Popculture Timeline – Week In Review – News, Pop, Tech, Trends December 8, 2011

 

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com and  www.mrpophistory.com

Timeline – News and Pop Culture – Week In History- December 8, 2011

(Headline Video) Two Dead At Virginia Tech – The  police officer who was fatally shot by a gunman on the school’s campus, along with a second person who was found dead, were killed by the same handgun, officials said early today. Virginia State Police said that ballistics tests confirmed and “officially linked the two fatal shootings” that left Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek W. Crouse and a second victim dead Thursday, authorities said in a news release. The shooting came almost five years after the deadly massacre at the Blacksburg, Va., school, when Seung Hui-Cho killed 32 other people before killing himself. Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg, Va., was shot and killed while performing a routine traffic stop when someone walked up to the officer’s car and shot him.

Rescue crews completed the difficult process of recovering bodies Thursday from a remote canyon outside Las Vegas after the crash of a tour helicopter belonging to a company with repeated aviation violations. Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas had at least five accidents and was the subject of 10 federal enforcement actions since 1994. It charted a luxury sunset tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam on Wednesday that killed a 31-year-old pilot and his fourpassengers.

Nobel Peace Prize To Three Women – Three women who fought injustice, dictatorship and sexual violence in Liberia and Yemen accepted the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, calling on repressed women worldwide to rise up against male supremacy. “My sisters, my daughters, my friends — find your voice,” Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said after collecting her Nobel diploma and medal at a ceremony in Oslo. Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president, shared the award with women’s rights campaigner Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a female icon of the protest movement in Yemen.

Iran will not return a U.S. surveillance drone captured by its armed forces, a senior commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard said Sunday.Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran’s airspace by the U.S. drone was a “hostile act” and warned of a “bigger” response. He did not elaborate on what Tehran might do.

President Barack Obama defended his leadership style on Sunday and said he would keep standing up toCongress as another stand-off over taxes and deficits brewed on Capitol Hill. In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama suggested his wife,Michelle, had mixed feelings about their time in the White Housebut said he had no hesitation about seeking re-election next year, saying he wanted to finish the job of putting the U.S. economy on stronger, and fairer, footing.

A decision by retail giant Lowe’s Home Improvement to pull ads from a reality show about American Muslims following protests from an evangelical Christian group has sparked criticism and calls for a boycott against the chain. The retailer stopped advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association complained, saying the program was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule on Arizona’s controversial law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for an election-year decision on an issue that is already shaping presidential politics.

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky abruptly waived his right to a preliminary hearing at which eight young men accusing him of child sex abuse when they were boys were set to testify against him. Shortly after arriving at a packed Centre County courthouse at 8 a.m., Sandusky and his attorney,Joe Amendola, joined two prosecutors and a court reporter in the judge’s chambers of the courtroom. A second attorney, Karl Rominger, arrived at court with Sandusky and Amendola and went with them into chambers.

A man armed with hand grenades and guns opened fire in the crowded center of a Belgian city on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding 64, an official said. It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack in Liegecity, but Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens said it did not involve terrorism. He said the assailant died, but did not say how that had happened. The daily La Meuse newspaper said the unidentified attacker killed himself.

A U.S. Congressional panel has frozen $700 million in aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of homemade bombs in the region, a move one Pakistani senator called unwise and likely to strain ties further. Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid and the cutback announced is only a small proportion of the billions in civil and military assistance it gets each year.

A Montana man convicted of running an investment scam on the Internet was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $13.2 million in restitution to more than 1,400 investors. U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno told Rick Young, 52, of Lewistown, that the fraud carried out by his Nevada-based Global One Group from 2006 to 2007 was “incredibly repulsive.” Many of the victims, the judge said, were vulnerable, “middle-class working people taking money out of accounts, trading out of their 401(k) plans, their pension plans, even off of their credit cards.” “Frankly, it was nothing more than a type of Ponzi scheme, but it was incredibly sophisticated,” he said.

Tim Magazine names its person of the year, “The Protester.”

