Get ready for on­slaught of TV hol­i­day chest­nuts

The Mercury News Weekend - - A+E - By Chuck Bar­ney cbar­ney@ba­yare­anews­

Deck the halls and crank up your DVR. The an­nual bliz­zard of hol­i­day-themed TV fare is about to be­gin.

As usual, pro­gram­mers are­mak­ing merry with a lineup chock-full of spe­cials, mushy movies and an­i­mated treats that cel­e­brate the so­called most won­der­ful time of the year.

To help you get with the pro­gram, we’ve made a list — and checked it twice— of the no­table shows air­ing from now through New Year’s Eve. Be aware that many pro­grams reair mul­ti­ple times. With a few ex­cep­tions, we have listed only the ini­tial tele­casts that oc­cur in evening hours.

If you don’t spot a fa­vorite here, con­sult your list­ings. Our run­down starts with new pro­gram­ming and is fol­lowed by a list of air dates for the peren­ni­als.

Mu­sic, com­edy and good cheer To­day

“Great Per­for­mances: Irv­ing Ber­lin’s Hol­i­day Inn — The Broad­way Mu­si­cal” — They’re dream­ing of a “White Christ­mas” in this adap­ta­tion of the clas­sic 1942movie mu­si­cal. (9p.m., PBS).


“CMA Coun­try Christ­mas” — Reba McEn­tire and her pals cel­e­brate the hol­i­day from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. (8p.m., ABC) “A Very Merry Pen­ta­tonix Christ­mas” — The pop­u­lar vo­cal group belts out hol­i­day fa­vorites and wel­comes guests Jen­nifer Hud­son, Darci Lynne Farmer and Jay Leno. (10p.m., NBC; re-airs 8p.m. Dec. 6).


“Christ­mas in Rock­e­feller Cen­ter”— It’s time to light up the big tree in the Big Ap­ple, with per­for­mances by Brett El­dredge, Jen­nifer Net­tles, Les­lie Odom Jr., Pen­ta­tonix, Gwen Ste­fani, The Tenors and oth­ers. (8p.m., NBC).


“The Won­der­ful World of Dis­ney: Mag­i­cal Hol­i­day Cel­e­bra­tion ”— Ju­lian ne Hough and Nick Lac hey host

a “mag­i­cal” two-hour event fromWalt Dis­neyWorld and Dis­ney­land. (9p.m., ABC).

Dec. 1

“Masters of Il­lu­sion: Christ­mas­Magic”— Ma­gi­cians show off their tricks. (9p.m., The CW; re-airs 8p.m. Dec. 22).

Dec. 4

“The Great Christ­mas Light Fight” — It’s the bat­tle of the bulbs as ClarkGris­wold­wannabes com­pete in this over­the-top home-dec­o­rat­ing con­test. (8p.m., ABC).

Dec. 7

“A Nashville Christ­mas”— Wynonna, Em­my­lou Har­ris, Lor­rieMor­gan and PamTil­lis come to­gether to per­form tra­di­tional car­ols and pop stan­dards. (8p.m., getTV). “The Great Amer­i­can Bak­ing Show”— Aye­sha Curry and An­thony “Spice” Adams host this re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion that chal­lenges con­tes­tants to whip up fes­tive treats. (9 p.m., ABC).

Dec. 10

“Amer­ica’s Fun­ni­est Home Videos”— Hol­i­day-themed clips are fea­tured. (7p.m., ABC).

Dec. 12

“GwenSte­fani’s YouMake It Feel Like Christ­mas”— Ste­fani sings tunes from her new hol­i­day al­bu­mand wel­comes guests Blake Shel­ton, Chelsea Han­dler, Ken Jeong, Seth Mac­Far­lane and Ne-Yo. (9 p.m., NBC). “Great­est Hol­i­day Com­mer­cials Count­down”— Kevin Fra­zier ush­ers view­ers through 12of the best hol­i­day ads ever. (8p.m., TheCW; reairs 9p.m. Dec. 22).

Dec. 14

“Taraji’sWhite Hot Hol­i­days” — “Em­pire” dy­namo Taraji P. Hen­son spreads some cheer and good­will. Guests in­clude Chaka Khan, Ciara, Faith Evans, Fergie, Jussie Smol­lett, Salt-N-Pepa and the Ying Yang Twins. (8p.m., Fox). “iHeartRa­dio Jin­gle Ball 2017”— Tay­lor Swift, Ed Sheeran, the Chainsmok­ers, Fifth Har­mony, Liam Payne, Camila Ca­bello and Niall Ho­ran cel­e­brate the sea­son with mu­si­cal per­for­mances. (8p.m., The CW; re-airs 8 p.m. Dec. 25). “Show­time at the Apollo: Christ­mas”— Snoop Dogg, Boyz II Men, Fifth Har­mony, DMX and oth­ers take the stage at New York City’s famed venue. (9p.m., Fox).

