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Mixed Notes - Dec. 20

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 20, 2012

Today's mailbag, which includes a seasonally appropriate item about the old "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" special, can be found here.

PBS will offer a peek at the new season of "Downton Abbey" (or, as CNN called it in a recent graphic, "Downtown Abby":) beginning Dec. 26. The official word:

PBS announced today that PBS and MASTERPIECE Facebook fans will be able to view the first 10 minutes of Season 3 of the Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama “Downton Abbey” on Facebook beginning December 26! This sneak peek will be available at and at for two weeks before the season premiere on MASTERPIECE on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 9/8c.

 This preview shows the Crawley family at home in the spring of 1920 as preparations are made for the long-awaited wedding of Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley. For additional information about “Downton Abbey,” please visit

Time Warner Cable in NE Ohio is promising smaller windows for service calls. The announcement:With all service and installation appointments now happening within a one-hour appointment timeframe, Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania enjoy some of the shortest waits in the home service and delivery industry.

“Our customers have better things to do than sit around and wait for cable service and installation,” said John Higgins, Time Warner Cable, area vice president of operations.  “One-hour appointment windows are one more way Time Warner Cable is making life simple and easy for customers.”

Higgins credits Time Warner Cable’s hardworking local employees for raising the customer service bar in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. “Our 2,000 techs, engineers and customer service employees listened to the needs of our customers and worked together to make this happen,” he said. “There is a great sense of local pride that we are giving back precious time to our friends, families and neighbors.”

In addition to offering shorter service windows at no extra charge, Time Warner Cable now estimates approximately how long it will take to get the job done.  The first appointment of the day begins at 8 a.m. with the last appointment arriving at 7 p.m. Time Warner Cable service technicians also perform installations and service calls on Sundays and holidays.

Recent DVD announcements include "Testimony of Two Men," the 1979 miniseries that readers have been asking about for years, on Feb, 5, and "Men of a Certain Age: The Complete Second Season," on Jan. 15.

In a previous post I mentioned the HitFix TV critics poll, its top 10, and my votes. I felt a little out of the loop until I looked at the list of everything that got a vote, and found that at least one other critic voted for every show I did. And, if you are one of those folks who believe there's some kind of monolithic critical mass-think, take a look at the complete results; if you scroll down below the top 10, you will see that more than 80 shows received at least one vote. (Each critic submitted a top 10.)

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