DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2014
Dec
24
 
 
It’s Christmas Eve – so if you’re into the holiday, and awash with company, there’s no better time than tonight to watch this durable, lovable holiday classic.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
24
 
 
It’s Christmas Eve – so if you’re into the holiday, and awash with company, there’s no better time than tonight to watch this durable, lovable holiday classic. And while you may have to choose between It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, also showing at 8 p.m. ET, you can procrastinate on this one without penalty. TBS is showing this 1983 movie in its traditional holiday marathon burst, so any time you tune in to TBS for the next 24 hours, st
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
24
 
 
A few local stations and teeny-tiny cable and satellite networks will show the Yule Log at some time on Christmas Eve. Most begin showing it early Christmas morning. Either way, avoid all imitations. Seek out the original, distributed via WPIX Tribune. In New York, WPIX first televised its Yule Log, with music taken from the Christmas music collection of the wife of then-station president Fred M. Thrower, in 1966. In 1970, the crackling fireplace image was replaced with a new fireplace (from a C
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
24
 
 

Today (Dec. 24) on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I’ll be visiting with Terry to talk about the year in TV. That gets me in a reflective mood to think about my year, and to give thanks…

 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
23
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: Amazon Prime allowed its subscribers to sample, and vote on, this new series back in February, when its pilot was streamed for viewers to sample and, potentially, support with positive votes – which they did, for good reason. Based on the book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music, by Blair Tindall, this comedy-laced drama, or vice versa, features Lola Kirke as Haley, an ambitious and talented young oboist who tries out for the fictional New York Symphony. S
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
23
 
 
This 2007 TV special is a holiday sequel to the cinematic Shrek franchise, but by no means is a cheap knockoff. Like the films, it features Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as the Donkey, and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona. And yes, this one also allows for a return appearance by Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots. It’s a fun movie-to-TV Christmas special – and ABC follows it at 8:30 p.m. ET with another one, a same-month repeat of the new Toy Story That Time Forgot computer-animated
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
23
 
 
Fresh off their Saturday Night Live appearance last weekend, the members of One Direction become Ready for Prime Time Players on the same network. I know at least one young woman who will be watching this new one-hour music and biography TV special very, very closely. I also know there will be millions of others – though I don’t know them.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
23
 
 
Jeffrey Hunter stars in this literally and figuratively faithful 1961 dramatization of portions of the New Testament story of the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. The narrative, in this epic movie, actually begins a few generations before the birth of Jesus, and goes on long enough to enact how John the Baptist lost his head after meeting the ruthless temptress Salome. Robert Ryan plays John the Baptist, Brigid Balzen portrays Salome, and other players in this biblical drama include a few
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
23
 
 
Robin Roberts anchors this two-hour look at the year’s biggest, most meaningful news stories. If the producers are taking their job seriously, they’ll have been working against the clock to include a last-second overview of the Sony-North Korea-The Interview hacking story, which is one of the biggest media stories in years, and, I suspect, will only get bigger in 2015.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
22
 
 
AMC is televising two versions of this movie tonight. At 8:45 p.m. ET, it presents the 1994 remake, starring Richard Attenborough as the modern embodiment of Santa Claus, and Mara Wilson as the little girl who believes this particular department-store Santa is real. But the one to watch is the original, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET. The 1947 holiday classic stars Edmund Gwenn as the Macy’s store Santa, and, as the young girl who believes in him, a very, very young Natalie Wood.