Dec. 15

“The 86th An­nual Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade” — It’s a mas­sive pro­ces­sion down Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard, with fancy floats, march­ing bands, celebri­ties and bloated bal­loons. (8p.m., The CW). “Christ­mas with the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir”— Tenor Rolando Vil­la­zon joins the choir on an ar­ray of hol­i­day num­bers. (9p.m., PBS; re-airs at 9p.m. Dec. 21).

Dec. 17

“A Christ­mas Story Live!”— A new pro­duc­tion in­spired by the clas­sic film and the Broad­way mu­si­cal. The cast in­cludes Maya Ru­dolph, MatthewBrod­er­ick and Jane Krakowski. (7p.m., Fox).

Dec. 18

“Dec­o­rat­ing Dis­ney: Hol­i­day Magic”— A be­hind-thescenes look at how Dis­ney trans­forms its theme parks and ho­tels into win­ter won­der­lands. (8p.m., Freeform).

Dec. 20

“The Top 12Great­est Christ­masMovies of All­Time”— Dean Cain hosts a count­down of the fes­tive flicks that view­ers cher­ish. (9p.m., The CW; ).

Dec. 22

“I Love Lucy Christ­mas Spe­cial”— Back-to-back air­ings of two col­orized episodes from the clas­sic com­edy. (8 p.m., CBS).

Dec. 25

“Call theMid­wife Hol­i­day Spe­cial”— It’s the cold­est win­ter in ages as the mid­wives fever­ishly bat­tle the snow, ice, power cuts and frozen pipes to pro­vide care for their pa­tients. (9p.m., PBS). “Doc­torWho Christ­mas Spe­cial”— Re­gen­er­a­tion hap­pens. Say farewell to Peter Ca­paldi and wel­come Jodie Whit­taker as the newDoc­tor. (TBA, BBC Amer­ica).

Dec. 31

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest”— The guy who seems to be ev­ery­where rings in 2018from New York City. (8p.m., ABC). “Fox’sNewYear’s EveWith Steve Har­vey: Live From Times Square”— Har­vey hosts his first New Year’s Eve spe­cial and prom­ises to make you laugh. (8-10p.m. and 11p.m.-12:30a.m., Fox). “New Year’s Eve with Car­son Daly”— The host of “The Voice” ush­ers in 2018with plenty of guests. (8p.m., NBC)

Heart­warm­ing hol­i­day movies

What fol­lows are some of the no­table new made-forTV movies air­ing for the first time this year:


“Find­ing Santa”— Jodie Sweetin stars as a woman des­per­ate to find some­one to play the jolly bearded guy for her small town’s Christ­mas pa­rade. (8p.m., Hall­mark).


“The Christ­mas Train”— A jour­nal­ist (Der­mot Mul­roney) em­barks on a cross-coun­try train ride and un­ex­pect­edly re­dis­cov­ers hol­i­day magic and a love he thought he’d lost. Danny Glover, Joan Cu­sack and Kim­ber­lyWil­liamsPais­ley also star. (8p.m., Hall­mark).


“A Very Merry Toy Store”— Melissa Joan Hart andMario Lopez play own­ers of ri­val toy stores in a Con­necti­cut town who come to­gether when a new big-box toy out­let threat­ens their liveli­hoods. (8 p.m., Life­time). “Switched for Christ­mas” — Candace Cameron Bure heads the cast of this film about two es­tranged twin sis­ters who swap lives around the hol­i­days. (8p.m., Hall­mark).


“An­gryAn­gel” — A young woman turned an­gel (Brenda Song) is stuck on Earth and can’t seem to ring the right bells in or­der to pass through the pearly gates into heaven. Ja­son Biggs also stars. (9 p.m., Freeform).

Dec. 2

“Christ­mas in Ev­er­green”— Folks in a smal­l­Ver­mont town be­lieve that a snow globe in a lo­cal cafe can­makewishes come true. Are they delu­sional? (8p.m., Hall­mark). “Four Christ­mases and a Wed­ding”— A love-starved woman says there is no Mr. Right for her. But­maybe she’s wrong. (8p.m., Life­time).