Unfavorable views of Barack Obama inched to their highest level of his presidency in the latest  ABC News/Washington Post poll,  but he’s still more popular than his front-running potential Republican challenger, Newt Gingrich. And then there are views of the economy, which make both look almost good by comparison. Forty-nine percent of Americans now express an unfavorable opinion of Obama, while 48 percent view him favorably – the first time his negative number has exceeded his positive one in this most basic measure of personal popularity. Obama’s favorable rating has plummeted by 31 points from his career high, 79 percent, days before he took office.

President Barack Obama saluted troops returning from Iraq Wednesday, declaring that the nearly nine-year conflict is ending honorably, “not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.”   Marking the conclusion of the war at this military base that’s seen more than 200 deaths over nearly nine years of fighting in Iraq, Obama never tried to declare victory. It was a war that he opposed from the start, inherited as president and is now bringing to a close, leaving behind an Iraq that is still struggling.

Sports –

Albert Pujols – the heart and hammer of theSt Louis Cardinals for more than a decade, will leave St. Louis and sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Latecomers to the Pujols derby, the Angels will pay Pujols $250 million to $260 million over 10 years, a devastating turn for the Cardinals and a departure from past organizational philosophies for Arte Moreno’s Angels.

Technology –

(Quick Response) QR Codes – Really? Most Don’t Know What It Is. The whole point of a QR code is that it’s supposed to make it easier for people to use their phones to connect with information about things that they encounter in their environment. That’s where mobile typing gets in the way. Most smartphones and even many feature phones have good enough web browsers and data connections to display a simple mobile-friendly web page, but trying to correctly type a URL on even the best smartphone is a pretty tedious and error-prone activity. QR codes eliminate the need for typing a URL on your phone, but you need to have a barcode scanner app installed. And then you must take a moment to find and launch that app before you point your phone’s camera at a QR code.

 

Microsoft released an Xbox Live app for iOS devices on Wednesday, bringing features of Microsoft’s gaming service to Apple devices for the first time. My Xbox Live lets users edit their 3-D avatars, chat with Xbox Live friends and revel in their achievements. You can also check out more information about the newest apps and games on Xbox, as well as gaming tips and breaking news.

AT&T remains the worst carrier in the United States, according to an annual customer satisfaction survey compiled byConsumer Reports and released on Tuesday.The mobile provider ranked dead last for the second year in a row, and its rating fell from 2010.. Actually, customer satisfaction with all four national carriers fell this year, with third-ranked T-Mobile sliding by the largest margin. Still, T-Mobile ranked well ahead of AT&T, according to Consumer Reports’ survey.

Facebook officially took the “beta” label off its much-publicized Timeline Tuesday evening, but it’s rolling out the new feature gradually. New Zealand is currently the only country to get Timeline, the company said in a blog post. Other regions will get it in the “near future.” Facebook first unveiled Timeline in early September, and quickly provided the means for developers and curious users to enable the feature. A more general release was planned for later that month, but it never came, ostensibly to address technical issues and privacy concerns having to do with the software. Timeline, you may recall, is a way to illustrate your entire life — not just the part you’ve been living on Facebook since you joined — in a graphical way.

Google made its first foray into the growing field of social facial recognition technologies on Thursday, introducing , a tagging suggestion tool for its Google+ social network. unlike Facebook, Google  prompts users to opt into the service before it starts automatically suggesting to their friends that they be tagged in photos. Only after a Google+ user opts into Find My Face will Google construct a face model of that person, using his or her profile photo and existing manually tagged photos on the site.

Google also requires the subject of a suggested tag to approve it before it goes public if the tagger isn’t in the tagee’s “circles.” Facebook allows all tags to go live before notifying the subject. “Privacy has been baked right into this feature,” said Benjamin Petrosky, product counsel for Google+, at a facial recognition policy summit held by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington on Thursday.

Jawbone Wristband Device Not Peforming Well – When the wristband works properly, it records all your daytime footsteps, and later provides a visual report of your walking, running or hiking activity via a nifty iOS app interface. You can also set the band to give you “Activity Reminders” — gentle vibrations on your wrist that compel you to get out of your seat and take a few steps. Three review units have failed during , numerous complaints of “bricked” units riddle Jawbone’s user forums, and the clever health and fitness product currently receives just two out of five stars on Amazon.com reviews — 41 different user reviews were complaining of 23 bricked devices as of press time.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announces his new space project. Stratolaunch Systems will reunite Allen and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan as they work to develop a new mobile launch system. The duo previously collaborated on SpaceShipOne, in 2004.

