Prime-time presents

Set­tle in with your re­mote and a glass of eg­gnog to enjoy the sea­son’s fes­tive TV of­fer­ings

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - FRONT PAGE - BRAD OSWALD brad.oswald@freep­ Twit­ter: @BradOswald

On the first day of Flip-mas, my teevee gave to me… More pro­grams than I could see!

YES, that’s right, sea­sonal-spe­cial surfers — the hol­i­day TV sea­son is upon us. And it should come as no sur­prise, given the way some U.S. ca­ble net­works — led by Life­time and the Hall­mark Chan­nel — have ba­si­cally turned them­selves into year-round Christ­mas-movie pro­duc­tion fac­to­ries, that the com­ing month’s listings are filled with more fes­tive-themed ti­tles than ever be­fore.

On the chill­ier side of the CanadaU.S. border, Life­time and W have al­ready eased into an all-Christ­mas, all-the-time movie sched­ule, while other spe­cialty nets such as Show­case, AMC and ABC Spark are in­clud­ing one or more sea­sonal ti­tles in ev­ery night’s lineup.

If you’re into hol­i­day pro­gram­ming, you needn’t look far to find it. Among this year’s high­lights are a brand new offering on a new stream­ing-con­tent plat­form — Bill Mur­ray’s Net­flix spe­cial A Very Mur­ray Christ­mas (Dec. 4) — and a half-cen­tury cel­e­bra­tion for one of the tube’s most beloved fes­tive ti­tles, A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas (ABC, Nov. 30).

With all that in mind, our an­nual fridge-mag­net-friendly fes­tive TV cal­en­dar of­fers a se­lec­tive guide to Christ­massy view­ing, in­clud­ing new sea­sonal ti­tles and where-to-watch tips for your favourite must-see clas­sics.

Rec­om­mended new­com­ers and sea­sonal-view­ing sta­ples are high­lighted to help you sort out your sched­ule. We haven’t sup­plied showtimes be­cause in many cases, the air­times dif­fer de­pend­ing on which ca­ble or satel­lite provider is car­ry­ing the pro­gram; check your listings or guide.

Here’s what we’ve un­wrapped un­der 2015’s TV-watch­ing tree: SATUR­DAY, NOV. 28:

Frosty the Snow­man (CBS) Frosty Re­turns (CBS) A Gift Wrapped Christ­mas (Life­time) The Story of Santa Claus (CBS) SUN­DAY, NOV. 29:

Scrooged (CBC, 8 p.m.) Ice Age: A Mam­moth Christ­mas (Fox) Hol­i­day Bak­ing Cham­pi­onship (Food) MON­DAY, NOV. 30: It’s Your 50th Christ­mas, Char­lie Brown (ABC) A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas (ABC) Rus­sell Peters Christ­mas (CTV) The Great Hol­i­day Bak­ing Show (ABC, 9 p.m.) TUES­DAY, DEC. 1: Ru­dolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer (CBS) Dis­ney’s A Christ­mas Carol (Global) Christ­mas with the Kranks (AMC) It’s a SpongeBob Christ­mas! (YTV) WED­NES­DAY, DEC. 2: Christ­mas in Rock­e­feller Cen­ter (NBC) How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas (NBC) The Three Tenors Christ­mas (PBS) A Satur­day Night Live Christ­mas (NBC) Jin­gle All the Way (AMC) THURS­DAY, DEC. 3: Toy Story That Time For­got (ABC) The Polar Ex­press (Global) CMA Coun­try Christ­mas (ABC) FRI­DAY, DEC. 4: A Very Mur­ray Christ­mas (Net­flix) Scrooged (AMC) Vegas Christ­mas Spe­cial (History) On Strike for Christ­mas (W) SATUR­DAY, DEC. 5: It’s a Won­der­ful Life (NBC/ CTV) His and Her Christ­mas (Global) Farm­house Rules: Home for the Hol­i­days (Food) SUN­DAY, DEC. 6: I’ll Be Home for Christ­mas (CBC) North­pole: Open for Christ­mas (Bravo) Elf (ABC Spark) Last Chance for Christ­mas (Life­time, 8 p.m.) MON­DAY, DEC. 7: The Great Christ­mas Light Fight (ABC) Happy Hol­i­days: The Best of the Andy Wil­liams Christ­mas Shows (PBS) Michael Bublé’s 3rd An­nual Christ­mas Spe­cial (CTV) Great­est Hol­i­day Com­mer­cials Count­down (Global) The Naughty List (YTV) TUES­DAY, DEC. 8: 22 Min­utes Hol­i­day Spe­cial (CBC, 8:30 p.m.) Straight No Chaser — Songs of the Decades: Hol­i­day Edi­tion (PBS) WED­NES­DAY, DEC. 9: Dragons’ Den Hol­i­day Spe­cial (CBC) Taraji and Ter­rence’s White Hot Hol­i­days (Fox) THURS­DAY, DEC. 10: Michael Bublé’s Christ­mas in Hol­ly­wood (CBC) Christ­mas Through the Decades (History) Mir­a­cle on 34th Street (AMC)

