Christmas TV shows? They're all the time, everywhere


OK, it's time for a mega-list: Here's a round-up I sent to papers, with the holiday shows between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a large line-up, but I've  broken it into categories; here's the story and list:

By Mike Hughes

If some people have
their way, our schedule for the next month is packed.

There's no time for
sledding or sleighing or roasting chestnuts at an open fire; we'll be
watching TV.

It will be Christmas
movies, Christmas cartoons, Christmas music. It will start
Thanksgiving morning with a parade and end Dec. 25 with a “Christmas
Story” marathon. We may need extra TV sets.

Yes, this trend
started long ago. The classic specials for the Grinch, Charlie Brown
and Rudolph are 51, 52 and 53 years old.

But it hit overdrive
when The Family Channel created “25 Days of Christmas” in 1996.
That channel kept changing identities – Fox Family, then ABC
Family, now Freeform – but the idea stayed and was widely copied
and expanded upon.

This year, Freeform
– stuffed with old Christmas movies and cartoons – has only one
new film, “Angry Angel.” By comparison, there are five new ones
on Ion, six on Lifetime, a deluge on Hallmark.

The main Hallmark
Channel has a dozen new ones, including (this Saturday, Nov. 25) the
latest under the prestigious “Hallmark Hall of Fame” banner. Its
sister channel (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) has six more.

Then there are all
the reruns, which is where this list had to draw the line.

We've included
everything new that's been scheduled so far – there will be more,
plus changes – and the perennials that people might consider
can't-miss. But that's just the start, with lots of other reruns,
plus Christmas episodes of series. You'd better cancel those
sledding/sleighing/roasting plans.

Parades

-- “Thanksgiving
Day Parade,” 9 a.m. to noon, NBC and CBS. Both networks have bands
and balloons and more, concluding with Santa. The difference is
early, with special performances: NBC has the Broadway casts of
“Anastasia,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants”
and “Dear Evan Hansen”; CBS has the casts of “Waitress” and
“Come From Away,” plus country star Kelsea Ballerini.

-- “Hollywood
Christmas Parade,” 8-10 p.m. Dec. 15, CW.

“A Christmas
Story”

-- The Broadway
musical will be done live, from 7-11 p.m. Dec. 17 on Fox.

-- A week later, TBS
has its annual marathon of the delightful 1983 movie. That starts at
8 p.m. Dec. 24 and repeats every two hours, until 8 p.m. Dec. 25.

New cartoon

-- “Trolls
Holiday,” 8:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24), NBC; also, 7 p.m. Dec. 24.
It's a musical with Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey
Deschanel.

The cartoon classics

-- “How the Grinch
Stole Christmas,” 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24), NBC; also, 8 p.m. Dec.
25. It's a 30-minute masterpiece.

-- “Frosty the
Snowman,” 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24), CBS. Its non-classic sequel is
at 8:30; they;re also 9 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

-- “A Charlie
Brown Christmas,” one of TV's greatest moments, 8 p.m. next
Thursday (Nov. 30) on ABC. The hour is rounded out with briefs in
“Charlie Brown Christmas Tales.”

-- “Rudolph the
Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 8-9 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 28), CBS; also, 8 p.m.
Dec. 9.

-- “Mickey's
Christmas Carol” is a half-hour gem; shown in theaters in 1983, it
has few laughs, but exquisite craftsmanship. It's on Freeform at 9
a.m. Dec. 2; 11 a.m. Dec. 14; 9:35 a.m. Dec. 16; 7 a.m. Dec. 20. On
the first two days, it's followed by the 90-minute “Mickey's Once
Upon a Christmas.”

More key cartoon
reruns

-- “Santa Claus is
Comin' to Town,” 8-9 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24), ABC; then often on
Freeform.

-- “Robbie the
Reindeer: Hooves of Fire” and its sequel, 8 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday
(Nov. 25), CBS.

-- “The Story of
Santa Claus,” 9-10 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 25), CBS.

-- “Grandma Got
Run Over by a Reindeer,” 8-9 p.m. Dec. 1, CW; reruns at 8 p.m. Dec.
20 on CW, also, 7 a.m. Dec. 21 and 22 on Freeform.

-- “Shrek the
Halls” and “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” 8 and 8:30 p.m. Dec.
7, ABC.

-- “Disney's Prep
& Landing” is a slick, fast-paced look at Santa's advance team.
ABC has it at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14, with its sequel at 8:30 p.m. Dec.
19; Freeform has them together, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 7:30-8:30
a.m. Dec. 25.

-- “I Want a Dog
For Christmas, Charlie Brown,” 8-9 p.m. Dec. 16, ABC.

