Couch Potato Pie
Let's cut to the quick. The holidays are coming, and with them, a slew of special/holiday-related programming meant to appeal to those who don't want to watch football. I've prepared a banquet of T-day TV offerings and divided it into three handy servings: Warm, Warm & Fuzzy, and Best Enjoyed With an Adult Beverage.
Warm (and worth it): The delightful Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is going to the movies. Good Wilt Hunting is the first feature-length movie for the Cartoon Network series, featuring the amiable Wilt. After another year of having no visitors at the annual Foster's Creator's Reunion Picnic, he sets out to find his original kid-creator, and since he forgets to tell the gang, they think he's freaked out (more than usual) and set out after him. Prior to the new film, catch the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends marathon, which starts at 8am. Good Wilt Hunting tops off the marathon at 8pm, all on the Cartoon Network, Thursday, Nov. 23.
Warm & Fuzzy (and more fun than you want to admit): John O'Hurley hosts the National Dog Show Presented by Purina immediately following the live telecast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Dog owner O'Hurley (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars) is an ideal host for this charming little slice-of-life show, featuring 150 breeds and varieties of dogs as they compete for Best in Show. New this year and in conjunction with the official show is DogShowUSA.com, an interactive site where average dogs can compete in an online competition. Mutts, purebreds, trained, or just dolled up: All dogs are welcome. The online dog show will award prizes for Cutest Dog, Best Trick Dog, and Best Owner Look-Alike, in addition to a Best in Show prize. To learn how to enter the online show, check out the instructional webisodes at DogShowUSA.com. Prizes range from a year's worth of dog food to a trip to the National Dog Show. The National Dog Show Hosted by Purina airs Thursday, Nov. 23, at noon on NBC.
Best Enjoyed With an Adult Beverage (for the big kids): Can Elmo say that? The Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up!: Uncensored brings together the whip-smart improvisational skills of Julianne Buescher (Second City), Ted Michaels (the Groundlings), Paul Rugg (ACME Comedy Company), Allan Trautman (Greg the Bunny), and Victor Yerrid (Team America), along with top Henson puppeteers, to perform improv based on audience suggestions. Puppet Up!: Uncensored premieres Monday, Nov. 20, at 10pm on TBS.
Apparently, Thanksgiving also means laugh it up in TV land, where TBS and HBO are teaming up for laughs for a good cause. Comic Relief 2006 will be telecast from Las Vegas, with remotes from New Orleans, which is the beneficiary of this year's fundraising effort (donations are being accepted now at 800/528-1000 or at www.comicrelief.org). The all-star comedy event airs Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8pm on HBO and TBS.
Other funny stuff includes the Sierra Mist Stand Up or Sit Down Comedy Challenge, a competition for rising comedians to compete for a $50,000 prize and a development deal with TBS. George Lopez hosts. Catch the competition on Friday, Nov. 17, at 9pm on TBS. On Sunday, catch The Comedy Festival Presents: A Salute to the Troops and USO, an hourlong special celebrating the armed forces with a special tribute to Bob Hope. Jay Mohr hosts. Sunday, Nov. 19, at 9pm on TBS.
And finally, just in time for the holidays, The Closer marathon! Watch the plucky Kyra Sedgwick solve crimes and put those dour detectives in their place in a daylong replay of the first season. Is it me, or does The Closer turn into a slap-your-thigh comedy when you make a drinking game out of it (say, taking a swig every time Sedgwick's Brenda Johnson drawls, "thanquew"). Turn on TNT at 8am on Thanksgiving to try it.