Radio News –

The just-released Arbitron report – the radio ratings company, indicates that Ruch and Hannity are down almost 1/3 their audiences. With a lull in ratings since November, Rush Limbaugh had a 3.0 share of listeners for his radio time slot, which is a 33% slide from October and from last April. Sean Hannity’s national talkshow was reported to be down 28% from its peak numbers in the fall.

 

Entertainment –

Jodie Foster’s estranged father faces more than 25 years behind bars after being convicted of bilking more than $100,000 from the poor and elderly in a home-building scheme. City News Service reports that Lucius Foster was convicted of 21 misdemeanor counts of grand theft after a jury deliberated for about three hours on Wednesday. A Los Angeles judge is scheduled to sentence the 89-year-old on Thursday afternoon.

The  are in from Men’s Health! Readers of the magazine awarded  with the honorable title of “Hottest Woman of All Time.” Not just 2011. She is the hottest woman ever. And that’s a bit of a surprise, considering Aniston was only  on the list for the year 2011.

Top albums this week:

Christmas – Michael Buble

Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber

Take Care – Drake

Here and Now  – Nickelback

Talk That Talk – Rihanna

My Life II – Mary J. Bloge

Concerto: One Night In Centroal Park – Andrea Bocelli

Own the Night – Lady Antebellum

Clear as Day – Scotty McCreery

Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay

Glee: The Christmas Album

Break The Spell – Daughtery

My Christmas – Andrea Bocelli

Someone To Watch Over Me – Susan Boyle

Heavenly Christmas – Jack Evancho

Speak Now: World Tour Live – Taylor Swift

Christmas Symphony – Mannheim Stemroller

Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn

Ceremonials – Florence + The Machine

Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll – Bob Segar &The Silver Bullet Band

Inevitable – Trey Songz

Duets II – Tony Bennett

 

At the movies –

New Year’s Eve (1st week $13.7 million)

The Sitter (1st week $10 million)

Twilight Saga: Breaking Down Part 1

The Muppets

Arthur Christmas

Hugo

The desenceants

Happy Feet Two

Jack and Jill

Immortals

Tower Heist

Puss in Boots

 

Top TV –

1. The OT FOX
2. NFL Football: Detroit at New Orleans NBC
3. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
4. NCIS CBS
5. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer CBS
6. 60 Minutes CBS
7. Football Night in America NBC
8. Blue Bloods CBS
9. Survivor: South Pacific CBS
10. The X-Factor” (Wednesday) FOX
11. The Big Bang Theory CBS
12. CSI: Miami CBS
13. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show CBS
14. The X-Factor” (Thursday) FOX
15. Last Man Standing ABC
16. The Good Wife CBS
17. Law & Order: SVU NBC
18. Harry’s Law NBC
19. CSI: NY CBS
20. Two and a Half Men CBS

 

 

 

Timeline Pop Culture – Week In News Tech And Pop – December 1, 2011

Week In Review – News, Pop Culture Tech & More. December 1, 2011

Compiled By Gary West @ & Mr Pop Culture

Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a 70-year-old American aid worker in Pakistan in August, and issued a series of demands for his release. In a video message posted on militant websites, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri said Warren Weinstein would be released if the United States stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world. “Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who is neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the 1970s,” al-Zawahri said, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.

Ignoring a presidential veto threat, the Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a massive, $662 billion defense bill that would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even those captured on U.S. soil, and detain some indefinitely. The vote was 93-7 for the bill authorizing money for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Reflecting a period of austerity and a winding down of decade-old conflicts, the bill is $27 billion less than what President Barack Obama requested and $43 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon this year.

The Senate on Thursday sidetracked rival plans to extend a Social Security payroll tax cut, in dueling votes that pave the way for negotiations on a compromise on a core component of President Barack Obama’s jobs program. First, Republicans defeated Obama’s plan to extend the payroll taxcut through the end of next year while also making it more generous for workers.

Camp Victory Handed Back To Iraq – On Friday, the base that at its height was home to 46,000 people was handed over to the Iraqi government as part of American efforts to move all U.S. troops out of the country by the end of the year. “The base is no longer under U.S. control and is under the full authority of the government of Iraq,” said U.S. military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson.

