TV Bites: Joe Halderman Dreams of a Plea Deal Christmas?


· Joe Halderman, budding screenwriter, accomplished 48 Hours producer and failed blackmailer, might be praying for a late Christmas miracle in the form of a plea deal. Halderman, who is accused of threatening to expose David Letterman's inter-office romances last September, reportedly "floated an offer to plead guilty in exchange for a one-year prison term." Halderman could face 15 years in the slam if he is convicted of attempting to shake down the Late Show host for $2 million. [NYP]

The underwear bomber sinks MSNBC, Ben Silverman still takes the blame, and more TV Bites after the jump.

· The newly titled "Underwear Bomber" got his fair share of press coverage this weekend from every major news outlet except MSNBC. The news network is being criticized for continuing to air pre-recorded programs on Christmas night instead of covering Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's thwarted attempt to detonate a Detroit-bound airliner. [AP]

· Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter announced this year's cable winners and losers. HBO, the home of True Blood, grew its viewership in 2009 by 41% while CNN, the grave of Larry King Live, sunk its audience by 30%. USA won out as the most-watched cable network last year with over 3 million viewers. [Reuters]

· The Charlie Sheen Christmas knife saga continues with the release of the arrest warrant affidavit, which claims that Sheen threatened to have his wife Brooke Mueller Sheen killed after she said she wanted a divorce. Like that hasn't happened to you. [AP]

· THR also named its 10 Biggest TV Blunders of the Decade, ranking The Jay Leno Show and Ben Silverman among its losers. [Hollywood Reporter]

· She may not have the star power and performance art motivations of James Franco, but All My Children alum Kelly Ripa, and her husband Mark Consuelos will return to the ABC soap on Jan. 4 and 5 for the show's 40th anniversary. [Hollywood Reporter]