TV on Tap: It’s a Final Caper for “Leverage,” “Jersey Shore” Ends with a Ratings Whimper and Be Sure to Enunciate on “Wheel of Fortune”


Animanicas is back on TV where they belong, thank you HUB.

Since everyday is likely to be a slow news day this week, I’m giving you the full listings for Christmas week. (Be sure to note that Christmas isn’t enough to get in the way of snicks following Days of Our Lives with liveblogs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday!) I hope you all have a safe, happy and delicious holiday!

News

Over the weekend, TNT cancelled Leverage, making Tuesday’s season finale, the series’ swan song. On the bright side, fans had a couple weeks to prepare for the bad news as producer Dean Devlin wrote that, foreseeing this cancellation, the episode was written to work as a season or series finale.

The next season of The Walking Dead won’t have Glenn Mazzara as showrunner any more. This prompted Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan (Mazzara, Sutter and Ryan all worked on The Shield) to publicly complain about the change. “With FX, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, A&E, TNT and others to sell to, it’s a real question now why good show runners should sell to AMC?” asked Ryan. Meanwhile, somehow The Killing had the same showrunner for two critically-reviled seasons.

E! is developing a drama set in a small South Carolina town that’s changed when a TV drama begins filming there, according to Deadline. As the classic soap trope goes, there’s a class divide in the town — between the rich stars and the producers of the show and the working class locals, who are often employed by the show.

Ad Age and social-media research firm Trendrr have declared the year’s “most social” TV shows. SpongeBob SquarePants takes the top prize, with The X-Factor coming in second. Meanwhile, Pretty Little Liars is the only scripted drama in the top ten.

Steven Root has joined the cast of USA’s Elmore Leonard pilot, TVLine reports. The series follows a marriage of convenience between a Miami politician and a Colombian woman, with Root joining the series as a local power broker and campaign manager. Justified fans should know this isn’t Root’s first series to be based on one of Leonard’s short stories.

Now, that’s just ridiculous.

In ratings news, the series finale of Jersey Shore landed with a thud drawing 3.1 million viewers. That’s the smallest number of people who’ve tuned in for a Jersey Shore finale.

Listings for Monday December 24

Charlie’s Angels Marathon (Universal HD) starting at 6:00 AM ET
I spent a moment wondering about why the Universal HD channel is airing a show that predates HD TV but I can overlook that to watch the Angels take on various undercover identities for a mix of camp, glamor and just being generally badass. Sadly, I don’t see the rejected backdoor pilot “Toni’s Boys” on the schedule. Someday.

Dead Like Me Marathon (Chiller) starting at 6:00 AM ET
Chiller’s kicking off the holiday by spending the day with George Glass, Rube and the reapers in Bryan Fuller‘s gone-too-soon (can Hannibal be an exception to the marriage of Bryan Fuller and gone-too-soon? Please?) dramedy. The marathon focuses on the first, more focused season and feel free to sleep in since the marathon oddly begins with the season’s last two episodes before airing the pilot.

Firefly Marathon (Science) starting at 7:00 AM ET
I’m sure someday we’ll look back and think of Firefly as the show that signaled the beginning of the end of Science programming on The Science Channel, much like Ice Road Truckers on History, Trading Spaces on TLC and… okay, its been too long since A&E left the arts and entertainment behind for me to remember where that began. At least the road down the slippery slope is staring with a show that is arguably better than Star Wars.

Animaniacs Marathon (HUB) starting at 4:00 PM ET ET
HUB’s schedule has given new life to animated classics from the 80s like Jem and now it brings back a series from the 90s with the lunacy (loonacy?) of Yakko, Wakko and Dot. The episodes selected focus on Christmas-themed stories, which means I’ll have to wait to hear the international friendship song.

Raising Hope Marathon (Fox) starting at 8:00 PM ET
Fox is giving its Tuesday-night comedies a chance to shine this week starting with the adventures of the Chance family. If you’ve never given a chance to Raising Hope, it’s one of TV more overlooked comedies, with a solid mix of sweet and cynical, a stellar cast and a solid sense of the absurd.

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