Holiday TV to help you destress into the new year
With Christmas landing and the new year traveling faster than a speeding bullet, television can be a soothing influence on parents who have too much to do and kids who have too little.
D’oh! The networks have not forgotten, and FXX offers its Plus+Size Holiday Marathon featuring 661 episodes of “The Simpsons” and running all the way through New Year’s Eve. This will set the record for the longest TV marathon in history.
Imagination... We can once again count on the good ol’ Syfy to unpack its haunting “Twilight Zone” suitcase beginning New Year’s Eve and running all the way to Jan. 2 at 4 a.m. Creator Rod Serling, who wrote 92 of the 156 episodes, proved to be the visionary TV writer who set the bar for many others to follow.
Dolly doings: NBC will swing down home to Tennessee on Dec. 27 with “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” the next chapter in the biopic about Dolly’s colorful life. In this sequel to “Christmas of Many Colors,” Alyvia Alyn Lind stars as the young Dolly with Jennifer Nettles as her mom and Rick Schroder as her pa. Some interesting casting finds Dolly’s reallife sister, Stella, in the role of the owner of the town market, while
Farrah Mackenzie plays Stella. Dolly herself appears as a prostitute, known as the “Painted Lady.”
Here’s the story: On New Year’s Day, the “Brady Bunch” gang returns to the home they renovated — the house that was a stand-in for the Bradys when the show aired back in the late ’60s/early ’70s. They’ll take a refreshed look at the series, “A Very Brady Renovation,” and catch up with added memories and backstage gossip.
Mysteries: Intrepid Canadian police Detective William Murdoch will be back on the case when Acorn TV premieres the 13th season of “Murdoch Mysteries.” The show is set at the turn of the century, when inroads in forensics, medical procedures and crime scene analyses are being discovered. The first two episodes will stream Christmas Day with Episode 3 unfolding Dec. 30. Starting Jan. 6, the series streams Mondays.
Royals: Think Henry VIII partook of a fabulous noel? Forsooth, you better believe it, and historian Lucy Worsley will be hosting the bacchanal “12 Days of Tudor Christmas” to prove it. The PBS special will explore the traditions and rituals enjoyed by the royals of the time and will reveal that many of our customs — including carols and gift-giving — originated with those funloving Tudors. (Check local listings for air times.)
Rockin’ eve: Dick Clark will not be forgotten as long as ABC celebrates New Year’s Eve. The show probably bears the longest title in television: “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020.” Sheryl Crowe and Usher will perform, along with Ciara, Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini and Blanco Brown, in the live 51⁄2-hour celebration. Lucy Hale will hitch a ride as co-host with Seacrest this year and Post Malone will headline.
Fox’s eve: Steve Harvey will be back for “Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square,” with the broadcast airing from 8 to 10 p.m. Eastern and again from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Maria Menounos and Rob Gronkowski serve as co-hosts. Artists include LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip and the Village People, Sting, Robin Thicke, Florence+the Machine and Jason Aldean.
Alyvia Alyn Lind, left, and Dolly Parton appear in “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.”