-- “How Murray
Saved Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24,, NBC. The 60-minute original
rippled with clever songs; this is a 30-minute version.

-- Also: PBS Kids
plans Christmas specials for its “family movie night” on Fridays
through Sundays (check local listings). That starts this weekend with
“Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas.” Coming are “The
Gruffalo,” Dec. 1-3; “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About
Christmas,” Dec. 8-10; “Splash and Bubbles” and “Peg and
Cat,” Dec. 15-17; and “Ready, Jet, Go” and “Wild Kratts,”
Dec. 22-24.

-- And much more:
There are plenty of Christmas cartoon reruns, as evidenced on
Freeform. We counted 73 hours of animation, between 7 a.m. and
midnight on Dec. 1-25. On 16 of those days, there's 7 a.m.
animation.

 

Comedy

-- “Greatest
Holiday Commercials,” 8 p.m. Dec. 12, CW.

-- “I Love Lucy
Christmas Special,” 8-9 p.m. Dec. 22, CBS. This again has colorized
versions of two episodes. One (a Christmas episode) is repeated
annually; the other has Lucy in a fashion show with movie stars'
wives. It's followed at 9 by colorized “Dick Van Dyke Show”
episodes.

Mostly music

-- “CMA Country
Christmas,” 8-10 p.m. Monday (Nov. 27), ABC. Reba McEntire hosted
at theGrand Old Opry. Performers included Luke Bryan, Kelsea
Ballerini, Alan Jackson, Brett Eldredge, Trisha Yearwood, Chris
Young, Dustin Lynch and gospel's CeCe Winans, plus Lady Antebellum,
Little Big Town, CB30 and Dan and Shay.

-- “A Very
Pentatonix Christmas,” 10 p.m. Monday (Nov. 27), NBC, rerunning
Dec. 6. Jennifer Hudson links with the group; others range from
“Voice” winner Darci Lynne Farmer, 13, to Jay Leno, 67.

-- “Christmas in
Rockefeller Center,” 8 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 29), NBC. There's music
by Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Nettles, Brett Eldredge, Leslie Odom J.,
Pentatonix and The Tenors.

-- “Magical
Holiday Celebration ,” 9-11 p.m. Nov. 30, ABC. Nick Lachey hosts in
the Disney parks with Julianne Hough and Jesse Palmer. Performers
include Ciara, Darius Rucker, Jason Derulo and Lea Michele, plus
Hanson, Fitz and the Tantrums and In Real Life, which was assembled
from ABC's failed “Boy Band” show.

-- “Disney Channel
Holiday Celebation,” 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 on (duh) the Disney Channel.
It has music by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Asher Angel, Milo Manheim
and Meg Donnelly, plus a look at Disney World's “Toy Story Land”
opening next summer and at three philanthropic families.

-- “A Nashville
Christmas” is 8 p.m. ET Dec. 7 on GetTV, with Wynonna, Pam Tillis,
Emmylou Harris and Vincent & Dailey. It's also on the
Sony Digital Network and reruns on GetTV at 10 p.m. ET Dec. 10; 10
p.m. Dec. 12; 9 p.m. Dec. 14; 10 p.m. Dec. 18; 8 p.m. Dec. 20; 8 p.m.
Dec. 23; 8 p.m. Dec. 25.

-- “Gwen Stefani's
You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” 9 p.m. Dec. 12, NBC. It mixes
music (Blake Shelton, Ne-Yo) and comedy, with Chelsea Handler, Ken
Jeong and Seth MacFarlane.

-- “iHeart Radio
Jingle Ball,” 8-9:30 p.m. Dec. 14, rerunning 8-9:30 p.m. Dec. 25.
It includes Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Camila
Cabello, Fifth Harmony and the Chainsmokers.

-- “Taraji's White
Hot Holidays,” 8 p.m. Dec. 14, Fox. Taraji Henson has her “Empire”
co-star Jussie Smollett, plus Ciara, Chaka Khan, Fergie, Leslie Odom
Jr., Salt-N-Pepa and the Ying Yang Twins. There's also humor, with
Jay Pharoah, Titus Burgess and Niecy Nash.

-- “Showtime at
the Apollo: Christmas,” 9 p.m. Dec. 14, Fox. Steve Harvey hosts, in
an hour that has newcomers plus Snoop Dogg, Boyz II Men, Fifth
Harmony and DMS.

-- “Magical
Christmas Celebration,” 10 a.m. to noon, Dec. 25, ABC. Here are the
same people who perform in the Nov. 30 special, this time adding 98
degrees (Lachey's group) and Telly Leung and Arielle Jacobs from
Broadway's “Aladdin.”

