TV on Tap: “The X-Factor” Loses a Judge, the Cast of “Archer” Goes on the Road and “Amazing Race” Competitors Show Their Support for One Gay Fan

I’m guessing we’re about to learn which traditonal Christmas decoration is too agressive
Portlandia’s Christmas special.


In case you needed a reason to cry this morning, check out this story from the Beekman website about a gay 12-year-old boy, Colin, whose mom wrote to Josh and Brent to tell them how inspiring it was for Colin to watch them compete on The Amazing Race every week. In response, Josh and Brent organized their fellow Racers to take pictures with a sign declaring their support for Colin.

Deadline reports on some programming moves at TV Land. The Soul Man and The Exes have been renewed for a second and third season, respectively, while Retired at 35 has been mercifully cancelled.

Pretty Little LiarsAshley Benson’s set to appear on >How I Met Your Mother. Somehow her character is tied to Barney.

When I heard that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley released a document vetting Stephen Colbert as a potential Senate appointment, I thought she knew how to take advantage of an event that became a national story. Then I read the vetting which, frustratingly, is about as funny as a Tell Me You Love Me marathon.

Think TLC has found its lowest point? EW has reason for you to think again.

There are changes coming to The X-Factor’s judges panel next season. L.A. Reid revealed to Access Hollywood that he’s quitting the show, saying the show took him away from his other job as CEO of Epic Records.

HBO has ordered a drama about post-traumatic stress, according to Deadline. Laughs Unlimited will follow an Army medic who tries to hide her post-traumatic stress in order to return to her old life as a police officer.

The cast of Archer are going on tour with panel discussions, a Q&A and scene readings. And now, I hate those of you who live in San Francsico, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York.

In a victory for so-bad-it’s-good TV, TV Guide notes that after it received bad reviews, an embarrassed Lifetime pulled The Christmas Consultant, with David Hasselhoff in a ridiculous performance against Caroline Rhea. However, mockery from The Soup and the Kevin & Bean radio show has brought the Christmas movie back to the airwaves.

After getting a bump in the ratings this week, Deadline reports that NBC has ordered three more episodes of Whitney.

Election years are usually good for news channels, but this one was especially good for MSNBC, which saw ratings improve by 11%. Meanwhile, Fox News saw a 1% bump while CNN dropped 1%.

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Anderson takes on The Hobbit today, talking with Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman.

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Alan Cumming’s talking to Rachael and guest co-host Richard Marx today.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
We’re still in the setup phase where pregnant women lie about their fetus’ age and men give cryptic answers about why they don’t like their boyfriend’s female friend. Join us as we liveblog the stammered statements and awkward silences starting at 1PM Eastern!

I Bought a Famous House (HGTV) 8:00 MP ET
In HGTV’s newest special, people show off their homes, which were once owned by celebrities, including the people who own the houses of Frank Sinatra, Paris Hilton and Madonna.

Malibu Country (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
It’s Reba’s first Christmas as a Malibu divorcee and her religious stereotypes get turned around when Kim signs up to perform at a church service, while Reba learns her daughter isn’t so sure about the reason for the season. Plus, I’m sure there will be jokes about how people from the country put up Christmas decorations versus how people from Malibu decorate.

Degrassi (Teen Nick) 9:00 PM ET
For any other teen show, I’d be rolling my eyes at a holiday special about a teen couple running off to Vegas to get married. However, Degrassi hasn’t glossed over all the problems with Drew and Bianca’s engagement, so I’m feeling hopeful. Besides, Adam, Fiona and Imogen the Faboo are a part of the trip, so that should be fun.

Joy Behar’s Comic with Benefits (Current) 9:00 PM ET
Current tries to bring some comic relief to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in this two hour special that includes appearances by Mario Cantone, Judy Gold, Larry David, John Fugelsang and more.

Yes, Virginia (CBS) 9:00 PM ET
Among the season’s holiday specials, CBS is revisiting this tale inspired by Virginia O’Hanlon, the girl who wrote to the New York Sun asking about the existence of Santa Claus. It never sticks in my memory, but I always enjoy watching it, and it features the voice of Neil Patrick Harris as Virginia’s father.

