa (shown here) wrapping things up. Near the start, NBC has the Broadway casts of “Funny Girl,” “The Lion King,” “A Beautiful Noise” and “Some Like It Hot”; CBS counters with the casts of “Moulin Rouge” and “Six.” Read more…

Quick change: Award show will be Saturday (Nov. 26)

There’s a new awards show coming – quickly. And some Christmas cartoons will be delayed to make room.
In an unusually speedy move, CBS announced that it will air “Byron Allen Presents TheGrio Awards,” from 8-10 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 26) on the network and on Paramount+. The shows that had been scheduled then — “Robie the Reindeer” and “The Story of Santa Claus” – will move back a week, to Dec. 3.
Allen, 61, is a former comedian and actor who has become one of the major Black owners in the TV world. His company owns The Weather Channel plus regional sports channels, digital channels, TV stations and shows.
Now he’s created awards that will go to Black icons (including Dave Chappelle, shown here) and to Norman Lear, the 100-year-old producer known for “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons: and more. “Grio” is based on a word for an African storyteller. Read more…