Music memories

-- “Christmas With
the King Family” has its 50th-anniversary rerun, 10 p.m.
ET Nov. 29, getTV.

-- Each night, Dec.
17-24, AXS reruns a special at 8 p.m. ET, introduced by Nancy Wilson
of Heart. They're led by Rod Stewart, Dec. 17 (followed by the
Trans-Siberian Orchestra at 9 p.m.); Faith Hill, Dec. 18; Jessica
Simpson, Dec. 19; Michael McDonald, Dec. 20; Jennifer Nettles, Dec.
21; Chris Isaak, Dec. 22.; the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Dec. 23; and
Twisted Sister (really), Dec. 24. Then they'll all rerun, starting at
11 a.m. Dec. 25.

-- Also, GetTV loads
up on past Christmas specials. They're led by Johnny Cash (10 p.m. ET
today, Nov. 23, 9 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 9 and 10 p.m. Dec.
23); Sonny & Cher (10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 9 p.m. Dec. 21);
Vanessa Williams (8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, 8 p.m. Dec. 21); Andy
Williams (8 p.m. Nov. 30); Cher (10 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 p.m. Dec. 21);
Perry Como (8 p.m. Dec. 5); Mac Davis (10 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 p.m. Dec.
24).

Some variety

-- “Masters of
Illusion: Christmas Magic,” 8 p.m. Dec . 1, CW.

-- “Great
Christmas Lights Fight,” 8 and 9 p.m., Dec. 4, 11 and 18, ABC. We
meet families that have awesome holiday displays; each hour, the
hosts (Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak) pick a winner.

-- Each weekday
morning, Dec. 11-15, Ovation will have a different international
“Nutcracker” ballet. That's at 7 a.m. ET; viewers will pick a
favorite, to rerun at 7 a.m. Dec. 18.

-- “The Great
American Baking Show” -- 9-11 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21 on ABC –
returns, putting some of its focus on holiday goodies.

-- “Decorating
Disney,” 8 p.m. Dec. 18, Freeform, views work at the parks and
resorts. Also: 12:20 p.m. Dec. 19; 9:30 a.m. Dec. 20; 10:05 a.m. Dec.
22.

-- “Greatest
Christmas Movies of All Time,” 9 p.m. Dec. 20, CW; Turner Classic
Movies covers similar ground with “A Night at the Movies: Merry
Christmas” (2011), 6:45 p.m. ET Dec. 11 and 8:45 a.m. Dec. 17.

-- “Christmas
Cribs,” 10 p.m. Dec. 20, ABC, is a “20/20” special, visiting
celebrities' homes.

The movie classics

-- “It's a
Wonderful Life,” 8-11 p.m. Dec. 24, NBC.

-- “Mary Poppins”
(1964), 8-11 p.m. Dec. 9, ABC.

-- “Frozen”
(2013), 8-10 p.m. Dec. 19, ABC; then on Freeform, at 8:15 p.m. Dec.
17 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18.

-- “The Sound of
Music” (1965), 7-11 p.m. Dec. 17, ABC.

-- Judy Garland's
“Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), 6 p.m. ET Dec. 24, Turner Classic
Movies; surrounded by “Christmas in Connecticut” (1945) at 4 p.m.
and “The Bishop's Wife” (1947) at 8.

“Miracle on 34th
Street”

-- This film (with a
9-year-old Natalie Wood) turned 70 this year. It has a marathon Dec.
10 on Sundance (3, 5:15, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.) and Dec. 16 on AMC (8
and 10:15 p.m.

-- Also, AMC has it
at 8 a.m. Dec. 23 and 12:30 p.m. Dec. 24; Sundance has it at 8:30
a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 25. Those three days are part of Christmas movie
marathons.

-- The 1994 remake –
brighter and briefer, with Richard Attenborough – is 1 p.m. Dec. 23
and 5 a.m. Dec. 24 on AMC.

“A Christmas
Carol”

-- The Jim Carrey
version (2008) ia 11:25 p.m. Dec. 1 on Freeform. Also: 1:05 p.m. Dec.
2; 4:45 p.m. Dec. 7; 2:45 p.m. Dec. 8; 2:15 p.m. Dec. 10; 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 11; 12:10 p.m. Dec. 25.

-- A blistering
Patrick Stewart version (1999) is 8 p.m. ET Dec. 3 on GetTV. Also, 8
p.m. Dec. 12; 8 p.m. Dec. 22.

-- Older versions
are on Turner Classic Movies. They're from 1951 (Alistair Cook) at 8
p.m. ET Dec. 8; 1935 (Seymour Hicks) at 9:45 p.m. Dec. 8; and 1938
(Reginald Owen), at 12:15 p.m. Dec. 16.

