Friday, November 26, 2004

Friday Fun Facts

Yes, it still the holiday weekend, but we gotta get the news out.

On The Road Again:

John Ratzenberger is on the road again, visiting companies in communities across America to tell the stories behind some of the country’s best-recognized companies in the second season of the Travel Channel’s John Ratzenberger’s Made In America. Premiering with back-to-back half-hour episodes on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), the second season spotlights distinctly American companies and products, and the unique niche each has found in American culture. With a profound love for the ingenuity that goes into manufacturing, Ratzenberger focuses on each craft and the level of skill, pride and dedication that workers bring to the manufacturing process as they create products that Americans, and often the rest of the world, have come to depend on. Season Two features a range of brands including Yankee Candle, Pyrex, U.S. Steel Corporation, GE Transportation, Weber Grills, American Champion Aircraft, CUTCO, Coca-Cola, Derecktor Shipyards, Hallmark, Whitman’s Chocolates, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Sage Fly Fishing Rods, Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., Kitchen Aid, Kohler, and Hostess. A full list of companies is available at

Auf de Maur: Auf der Maur will play with H.I.M. @ Los Angeles' Avalon Thursday, December 2, 2004, and Wiltern Theatre on Saturday, December 4, 2004. Auf der Maur, fronted by ex-Hole/Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, released their self -titled debut album Auf Der Maur in June. Q magazine called it "The first essential album of 2004." The video for lead single "Followed the Waves" can be seen here:

Auf Der Maur Auf Der Maur
w/ H.I.M. & Monster Magnet w/ H.I.M. & Monster Magnet
Thursday, December, 2004 Saturday, December, 2004
Avalon Wiltern Theatre
1735 North Vine Street 3790 Wilshire Blvd.
323.467.4572 213.388.1400
Doors: 7pm/Event: 8pm Doors: 7pm/Event: 8pm
Price: $25.00 adv/dos Price: $23.00 adv/dos

Pornucopia: A Real Sex Xtra: Pornucopia: Going Down In The Valley. December Episodes
Episode #4: "The Business of Kink"
Debut date: Friday, December 3, 2004 11 p.m.
Segments include: Vanity, a curvaceous she-male whose 5000 fan-club members are mostly straight men; "Fatter, Balder, Uglier," a fringe-market video best-seller and winner of the Adult Film News Award for most outrageous sex scene; Dave Cummings, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and current "oldest man in porn," who makes nearly $150,000 a year producing, directing and starring in "old man, young girl" videos; the appeal of videos highlighting women making their porn debut; and an on-the-set look at bondage-film stars Anastasia and Paige, whose lucrative S&M audience is dominated by upper middle-class males.

Episode #5: "Love and/or Sex"
Debut date: Friday, December 10, 2004 11 p.m.
"Space Nuts" stars Jessica Drake and Evan Stone come clean about their marriage, careers and shared live-in girlfriend; adult-film pioneer and "Nudie Cutie" director Dave Friedman explains how '60s nudist colonies fueled the '70s porn explosion; an "ordinary" married couple becomes the latest stars of the hot porn series "Screw My Wife, Please"; sex-star sweethearts Mia Smiles and Chris Cannon detail the long and winding road that led them from Alaska (as teenaged missionaries-in-training) to the Valley (as porn actors and producers); and director Jonathan Morgan dissects the anatomy of a "stormy" romance between a porn-star princess and her art-director boyfriend.

Episode #6: "Questions, Anyone?"
Debut date: Friday, December 17 2004 11 p.m.
Segments include: Do's and don't's of today's sex stars; pornography and the "little blue pill," a modern-day miracle for male actors, and especially their producers; female veto power over sex partners on film; Hollywood porn parodies, with clips from "classics" like "American Booty," "Pulp Friction," "The Ozporns" and "The Sopornos"; behind-the-scenes at "Misty Beethoven - The Musical," directed by Veronica Hart; starlet Katie Morgan, who answers the burning question "Are blonde porn stars smart?"; and a trip to the "other Hollywood," Las Vegas, for the Adult Video News (AVN) Awards, where "Space Nuts" and its star, Stormy ("Princess Hubba Hubba"), are front-runners for Best Comedy and Starlet of the Year.

