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Herald staff | jbauer@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, December 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Define ‘special’

Channel surfing the vast cultural wasteland: Barbara Walters puts her retirement on hiatus on Wednesday as she returns for her annual celebration of celebrity, "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013" on ABC.

Rather than try and second-guess who Barbara finds fascinating, let's set some guidelines on who ought to be excluded. We'll keep it general: Anyone who twerked. Anyone who allowed someone else to twerk up against them on TV. Anyone caught taking a selfie. Anyone who thought it was news that someone took a selfie. Anyone who would agree to be interviewed as being "fascinating."

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More surfing: Crooner Michael Buble returns for his "3rd Annual Christmas Special" on Wednesday. Buble's guests include Mary J. Blige and Cookie Monster.

Michael, it doesn't bode well for a fourth annual when the highest-profile Muppet you can snag for your show wears blue fur and works for snickerdoodles.

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And yet more: With a live production of "The Sound of Music" a ratings success for NBC, the network is said to be considering other Broadway favorites.

We survived Carried Underwood as Maria, but please, NBC, don't makes us watch Miley Cyrus and Cookie Monster in "Phantom of the Opera."

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