Where to be & what to watch…


Monday, Dec. 15

Broadcasters in Buffalo, N.Y., are turning off analog signals for two minutes to test their readiness for the digital switchover. If Bills-country denizens see fuzz on the screen at 6:28 p.m., they have work to do before Feb. 17. On cable, Sandra Lee hosts the special Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Holiday on Food Network at 8 p.m. ET. She makes Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms and Cranberry Glazed Turkey, but we’re most curious about her secret recipe for the MistletoeMojito.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Today is the submission deadline for the Advertising Research Foundation’s (just call it ARF!) annual David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research. “Behind every great advertising campaign, there stands a great research story,” says ARF. There are two new categories: Multicultural and International. And just as the 2008 football campaign turns to those all-important post-season games, HBO offers Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football at 10. The jock doc looks at football at historically black colleges, and the slow integration of black players into traditionally white schools. Former USC star running back Sam “Bam” Cunningham and famed Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant play starring roles.

Wednesday, Dec. 17

It’s all about the White House today. First, Dr. Phil McGraw and wife Robin host Christmas in Washington on TNT at 8, with musical accompaniment from Darius “Don’t Call Me Hootie” Rucker and Casting “Don’t Call Us Counting Crows” Crowns. Then, C-SPAN continues its week-long White House series with The White House Gardens and Grounds at 9, offering “a look at the beauty and history of the 18 acres inside the President’s Park.” If that doesn’t satisfy your need to peek through the presidential bushes (or is it Bushes?), HGTV has White House Christmas 2008 at 9, with “an exclusive [Editor’s Note: exclusive except for, ya know, C-Span] backstage pass to the most famous home in the country.”

Thursday, Dec. 18

UPDATED: Now that the FCC has cancelled its meeting—in which commissioners planned to chat about, among other things, creating a new translator service to fill in gaps in digital TV service; proposing millions of dollars in fines for cable operators and others who didn’t stuff their bill envelopes with information about the digital transition; and enacting rules to make it easier to file program-access complaints—today is all about celebrating the finest thesps around the world as the Screen Actors Guild makes its Nominations Announcement at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Friday, Dec. 19

With Christmas less than a week away, Martha Stewart is cranking out the holiday tchotchkes like an elf on Dexedrine. The domestic diva gets help from Keri Russell, star of Felicity and the stuff she did after that, on The Martha Stewart Show. On a far less festive note, The Weather Channel has been counting down the Top 10 storm stories of the year on Abrams & Bettes for the past two weeks. The countdown culminates at 7 p.m. with 2008’s nastiest weather event—because nothing says “holiday cheer” like floods, blizzards and grand-scale human suffering. Happy holidays…where the heck is my Mistletoe Mojito?