‘X Factor’s’ Good and Bad Ratings News; ‘Parks and Recreation’ Nabs Jenny Slate for Guest Spot

Despite nabbing its best numbers in two months for its live results finale, FOX’s The X Factor was down 18 percent as compared to its Season 1 finale with 9.6 million total viewers. Meanwhile NBC’s A White House Christmas performed better than its usual Thursday comedies with 8.4 million viewers. [TV Guide]

Saturday Night Live alum Jenny Slate is headed to NBC’s Parks and Recreation. The comedian will play Jean Ralphio’s (Ben Schwartz) twin sister. Her character, Mona Lisa, will be hired by Tom (Aziz Ansari) to work at his Rent-A-Swag store. She is set to guest on at least one episode, which will air later in Season 5. [EW]

ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, Jake Tapper is leaving the network for CNN. He will be the chief Washington correspondent on CNN as well and also host a weekday program in 2013. In a statement, Tapper said, “With CNN’s impeccable reporting during the elections and the exciting changes in the network, this is a perfect time to join the CNN team.” [THR]

FOX’s Touch is bringing Ron Rifkin on for its Season 2 finale. The Alias alum will play Issac, a rabbi who believes in destiny. The second season premiere of Touch airs Feb. 8 on FOX. [THR]

Come January, ABC will be giving viewers an extra dose of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Beginning Jan. 6 the two comedies will show additional original episodes in the now vacant slot left open by 666 Park Avenue. Both series will end their seasons in March to make room for Dancing With the Stars. [TVLine]

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Connecticut School Shooting: A Guide to TV News Special Coverage

The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. has changed the networks’ plans for news coverage on Friday.

All networks will dedicate their evening news and most of their weekend coverage to the unspeakable tragedy, which saw 27 people – including 20 children – lose their lives.

See below for TV news special coverage (to be updated as networks report in to Celebuzz).

ABC: Diane Sawyer will anchor a one-hour special of ABC World News at 6:30PM from the scene and co-anchor Chris Cuomo will join her later for a special 20/20 set to air at 10 PM ET. That will be followed by an hour-long Nightline at 11:35 PM ET. Good Morning America will air a special edition with George Stephanopoulos and Elizabeth Vargas as well as Josh ElliottAmy RobachDan Harris reporting from Newtown on Saturday Morning.

CBS: Evening News With Scott Pelley has been increased to one hour from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Pelley will also anchor a CBS News Special Report set to air from 10 to 11PM ET.

CNN: Coverage will continue into primetime with their regular line up as follows: Erin Burnett OutFront at 7 PM, Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 PM, Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 PM. Their live coverage of the school shooting will include Susan Candiotti, Ashleigh Banfield, Mary Snow, and Jason Carroll at the scene.

Current TV: The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur begins live coverage at 7PM ET, followed by Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer at 8PM ET. Current TV correspondent David Shuster will be reporting live with updates from the site of the shooting.

FOX News: The Five is being replaced by news coverage anchored by Jon Scott from 5PM-6PM ET. At 7PM ET, Bill Hemmer will anchor FOX Live from Conn. Following at 8PM ET, Bill O’Reilly will host a live edition of O’Reilly Factor. At 9PM ET, Hannity will air live. And at 10PM-11PM ET, Greta Van Susteren will anchor live from Conn.

NBC: Brian Williams will anchor a special one-hour edition of NBC Nightly News from Newtown at 6:30 PM ET. Williams will be joined by Lester Holt at 10 PM for Dateline. On Saturday, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie will co-anchor a special edition of Today from Conn. Also reporting from the scene will be Ann Curry and Willie Geist. MSNBC will have continuing coverage throughout the day with a special report from Chris Jansing at 10 PM.

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Jeff Zucker Named President of CNN; ABC’s ‘Don’t Trust the B’ Enlists MacGyver

It’s official: Jeff Zucker is the president of CNN Worldwide. The former NBCUniversal CEO will begin the job in January at the news network. Turner Broadcasting System Chairman and CEO Phil Kent said in a statement, “Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success. As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN. I couldn’t be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here.” [Deadline]

ABC’s Don’t Trust the B*** in Apt. 23 is bringing MacGyver in. Richard Dean Anderson, who played the iconic character, will cameo as himself on the ABC comedy which stars James Van Der Beek as himself. It’s not yet known when Anderson’s episode will air. [THR]

Stephen King‘s Under the Dome has been given a 13-episode order by CBS. The bestselling novel, which focuses on a New England town that is suddenly sealed off from the rest of world by a transparent dome, was originally developed as a series for Showtime. The show will air this summer. [EW]

Although A Charlie Brown Christmas won the 8 PM hour in the ratings demo, CBS’ Survivor: Philippines nabbed the most viewers with 10.4 million people. Meanwhile, FOX’s The X Factor was up 27 percent in the ratings and NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center special hit a four-year high with 9.1 million viewers. [EW]

With Spartacus: War of the Damned on its way out, Starz is looking into a potential spinoff for the series targeted on Roman leader Gaius Julius Caesar. The idea from Spartacus executive producer Robert Tapert is just in the preliminary beginning stages. Spartacus: War of the Damned premieres Jan. 25. on Starz. [Deadline]

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Jeff Zucker Named President of CNN; ABC’s ‘Don’t Trust the B’ Enlists MacGyver

It’s official: Jeff Zucker is the president of CNN Worldwide. The former NBCUniversal CEO will begin the job in January at the news network. Turner Broadcasting System Chairman and CEO Phil Kent said in a statement, “Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success. As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN. I couldn’t be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here.” [Deadline]

ABC’s Don’t Trust the B*** in Apt. 23 is bringing MacGyver in. Richard Dean Anderson, who played the iconic character, will cameo as himself on the ABC comedy which stars James Van Der Beek as himself. It’s not yet known when Anderson’s episode will air. [THR]

Stephen King‘s Under the Dome has been given a 13-episode order by CBS. The bestselling novel, which focuses on a New England town that is suddenly sealed off from the rest of world by a transparent dome, was originally developed as a series for Showtime. The show will air this summer. [EW]

Although A Charlie Brown Christmas won the 8 PM hour in the ratings demo, CBS’ Survivor: Philippines nabbed the most viewers with 10.4 million people. Meanwhile, FOX’s The X Factor was up 27 percent in the ratings and NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center special hit a four-year high with 9.1 million viewers. [EW]

With Spartacus: War of the Damned on its way out, Starz is looking into a potential spinoff for the series targeted on Roman leader Gaius Julius Caesar. The idea from Spartacus executive producer Robert Tapert is just in the preliminary beginning stages. Spartacus: War of the Damned premieres Jan. 25. on Starz. [Deadline]

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Zac Efron

Abigail Breslin: Crush Zac Efron left me in tears!

At 15, Abigail Breslin is already a star in her own right, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of a fangirl moment. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Breslin recalled the moment she met her celebrity crush – who also happens to be her “New Year’s Eve” co-star – Zac Efron.

“I met Zac Efron yesterday, and I’m just going to say, I cried a little bit afterwards and beforehand – just a little bit,” Breslin said. “It was kind of a big deal; it was kind of major.”