BBC America Premieres:

The Kumar’s at No. 42 premieres Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

Murphy’s Law premieres Monday, January 31, 2005 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT as part of BBC AMERICA’s acclaimed Mystery Mondays.

BBC AMERICA Comedy Live Presents Dylan Moran premieres Thursday, January 20 at 10:00 p.m. ET\PT.

Black Books airs Thursdays starting January 20, 2005 at 9:30 p.m. ET/11:30 p.m. PT

Night Detective premieres Monday, January 31, 2005 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Canterbury Tales premieres Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. ET/11:00 p.m. PT. Starring some of the UK’s hottest actors, BBC AMERICA presents a bold, modern retelling of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales set in the 21st century. Love, lust, greed, jealousy – the themes are the same, but BBC AMERICA’s Canterbury Tales are completely contemporary and penned by some of Britain’s best-known writers.

An all-star cast including Julie Walters (Calendar Girls, Billy Elliot), James Nesbitt (Murphy’s Law, Cold Feet, Waking Ned), Bill Nighy (State of Play, The Young Visiters), John Simm (State of Play, Sex Traffic), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Trust, Dirty, Pretty Things) feature in four vividly modern adaptations of Chaucer’s 14th century tales.

Julie Walters plays successful 53-year-old soap star, Beth Craddock in The Wife of Bath. When her fourth husband (Bill Nighy) deserts her, Beth begins a passionate romance with her twenty-something co-star Jerome (Paul Nicholls).

The Sea Captain’s Tale is a hauntingly seductive film noir set in Britain’s Indian community. Om Puri (White Teeth) plays wealthy Asian ‘Godfather’ figure, Jetender. His beautiful but spoiled wife Meena (Indira Varma) struggles to hide her shopping addiction and enormous debt from her husband, and uses any means necessary to keep her secrets.

Two of the UK’s hottest young actors, John Simm and Chiwetel Ejiofor play best friends and prison inmates who fall in love with the same woman (Keeley Hawes, Tipping the Velvet, MI5) in a powerful story of love and jealousy, The Knight’s Tale.

Finally, award-winning actor James Nesbitt plays Nick, a smooth-talking con artist in Chaucer’s bawdiest story, The Miller’s Tale. Nick arrives in a small town where he meets John (Dennis Waterman, New Tricks), owner of a pub and B&B who also runs the village’s karaoke night. Nick sets his sights on John’s much younger and very attractive wife, Alison (Billie Piper, Dr. Who), and uses every trick in the book to seduce her.

January Laughs: Throughout the month of January fans of classic British comedy can enjoy a marathon weekend of their favorite shows. From Fawlty Towers to Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Are You Being Served? to Keeping Up Appearances viewers can feast on six hours of episodes on Saturday and Sunday.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

In the best tradition of British ridiculousness join the masters of lighthearted mayhem as they explode penguins, explore lifeboat cannibalism and interview a filing cabinet. Meet the Piranha Brothers, Scott of the Antarctic, the Man Who is Alternatively Rude and Polite, the Silly Vicar and The Bishop. Pour yourself a cup of Conquistador Coffee and thrill to the Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights, the Exploding Version of the Blue Danube and The Attila The Hun Show. Since they first landed on TV screens of an unsuspecting British audience, the Pythons have been widely credited as one of the most influential comedy teams of their generation. Monty Python’s Flying Circus airs Saturday and Sunday, January 1 and 2 from 12:00 noon6:00p.m. ET/ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. PT.

Fawlty Towers

This enduring comedy, based on a real-life guest house in the English seaside resort of Torquay, is one of the most celebrated TV series of all time, playing to fans in more than 60 countries worldwide. Despite being written 20 years ago, it remains as fresh and funny as ever. So stand by for all your favorite scenes with the irrepressible Basil (John Cleese), his overbearing wife Sybil and of course the hapless Spanish waiter Manuel. Fawlty Towers airs Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9 from 12:00 noon6:00p.m. ET/ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. PT.

