News Column

TV Tidbits: Christmas lights come to reality TV

December 8, 2013


Dec. 08--Christmas lights are a fun part of the holiday season, whether they're tastefully done or over-the-top spectacles along the lines of Clark Griswold's display from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

And that Griswold-esque sense of excess is featured in ABC's playful new competition series "The Great Christmas Light Fight," which will air on Mondays starting this week at 9 p.m. and running through Dec. 23. One episode will be shown this week, and two back-to-back episodes will be shown Dec. 16 and 23.

Each episode follows four families competing for a $50,000 prize based on their lavish decorations. Sadly, no North Carolina homes are included in the show, with the closest being one family from Chesapeake, Va. in Monday's episode and three from Georgia -- a home in Canon, Ga. in Monday's episode, one from Stockbridge on Dec. 16 and one from Decatur on Dec. 23.


It won't be out in time for this Christmas, but there's good news for "Hill Street Blues" fans who have been waiting for the series to continue after only the first two seasons were released on DVD back in 2006 by Fox Home Entertainment.

On March 25, 2014, the video label Shout Factory has picked up the show from Fox and will release a massive 34-disc "Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series" boxed set with all seven seasons of the classic police drama. There is no word yet what extras will be included, but Shout Factory generally finds plenty of bonus features to entice fans.


Just a few weeks after its worldwide broadcast and limited theatrical release, "Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor" is coming to DVD and 3D Blu-ray on Tuesday. The special episode was produced for the 50th anniversary of the British sci-fi series, with a guest cast including John Hurt, David Tennant and Billie Piper. Extras include behind-the-scenes footage, a look at the history of the series, and two mini-episodes that flesh out the background story.

Fans can also dig deeper into the history of "Doctor Who" with "The Doctors Revisited: 9 to 11," a three-disc set that has a retrospective special devoted to each of the ninth, 10th and 11th Doctors plus a two-part story from their series run and new introductions by producer Steven Moffat. This is the third volume of the "Revisited" series, following two previous sets that looked at Doctors one through four and five through eight, respectively.


The eighth and supposedly final volume of "Futurama" is also being released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday. I say "supposedly" because the Fox series has been canceled and revived several times in the past thanks to loyal fans and strong DVD sales, coming back first as a series of made-for-video movies and then as a new series on Comedy Central. If this is indeed the show's final farewell, it ends on a satisfying note.


Also new on DVD Tuesday: the sixth season of the romantic sitcom "The Game" with extras including deleted scenes and a gag reel; "Teen Wolf: Season 3, Part 1," with 12 episodes of the MTV supernatural drama about a teenager who becomes part of a secret society of werewolves; and "The Gene Autry Show," a 15-DVD boxed set with the wholesome 1950s Western plus a bonus disc with episodes of other Westerns. And new from the Warner Archives, manufacture-on-demand DVDs sold online at, there's "The Hunchback," a 1997 TV-movie based on Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," with Mandy Patinkin as the title character and Salma Hayek as the enchanting Esmerelda.

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