Holiday TV Preview: Christmas specials new and old

Contra Costa TimesNovember 29, 2012 

For the next month, expect your TV to be overrun by holiday programming: familiar gems, new movies, cartoons and variety specials.

In fact, you've probably already seen the first signs of the coming avalanche of Christmas cheer. CBS and The CW started its holiday programming last week.

To help you get with the program, we've compiled this list of prime-time yuletide offerings, beginning with the roster of new shows. That's followed by a rundown of air dates for the perennials.

Keep in mind that dates and times are subject to change, and many shows will have rebroadcasts not indicated here. ABC Family, for example, will again run its 25 Days of Christmas schedule, which features holiday-themed programming throughout the day and night hours.


Blake Shelton's Not-So-Family Christmas. The Voice coach celebrates with Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Larry the Cable Guy, Jay Leno and Reba. (10 p.m. Dec. 3, NBC. Re-airs 9 p.m. Dec. 14.)

Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays. The Grammy winner sings seasonal standards with guests Rod Stewart, Blake Shelton and Carly Rae Jepsen. (10 p.m. Dec. 10, NBC. Re-airs 8 p.m., Dec. 21.)

National Christmas Tree Lighting 2012. The 90th annual lighting of the national Christmas tree by a special guest; includes performances by top entertainers. (9 p.m. Dec. 11, KET.)

The Holidays at Murray State 2012. The concert choir and chamber singers of Murray State University perform seasonal tunes. (10 p.m. Dec. 12, KET2. Re-airs at 8 p.m. Dec. 24, KET.)

Christmas in the White House. A peek behind the scenes at holiday preparations in the Obama household. (8 p.m. Dec. 13, NBC. Re-airs 9 p.m. Dec. 21.)

Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn. Actress Seymour and operatic baritone Gunn join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a Christmas concert in Salt Lake City. (8 p.m. Dec. 16, KET2. Re-airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 24, KET.)

Ramsay's Christmas Cookalong. Chef Gordon Ramsay invites viewers into his home as he shares tips on how to create a fun, festive and stress-free Christmas morning in the kitchen. (9 p.m. Dec. 18, BBC America.)

A White House Christmas: First Families Remember. Meredith Vieira hosts this special look at Christmases past and present in the White House. (8 p.m. Dec. 20, NBC. Re-airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 21.)

CMA Country Christmas. Jennifer Nettles hosts a festive night of music that includes appearances by Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Keith Urban and others. (9 p.m. Dec. 20, ABC. Re-airs 9 p.m. Dec. 22.)

The Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Snowmen. The Doctor's holiday adventure introduces a new companion, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), a new costume for the Doctor (Matt Smith), and the villain Doctor Simeon (Richard E. Grant). (9 p.m. Dec. 25, BBC America.)


Naughty or Nice. A woman (Hilarie Burton) discovers Santa's Naughty or Nice book and uses it to expose secrets in her town. (Already premiered but repeats at noon Dec. 1, Hallmark.)

Hitched for the Holidays. Joey Lawrence and Emily Hampshire pose as a couple to get their pushy families off their backs. (Already premiered but repeats at 8 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1, Hallmark.)

Love at the Christmas Table. A man and a woman who grew up as good friends ponder taking their relationship to the next step. (Already premiered but repeats at 10 p.m. Dec. 1, Lifetime.)

The Christmas Consultant. A workaholic couple hire a consultant (David Hasselhoff) to help them get through the holidays. (7 p.m. Dec. 2, Lifetime.)

The Mistle-Tones. Tori Spelling and Tia Mowry star as the leaders of rival singing groups. (8 and 10 p.m. Dec. 9, ABC Family.)

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Christmas With Holly. Sean Faris and Eloise Mumford star in this tale about an uncle struggling to raise his 6-year-old niece. (9 p.m. Dec. 9, ABC.)


Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star. Adorable husky pups try to bring some cheer to the holidays in Pineville. (Already premiered but repeats at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 2, Hallmark.)

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas. The Cat and friends go on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his home. (Already premiered but repeats at 9 a.m. Dec. 25, KET.)


