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Live! with Regis & KellyIt’s the start of Thanksgiving week! Before you start thinking about turkey and holiday shopping, here are a few TV news items to start your day.

We have news briefs about the “next generation” of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, information on Chuck’s last installment, a studio giving the co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show the brush off, Alvin and the Chipmunks head to court, and Regis Philbin’s big goodbye. Plus, some notable dates in TV history.

Live! with Regis & Kelly
The national numbers won’t come in until tomorrow but it looks like Regis Philbin’s sendoff registered huge ratings. Based early data from New York City and Philadelphia, nearly a third of TV viewers watched Philbin say goodbye to the show. He’d been part of the program since its inception more that 20 years ago. Disney CEO Bob Iger says that the company is in no rush to choose a replacement and will take their time to make sure they get the right person.

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Bagdasarian Productions, the owners of the venerable high-pitched characters, are suing Capitol Records for four years of royalties according to TMZ. In the lawsuit, Bagdasarian says they conducted an audit of 2005-09 royalty payments and believe that they’ve been underpaid. They’re supposed to be paid about $.09 for each song that’s reproduced or distributed or about $.02 per minute of playing time. Bagdasarian is demanding a full accounting and damages for the breach of contract.

James L. Brooks
After more than 20 years together, Sony Pictures has decided not to renew their overall deal with writer/director Brooks and his Gracie Films. Sony declined to comment on the reason but Brooks’ most recent directing project, How Do You Know, was a flop. He will maintain a development fund with the studio however. In addition to his work in feature films (Jerry Maguire, Terms of Endearment), Brooks is the co-creator of classic TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, and Room 222, and currently is one of the executive producers of The Simpsons.

Chuck
The last episode of the NBC series is coming and we have a title, “Chuck vs. the Goodbye.” It was hoped by some that the spy comedy might get extended beyond the fifth season’s 13th episode but it’s not going to happen. Chuck has been ratings-challenged for years and the numbers for its current season have been terrible — even by “Friday nights on NBC” standards. The final two episodes are scheduled for January 27th.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
The 1987-94 spin-off series is heading to Blu-ray. A sampler package will include the “Encounter at Farpoint” pilot and two favorite episodes (“Sins of the Father” and “The Inner Light”). Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level will retail for $21.99 (currently $15.99 on Amazon) and be released on January 31st. A season one set is expected for later in 2012. For the project, CBS is returning to the original film negative footage and recutting the episodes just as they had been. Then, instead of upconverting the visual effects, they are being recompositioned. The new film will be transferred to high definition 1080p and 7.1 DTS Master Audio. The remastered episodes will eventually be used for television and digital platforms.

ON THIS DAY
2009: The last episode of Mitchell Hurwitz’s animated Sit Down, Shut Up aired on FOX. The series was pulled from Sunday nights after four episodes because of low ratings and the remaining nine installments were burned off Saturdays at midnight.

2005: On Las Vegas, casino owner Monica Mancuso (Lara Flynn Boyle) died after being blown off the roof of the Montecito.

2002: Grace Adler (Debra Messing) and Leo Markus (Harry Connick Jr.) were married on Will & Grace. They ultimately divorced but reunited for the finale.

1986: The last episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero aired in syndication. It ran for 95 episodes.

1980: The answer to “Who shot JR?” was revealed on Dallas and 83 million tuned in. After ending season two with the cliffhanger, the producers made viewers wait four episodes into season three to get the answer. SPOILER: It was Kristin (Mary Crosby).

1972: Bea Arthur’s character on Maude made the difficult decision to have an abortion. The episode was written by Soap creator Susan Harris and 30 stations refused to air it.

1948: Lamp Unto My Feet debuted on CBS. The hour-long religious program ran for 31 years on Sunday mornings.

What do you think? Were you hoping that Chuck would get extended? Did you watch Regis say farewell? Will you be buying the Next Generation on Blu-ray?

 

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