Several overturned semis on a Utah highway. Hundreds of thousands without power in California. A wind gust reaching 123-mph in Colorado. The powerful winds that tore across Western states Thursday created a path destruction that closed schools, left neighborhoods with a snarl of downed trees and power lines, and prompted some communities to declare emergencies. The system brought high wind warnings and advisories for California, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico. The blustery weather is expected to eventually hit Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana.

A roadside bombing killed three NATO service members Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said. The coalition recently shifted its focus from southern Afghanistan to the east, where militants are fighting Afghan and coalition troops along the long, porous border with Pakistan. The exact location of the bombing was not disclosed, nor were the nationalities of the dead. So far this year, 519 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan, including at least 389 Americans.

A surveillance drone flying over western Afghanistan had gone out of control late last week and may be the one Iran said it had shot down over its own airspace, theInternational Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Sunday. “The UAV to which the Iranians are referring may be a U.S. unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week. The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status,” an ISAF statement said.

Facing bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day. The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail on Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the cash-strapped Postal Service to quickly trim costs, seeing no immediate help from Congress.

(Video) 

Americans spent a total of nearly $6 billion in online purchases during ‘Cyber Week’ 2011, according to a report from market research firm comScore. This includes three days — Nov. 28 (a.k.a. ‘Cyber Monday’), Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 — that saw more than $1 billion in sales each. These numbers make this year’s Cyber Week the most spending-heavy period for e-commerce ever. By comScore’s count, Cyber Monday sales reached $1.25 billion. Tuesday saw sales of $1.12 billion, and Wednesday sales reached $1.03 billion. For the 32 days from Nov. 1 through December 2, online spending was up 15 percent from the previous year, to reach a whopping $18.7 billion spent this holiday season. But it remains

A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers who packed a Kabul mosque Tuesday to mark a holy day, killing at least 56 people, and a second bombing in another city killed four more Shiites. They were the first major sectarian assaults since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago.

Chinese police have busted two huge child trafficking rings that spanned 10 provinces, arresting more than 600 suspects and rescuing 178 children, the government said Wednesday. Child abductions and trafficking are rife in China, despite repeated police crackdowns — a problem that many experts blame on the nation’s strict “one-child” policy and lax regulations on adoption.

Former Penn State assistant football coach (Vide0)  was arrested at home today by Pennsylvania state police in the wake of new sexual assault charges filed by a grand jury against him. Sandusky was handcuffed and taken out of his home by state police and brought to an arraignment before a judge in Centre County, Pa., for the new charges, which include assaulting two boys involved in his Second Mile charity. The men came forward in the wake of the earlier allegations against Sandusky, including 40 counts of child molestation, for which he was charged on Nov. 5.

A federal judge today sentenced impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to 14 years in prison, giving little weight toBlagojevich’s first-ever apology this morning since his arrest three years ago. “The jury didn’t believe you and neither did I,” U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said. Blagojevich was convicted on 18 corruption charges, including the scheme to peddle the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama. Blagojevich started the day telling the court that he was “unbelievably sorry” for his “terrible mistakes,” his last chance to convince the federal judge that he deserved some mercy when he was sentenced on corruption charges.

Russian authorities should annul the results of the parliamentary vote and hold a new one, former Soviet leaderMikhail Gorbachev urged Wednesday as popular indignation grew over widespread allegations of election fraud. United Russia won less than 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, a steep fall from the 64 percent it won four years ago. But opposition parties and independent observers say even that result was inflated by vote-rigging, including alleged ballot-box stuffing and false voter rolls. Gorbachev told the Interfax news agency that authorities must hold a fresh election or deal with a rising tide of discontent.

Business –
If you used Ticketmaster’s website to buy tickets between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011, you’re in for a windfall. Well, a $1.50 per ticket order windfall. Because of a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit $1.50 per ticket order (up to 17 orders) to customers due to the fact that they profited off of “processing fees” without declaring as much. And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they’re doing so on their website. According to court documents, the original claim, filed October 21, 2003, also implicates UPS’ delivery price for expedited delivery of tickets as deceptive. Those part of the UPS subclass of the suit are entitled to an additional $5.00 credit per ticket. Both credits are in the form of vouchers, which can be redeemed a maximum of two at a time.

