Programming: The Nights Before Christmas

'Twas the nights before Christmas,

When all through TV,

Not a series was stirring,

Not even Lucy.

For what to our wond'ring

Eyes should appear,

But moldy old reruns

And things from last year.

If TV audiences are bored during the Christmas season, it is understandable. Last week seven regular programs, including CBS's Lucy Show and NBC's I Spy, were repeats. This week another nine shows, among them Lucy again and even NBC's Tuesday Night at the

Movies (Wild and Wonderful) are reruns. The networks explain that the holiday audience drops roughly 10%—so why be bighearted at Christmas and run new episodes? More to the point, the pre-Christmas...

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