Benny Hill

One of the UK’s most popular comedy exports, Benny Hill was loved worldwide for his trademark saucy sketches and penchant for pretty, scantily clad women. He had many classic skits, including his own character creations Fred Drunge and The Halitosis Kid, as well as his pitch-perfect impressions of the rich and famous. Hill’s repertoire also included his send-ups of the entertainment industry with spoof TV game shows and news broadcasts as well as classic examples of his cleverly choreographed sketches. Benny Hill airs Saturday and Sunday, January 15 and 16 from 12:00 noon6:00p.m. ET/ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. PT.

Keeping Up Appearances

When it comes to snobbery, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced 'bouquet') is simply in a class of her own. Obsessed with etiquette and breeding she presides over 'little candlelit dinners', bans the use of the back door and ensures her empty milk bottles sparkle on her doorstep. Down-trodden husband, Richard, has become resigned to his miserable life - but unfortunately her own family let the side down badly. Frightfully common, they are a source of constant shame for super-snob Hyacinth. Keeping Up Appearances airs Saturday and Sunday, January 22 from 12:00 noon6:00p.m. ET/ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. PT.

Are You Being Served?

"Ground floor perfumery, stationery and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, going up!" This long-running and well-loved favorite was penned by the multi-award winning writing team David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd. It is set in an old-fashioned department store where its loyal, but decidedly eccentric staff, serve up schoolboy humor laden with double entendres. Featuring Mr Humphrey's celebrated catchphrase, "I'm free!" along with Mollie Sugden, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richards and John Inman. Are You Being Served? airs Saturday and Sunday, January 29 and 30 from 12:00 noon6:00p.m. ET/ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. PT.

My Family (U.S. premiere)

Created by American sitcom maestro Fred Barron (Seinfeld) and written by a team whose credits include Not The Nine O’Clock News and Three Of A Kind, My Family depicts a bizarre, authentic picture of family life today, where the unexpected is always expected. Parenting is an adventure for Ben (Robert Lindsay) and Susan (Zoë Wanamaker) Harper. Teenage daughter Janey is ‘mature’ beyond her years with a passion for shopping and dating. Terminally laid back son Nick lives in a sphere far removed from reality, and spends his days inventing ridiculous get-rich-quick schemes. And youngest son Michael is a bit of a computer nerd and social outcast, but compared to his older siblings and parents, he seems like the normal one.

In an all-new season, daughter Janey is heading off to college. While Ben is rejoicing, Susan is not at all happy about her leaving - or about being the only female in the house. Ben’s hopes of turning Janey’s bedroom into his own quiet retreat are quickly dashed when Susan invites cousin Abi to live with them. Meanwhile Nick is still looking for a way to become rich with little or no effort, and one of his ideas lands Ben with a criminal record. My Family premieres Wednesday, January 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

At Home With The Braithwaites (U.S. premiere)

Take one average dysfunctional family, add $60 million in lottery winnings…and it’s a recipe for disaster. In an all-new season of At Home With The Braithwaites, catch up with the family whose lives were turned upside down when housewife and mother of three, Alison, hit the jackpot and said nothing. As season three opens Alison is on a high, having been awarded a Dame of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace for her charity work. But newly crowned Dame Alison is less than thrilled when she discovers that she is pregnant. David is delighted but isn't aware that that the baby is his brother Graham's. Meanwhile Megan’s attempts at setting up a decoy agency aren’t going too well until she is reunited with Virginia and recruits bored single mum Sarah. On top of this, the family receives a devastating blow that places their fortune in jeopardy. As the new season unfolds it soon becomes clear that there isn’t a ‘happily ever after’ on the horizon after all as the family once again begin to encounter personal dilemmas and traumatic twists and turns in their relationships. At Home With The Braithwaites premieres Saturday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Seymour Glass: "A band, not a person, the majestic, multi-faceted quartet Seymour Glass purveys progressive pop with sonic overtures, growling bass driven grooves, simultaneous electronic and acoustic drum patterns, multi-faceted keyboard harmonies and blistering guitar textures without making it sound all that complicated. 'Trigger Finger' skillfully plays funk rhythms against classical piano motifs. The title track, steeped in neo-psychedelic harmony, sits comfortably atop sequenced hip-hop beats as if the two disparate genre-defining elements were meant for each other…the ballad 'Everytime' replete with ocean waves samples, Slash-like guitar melodies, weeping violins and breathy vocals is the stuff of pure rock 'n' roll bombast. Coldplay comparisons abound in 'Chemicals,' by way of a strong melodic chorus worthy of a few thousand cigarette lighters. Will there be an arena big enough to hold Seymour Glass?"
--Tom Semioli, Amplifier,

