Ch. 28 picks up Buccaneers game Monday, pre-empting Charlie Brown Christmas and Boston Legal finale
As a TV critic who gets his Christmas specials mostly through DVDs, I constantly underestimate the impact of the regularly scheduled showings of holiday animated classics like The Grinch, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and a Charlie Brown Christmas.
But even I realized that, once WFTS-Ch. 28 picked up a simulcast of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Carolina Panthers Dec. 8 game on ESPN's Monday Night Football, the station would pre-empt two major TV events: the finale of long-running drama Boston Legal and the December showing of the Peanuts cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas (picture courtesy of AP).
Corporate cousin ESPN allows ABC affiliates to also air MNF games featuring hometown teams for area fans who don't get cable or satellite. Station officials made the decision to pick up the game months ago, before they could have known ABC's plans, said Rich Pegram, WFTS general manager.
Fortunately, the good folks at WFTS have come up with a solution. ABC will air the Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. WFTS will move the two-hour Boston Legal finale to Sunday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. If you're online, you can see the Boston Legal finale on ABC.com the day after it airs nationally, on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
It may not be the ideal situation, but at least football fans digging the local team's drive to the playoffs can have their Bucs and eat their Peanuts too. (Yes, that may be the most awful pun I have ever allowed to see print under my name.)
Here's a sample of the Peanuts classic: