By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Dec 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM

It's been a Channel 12 tradition for years, replacing an hour of December prime time with a locally produced Christmas special.

And this year's edition of "Season to Celebrate" airs tonight at 8, replacing a rerun of "No Ordinary Family."

It's a well-produced collection of holiday music, feature stories and Channel 12's news, sports and weather folks all showing a little more relaxed side. This year's headliner is Milwaukee's "American Idol" finalist, Danny Gokey, who sits down for an interview and performs his holiday single, "Tennessee Christmas."

"Season to Celebrate" is a pleasant hour of television, and is one more example that local TV stations can do more than produce newscasts.

As the TV world changes, local television has to offer something to attract local advertisers in hopes of attracting local viewers. Productions of this quality will be needed to keep those viewers watching.

Speaking of local Christmas shows: Milwaukee Public TV will air the Wisconsin Luther College Choir's Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 9 p.m. Dec. 24 on Channel 10, and at 9 p.m. Dec. 23 on Channel 36.

MPTV's annual "Letters to Santa" program airs next week, Monday through Friday, in the 5:30 p.m. slot on Channel 10.

The nominees are: The nominees for the 2011 Golden Globes were announced this morning. Here are the top categories:

  • Best movie, drama: "The Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The King's Speech," "The Social Network."
  • Best movie, comedy or musical: "Alice in Wonderland," "Burlesque," "The Kids Are All Right," "Red," "The Tourist."
  • Best TV Series, comedy: "30 Rock," "The Big Bang Theory," "The Big C," "Glee," "Modern Family," "Nurse Jackie."
  • Best television series, drama: "Boardwalk Empire," "Dexter," "The Good Wife," "Mad Men," "The Walking Dead."

The annual awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be handed out Jan. 16. You can find a complete list of nominees at the HFPA website.

On TV: Channel 12 and DirecTV are the focus of the latest retransmission dispute. The deal between Channel 12's parent corporation, Hearst Television, and the satellite TV company expires Dec. 31. There's no indication that this dispute won't be settled before it affects anybody's viewing.

  • The CW Network released its mid-season schedule this week. The key points: The two-hour "Life Unexpected" season finale (probably series finale) airs Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. on Channel 18, "Hellcats" moves to the 8 p.m. Tuesday slot starting Jan. 25, "America's Next Top Model" returns Feb. 23, followed at 8 by the new "reality" show, "Shedding for the Wedding"
  • NBC has plans for a new show to take on what could be a fading "American Idol," from "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett. "The Voice of America" will premiere this spring, to get the jump on the fall launch of Simon Cowell's "X Factor." It's based on the Dutch show, "The Voice of Holland."
  • That new syndicated Anderson Cooper talk show I told you about yesterday now has a name. It'll be called "Anderson."
  • If you like this sort of thing, Time Magazine's Person of the Year will be unveiled in the first hour of NBC's "Today Show" Wednesday morning on Channel 4.
  • The New York Times' Bill Carter says Jimmy Kimmel has extended the run of his ABC late-night show by at least two more years.

Neither Bing nor Bowie: One of the oddest classic moments of Christmas TV is the famous pairing of Bing Crosby with David Bowie singing a version of "Little Drummer Boy."

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have offered their own version on

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.