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Wednesday, December 21, 2016
ON THIS DAY                                                                          
NBC’s “St. Elsewhere” in 1983 tackled a subject then taboo on TV: AIDS. In an episode titled “Aids and Comfort,” everyone grows fearful when a Boston city councilman is diagnosed with AIDS…Also in 1983, former president Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, appeared as themselves on an episode of ABC’s“Dynasty”…Celebrity Birthdays: Two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda is 79; Actor Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”) is 68; “Malcolm in the Middle” star Jane Kaczmarek is 61; Former “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Ray Romano is 59; Comedian Andy Dick (“NewsRadio”) is 51; “Designated Survivor” star Kiefer Sutherland is 50;

Did You Know?
During its six season run, “St. Elsewhere” featured crossover episodes with“Cheers” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” After high school drama “The White Shadow” ended on CBS, Byron Stewart as Warren “Cool” Coolidge ended up at St. Eligius Hospital as an orderly. Timothy Van Patten (“Salami” from “The White Shadow”) also appeared on “St. Elsewhere,” but in a different role.  Click here for a look.

RATINGS BOX                                                                            

Tuesday 12/20/16

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 4.6/ 8, NBC: 4.5/ 8, ABC: 2.5/ 4, Fox: 1.1/ 2, CW: 0.6/ 1

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
NBC: +96, CBS: – 4, ABC: – 7, CW: -14, Fox: -15

-Winners: “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come” (NBC)
Losers (excluding repeats): “Terry Crews Saves Christmas” (CW), “The Year: 2016” (ABC), “Scream Queens” (Fox)

Ratings Breakdown:
Despite airing all repeats, CBS inched past a night of original specials on NBC by one-tenth of a household rating point.  The Eye net aired repeats of “NCIS” (#1 for the night: 5.9/10 at 8 p.m.) and two repeat episodes of “Bull” (9 p.m.#2: 4.4/ 7; 10 p.m.” #2; 3.5/ 6).  But NBC is certainly worthy of positive mention for two-hour “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come,” which scored a 4.9/ 8 in the household overnights from 9-11 p.m.  Comparably, that built from special “Michael Buble Sings and Swings,” which finished second in the 8 p.m. hour with a respectable 3.8/ 6.  Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers go to Michael Buble’s son Noah for a speedy recovery.

In holiday series premiere news, “Terry Crews Saves Christmas” on The CW certainly did not “save” the network, with a mere 0.6/ 1 at 8 p.m.  That led into an encore telecast of special “Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2016,” also at a 0.6/ 1 at 9 p.m.

For more of the analysis and the breakdown by half-hour for Monday, Dec. 19, click here

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016: Click here

Live + Same Day Data
-Monday 12/12/16: Click here

—–

Weekly Ratings Scorecard – Week of December 5

-Total Viewers:
NBC: 10.02 million (+30), CBS: 8.81 (- 1), ABC: 4.46 (- 3), Fox: 2.72 (- 7), CW: 1.09 (+ 3)

-Adults 25-54:
NBC: 3.4 rating/10 share (+31), CBS: 2.1/ 6 (-16), ABC: 1.3/ 4 (no change), Fox: 1.1/ 3 (no change), CW: 0.3/ 1 (-25)

-Adults 18-49:
NBC: 2.7/10 (+35), CBS: 1.5/ 5 (-17), ABC: 1.0/ 4 (no change), Fox: 0.9/ 3 (no change), CW: 0.3/ 1 (no change)

-Adults 18-34:
NBC: 1.9/ 9 (+36), CBS: 0.9/ 4 (-18), Fox: 0.7/ 3 (no change), ABC: 0.6/ 3 (no change), CW: 0.2/ 1 (no change)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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OPINION

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016
From Campaign US: If there is any downside to this era of “Peak TV,” when more scripted series than ever are fighting for our attention, it’s the difficulty in choosing the year’s 10 best. So for 2016 I’m allowing myself the luxury of an honorable mention’s list. Call it lazy, if you want. I call it an embarrassment of riches. For more, click here

SERIES RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONS

Starz Cancels Sitcom “Blunt Talk” After Two Seasons
Scripted comedy “Blunt Talk,” from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, will not be returning on Starz for a third season.  Debuting on Oct. 24, 2015, “Blunt Talk” followed British newscaster Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart) who moves to Los Angeles with the intention of conquering American nightly cable news. His misguided decisions on and off the air proved that his ultimate ambitions would be difficult to achieve.  Twenty episodes of “Blunt Talk” in total were produced, with the now final episode airing on Dec. 11.

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TV TIDBITS

“Fargo” Staffs Up for Season Three
FX drama anthology “Fargo” has added to the cast of its upcoming third installment, with David Thewlis, Michael Stulhbarg and Jim Gaffigan among those who have joined previously announced stars Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Production is set to begin in Calgary in January for a 2017 premiere.

