STAY TUNED: Appointment TV – Does it exist anymore?

BILL GREEN
Starting at 11 p.m. tonight (Saturday), Southwest Florida's TV 6 will air the Yule Log in HD simulcast with holiday music from Lite 93.7. The program, which provides you with a virtual fireplace in your living room, will run interrupted through 11 a.m. Christmas Day.

Starting at 11 p.m. tonight (Saturday), Southwest Florida's TV 6 will air the Yule Log in HD simulcast with holiday music from Lite 93.7. The program, which provides you with a virtual fireplace in your living room, will run interrupted through 11 a.m. Christmas Day.

It's Christmas Eve, which means those pesky holiday specials are about to come to an end and your favorite programs will soon resume.

Watching TV during the holiday season always reminds me of my childhood. It gets me to thinking about how my viewing mentality has changed over the years.

I grew up with just three channels. When "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" came on, it was an event. Why? Because it only came on once a year. It did not repeat endlessly. We didn't own a videocassette recorder, so I could not "tape it," much less buy a copy.

Yes. I had better things to do. Yes, I had already seen it umpteen times. But it just felt wrong not to watch. Same thing with the yearly showing of "The Wizard of Oz."

Flash forward a few decades, and me and my TiVo pretty much ignore it unless I really want to see it. Why? Because viewers can see it whenever we want. I stream Netflix; I have On Demand; and I have a collection of DVDs that are starting to feel a little tired.

If I want to see "Frosty The Snowman" in July, I can. I don't. But I can. Now that the pressure is off, if I've seen it once forget about it. There's too much new stuff to waste my precious time with repeat viewings. Except

One of my guilty pleasures

I love "White Christmas." I know. I know. Irving Berlin. Annoying at times, but also transfixing. I'll give you three reasons why I just can't turn away: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney (sorry Vera-Ellen, I only needed three).

It's not the story. It's not even the songs (for the most part). It's the chemistry. These actor/singers have loads of it. And watching this movie makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Watching it, no matter when or where, says Christmas is alive and well, snuggled inside a little Vermont Inn, waiting for Christmas Day.

George C. Scott rules

I also made an unscheduled stop on AMC recently for the made-for-TV movie, "A Christmas Carol" starring the incomparable George C. Scott.

The movie was filmed on location in Shrewsbury, England. It premiered on Dec. 17, 1984 on CBS. It was directed by Clive Donner, who served as an editor on the 1951 film "Scrooge."

Scott carried the film (but to be fair, the rest of the acting wasn't half bad). My only quarrel is the score (but it was a TV movie after all).

A 'Wonderful' idea

Tonight NBC will repeat "It's A Wonderful Life." But if you have a TiVo, don't watch it. Or, if you must watch, record it too. Why?

For each recording of "It's A Wonderful Life" this night, TiVo will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.

Yule love sitting by this fire

Starting at 11 p.m. tonight (Saturday), Southwest Florida's TV 6 will air the Yule Log in HD simulcast with holiday music from Lite 93.7.

The program, which provides you with a virtual fireplace in your living room, will run interrupted through 11 a.m. Christmas Day.

"We enhance the warm and fuzzy holiday feeling, without the actual heat," says Sun Broadcasting's Mark Gilson.

Who needs the heat. Today's high is expected to be in the low 80s.

In closing

Back to my main topic ... If appointment TV truly exits, it does so in the form of shows like "American Idol" or "Survivor."

That's why each network is trying so hard to recreate that success. Folks watch it live. Why? We need to know what's happening right now so we can tweet about it or Facebook it or — to turn an ancient phrase — discuss it around the water cooler the next day.

The downside? Who has five hours to dedicate to "Idol" a week? Not this guy.

What's your viewing habits like? Especially around the holiday. Do let me know: bgreen@naplesnews.com.

Until next time. Happy holidays and stay tuned.

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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