-- A lush 1984
version with George C. Scott airs at 10 p.m. Dec. 23 and 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 24 on AMC, then at 10:45 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. Dec. 25 on Sundance.

-- Then there's
“Scrooged,” the 1988 Bill Murray take-off. AMC has it at 8 p.m.
and 12:30 a.m. Dec. 23 and at 10 p.m. Dec. 24; Sundance has it at
6:15 and 10:45 p.m. Dec. 25.

More key movies

There are plenty of
ones that started out in movie theaters: some of the highlights:

-- “Love Actually”
(2003), noon Friday (Nov. 24), CMT.

-- Tim Burton's
animated “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 2 p.m. Dec. 1,
Freeform. Also: 3:10 p.m. Dec. 2; 2:15 p.m. Dec . 3; 1 p.m. Dec. 7;
11 a.m. Dec. 8; 2:20 p.m. Dec. 12; 12:10 p.m. Dec. 13; 1:05 p.m. Dec.
16; 10:40 a.m. Dec. 17; 11:15 a.m. Dec. 23; 11 a.m. Dec. 25.

-- Chevy Chase's
“Christmas Vacation” (1989), 11:30 a.m. and 8:50 p.m. today (Nov.
23) on Freeform. Also, 4:15 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26); 7:05 p.m. Dec. 1;
4:50 p.m. Dec. 2' 8:50 p.m. Dec. 4; 6:45 p.m. Dec. 5; 2:35 pm. Dec.
7' 10:45 p.m. Dec. 9; 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10; 12:10 p.m. Dec. 12; 7:30
a.m. Dec. 13; 8:50 p.m. Dec. 14; 7:10 p.m. Dec. 15; 10:45 p.m. Dec.
17; 10:40 a.m. Dec. 18; 8:50 p.m. Dec. 19; 6:40 p.m. Dec. 20; 11:05
a.m. Dec. 22; 7 a.m. and 7:10 p.m. Dec. 23; 4:25 p.m. Dec. 24; 2:35
and 8:50 p.m. Dec. 25.

-- Will Ferrell's
“Elf” (2003), 6:40 p.m. today (Nov. 23), Freeform. Also, 9:15
p.m. Dec. 1; 7 p.m. Dec. 2; 6::40 p.m. Dec. 4; 4:35 p.m. Dec. 5; 8:50
p.m. Dec. 6; 6:50 p.m. Dec. 7; 8:40 p.m. Dec. 10; 5:50 p.m. Dec. 11;
4:30 p.m. Dec. 13; 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14; 9:20 p.m. Dec. 15; 7:05 p.m.
Dec. 16; 9 p.m. Dec. 18; 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19; 8:50 p.m. Dec. 20; 6:40
p.m. Dec. 21; 11:50 p.m. Dec. 22; 12:50 p.m. Dec. 23; 9:15 p.m. Dec.
24; 6:45 p.m. Dec. 25.

-- Jim Carrey's “How
the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000), 9:10 p.m. Dec. 2, Freeform.
Also: 6:05 p.m. Dec. 3; 9:15 p.m. Dec. 16; 5:35 p.m. Dec. 17; 9:20
p.m. Dec. 23; 6:5 p.m. Dec. 24.

-- Tom Hanks' “Polar
Express” has a so-so story, but splendid visuals. Freeform has it
at 11:50 p.m. Dec. 2; 3:55 p.m. Dec. 3; 8:55 p.m. Dec. 5; 6:45 p.m.
Dec. 6; 9 p.m. Dec. 11; 6:40 p.m. Dec. 12; 2:45 p.m. Dec. 16; 12:20
p.m. Dec. 17; 8:50 p.m. Dec. 21; 5:25 p.m. Dec. 22; 2:15 p.m. Dec.
24; 12:35 p.m. Dec. 25.

-- Tim Allen's “The
Santa Clause” (1994) is 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4 on Freeform. Also: 6:25
p.m. Dec. 9; 4:20 p.m. Dec. 10; 8:50 p.m. Dec. 12; 6:40 p.m. Dec. 13;
4:55 p.m. Dec. 16; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 17; 3 p.m. Dec. 23; 11:25 p.m. Dec.
24; 4:45 p.m. Dec. 25. In several cases, the lesser “Santa Clause
3” follows.

-- Bing Crosby's
“White Christmas” (1954) is on AMC at 10:15 a.m. Dec. 23 and 2:45
p.m. Dec. 24, then it's on Sundance Dec. 25, at 1:15 p.m. and 12:45
a.m.