November/December 2004 is the band's website, which includes sound clips. The band will be performing in New York City on Saturday, December 4, 2004 at Lit (93 Second Ave., NYC 10003).

Vacation All I Ever Wanted: Phil Vassar Teams With Hecht's Department Store For Ultimate Party Trip Contest ASCAP Celebrates "In A Real Love" Two Weeks Consecutive At #1 People Magazine and Music Row Magazine Praise Latest Album Singer-songwriter Phil Vassar pairs with Hecht's and Strawbridge's Department Stores with an enter-to-win contest in November. For 10 days at all stores of the chain in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Delaware, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, customers were able to enter to "Win A Trip to Las Vegas With Phil Vassar." The winner will be announced later this week and will win travel and hotel to Las Vegas as well as two tickets and passes to meet Phil at his December 10, 2004 "Shaken Not Stirred" Concert at the Las Vegas Hilton. The concert is one of a string of dates for Phil in Sin City.

Score!: Universal Studios Home Entertainment announces Wimbledon Kirsten Dunst & Paul Bettany Star in This Summer's Winning Love Match From the Makers of Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill in stores December 28, 2004

"One Of The Year's Best Romantic Comedies" - Melanie Moon, WB-TV

"Genuinely Funny!" − Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

From the makers of Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill comes Wimbledon, the charming romantic comedy starring Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man 2, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Paul Bettany (Master and Commander, Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park III) and Jon Favreau (Something's Gotta Give, Elf). Wimbledon is "a sexy love match," according to US Weekly. The DVD is $29.98 SRP; VHS is $23.98. Pre-order close date is November 23, 2004 for DVD and VHS.

Bonus Features
The Wimbledon DVD serves up extras including:

· "A Look Inside" - Interviews with the cast, director and legendary tennis figures to take a look behind the scenes

· "Welcome to the Club" - Featurette on how the filmmakers persuaded the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club to let them film there and why the championship is so special

· "Ball Control" - How the filmmakers approached the challenges of making a film about tennis including the serving rocket, CGI of balls and roofing the Centre Court for the first time

· "Coach a Rising Star" - A look at how the stars were coached by Pat Cash and the training regimes that they underwent

· Feature Commentary − With actor Paul Bettany and director Richard Loncraine

The Tennis Channel is partnering with Universal in the Wimbledon DVD release promotion. The network will rebroadcast its special "Making of Wimbledon" documentary two weeks before and two weeks after the DVD's release, during which on-air promos will tout the DVD's availability in retail outlets nationwide. Each Wimbledon DVD will have a sticker promoting The Tennis Channel, to drive traffic to the network's "Making of Wimbledon," and the channel is also encouraging its audiences to visit, where the DVD will be supported with additional promotion and a "buy now" link to an online distribution partner. The Tennis Channel's viewers and Web site visitors also have the chance to win a trip for two to England, as part of a network sweepstakes where the winners stay at Wimbledon's Dorchester Hotel and visit the famed Wimbledon Lawn and Tennis Museum, the actual grounds where the tournament takes place. The sweepstakes is in conjunction with

Universal is also partnering with Prince to promote the Wimbledon DVD release in connection with its own advertising campaigns aimed at Prince tennis products and a sticker on the DVD. By November 2004, 5,000 units of promotional stickering of Prince products will feature "Wimbledon" key DVD messaging. In addition, the DVD will be promoted in conjunction with Prince ads in Tennis Life magazine, Inside Tennis magazine and Net News magazine, generating over 1,900,000 impressions. Prince consumers and dealers will receive email blasts promoting "Wimbledon" and banner ads will appear on Web sites including,, and


Pro tennis "hot shot" Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) is a rising star who lives to win. But when she falls for a long-shot contender Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) amid the glitz and glamour of Wimbledon, Lizzie discovers it's not if you win or lose, but how you play the game...of love. A deliciously witty romantic comedy about chasing your dreams and risking your heart, Wimbledon is a fun and charming story of love across the net.

