Although it seems as though New Year's Eve television programming isn't as creative as it used to be -- i.e., when I was programming it -- there still are enough interesting offerings to guide us couch potatoes smoothly into 2010.
First on the list is AMC's classic Three Stooges Marathon, with newly remastered episodes playing starting from early this morning until 6am on New Year's Day (or whenever in your particular time zone -- I'm using Eastern). There's been a dearth of Stooges on television as of late -- I used to watch them on a Boston station but no sign of them recently -- and I'm thrilled to see that AMC seems to have picked up the torch. There is nothing better than one of the best Stooges shorts (I'm thinking for instance of something like "Pardon My Scotch" playing at about 2:30pm today), or lots of other good ones particularly after midnight tonight.
SyFy features a two day-long Twilight Zone Marathon, of course, again borrowing a leaf from the various independent stations who pioneered the TZ Marathon concept back in the 1980s.
USA Network features a marathon of their successful and immensely entertaining Burn Notice (left) series all day today and tonight until 6am Friday, at which time they switch over to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Ick -- from charming rogues to serial rapists, murdered hookers and sexually abused children...don't like that transition much! Nothing like celebrating the New Year with tales of the most unpleasant criminality out there, is there? Creepy.
Comedy Central has South Park all day, culiminating with the SP movie, all ending at 5am tomorrow morning. Logo has a marathon of The Sarah Silverman Show until 3am tonight, TV Guide Network features a day and night of specials about celebrities who died during 2009, including of course several hours on Michael Jackson. History has a string of their Strange Rituals series lined up, with a look at weird rites of passage and other incredible ordeals, if that's your thing.
HBO has a marathon of their Thomas Jane-starring series Hung beginning at midnight tonight. This is probably the most appealing line-up next to the Three Stooges, as Hung is a very watchable show with not only a heavy dose of ribald comedy but with a melancholy wry tone that really captures the mood of the world today. Worth watching if for nothing else than the wonderful performance of Jane Adams as the main character's friend and lady pimp.
If you like your New Year Eve celebration classy and classic, tune into Turner Classic Movies for an all-night marathon of The Thin Man movies. If newer science fiction is more your taste, join BBC America for a marathon of Doctor Who episodes and movies starting at midnight tonight, and culminating on Saturday evening with the final episode of the series starring the wonderful David Tennant (below) as the Doctor. Highly recommended!
Whatever you choose, have a very Happy New Year and here's to a great 2010 from everyone here at The Flaming Nose!