New movies

-- “The Mistletoe
Inn,” 8 p.m. today (Nov. 23), Hallmark; Alicia Witt stars.

-- “Finding
Santa,” 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24), Hallmark; Jodie Sweetin.

-- “The Christmas
Train,” 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 25), Hallmark. This is under the
“Hallmark Hall of Fame” banner, a tradition that spans 66 years
and 81 Emmys. Desperate to be home for Christmas, Dermot Mulroney is
aboard with Danny Glover, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Joan Cusack.

-- “Wrapped Up in
Christmas,” 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 25), Lifetime; Tatyana Ali. (Each
of the Lifetime films is followed by a Chistmas “mini-movie” at
10.)

-- “A Very Merry
Toy Store,” 8 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26), Lifetime; Mario Lopez and
Melissa Joan Hart.

-- “Switched for
Christmas,” 8 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26), Hallmark; Candace Cameron
Bure.

-- “A Joyous
Christmas,” 9 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26), Hallmark Movies &
Mysteries.

-- “Snowmance,”
9 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26), Ion. Also, 11 a.m. Dec. 9, 5 p.m. Dec. 23.

-- “Angry Angel,”
9 p.m. Monday (Nov. 27), Freeform. Also: 4:40 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 28);
2:30 p.m. Dec. 5; noon Dec. 6; 3 p.m. Dec. 15; 10:30 a.m. Dec. 20.
Brenda Song plays a young woman who has suddenly become an angel; she
can't get it right, especially when a romantic triangle intervenes.

-- “Four
Christmases and a Wedding,” 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Lifetime.

-- “Christmas in
Angel Falls,” 9 p.m. Dec. 2, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries;
Rachel Boston stars.

-- “My Christmas
Prince,” 8 p.m. Dec. 3, Lifetime.

-- “Miss Me This
Christmas (Dec. 3) and “You Can't Fight Christmas” (Dec. 10),
both 7 p.m., TV One. They're romances set in a small-town hotel. The
first stars Erica Ash, the second has Brely Evans, with supporting
roles for Persia White and Marla Gibbs. They rerun in a Dec. 24-25
movie marathon.

-- “The Magical
Christmas Ornaments,” 9 p.m. Dec. 3, Hallmark Movies &
Mysteries.

-- “The Spruce &
The Pines,” 9 p.m. Dec. 3, Ion. Also, 11 a.m. Dec. 24.

-- “Christmas in
Mississippi,” 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Lifetime; Jana Kramer and Wes Brown.

-- “The Christmas
Cottage,” 9 p.m. Dec. 9, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

-- “Runawaty
Christmas Bride,” 9 p.m. Dec. 9, Ion. Also, 1 p.m. Dec. 17.

-- “A Royal
Christmas,” 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Ion. Also, 3 p.m. Dec. 23.

-- “Snowed-in
Christmas,” 8 p.m. Dec. 16, Lifetime.

-- “A Christmas
Cruise,” 9 p.m. Dec. 16, Ion.

-- Also: In
December, Hallmark has a new movie at 8 p.m. each Saturday and
Sunday, most with a female star who's fairly familiar: Dec. 2,
“Christmas in Evergreen,” Ashley Williams; Dec. 3, “Christmas
at Holly Lodge.” Alison Sweeney; Dec. 9, “Christmas Encore,”
Maggie Lawson; Dec. 10, “The Christmas Shop,” Ellen Hollman; Dec.
16, “Father Christmas” (with a male lead, Jesse Metcalfe); Dec.
17, “Christmas Connection,” Brooke Burns; Dec. 23, “Christmas
Getaway,” Bridget Regan. Skipping Dec. 24, there's a movie-length
“When Calls the Heart” on Christmas Day.

-- And more:
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries also has tentatively scheduled new
films for 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and 16.

-- And still more:
On Christmas Day, Ion will rerun its five new films from 3 p.m. to 1
a.m.

TV-movie reruns

There are plenty of
them on cable, but we would single out a few:

-- “Once Upon a
Christmas” (2000) and “Twice Upon a Christmas” (2001), 4 and 6
p.m. Sunday (Nov. 26), GetTV.

-- “Snow”
(2004), midnight next Thursday night (Nov. 30), Freeform.

-- “Eloise at
Christmastime” (2003), 7:30 a.m. Dec. 1, Freeform. Also, 2:05 p.m.
Dec. 6; 12:40 p.m. Dec. 8; 9:05 a.m. Dec. 9; 7:30 a.m. Dec. 12; 11
a.m. Dec. 15; 12:30 p.m. Dec. 20; 10:35 a.m. Dec. 21.

-- “Snowglobe”
(2007), 7:30 a.m. Dec. 6, Freeform.