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TV News Roundup: DirecTV Lassoes Cowboy Channel, ’48 Hours’ Revisits Waco, ‘When Calls the Heart’ Scores for Hallmark

In today’s roundup, Cowboy Channel launches on DirecTV, CBS sets a “48 Hours” special on the 25th anniversary of the Waco tragedy, and Hallmark Channel scores with its “When Calls the Heart” Christmas telepic.

PROGRAMMING

The Cowboy Channel, a western sports and lifestyle network, has bowed on DirecTV. Airing rodeo, bull riding and barrel racing, along with western fashion, music and movies, the channel is now available on the largest MVPDs, including Comcast, Cox, Charter Spectrum and Dish Network. The deal doubles Cowboy Channel’s total distribution base, bringing it to about 30 million homes. It’s a sibling channel of RFD-TV, owned by Rural Media Group.

CBS will air a special “48 Hours” episode titled “The Secrets of Waco,” about cult leader David Koresh, on Friday at 8 p.m. The date marks the 25th anniversary of the start of the deadly 51-day standoff between Koresh and followers of his Branch Davidians sect and the FBI at the group’s compound in Waco, Texas. The special promises to reveal new details about the incident, including an interview with a UPS driver who unknowingly delivered ammunition to the compound. Koresh and more than 70 others died after tear gas lobbed into the buildings by law enforcement caught fire.

DATES

Netflix will release original documentary series “Somebody Feed Phil” on Jan. 12. The show follows “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal on a culinary tour around the world, with stops in Lisbon, Bangkok, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, and New Orleans. Watch the trailer below.

 

RATINGS

Hallmark Channel scored on Christmas Day with the premiere of original movie “When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree.” The 8 p.m. telecast grabbed 3.6 million viewers, making Hallmark second only to ESPN among cablers in primetime. The movie also delivered demo gains over last year’s “When Calls the Heart” Christmas Day special.

(Pictured: David Koresh)

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