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NEW YEAR'S TV: Marathons and more
December 31, 2009  | By Diane Werts
the thin man asta.jpg

New Year's Eve holds a host of toast opportunities, and New Year's Day has its own attractions on the tube.

Among Thursday night's entertainment marathons:

The Thin Man film festival (Thursday 8 p.m.-Friday 7 a.m. ET, TCM) -- William Powell and Myrna Loy sparkle as married sleuths with sass and sophistication. TCM airs all six fun Thin Man films (1934-1947) overnight, in order, commercial free.

The Twilight Zone (Thursday 8 a.m.-Friday 7 p.m. ET, Syfy) -- Rod Serling's classic mindbender, including year-ending favorites "To Serve Man" (11 p.m. ET) and "The Midnight Sun" (11:30 p.m. ET).

The Honeymooners (Thursday night at midnight-Friday at 5 p.m., WPIX) -- New York viewers and satellite users can savor Jackie Gleason's '50s comedy classic in all its to-the-moon hilarity.

The Virginian (Thursday night at midnight-Friday night at midnight ET, Encore Westerns) -- Welcome the new year with this old-time western. James Drury stars in this '60s favorite as the title ranch foreman, with Doug McClure as his right-hand man and Lee J. Cobb as the landowner. Great Hollywood guest stars, including Hugh O'Brian (midnight), Jack Warden (2:40 a.m.), Ricardo Montalban (4 a.m.), George C. Scott (5:20 a.m.), Lee Marvin (10:40 a.m.) and Bette Davis (4 p.m.)

South Park (Thursday 9 p.m.-1 a.m. ET, Comedy Central) -- Celebrities take it on the chin (and other body parts) in eight fame-bashing episodes.

Thursday night's New Year Eve ring-ins:

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m.-11 p.m. ET, 11:30 p.m.-2:05 a.m. ET, ABC) -- Jennifer Lopez, Daughtry.

New Year's Eve With Carson Daly (10-11 p.m. ET, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, NBC) -- Jay-Z, Rihanna.

Billboard's New Year's Eve Live (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, Fox) -- Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta.

106 & Party (11 p.m.-1 a.m. ET, BET)

New Year, No Limits (11 p.m.-midnight ET, ESPN)

New Year's Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, CNN)

All American New Year (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, Fox News)

Feliz 2010 (10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET, Univision)

Fiesta de Ano Nuevo (10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET, Telemundo)

Not live, but certainly party central:

Three Sheets (8 p.m.-midnight ET, FLN) -- Host Zane Lamprey drinks his way through New Year's Eve celebrations in London and New York.

Friday's new year marathons include:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Friday 6 a.m.-midnight ET, LOGO)

Summerland (Friday 6 a.m.-Saturday 6 a.m. ET, Universal HD)

The Unit (Friday 6 a.m.-Monday 6 a.m. ET, Sleuth)

Barney Miller (Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m. ET, WGN)

And don't forget that grassroots year-welcomer:

Mummers Parade (Friday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 8-10 p.m., WPHL/Philadelphia) -- The age-old street music/dance/extravaganza is an all-day TV must-see in the Philadelphia area. Hundreds of local Mummers club members work all year to stage everything from single-person clown acts to 50-person string band numbers for New Year's judging. The prime-time program goes inside to showcase the most elaborate category, the Fancy Brigades. There's even a pre-show: Breakfast With the Mummers (Friday 9-10:30 a.m., WPHL).

Mummers highlights get a national repeat Sunday 2-4 p.m. ET on WGN.


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