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TV Junkie: NBC's Cynical Sandusky 'Interview' & Mid-Season Schedule

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Ep. 22: Inside the Mind of Jonathan Ames
Check out the above video with "Bored To Death" creator Jonathan Ames discussing the background of last night's episode (available via HBO OnDemand and will be repeated several times this week). There were great guest spots via Casey Wilson and Rene Auberjonois and the music at the beginning of the episode was by none other than the excellent band, !!!
Last night's interview with newly-ex-Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky on NBC's "Rock Center" was shameful exploitation and not news. Why did a major broadcaster provide a platform for this alleged child rapist to humanize his image? We can't possibly think that this happened to boost ratings for the embattled network that still scored 4th overall in viewership despite the 30% jump in audience for "Rock Center." I'm not sure what was more disgusting, NBC trying to take advantage of the situation or sports pundits "analyzing" what Sandusky said, eager to make explanations and excuses for him. Because of the money in college football, Penn State can't be the only coverup going on in this country, whether it's pedophilia, steroids, and illegal payments. It's time to abandon the college football/basketball model, remove tax exempt status for institutions that pursue it, and get the money into viable minor leagues.
NBC has released its midseason schedule to let us know what shows they will premiere from January through March 2012. Sadly "Community" is missing from the list which puts the show in serious doubt despite a statement from NBC that the show hasn't been cancel and that it will return "at a later date." When a show is moved out of its lineup or pulled from the schedule unexpectedly it lends one to believe the show is in jeopardy. This became all the more apparent when watching the Twitter streams of the show's stars, creator, and producers, as Dan Harmon, Alison Brie, and Joel McHale expressed shock and dismay at the fact that the show would not be back in January.

This prompts one to ask why NBC is bringing back an expensive show that isn't performing well, like "Harry's Law." How is a procedural like that going to get any better? Maria Bello's "Prime Suspect" was a bit more exciting but had comparable problems to "Harry's Law" and has been the show pulled from the schedule despite an order for six more scripts. I wonder who has a heftier payout contract, Maria Bello or Kathy Bates? [Hint: probably the Oscar winner]
Congrats to Chelsea Handler and her "Chelsea Lately" and "After Lately" crews who have signed onto a deal with E! that keeps them on the air through 2014. Say what you will about Handler's writing or interview style, she attracts and cultivates a lot of talent and it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more projects from these very funny people.
CBS also released their midseason schedule, which is far more predictable and less dramatic, kind of like their programming.
The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: "New Girl," "Raising Hope," "Sons of Anarchy," "Chelsea Lately," "The Colbert Report," "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson"

9:00pm New Girl Fox - Thanksgiving When Jess invites her crush (Justin Long) to Thanksgiving dinner at the loft, things don't go as planned.

9:00pm AFI Master Class TCM - The Art of Collaboration: Steven Spielberg and John Williams Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams collaborate on movies.

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9:00pm Mysteries at the Museum Travel - Shrunken Heads; Greeley Expedition; Broken Arrow Don examines a miniature head from the jungle; a journal details an Arctic expedition

9:30pm SoCal Connected KCET - Herbie Hancock: All That's Jazz

9:30pm Raising Hope Fox - Burt's Parents Burt and Virginia borrow a house in an effort to impress Burt's visiting parents, but things go awry when the homeowners return early.

10:00pm Sons of Anarchy FX - Call of Duty SAMCRO faces a powerful adversary that jeopardizes their business with the cartel.

10:00pm Tosh.0 Comedy Central - Daniel searches for his replacement.

10:00pm Chopped Food - Give It Your All Thanksgiving competition; maple syrup in the appetizer basket; decor in the entree round made edible?

10: 00pm Parenthood NBC - Sore Loser During a competitive game of charades, Julia and Joel realize they may have spoiled Sydney; Crosby and Adam celebrate a new client.

10:00pm Covert Affairs USA - A Girl Like You Annie must track a Mossad agent who is posing as a CIA operative.

10:30pm Workaholics Comedy Central - Man Up The guys go on a man trip.

11:00pm Chelsea Lately E! - Actress Denise Richards; comic Sarah Colonna; comic Kerri Kenney-Silver; actress Liz Carey.

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11:00pm Conan TBS - Musical guest Childish Gambino.

11:30pm The Colbert Report Comedy Central - Interview guest Elijah Wood

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - TV host Bill Maher; actress Nikki Reed; Drake performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - TV host Howie Mandel; author Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi; Patrick Stump performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Actress Patricia Heaton; "Dancing With the Stars" castoff; Christina Perri performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Ewan McGregor; comic Jeff Cesario; comic Paula Poundstone as the voice of Geoff.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actor Ben Kingsley; actress Felicity Jones; Tony Bennett performs.