For more information please visit:

Director: Richard Loncraine
Screenwriter: Adam Brooks, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Producers: Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner, Mary Richards
Executive Producers: Tim Bevan, Debra Hayward, David Livingston
Director of Photography: Darius Khondji
Production Designer: Brian Morris
Editor: Humphrey Dixon
Costume Designer: Louise Stjernsward
Music: Edward Shearmur
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Sam Neill, Kyle Hyde, Robert Lindsay,

Street Date: December 28, 2004
Pre-Order Date: November 23, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Price: $29.98SRP
Selection Numbers: 25837 (Widescreen); 25838 (Full Frame)
Running Time 1 Hour and 38 Minutes
Layers: Dual
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen); 1.33:1 (Full Frame)
Rating: PG-13 (for language, sexuality and partial nudity)
Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround/Caption; English Dolby Digital Surround DTS 5.1/Caption; French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround/Subtitles

Date: December 28, 2004
Pre-Order Date: November 23, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Price: $23.98SRP
Selection Numbers: 62832 (Full Frame)
Running Time: 1 Hour and 38 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for language, sexuality and partial nudity)
Technical Info: Hi-Fi Stereo Surround

Star Jones Selects Swarovski For Her Wedding: The View’s Star Jones chose Swarovski to adorn her wedding shoes. Her Payless white satin pumps were customized with a Swarovski crystal star ornament as well as crystals covering the entire heel. Only the best was suitable for Star - the newest generation of Swarovski crystals, XILION Crystals, were used so that she was pure glamour from head to toe. These crystals have a unique cut that have been scientifically proven to attract more light refraction than ever before and results in unmistakable brilliance.

PBS Sked:

THE CONGREGATION Wednesday, December 29, 9:30-11:30 p.m. ET Capturing a critical moment in the life of a 200-year-old Methodist church with a rich history of social activism, Academy Award-winners Alan and Susan Raymond profile a dramatic year in the life of a congregation in the midst of profound change: a newly appointed traditionalist minister replaces a progressive pastor who had served the church for 38 years. Conflict between the increasingly conservative United Methodist church and this outspoken liberal congregation mounts as the parishioners attempt to meet the challenges of a divided and dwindling membership and a subsequent financial shortfall. During the filming another ordeal emerges — the associate pastor announces to the congregation that she is a practicing homosexual and risks losing her ministerial credentials. With full support from the congregation, she chooses to challenge church law and face an impending trial.

GREAT PERFORMANCES “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2005” Saturday, January 1, 2:30-4:00 p.m.; Rpts. 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its time-honored holiday tradition with its 21st annual New Year’s Day visit to Vienna with host Walter Cronkite. This year, Lorin Maazel returns as guest conductor to lead the renowned Vienna Philharmonic in a program of delightful Strauss Family waltzes from the majestic Musikverein; international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov joins the Vienna State Opera Ballet as soloist and choreographer in performances from two of Vienna’s architectural splendors, the Belvedere and Coburg palaces. In a special addition to this year’s program, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents Vienna’s delectable treats and idyllic retreats: the creation of Viennese apfelstrudel from apple blossom to serving table, and a tour of the city’s famous woodland, set to Johann Strauss II’s “Tales From the Vienna Woods.”

