12/01/16: Cynopsis Weekender






CYNOPSIS Weekender

It’s December 1, 2016, and this is the first of four special Thursday editions Cynopsis is publishing this month, directing you to shows and experiences you’ll want to consider adding to your calendar – a guide to the best in TV, movies, and industry events this weekend.


Make sure you catch… 


Love triangle alert! ION movie A Firehouse Christmas focuses on an ex-Olympic hockey star with a firefighter girlfriend and a soon-to-be ex-wife who causes complications. All-new holiday romance premieres Saturday at 9p. Love is in the air again at ION on Sunday, when A Cinderella Christmas premieres at 9p. Event planner Angie and wealthy playboy Nicholas meet at a masquerade ball and fall for each other anonymously….

Awwww… an eight-year-old runaway angel is on a mission to help a couple rekindle their love in Lifetime world premiere movie Heaven Sent, premiering Saturday at 8p.

UP world premiere movie Girlfriends of Christmas Past, Sunday at 7p, tells the story of three strong-willed women who join forces to get revenge on their cheating ex.

Hearts of Christmas makes its world premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Sunday at 9p. After a beloved neonatal unit supervisor is forced to take early retirement, a surprise celebration for her is complicated by a cost-cutting new CFO.
Saturday brings A Dream of Christmas to Hallmark Channel. A restless young married woman has second thoughts after her wish to be single again is granted, starting at 8p. On Sunday, two type-A parents battle it out for control of the holidays at their kids’ school in Looks Like Christmas, at 8p.


CBS’s I Love Lucy Christmas Special features two back-to-back episodes of the classic comedy. The colorized “Christmas Episode” (first presented in black and white in December 1956) is paired with the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures” (February, 1955). The fun starts for Lucy lovers Friday at 8p.

Cooking Channel holiday special Christmas at Tiffani’s, on Sunday at 8p, has Tiffani Thiessen playing host to pals Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Jason Priestley with festive fare.

Red Bull TV is livestreaming the Red Bull BC One World Championships on Saturday, from Nagoya, Japan. The B-Boy break dance competition can be accessed on redbulltv.BCOne or the Red Bull TV app. Live broadcast starts at 5:30a ET, but fans can tune in all weekend for on-demand performance. Count competitor BenStacks, who hails from Las Vegas, happy to be in the game. “It’s amazing competing in a global competition, because you’re competing against the world’s best,” he tells Weekender. “It is a great honor.”
Also on Red Bull TV: Faultlines, a documentary telling Harlem rapper Charles Hamilton’s story of survival and redemption, launches globally on Friday. Faultlines is the second installment of Red Bull TV’s Let It Play… documentary series about musical artists.

The fifth annual TeletonUSA fundraiser for Nuestra Causa (Our Cause) will run nonstop from Friday at 8p through Sunday at 3a, with some of the biggest stars in Latin music taking part. The marathon will be broadcast live on Univision from The Orpheum Theater in downtown LA, Univision Studios in Miami and the CRIT USA in San Antonio.


Netflix’s new animated comedy Pacific Heat, chronicling the adventures of an unconventional unit of police investigators, debuts Friday. Co-creator Rob Stich, who voices the main special agent on the Pacific Heat team, tells Weekender, “Normally, when a comedian does animation you’re playing a penguin, a zebra or a goldfish. I got to play a washed up ex special forces cop with a drinking habit and a low I.Q. It felt special.”

Ocean Warriors launches on Animal Planet with back-to-back episodes on Sunday at 9p. From executive producers Robert Redford and Paul Allen, the six-part event series follows activists, investigators and scientists working to put a stop to outlaw mercenaries threatening marine life.

And you thought in-laws were the biggest headache – new true crime series Homicide for the Holidays delves into an even darker side of the season. Four-hour event series launches Saturday at 8p on Oxygen.

E! and Bravo are doubling down on a diva with the simulcast premiere of Mariah’s World, Sunday at 9p. The eight-part docu-series, which will subsequently air Sundays on E!, peeks at the whirlwind life of superstar singer/mom Mariah Carey.

That’s Amazing, featuring outdoors pioneers doing, well, amazing things, premieres on The Weather Channel Sunday at 9p. The first of eight episodes features canyoneering, snow murals, surfboards created to collect oceanic data, a soundscape ecologist and ice swimmers, among others.

Patti LaBelle’s Place has its premiere Saturday at 11a and 11:30 on Cooking Channel, as the R&B star takes to the kitchen to whip up a little something special for guests including Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.


History will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a weekend of programming commemorating the infamous day, December 7, 1941, that propelled the US to declare war on Japan and launched the country into WWII. Among original specials airing over the weekend are Pearl Harbor: 75 Years Later, premiering Saturday at 9p, and Pearl Harbor: The Truth, Sunday at 10p. History will also air a new original short form series, Pearl Harbor: The Last Word, in primetime throughout the weekend.

The first episode of Smithsonian Channel’s The Lost Tapes also marks the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Sunday at 9p. “The Lost Tapes: Pearl Harbor is a documentary unlike any other done about the bombing of America’s naval base in Hawaii,” producer Tom Jennings tells Weekender. “The program has no narration. There are no interviews.Instead, the events of that fateful day unfold in real-time by using only media available at the time. By combining audio reports with equally rare footage, photographs, secret memos, maps and newspapers, The Lost Tapes: Pearl Harboris a multi-media presentation, turning never-before-broadcast archival material into a narrative that presents the horrific events in Pearl Harbor and the world’s reaction to it as a feature film, except everything in this program is real.”