Haven (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Audrey pursues a killer at a class reunion for the season’s penultimate episode.

Portlandia (IFC) 10:30 PM ET
Does your holiday season include making sure the fruits in your fruitcake were locally sourced and responsibly preserved? Can you make it to the end of the year without a discussion of why Sandra Lee’s “Autumn Cake” is offensive? Thankfully, this year IFC has a holiday trip to Portlandia booked for you.

Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Labratory (Comedy Central) Midnight ET
When was the last time I mentioned the time Eugene Mirman turned a call from an anti-gay phone company into a hilarious prank call? Oh, yeah, the last time he had a special on Comedy Central. Obviously, I feel a strong sense of loyalty off of that funny way of supporting gay people, so I’m looking forward to hear him comment on the Tea Party at a performance at the Fillmore Theatre.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) 11:35 PM ET
Bette Midler will be talking to Jay about her new movie tonight.

Adam Lambert hosting VH1 Divas. It’s something I didn’t know I wanted until I got it.

Saturday’s Listings

Baby’s First Christmas (Hallmark) 8:00 PM ET
The latest Hallmark holiday movie has Casper Van Dien as half of a bickering pair of lawyers who find themselves connected when their siblings announce they’re getting married to each other. Judging by the Hallmark movie formula, they should work out their differences and fall in love by the end of the movie. Too bad that formula probably does not include Van Dien losing his shirt in one scene.

The Merry In-Laws (Lifetime) 8:00 PM ET
So, you’re lucky enough to find out that a man who looks like that hot guy from Haven (Lucas Bryant) wants to marry you — but then you learn that his parents are Santa and Mrs. Claus (George Wendt and Shelly Long). What do you do? Me, I vote for unionizing the elves and getting the ASPCA to inspect the reindeer’s living quarters.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC America) 10:00 PM ET
This week Graham is joined by Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Ennis, Ricky Gervais and Bruno Mars.

The Real St. Nick (Lifetime) 10:00 PM ET
One subgenre of Christmas movie that has been missing this year is the one where some stranger pops into town, is presumed to be delusional but turns out to be totally right in his rose-colored reality. In this case, a cute young man (DallasCallard Harris) turns up in the hospital, claiming to be Santa injured while practicing for Christmas day.

Saturday Night Live (NBC) 11:30 PM ET
It’s the last SNL before Christmas and Martin Short’s hosting with musical guest Paul McCartney. I’ll just be happy if this is the episode where I can stop wondering what happened to Kate McKinnon. The show is so much less funny without her.

Rove L.A. (TV Guide) Midnight ET
Have you had enough of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s new Christmas album yet? Good, then tune in to this week’s Rove. I’m still getting over that music video.

Sunday’s Listings

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
Thanks to his addiction to an online game (hey, that plot just happened to the gang from Paddy’s pub! Synchronicity!) Homer loses Santa’s Little Helper (which actually sounds like a great plot for a series finale) but instead of looking for the dog, he just tells a story about his first dog. You know, as Homer is wont to do.

VH1 Divas 2012 (VH1) 9:00 PM ET
Adam Lambert is hosting this year’s special, which features performances from Ciara, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Bootsy Collins and Natasha Bedingfield, along with a tribute to Whitney Huston.

American Dad (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
You know someone had to do a Christmas episode featuring the Krampus, and since The Office went with the Belsnickel, it’s up to American Dad to tell a tale of Steve being kidnapped by the beast who punishes the bad children.

Homeland (Showtime) 10:00 PM ET
It’s been a bumpy second season for Homeland, as it lost its glow with critics. Can it pull things together for the finale?

The Shahs of Sunset (Bravo) 10:00 PM ET
They’ve been lifelong friends, but things start to go sour for Reza and MJ this week.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Lily Gallichi and Porsha Stewart open Andy’s week.

Robot Chicken (Adult Swim) Midnight ET
The frantic pop culture parody show gets ready for a Christmas episode this week, I’m hoping for a sketch about the Wookie celebration of Life Day and how it ironically inspired suicidal feelings.

What will you be watching this weekend? Please share in the comments!

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.