Sports –
Former NHL forward Matthew Barnaby was fired by ESPN as the cable network’s hockey analyst on Monday, a day after being charged with drunken driving for being found behind the wheel of an SUV that was missing its front tire.

The Washington Redskins lost more than just their eighth game of the season on Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field, an improbably fourth quarterback comeback giving the New York Jets a 34-19 win— they may have lost the biggest part of their offense for the rest of the season. It’s repored that tight end Fred Davis(notes) and left tackles Trent Williams(notes) will be suspended for the rest of the season for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Both players started Sunday’s loss for the 4-8 Redskins.

Packers linebacker Erik Walden(notes) was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct-domestic abuse following a fight with his girlfriend. Walden did not appear for a Brown County Circuit Court hearing and defense attorney Steve Richards entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Walden remains free on bond and is due back in court Dec. 27.

Technology –
Facebook has acquired location sharing service Gowalla for an undisclosed sum, according to a source close to Gowalla. Launched in 2009, Austin-based Gowalla went head-to-head with direct rival Foursquare — and lost. Badly trailing Foursquare in user adoption, Gowalla recently shifted directions, recasting itself as a travel guide. The site had raised around $10 million over the years from backers including the Founders Fund, Greylock Partners and a collection of angel investors.

New YouTube – We already knew about YouTube’s redesign, which tech-savvy readers have been enabling for the past 10 days. As of now, however, the new YouTube is available to everyone. Unlike parent company Google, which tends to roll out redesigns over a period of days, YouTube pressed the button and switched the homepage for every user worldwide at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday. So what’s the change all about? One word: channels. The world’s most popular online video service now sees itself as a descendent of cable TV, with millions of channels rather than hundreds — and it’s doing its darndest to encourage you to use it that way.

App On Smartphone Tracking Every Move – On Monday, researcher and developer Trevor Eckhart posted a 17-minute YouTube video apparently showing how the software — designed as a diagnostic tool to find and help fix mobile network problems — runs on his smartphone and logs every keystroke, every text and the full URL of every website he visits. News of the app’s existence on millions of phones had bounced around on tech blogs for a while. But attention skyrocketed this week when Eckhart posted his video.

Entertainment –
Comedy Central is honoring the late Patrice O’Neal by airing his stand-up special, “Elephant in the Room,” twice on Wednesday night. The comedian, who died on Tuesday from complications from a stroke he suffered on October 19, aired his first, and only, hour-long stand-up special on Comedy Central in February, and tackled such topics as race, football and typing classes.

CBS’ “Early Show” is ending early in the new year, and now its successor has a name. CBS News announced on Thursday that the replacement morning broadcast will be called “CBS This Morning.” The program will be hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill. It is being pitched as a serious-news alternative to ratings leader “The Today Show” on NBC, and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the audience runner-up.

Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating People This Year – Would you call the Kardashian family the most fascinating people in the world? Barbara Walters would. She’s picked the Kardashians, Pippa Middleton, Simon Crowell and others among the top 10 fascinating people of 2011. Hosted by Walters, she will present the special on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.

Justin Bieber was the major draw for the Wednesday night event that brought tens of thousands of fans out to Rockefeller Center to watch Bieber and his celebrity friends kick off the holiday season. Yes, there were plenty of other stars out for the night of music, but the screaming throng of fans only had eyes for the man-boy of their dreams. Joining him for the night of seasonal holiday music were Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Carol King, and Cee Lo Green.

Donald Trump, former presidential hopeful has teamed with Newsmax, a conservative magazine and news web site, to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines, IA on Dec. 27.
week of december 1, 2011 mrpopculture.com chelsea clintonChelsea Clinton makes her NBC News debut Monday, Dec. 12, on Rock Center with Brian Williams. Clinton, 31, will report on a nonprofit organization based in her home state of Arkansas. The piece will be part of NBC’s recurring “Making a Difference” feature. Clinton was hired last month, but the network emphasized that the former first daughter would not report on politics.

