By Paula Hendrickson
Some of your favorite shows are airing special episodes this December. A couple popular summer shows are even coming back just for an episode or two, defying traditional programming logic that says broadcasting new episodes around the holidays isn’t worth it because people are too busy. A few networks are smart enough to realize that even busy people can record shows and watch them the day after their office party or while they’re wrapping presents.
As usual, Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson will return for a handful of episodes of TNT’s The Closer in December, so I’m hoping Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin might be back as her parents for another holiday-themed episode. If they do, I’d love it if they also brought Amy Sedaris back as Fritz’s ditzy sister. (For some reason, the first time I heard Sedaris would be guest starring, I thought she’d be playing Brenda’s sister, not Fritz’s. Either way, it would be good to see her on again, too, but I doubt we’ll see her on The Closer anytime soon.)
This year, two of Syfy’s most popular series—Eureka and Warehouse 13—are celebrating the season with special holiday episodes. Syfy’s official Countdown to Christmas Week begins Monday, Dec. 6, with The Golden Compass at 5:30 p.m., followed by National Treasure at 8 p.m., and concludes with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Sunday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. However, it’s the special episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13 that should prove to be the week’s biggest draws.
Eureka’s first-ever Christmas episode, “O Little Town,” premieres Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m., on Syfy, immediately after Glee’s special holiday episode, “A Very Glee Christmas,” concludes on Fox, making that one fun night of television I plan to watch in real time. (Yes, I’ll record the shows, too, just in case of an unforeseen interruption.)
It might take a few seconds for viewers to make the mental shift from what’s sure to be a very musical holiday at McKinley High—where I believe Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester will be filling in for The Grinch—to the quaint, yet uber-geeky streets of Eureka. Immediately following Eureka, stick around for the Warehouse 13 holiday episode, “Secret Santa.”
The mind reels at what technology Eurekans might use to decorate the town square or what guest star Chris Parnell, as Global Dynamic’s seasonally-named Dr. Noah Drummer, might do to jeopardize the town’s holiday celebrations. Then, try to imagine what holiday relics might be stored in Warehouse 13. As if the night can’t get any better, Judd Hirsch will guest star as Artie’s (Saul Rubinek) long-estranged father. That casting is as perfect as Carol Burnett playing Sue’s mom on Glee.
Having two of my favorite series—Glee and Eureka—air new Christmas episodes on the same night may well be the highlight of my week. Throw in a holiday episode of Warehouse 13 for good measure, and it’s like opening your gifts a couple weeks early.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Dec. 1-7, 2010 issue