Here's a rundown of returning programs, including the classics:

Dec. 1: It's a Merry Red Green Christmas (7 p.m., KET; re-airs 7 p.m. Dec. 22). It's a Wonderful Life (8 p.m., NBC; re-airs 8 p.m. Dec. 24, NBC).

Dec. 2: Hoops and YoYo Ruin Christmas (10:30 a.m., Hallmark).

Dec. 3: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (8 and 10 p.m., ABC Family).

Dec. 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8 p.m., CBS).

Dec. 5: The Polar Express (9 p.m., ABC Family).

Dec. 6: Disney's A Christmas Carol (8 p.m., ABC Family).

Dec. 7: The Santa Clause (7 p.m., ABC Family). Great Performances: Sting: A Winter's Night (10 p.m., KET).

Dec. 8: The Flight Before Christmas (9 p.m., CBS).

Dec. 9: Disney Prep and Landing (8 p.m., ABC; re-airs 8 p.m. Dec. 24). Christmas at St. Olaf: Rejoice, Give Thanks and Sing (8 p.m., KET2). Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (8:30 p.m., ABC; re-airs 8 p.m. Dec. 22).

Dec. 10: The Year Without a Santa Claus (8 p.m., ABC Family). Home Alone (9 p.m., ABC Family).

Dec. 11: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (8 p.m., ABC). A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (9 p.m., The CW).

Dec. 12: Christmas With the Annie Moses Band (9 p.m., KET2).

Dec. 14: Prancer Returns (8 p.m., The CW). Yes, Virginia (9 p.m., CBS). Elf on the Shelf (9:30 p.m., CBS).

Dec. 15: Elf (8 p.m., CBS).

Dec. 18: A Charlie Brown Christmas (8 p.m., ABC). Crafting a Kentucky Nutcracker: Louisville Ballet and The Brown-Forman Nutcracker (10:30 p.m., KET2). It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (8 p.m., The CW).

Dec. 19: Arthur's Perfect Christmas (1 p.m., KET). Noel (8 p.m., The CW).

Dec. 20: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (8 p.m., ABC).

Dec. 21: Christmas at Belmont (10 p.m., KET).

Dec. 22: Kentucky Life (Santa Train, Civil War Christmas, Nazareth, state parks holiday celebrations; 8 p.m., KET). Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (8 p.m., NBC). The Santa Clause 2 (8 p.m., ABC Family). A Chipmunk Christmas (8:30 p.m., ABC).

Dec. 24: The Santa Clause 3 (7 p.m., ABC Family). Christmas Is Here Again (8 p.m., The CW). A Christmas Story (24-hour marathon beginning at 8 p.m., TBS). Second Star to the Right (9:30 p.m., The CW). Our Gift to You 2012 From the University of the Cumberlands (10 p.m., KET).

Dec. 25: Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (8 a.m., KET). Berea College Christmas Concert: Music for All (10 a.m., KETKY). How the Grinch Stole Christmas, animated (8 p.m., ABC). Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, live-action (8:30 p.m., ABC).

Dec. 28: Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker (1 p.m., KET).


Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. The Peanuts gang is ringing in 1986, and Marcie and Peppermint Patty are throwing a big New Year's Eve bash. (8 p.m. Dec. 27, ABC.)

Red Green Does New Year's. The guys from Possum Lodge mount their own celebration and make interesting New Year's resolutions. (7 p.m. Dec. 29, KET.)

New Year's Rockin' Eve Celebrates Dick Clark. Jenny McCarthy hosts a two-hour tribute to the legendary television personality who rang in the New Year on television for 40 years. (8 p.m. Dec. 31, ABC.)

Live From Lincoln Center: One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch. The New York Philharmonic rings in 2013 with an all-star celebration of Hamlisch's life and work. (8 p.m. Dec. 31, KET.)

Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest spotlights some of the year's hottest artists, groups and songs. Fergie hosts the Los Angeles party, and Jenny McCarthy is live with all the festivities in Times Square. (10 p.m. Dec. 31, ABC.)

Herald-Leader staff contributed to this report.

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