Holiday TV Preview

Illustration by Chris Ware,

Every year, the broadcast and cable networks roll out fresh holiday fare to complement TV's timeless musical, movie and animated classics. But it's the classics that most people look forward to.

Here's a list of the most inviting new specials, followed by a list of classics and of Kentucky productions. As always, times and dates are subject to change, so check TV listings.


The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation. Mario Lopez provides the voice for Zeus, a dog who saves the day when everything goes awry during a holiday at a ski resort. Premiered Nov. 28 but repeats at 7 a.m. Dec. 4, ABC Family.

Shalom Sesame: Chanukah — The Missing Menorah. It's time to celebrate Chanukah in Israel. Grover is bringing the latkes, and all is well until Anneliese gets caught in a game of tag with a chicken and loses her special menorah. 7 a.m. Dec. 4, KET2.

On Strike for Christmas. Daphne Zuniga stars as a wife and mom who's tired of being the one to organize the perfect holiday for her family and decides to boycott Christmas. 8 p.m. Dec. 5, Lifetime Movie Network.

The Town Christmas Forgot. Digital and material concerns go bye-bye when a high-tech-oriented family gets stuck in a bleak town called Nowhere and must find cheer through old- fashioned means. Lauren Holly stars. Premiered Nov. 25 but repeats at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 and midnight Dec. 6, Hallmark Channel

Sunday at Tiffany's. Alyssa Milano stars in this fantasy romance tale, based on James Patterson's novel, that has a young woman meeting an incarnation of an imaginary friend from her lonely childhood. Stockard Channing co-stars. 9 p.m. Dec. 6, Lifetime.

Christmas Cupid. A high-powered Hollywood publicist (Christina Milian) is taken on a journey to meet the ghosts of her boyfriends from the past, present and future in this modern-day twist on A Christmas Carol. 8 p.m. Dec. 12, ABC Family.

Gift of the Magi. A modern take on O. Henry's timeless tale has newlyweds selling their most prized possessions to please the other for Christmas. Marla Sokoloff stars. 8 p.m. Dec. 16, Hallmark Channel.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special. An offshoot of the recent DreamWorks Animation blockbuster takes on a Christmas flavor for TV. Premiered Nov. 24 but repeats at 8:30 Dec. 24, NBC.

Dr. Who Christmas Special: A Christmas Carol. For the first time, the British sci-fi classic will air its Christmas special on the same day in the United States as in the United Kingdom. Michael Gambon and Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins guest-star. The special airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 25 on BBC America, preceded by a marathon of Dr. Who Christmas specials beginning at midnight Dec. 24.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. 7 p.m. Dec. 6, ABC Family.

A Charlie Brown Christmas. 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 16, ABC. Will include premiere of the animated short Prep and Landing: Operation Secret Santa.

A Christmas Carol (1938). 9 a.m. Dec. 4, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, TCM.

Great Performances: Peter and the Wolf. 8 p.m. Dec. 8 on KET2, 10 p.m. Dec. 9 on KET.

The Year Without a Santa Claus. 9 p.m. Dec. 9, ABC Family

Meet Me in St. Louis. 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 2 a.m. Dec. 24, TCM.

White Christmas. Starring Kentucky native Rosemary Clooney. 8 and 10:45 p.m. Dec. 11, 12 and 16; 5:15 p.m. Dec. 17, AMC.

It's a Wonderful Life. 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 24, NBC.

Frosty the Snowman. 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 17, CBS.

Frosty Returns. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 9 p.m. Dec. 17, CBS.

Great Performances: San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. 2 p.m. Dec. 12 on KET, 9 p.m. Dec. 12 on KET2.

National Christmas Tree Lighting. With B.B. King, Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles. 9 p.m. Dec. 13, KET.

Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Natalie Cole. 8 p.m. Dec. 15 on KET2, 10 p.m. Dec. 16 on KET.

Christmas in Washington. Ellen DeGeneres hosts; featuring Mariah Carey, Miranda Cosgrove, Annie Lennox, Maxwell and Matthew Morrison. 8 p.m. Dec. 17, TNT.

Scrooge (1970). Starring Albert Finney. 6 p.m. Dec. 24, TCM.

A Christmas Story 24-hour marathon. Starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 24, TBS.

32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors. 9 p.m. Dec. 28, CBS.

121st Tournament of Roses Parade. 11 a.m. Jan. 1, NBC.


Holidays at Murray State 2010. The Murray State concert choir, wind ensemble, jazz orchestra and Voices of Praise highlight this seventh annual seasonal special. 10 p.m. Dec. 6 on KET, 8 p.m. Dec. 21 on KET2.

Berea College Christmas Concert: Music for All. Featuring Berea College music groups performing traditional and contemporary holiday pieces for "all peoples of the Earth." 5 p.m. Dec. 12 on KET2, 10 a.m. Dec. 25 on KET.

Kentucky Christmas Chorus. The long-standing community sing-along broadcasts live from the Singletary Center for the Arts. 7:40 p.m. Dec. 14, CWKYT (WKYT's CW affiliate, broadcast on Channels 5 and 914 on Lexington's Insight cable system), WYMT (Channel 57) and WMXL-94.5 FM. Rebroadcast at noon Dec. 25 on WKYT (Channel 27).

Kentucky Life. KaLightoscope Christmas premieres at the Galt House in Louisville; park visitors participate in the 31st annual Cave Sing at Mammoth Cave National Park; the Nativity display at Maysville's Trinity Lutheran Church showcases creches; and an "Our Town" visit to Berry in Harrison County. 8 p.m. Dec. 18 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19, KET.

Crafting a Kentucky Nutcracker: Louisville Ballet and The Brown-Forman Nutcracker. A journey behind-the-scenes as the Louisville Ballet re-imagines this beloved holiday favorite. 10:30 p.m. Dec. 19, KET.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader