PBS Airs “How to Survive a Plague”, “Happy Endings” Is Here Again and Kathy Griffin Visits “Kirstie”


Last year, Jamie Kennedy got a lot of unwanted attention for hosting a trainwreck of an Orange County station’s New Year’s Eve special, but he wasn’t the only one to fail spectacularly while attempting to host a New Year’s show.

Welcome out Robin Roberts.

I’ll be honest. I adore Stephen Colbert but sometimes The Colbert Report or The Daily Show makes a joke that strikes me as uncomfortably transphobic.PG Monthy collects examples of some troubling jokes.

The Colbert Report

Here’s your disgusted and unsurprised groan for the day, the inspiration for The Wolf of Wall Street is developing a reality show for himself where he helps people who have fallen on hard times “find redemption”.

Buzzfeed has pictures — pictures with enough of a spoiler they  should come with a warning from River Song — from Sherlock’s first episode

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in "Sherlock"

Fox had an interesting pilot in the works, Wild Blue. It had Justified producer Graham Yost and was described as an “Upstairs, Downstairs” take on working on a Navy aircraft carrier. Unfortunately, the idea turned out to be too complicated to film and Fox has decided not to go forward with the pilot.

Once again, Game of Thrones topped the list of TV’s most pirated shows followed by Breaking Bad.

Game of Thrones

Modern Family repeats have started to find their audience but, as Deadline notes it has yet to see the kind of ratings bump that The Big Bang Theory saw when it started airing repeats.

In the UK, Doctor Who was the most-watched program in Britain. That’s probably not a big surprise, considering it was Matt Smith’s big farewell.

Sadly, the series finale of Nikita didn’t get the ratings it deserved, going out with a whimper.


Being Human Marathon (Syfy) starting at 8:00 AM ET
Syfy is spending the day repeating the marvelous third season of Being Human. I grew frustrated with Being Human’s second season but the third season beautifully remembered how wonderful it can be to explore how different monster mythologies end up when you hurl them at the same canvas at once. For anyone who liked the first season but gave up during the second, take this chance to catch up.

Sam Huntington, Sam Witweir and Megan Rath in "Being Human"

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
I’m behind on my Days watching, but apparently Will doesn’t know that you can’t have a murder cover-up conspiracy where someone is feeling pulled in one direction by their conscience. With the speed that people were getting drawn into the cover-up, it was just a matter of time before someone threatened to talk or the whole town was covering up Nick’s murder. (I guess they’d be trying to keep the police of Bay City or Harmony from finding out and investigating?)

Independent Lens (PBS) Check local listings
Independent Lens closes the year with How to Survive a Plague, the critically acclaimed documentary about the early years of the AIDS epidemic and the tactics of activist groups like ACT UP.

How to Survive a PLague

Politics Nation (MSNBC) 6:00 PM ET
In order to let its host have a night off without turning the network into a Lockup marathon, MSNBC is airing year-end recap specials. Politics Nation is ending things with the “Revie” Awards. From the looks of the promos, Johnathan Capehart is a part of the action.

Major Crimes (TNT) 9:00 PM ET
While the Major Crimes team investigates a bomb that goes off at a used car sale, Rusty’s dealing with an investigator (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) looking at the case of the threatening letters.

Graham Patrick Martin in "Major Crimes"

The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) 9:00 PM ET
Rachel is taking down her calendar with her “Best New Things of the Year” episode. I’d like to thin that’s an hour of “The Best New Thing in the World”. As a fan of TRMS’ “Best New Thing in the World” the only way to get a better clip show fodder would involve finally bringing “Ask Dr. Maddow” to TV.

Tuesday’s Listings

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Before the residents can take off on New Year’s Day, there’s something Sami and EJ need to help Sonny with.

Twilight Zone Marathon (Syfy) starting at 8:00 AM ET
What would a New Year without Syfy’s two-day Twilight Zone marathon. Notable episodes include “Eye of the Beholder” at 10PM, followed by Agnes Nixon in “The Invaders” at 10:30PM. On Wednesday, “It’s a Good Life” airs at 1PM while my enduring favorite, “Living Doll” at 10:30 PM. Mercifully, I see no mention of, “Cavender is Coming” the terrible episode that wastes Carol Burnett’s talent.

Agnes Moorehead in "The Twilight Zone"

The Mindy Project Marathon (Bravo) starting at 11:30 AM ET
Mindy Lahiri probably watches a lot of Bravo, so it seems apt that Bravo would marathon the entirety of The Mindy Project’s second season, so far. I just suspect Dr. L would rather have her Real Housewives marathon.

Happy Endings (VH1) 8:00 PM ET
VH1 will soon become your source for Happy Ending reruns but not before spending New Year’s eve running every episode.

Happy Endings

New Years’ Rockin’ Eve Presents: The 30 Greatest Women in Music (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
Before counting down to the new year, ABC counts down great women in music.

House of Lies Live! (Showtime) 10:00 PM ET
It took me two or three episodes to hate the characters of House of Lies but I have tons of respect for the cast as they put together a live long-form improv special.

House of Lies Live!

New Year’s Eve Live! (Fox) 11:00 PM ET
Mario Lopez hosts Fox’s annual celebration from Vegas where Panic! At the Disco, Krewella and New Politics are among the scheduled performers.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (ABC) 11:00 PM ET
As usual, the king of the New Year’s eve shows has the biggest guest list with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Icona Pop, Miley Cyrus and Blondie.

New Year’s Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (CNN) 11:00
It’s time again for New Year’s Eve best odd couple to team up. How with Kathy Griffin try to come up with a scandalous buzzworthy moment? How many times will Anderson look away with his nervous chuckle?

Wednesday’s Listings

Suits Marathon (Cloo) starting at 6:00 AM ET
Do you want ideas for behavior to avoid in your New Year’s resolution? Cloo has a whole day of suggestions.


The Tournament of Roses Parade (HGTV) 11:00 AM ET
This year, in addition to enjoying the artistry of the floats, we can look forward to seeing a gay couple get married on a wedding-cake-shaped float for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

30 Rock Marathon (Logo) starting at 4:00 PM ET
4 hours with Liz Lemon and the gang? Now that’s a happy beginning to the New Year.

Bianca Lawson and Brenden Fehr in "House of Secrets"

House of Secrets (LMN) 8:00 PM ET
Sadly, Lifetime is not giving comic nerds a movie about rival storytelling brothers or a house haunted by ghosts that judge people’s secrets. Instead this move has Brendan Fehr and Bianca Lawson in this movie about a woman who thinks it’d be okay for her to move into her abusive ex-husband’s old house. Apparently, he was planning for that moment since he wired the place with hidden cameras and listening devices.

The Exes (TV Land) 10:00 PM ET
While Stuart gets a visit from his sister (Leah Remini), Phil and Eden consider having a threesome. Will this be the rare show where the threesome talk dares to suggest inviting a male guest-star?

Kathy Griffin in "Kirstie"

Kirstie (TV Land) 10:30 PM ET
Kathy Griffin (weren’t we just talking about her?) shows up this week (wasn’t she just talking about this experience?) plays herself this week as she moves into Maddie’s building and starts up a big rivalry. If they’re going tell stories about the other residents in Maddie’s building, I can’t wait until Maddie tweets about her reclusive blogging neighbor.

See you in the New Year!

Thursday’s Preview

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
It’s Chandler Massey’s final turn as Will Horton.

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