Discovery Channel’s “Mega Week” kicks off Sunday, with a 2-hour, supersized episode of Alaska: The Final Frontier, featuring singer/songwriter Jewel returning home for the first time in 7 years.

HDNet Movies is airing both Speed films back to back in a “Twice the Speed” stunt starting Friday at 9p. It’s the first time the films have aired on the network.

Arts and entertainment channel Canal 22 Mexico is featuring notorious bad boys and playboys of Mexican cinema on Saturdays this month. Poker de ades on December 3 stars Luis Aguilar.


AXS TV Fights: Legacy Fighting Championship 63  Live airs tomorrow at 10p. Friday will be Legacy’s final event before merging with AXS TV’s Resurrection Fighting Alliance to form Legacy Fighting Alliance, or LFA, in 2017.

ABC is offering the American Athletic Championship: Temple at Navy at 12p on Saturday, while CBS hopes to score with the SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Florida at 4p. ABC jumps in with the ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech at 8p, opposite Fox’s Big Ten Championship: Wisconsin vs. Penn State.

On Sunday, it’s the Buffalo Bills at the Oakland Raiders on CBS at 4p, and the Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks on NBC at 8p.

The final round of the PGA Tour’s Hero World Challenge airs at 1p on NBC on Sunday.


TV One’s Donnie After Dark moves to its regular Sunday-at-11p timeslot this weekend. Rapper and activist David Banner and spoken word artist Ernestine Johnson are among the guests discussing the pros and cons of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray, originally slated to premiere on CNN today, makes its debut instead on Saturday at 8p, with limited commercial interruption. The film tells the story of the self-help guru and best-selling author convicted of negligent homicide after the deaths of three clients at a 2009 event. The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.


The Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, hosted by Morgan Freeman with a performance by Alicia Keys, takes place in Silicon Valley on Sunday, December 4, honoring achievements in the fields of physics, life science and mathematics. The ceremony is presented by co-founders Sergey Brin (Google) and Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Yuri Milner (DST Global) and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Priscilla Chan (Chan Zuckerberg Initiatives), along with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, and airs live at 10p on Nat Geo. (Fox will air a one-hour version on Sunday, December 18.) “We are honored to continue our partnership with the Breakthrough Prize team to showcase the incredible achievements in the fields of science and mathematics to our global audience,” Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Television Networks, tells Weekender. “This partnership allows us to recognize individuals who break barriers and expand the realms of possibility – the very things National Geographic has been celebrating for over 128 years.”

The lighting of the National Christmas Tree  a tradition started by Calvin Coolidge – takes place today in President’s Park. Hallmark Channel, the ceremony’s first cable partner, will broadcast the event on Monday, December 5 at 7p. “The ceremony has been a timeless national tradition since 1923 and it is a great honor to have the opportunity to share this joyous holiday celebration with our viewers,” Michelle Vicary, EVP, Programming and Network Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks, tells Weekender.

The Trevor Project will present Kelly Osbourne with the Trevor Hero Honoree, Facebook with the 20/20 Visionary Award, and Ingrid Nilsen with the Digital Innovator Award at the TrevorLIVE Los Angeles fundraiser to raise awareness of suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. Event takes place Sunday at the Beverly Hilton.

The Game Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in the video game industry spanning console, mobile and PC gaming, as well as eSports, will be handed out tonight at the Microsoft Theatre in LA. The event will be streamed across platforms.

The Walking Dead’s Austin Amelio and Seth Gilliam, along with Star Trek’s Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, are among those slated to appear at comic and sci-fi expo New York Wintercon, taking place Saturday from 10:30a-8p and Sunday from 10:30a-5p at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, NY.


Arriving This Weekend:

Jackie, following Jacqueline Kennedy after the assassination of her husband in 1963, is winning raves. “Natalie Portman, in a performance that tops her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan, will floor you with her tour de force as the former First Lady,” says Rolling Stone. 

Aaron Eckhart stars in this supernatural drama as a scientist with the ability to enter the subconscious minds of the possessed, out to save a young boy from the grips of a demon while facing the horrors of his past.

The faith-based family drama, from Smith Global Media in partnership with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, centers on a Christmas pageant in a small Virginia town hit by financial hardship.


Rickey Smiley, star of TV One’s Rickey Smiley For Real, will be performing his stand-up comedy act “for the good folks of Monroe, Louisiana” on Saturday at the Monroe Civic Center. On Sunday, “I’m going to church to hear a good word from the man upstairs!”

Phillip Larson, owner of Larson & Larson Advertising in Houston, reports, “On Saturday morning my wife Karen and I will ride my Harley to our favorite Breakfast Cafe.”

Chris Roach, who plays Mott on CBS’s Kevin Can Wait, is “going to drink and put together IKEA furniture, but in between, I’ll be performing at Bobby V’s on Saturday December 3rd.”

Over at Beck Media & Marketing, Dianna Garcia will be “prepping for my New Year’s Eve wedding and working on table centerpieces with my bridesmaids,” (congrats, Dianna!) while Alex Loria is “totally binging on This Is Us in between unpacking boxes at my new apartment.” 

Have a great weekend!
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

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