December 27, 2004 at 10:30-11:00 PM RACHEL AND ANDREW JACKSON, A LOVE STORY (R) (OB: 1/13/03) -- America has embraced the legend of Andrew Jackson, who inspired the term “self-made man,” but very little is known about his wife, Rachel. For the first time, using letters, documents and historians’ expertise, the story of their love and loss is told from Rachel’s less heard and often misunderstood point of view. Excerpts from letters and quotes are read by former Senator Fred Thompson as Andrew and country music legend Loretta Lynn as Rachel. Kathy Mattea narrates. NASHVILLE PUBLIC TELEVISION

December 28, 2004 at 10:00-11:00 PM NEW-INDEPENDENT LENS -- This anthology series showcases documentaries, and a small number of dramas, united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Encompassing the full spectrum of film — from history to drama to animation to shorts to social-issue films — INDEPENDENT LENS allows audiences greater access to powerful and innovative programs. Susan Sarandon hosts. INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE (ITVS)
“Short, Not Sweet” (w.t.) -- INDEPENDENT LENS offers a night of six short films, including “Fine Line Between Cute and Creepy” by Rob Slane; “La Puppe” by Timothy Greenberg; “A Monster’s Calling” by Michael Fukushima, Louise Johnson and David Verrall; “The School” by Ezra Krybus; and “Why the Anderson Children Didn’t Come to Dinner” by Jamie Travis. /TV-PG/

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2004 8:00-9:30 PM NEW- LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER -- The series makes the world’s greatest artists accessible to home viewers in virtually every corner of the United States. It remains the only series of regularly scheduled live broadcast performances on American television today. Beverly Sills hosts. LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, INC. “Galway at the Penthouse” -- Beloved flutist Sir James Galway, accompanied by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, selects short pieces important to him for this performance in Lincoln Center’s intimate Kaplan Penthouse. /TV-G/

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2004 8:00-9:00PM NEW- THE NEW THIS OLD HOUSE HOUR -- America’s favorite home improvement series, the Emmy Award-winning THIS OLD HOUSE, now in its 24th season, airs in the first half hour of THE NEW THIS OLD HOUSE HOUR. In the second half-hour, ASK THIS OLD HOUSE, host Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and landscape contractor Roger Cook address specific, viewer-driven home maintenance and repair questions in a dynamic, interactive Q&A format with in-studio demonstrations, new product reviews and “house call” visits. WGBH BOSTON

12/31/04: 9:00-11:30 PM: NEW- WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA’S DIE FLEDERMAUS -- Johann Strauss Jr.’s lighthearted story of love in 1890s Vienna combines French farce with Viennese dance music and features some of Strauss’ best melodies, including the Fledermaus waltz. The comedy of errors, sung in English, centers on a gentlewoman, her would-be paramour, her husband, a masquerade ball and hidden identities. The cast includes June Anderson as Rosalinde; Wolfgang Brendel as Rosalinde’s husband, Gabriel von Eisenstein; Hoo-Ryoung Hwang as Rosalinde’s servant Adele; Elena Obraztsova as Prince Orlofsky; Jesús Garcia as Rosalinde’s suitor Alfred; and Peter Edelmann as Eisenstein’s friend Dr. Falke. The ball scene features a cameo appearance by renowned tenor and Washington National Opera General Director Plácido Domingo. Maestro Heinz Fricke conducts the Washington National Opera Orchestra. Stage direction is by Lotfi Mansouri. /TV-G/ WETA WASHINGTON, DC

2:30-4:00 PM; Rpts. 8:00-9:30 PM (check local listings) NEW- GREAT PERFORMANCES -- The longest-running performing arts anthology on television continues to feature the best in music and dance. THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORK
“From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2005” -- GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its time-honored holiday tradition with its 21st annual New Year’s Day visit to Vienna with host Walter Cronkite. This year, Lorin Maazel returns as guest conductor to lead the renowned Vienna Philharmonic in a program of delightful Strauss Family waltzes from the majestic Musikverein; international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov joins the Vienna State Opera Ballet as soloist and choreographer in performances from two of Vienna’s architectural splendors, the Belvedere and Coburg palaces. In a special addition to this year’s program, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents Vienna’s delectable treats and idyllic retreats: the creation of Viennese apfelstrudel from apple blossom to serving table, and a tour of the city’s famous woodland, set to Johann Strauss II’s “Tales From the Vienna Woods.” /TV-G/

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