Midtown Manhattan is full of Swiss-banker types this week, as both Union Bank of Switzerland Warburg and Credit Suisse First Boston kick off their annual media conferences. (Just what New York needs this time of year: more tourists!) UBS’ Global Media Conference goes down at the Grand Hyatt, and Day one features CBS Executive VP David Poltrack and Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, with a keynote address from ESPN heavy George Bodenheimer. CSFB’s Global Media Week happens at the Crowne Plaza Times Square, where Viacom Executive VP/CFO Mike Dolan, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia chief Susan Lyne, and assorted titans of television take to the stage. Over at Manhattan’s Harmonie Club, the John A. Reisenbach Foundation’s Gala Tribute for a Better and Safer New York honors Magna Global’s Bill Cella and MTV Networks’ Judy McGrath.
Feliz Navidad, Charlie Brown? Que paso? A Charlie Brown Christmas officially kicks off the holiday season (8 p.m. ET) on ABC, but this year, the chestnut gets some Latin flavor. Charlie Brown will air with Spanish audio via SAP (Quick: How do you say “good grief” in Spanish?). The show, celebrating its 40th year, will also include a series of Yuletide-themed vignettes. On Fox, it’s the 2005 Billboard Music Awards (8 p.m. ET), live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Special hardware goes to Tom Petty, who gets the Century Award (he doesn’t look a day over 90!) and Kanye West. There are performances by the likes of Green Day, R. Kelly and Toby Keith, and special appearances by 50 Cent, Bo Bice, Linkin Park and Carmen Electra—who reportedly is asking for yet another 15 minutes of fame for Christmas this year.
A white Christmas would be nice, but failing that, a White House Christmas will do. The White House Christmas 2005 (9 p.m. ET) airs on HGTV on Wednesday. Laura Bush takes viewers through the hallowed halls of the presidential palace as she defends her design decisions. Meanwhile, high above the tree in Rockefeller Center, NBC nabobs Bob Wright, Jeff Zucker and the rest of the gang will raise a glass to … well, a better 2006. It’s the NBC-Universal holiday cocktail reception, on the 52nd floor of 30 Rock. Chances of seeing Al Roker in a Santa suit: excellent.
CBS’ holiday press party is always top shelf. The invitation trumpets the “newly festooned” 35th floor of Black Rock and “nostalgic canapés”—press czar Gil Schwartz-speak for pigs in a blanket. Then it’s a quick skip down the Avenue of the Americas for the Hallmark Channel’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show. Around this time of year, when you’re on a first-name basis with the barkeeps at the network holiday parties, your liver might be wishing to go on early hiatus. So maybe it was a Freudian slip when the invite mentioned “a special cocktail reception and liver (sic) performance” at Radio City. Let’s hope the ol’ liver’s got one good show left.
After a fistful of Advils, it’s time for the Senate Commerce Committee hearing to confirm nominee Deborah Tate, where the pols are sure to offer the Republican more holiday cheer than a Hallmark Christmas movie. Then it’s the premiere of Dear Santa on Fox (8 p.m. ET), an hour-long unscripted special showcasing the most compelling letters to Santa to hit the North Pole this year. Fox’s partner on the program is the U.S. Postal Service—so don’t be shocked if Santa debuts a few days Christmas.
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