Passing – Alan Sues, who brought his flamboyant and over-the-top comic persona to the hit television show “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” in the 1960s and 1970s, has died, a close friend said Sunday night. He was 85. Sues died of cardiac arrest on Thursday at his home in West Hollywood.  

Universal Studios will spend several hundred million dollars to build a Harry Potter attraction inside its existing Hollywood theme park in hopes of mimicking the success of a similar park in Orlando, Florida. Executives announced the project Tuesday with much fanfare, spraying confetti and hoisting mugs of the wizardly brew butterbeer.

Rosie O’Donnell and girlfriend Michelle Rounds just made their public debut as a couple in September, and O’Donnell announced to her Rosie Show audience on Friday, December 2, that they are now officially engaged.

It’s Madonna – NBC and the NFL announced last night that the Material Girl would be the headlining performer for the upcoming Super Bowl in February of next year. The game is being played in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall finalized their divorce on Friday. The Dexter costars, who play siblings on the show, wed on New Year’s eve in 2008.

was the most-watched special of last week, with more than 12 million viewers, with the advantage of being on CBS’ powerful Tuesday night. The Victoria’s Secret special, also on CBS on Tuesday, was second with 10.4 million viewers. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center had 9.4 million viewers, one of NBC’s strongest shows for the week. Specials highlighting the Grinch and Santa Claus, both on ABC, each had fewer than 8 million viewers.

Alec Baldwin says he was kicked off a plane Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport after having words with a flight attendant over an “addicting” word game he was playing on his cellphone. The “30 Rock” actor was asked to get off a New York City-bound flight for playing “Words with Friends” while the plane idled at a gate Tuesday, said Baldwin’s spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik. “He loves ‘Words with Friends’ so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it,” said Hiltzik, who added that Baldwin boarded another American Airlines flight to New York.

Music News – Metallica Is Back! The first of Metallica’s four 30th anniversary concerts took place last night at their hometown San Francisco’s Fillmore, and on top of a 20-song set that spanned the heavy metal gods’ entire catalog — except, thankfully, Lulu — the biggest surprise of the evening came when the band welcomed former bassist Jason Newsted onstage. Newsted, who abruptly left Metallica in 2001 to pursue other musical projects, previously rejoined his former bandmates when they were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, but last night was the first time in a decade that the bassist performed with the group at an actual Metallica gig.

Passing – Singer and songwriter Dobie Gray, who had a top 5 hit in 1973 with the song “Drift Away,” has died. The news came on the evening of Dec. 6 via his official website, although no cause of death was listed. Many remember his first hit, 1965’s, “The In Crowd.”

Passing – (Video) the actor who played strait-laced U.S. Army Colonel Sherman T. Potter on the television series “M*A*S*H” through eight of its 11 celebrated seasons, has died. He was 96. He died today at his home in Los Angeles, the New York Times reported, citing his son, Charles Morgan. No cause was given.

At the movies –
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Down Part 1
The Muppets
Hugo
Arthur Christmas
Happy Feet Two
Jack and Jill
The Descendants
The Immortals
Tower Heist
Puss in Boots
J. Edgar

Hot Hits -
We Found Love – Rihanna fea. Calvin Harris
Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
It Will Rain – Bruno Mars
Without You – David Guetta fea. Usher
Good Feeling – Flo Rida
Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes fea. Adam Levine
The One That Got Away – Katy Perry
5 O’Clock – T-Pain fea. Wiz Khalifa & Lily ALlen
You Make Me Feel… – Cobra Starship fea. Sabi
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
Headlines – Drake
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
Ni**as in Paris – Jay Z Kanye West
Mr. Know It All – Kelly Clarkson

Top TV –
1. NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Kansas City NBC
2. Dancing With the Stars ABC
3. Dancing With the Stars Results ABC
4. NCIS CBS
5. 60 Minutes CBS
6. Two and a Half Men CBS
7. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
8. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
9. Mike & Molly CBS
10. Modern Family ABC
11. 2 Broke Girls CBS
12. Castle ABC
13. Football Night in America NBC
14. Once Upon a Time ABC
15. Hawaii Five-0 CBS
16. Unforgettable CBS
17. The Big Bang Theory CBS
18. Amazing Race 19 CBS
19. How I Met Your Mother CBS
20. The X-Factor” (Tuesday) FOX