White Christ­mas (AMC) FRI­DAY, DEC. 11: Bob’s Bro­ken Sleigh (Fam­ily) The 84th An­nual Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade (CW) SATUR­DAY, DEC. 12: The Flight Be­fore Christ­mas (ABC) Jamie’s Crack­ing Christ­mas (Food) Be­com­ing Santa (Life­time) SUN­DAY, DEC. 13: A Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol (CBC) Win­nie the Pooh and Christ­mas Too (CBC) On the Twelfth Day of Christ­mas (Show­case) MON­DAY, DEC. 14: The Curse of Clara: A Hol­i­day Tale (CBC) How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas (CBC)


Shrek the Halls (ABC) WED­NES­DAY, DEC. 16: Ru­fus and Martha Wain­wright’s Noël Nights (CBC) THURS­DAY, DEC. 17: Dis­ney Prep & Land­ing (ABC) Prep & Land­ing: Naughty vs. Nice (ABC) Get Santa (CBC) The Christ­mas Truce (Show­case) iHeartRa­dio Jin­gle Ball (CW) FRI­DAY, DEC. 18: Yes, Vir­ginia (ABC) A Home for the Hol­i­days (CBS) Christ­mas in Con­necti­cut (TCM) SATUR­DAY, DEC. 19: I Want a Dog for Christ­mas, Char­lie Brown (ABC) Olive, the Other Rein­deer (YTV) The Spirit of Christ­mas (Life­time) SUN­DAY, DEC. 20: Na­tional Lam­poon’s Christ­mas Va­ca­tion (CBC) The Lawrence Welk Show: Christ­mas (PBS) MON­DAY, DEC. 21: Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies: A Merry Mur­doch Christ­mas (CBC) Sim­ply Nigella: Nigella Christ­mas Spe­cial (Food) Christ­mas with the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir (PBS)


A Christ­mas Story (CBC) WED­NES­DAY, DEC. 23: The Magic Hockey Skates (CBC) I Love Lucy Christ­mas (CBS) Happy Hol­i­days with Bing & Frank (TCM) THURS­DAY, DEC. 24:

White Christ­mas (CBC) Merry Christ­mas Mr. Bean (CBC) How Mur­ray Saved Christ­mas (Fam­ily) CHRIST­MAS DAY: No TV to­day; you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to need those re­mote-con­trol bat­ter­ies to power up a new toy any­way. Tin­sel, rib­bons, eg­gnog, tur­key, stuff­ing, short­bread, hugs, songs and snoozes to all, and to all, a very Merry Christ­mas!


From left, Paul Shaf­fer,

Ge­orge Clooney, Bill Mur­ray and Mi­ley Cyrus in Net­flix’s A Very Mur­ray Christ­mas, a twist on clas­sic

hol­i­day spe­cials.

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