Favorite characters both classic and contemporary make merry in the 26 days till Christmas
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2013
A "Dexter" Christmas?
Why not? The serial killer of serial killers in sunny Miami celebrated the season several times during his just-ended Showtime run.
Also making merry: the dudes of "Duck Dynasty." Want a ghoul yule? Try "The Twilight Zone." Sci-fi Santas? "Warehouse 13."
Christmas can be found where you least (and most) expect it.
While it's true that TV has learned to play multiculti with its winter holidays — Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice — it's still mostly Christmas that TV takes note of at year's end. That can mean the traditional religious observance, secular culture come-togetherness or the commercial modernity of consumerist gift-giving. Christmas TV seems to embrace everyone, every show, every genre, every decade or century setting.
This year's holiday TV slate brings back the Grinch and Charlie Brown. We get seasonal music and merriment from artists new and old, sometimes simultaneously. Sentiment-drenched TV movies premiere, and venerable standbys make their annual reappearance (Alastair Sim's Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey). All kinds of episodes celebrate all sorts of ways — a duck-call Christmas, a newly colorized Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
And that's just on this season's linear television channels. Turn to cable on-demand, DVD or online video, and you've got hundreds of celebratory options, any time you want to watch. The highlights provided here are just the tip of the iceberg in this connected age, when it seems almost anything ever made might be accessible somehow.
Check your cable/satellite services, too, along with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and other program providers.
Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas — round-the-clock through Dec. 31, with a dozen holiday movie premieres (hallmarkchannel.com)
Hallmark Movie Channel The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas — through Dec. 25, includes the channel's first original movie and "Christmas classic Thursdays" (hallmarkmoviechannel.com)
Lifetime It's a Wonderful Lifetime — ongoing, with six new TV movie premieres (mylifetime.com/movies)
ABC Family Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas, through Saturday; 25 Days of Christmas, Sunday-Dec. 25 — holiday animation, episodes, TV movies and feature films (abcfamily.com/25days)
Disney Channel Fa-la-la-lidays — starts today, holiday films, episodes, cartoons for kids and family (disneychannel.com)
"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" — today at 7 p.m., Dec. 24 at 8 p.m., ABC
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" — Monday at 7 p.m., ABC
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946, James Stewart) — Dec. 14 and 24, NBC
"A Christmas Carol" (1951, Alastair Sim) — Dec. 19, Turner Classic Movies
Today: "Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas" and "The Elf on the Shelf," 7-8 p.m., CBS; "Shrek the Halls," 7:30 p.m., ABC
Friday: "Yes, Virginia" and "Frosty the Snowman," CBS
Dec. 9: "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," ABC
Dec. 16: "Prep & Landing," ABC
Dec. 21: Rankin-Bass marathon, ABC Family
Dec. 25: "Kung Fu Panda Holiday" and "Merry Madagascar," CW
Monday: "CMA Country Christmas," ABC
Wednesday: "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," NBC
Dec. 11: "Kelly Clarkson Christmas Special," NBC
Dec. 18: "iHeartRadio Jingle Ball" (Miley Cyrus, Pitbull, Fall Out Boy), CW/11; "Michael Bublé Christmas Special," NBC
Dec. 20: "Christmas in Washington," TNT
Dec. 9-23: "The Great Christmas Light Fight," ABC
Dec. 11: "Melissa & Joey" and "Baby Daddy," ABC Family
Dec. 11: "Duck Dynasty," A&E
Wednesday: "Saturday Night Live" Christmas, NBC
Dec. 20: "I Love Lucy" colorized, CBS
Dec. 24: "Father Knows Best" kicks off two days of various round-the-clock vintage holiday episodes, Antenna TV (plus the Yule Log on Antenna TV)
Dec. 25: "The Twilight Zone," Syfy
Saturday: Tatyana Ali, Jordin Sparks in "Dear Secret Santa," 6 p.m., Lifetime
Sunday: Andy Garcia, Mary Louise Parker in "Christmas in Conway," ABC; Nicolette Sheridan in "The Christmas Spirit," Hallmark
Dec. 7: Sean Astin in "Santa Switch," Hallmark; Ashley Williams, Ashanti in "Christmas in the City," Lifetime
Dec. 8: Jennie Garth, Cameron Mathison in "Holidaze," ABC Family
December on Turner Classic Movies Dec. 8 includes "Scrooge" (1970) with Albert Finney; other holiday films most nights Dec. 15-24
Tuesday: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," ABC Family
Dec. 16: Tim Allen's three "Santa Clause" films, ABC Family, also Dec. 21, 22, 24, 25
» "A Christmas Story" for 24 hours, TBS
»"Elf" for 24 hours, Starz
» "Bad Santa" for 24 hours, Starz Comedy