Dec. 3

“Miss Me This Christ­mas”— A cou­ple who had a fairy-tale Christ­mas wed­ding three years ago are sud­denly headed for a breakup. Can they make things right dur­ing the hoil­i­days? (7p.m., TV One).

Dec. 9

“Christ­mas in Mis­sis­sippi” — A young woman is ea­ger to help or­ga­nize her town’s hol­i­day fes­ti­val, but— uh-oh — it’s be­ing run by her for­mer high school sweet­heart. Now what? (8p.m., Life­time).

Dec. 16

“Christ­mas Next Door” — Jesse Met­calfe is bach­e­lor who must babysit his niece and nephew for the hol­i­days. Nat­u­rally, he turns to a fe­male neigh­bor for help. Nat­u­rally, sparks fly. (8p.m., Hall­mark).

Dec. 17

“Ro­mance at Rein­deer Lodge” — A group of adults who think the hol­i­days are yucky have their cyn­i­cal heartsmelted while on va­ca­tion. (8p.m., Hall­mark).

Dec. 25

“When Calls the Heart: The Christ­masWish­ing Tree” — The com­mu­nity of Hope Val­ley comes to­gether to help a young Moun­tie des­per­ately

For the kids

“Dream­Works Trolls Hol­i­day”— Poppy and the gang re­turn in an an­i­mated mu­si­cal spe­cial in­spired by last year’s fea­ture film. The voice tal­ent in­cludes Anna Ken­drick, Justin Tim­ber­lake and Zooey Deschanel as Brid­get. (8:30 p.m., NBC; de­buts on Net­flix Dec. 6).

Hol­i­day ev­er­greens

Re­turn­ing spe­cials and movies, in­clud­ing the usual chest­nuts:


“Frosty the Snow­man” (8 p.m., CBS) “How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas” (8p.m., NBC; re-airs 8 p.m. Dec. 25) “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (8p.m., ABC) “Frosty Re­turns” (8:30p.m., CBS)


“Rob­bie the Rein­deer: Hooves of Fire” (8p.m., CBS) “Rob­bie the Rein­deer: Leg­end of the Lost Tribe” (8:30p.m., CBS) “The Story of Santa Claus” (9 p.m., CBS)


“Ru­dolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer” (8p.m., CBS)


“Home Alone” (8:30p.m., Freeform)


“A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas” (8p.m., ABC)

Dec. 1

“Na­tional Lam­poon’s Christ­mas Va­ca­tion” (7:05p.m., Freeform) “Grandma Got Run Over by a Rein­deer” (8p.m., The CW; re-airs 8p.m. Dec. 20). “Elf” (9:15p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 3

“The Santa Clause” (8:45 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 5

“The Po­lar Ex­press” (8:55 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 7

“Shrek the Halls” (8p.m., ABC) “Toy Story That Time For­got” (8:30p.m., ABC)

Dec. 9

“It’saWon­der­ful Life” (8 p.m., NBC; re-airs 8p.m. Dec. 24)

Dec. 14

“Dis­ney Prep and Land­ing” (8:30p.m., ABC)

Dec. 16

“Mir­a­cle on 34th Street,” 1947(8p.m. and 10:15p.m., AMC) “IWant a Dog for Christ­mas, Char­lie Brown” (8p.m., ABC)

Dec. 19

“Prep & Land­ing 2: Naughty vs. Nice” (8:30p.m., ABC)

Dec. 22

“Christ­mas in Con­necti­cut” (8p.m., TCM)

Dec. 23

“Scrooged” (8p.m., AMC) “A Christ­mas Carol,” 1984(10 p.m., AMC)

Dec. 24

“A Christ­mas Story” marathon (8p.m., TBS) “The Bishop’sWife” (8p.m., TCM)

Dec. 26

“Happy New Year, Char­lie Brown” (8p.m., ABC) “Ru­dolph’s Shiny New Year” (9p.m., ABC)


Singer Gwen Ste­fani, who has a new hol­i­day al­bum, hosts a Christ­mas spe­cial Dec. 12on NBC.


Yes, of course “It’s a Won­der­ful Life,” star­ring James Ste­wart and Donna Reed, will be broad­cast for the hol­i­days — Dec. 9and 24on NBC. search­ing for Christ­mas in­spi­ra­tion. (8p.m., Hall­mark). To­day

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