Set in 2010, the next installment of “Fargo” will feature an all-new true crime tale centered on “Emmit” and his slightly younger brother “Ray Stussy” (Ewan McGregor).  Emmit, the Parking Lot King of Minnesota, sees himself as an American success story, whereas Ray is more of a cautionary tale. Forever living in his more successful brother’s shadow, Ray is a balding and pot-bellied parole officer with a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt – and he blames his brother.  Their sibling rivalry leads to a twisted path that begins with petty theft but soon leads to murder, mobsters and cut-throat competitive bridge.

Carrie Coon stars as “Gloria Burgle,” the steady chief of the local police department. A newly divorced mother, Gloria is trying to understand the new world around her, where people connect more intimately with their phones than with the people around them.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead is  Ray’s girlfriend, “Nikki Swango,” a crafty and alluring recent parolee with a passion for competitive bridge.

IFC Announces All-Star Guest Line-Up for Season Seven of “Portlandia”
IFC has announced the varied list of guest stars for upcoming season seven of comedy “Portlandia,” which premieres on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 10 p.m. ET.  Created by Armisen, Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel, “Portlandia” explores the eccentric misfits who embody the foibles of modern culture.  The roster of guests include (in alphabetical order) Maria Bamford (“Lady Dynamite”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), Ana Fabrega (“Boy Band”), John Early (“Search Party”), Judy  Greer (“Archer”), Portland’s Mayor Charlie Hales, Ryan Hansen (“2 Broke Girls”), Tim Heidecker (“Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories”) Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”), pro-basketball player Damian Lillard, Laurie Metcalf (“Getting On”), musicians El-P and Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, musicians Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, and Cindy Wilson of The B-52’s, Linda Ramone, Sam Richardson (“Veep”), Andy Richter (“Conan”), model Cameron Russell, and Jessica St. Clair (“Review”).

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Investigative series “Killing Fields” will open season two on Discovery Channel on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 10 p.m. ET.  Shot in real time, the series picks up from last season as detectives Rodie Sanchez, Aubrey St. Agnmelo, and the team zero in on the infamous 1997 homicide of former Louisiana State University student Eugenie Boisfontaine. Rodie is more determined than ever to close the case, which has haunted him for nearly two decades.

“Killing Bigfoot,” the upcoming series on Destination America that goes on the hunt for the legendary Bigfoot courtesy of the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization, premieres on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. ET.  Six episodes have been ordered.

Season two of TBS sitcom “The Detour” will open with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10 p.m. ET.  The upcoming logline: Nate (Jason Jones) receives a promising job opportunity, and the family moves to New York City for a fresh start. Everyone is excited except for Robin (Natalie Zea), who knows that a move to the big city means her mysterious past may catch up with her. While Nate and Robin adjust to new jobs, new neighbors and old flames, Jared (Liam Carroll) and Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich) dive headfirst into the awkwardness of adolescence. Despite questionable parenting and terrible decisions, the love the Parkers have for each other will keep the family intact as they endure another disastrous adventure.


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Contact Marc Berman at marc@programminginsider.com
PI POLLS
1. What is your favorite network sitcom of this concluding fall TV season? Clickhere
2. Ho! Ho! Ho! Which TV family would you most like to spend the holidays with? Click here
3. Good or bad idea? What do you think about CBS eyeing a reboot of “The Honeymooners”? Click here
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
“Undercover Boss” returns on CBS with back-to-back episodes. ABC airs 10 p.m. special, “Game Changers with Robin Roberts.” For the schedule listings for Wednesday, Dec. 21, click here
The daily trivia question is below “You Might Like.”
You Might Like
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TRIVIA CHALLENGE    
Absent from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Which one of the following characters did not appear in animated classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”?

a) Frieda
b) Lucy
c) Peppermint Patty
d) Pig-Pen
e) Violet
f) Thay all did

The answer to yesterday’s question…

What present did Ray (Ray Romano) get his parents Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie (Doris Roberts) for Christmas that had their names engraved on it on sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”?

a) picture frame
b) matching scarves
c) snow globe
d) toaster
e) welcome sign

…Is: d) toaster.  After Frank and Marie return the toaster without realizing it is engraved, they go back to the department store to try to retrieve it.  That scene, in particular, features what in my personal opinion is the best moment on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”  Click here for a look.

Trivia All-Stars
Gerry Bixenspan, John  Brooker, John Carlo, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Mark Cosenza, Audrey Davis, Jim Forkan, Maureen Goldman, Heidi Hoffmeister, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Rosemarie Kelly, Kathryn Kieser, Synda Kollman, Kathy Martin, Jody McInyre, Tom Moore, Richard Naldrett, Alex Petrilli, David Primuth, Gordon Purcell, Connie Rigg, Colleen Roth, Larry Smith, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Barb Throm, Verdi Tzou

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.Today, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International plus freelanced for others. Valerie donates and works closely with the Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), GLSEN, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal and the Desert Aids Project. She is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her fave getaway Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Old Las Palmas area community member. For years Valerie was a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.