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Holiday TV News Guide

Will Ferrall is “Buddy” in “Elf” first released in theaters in 2003 and now a holiday classic. Photo New Line Cinema.
Will Ferrall is “Buddy” in “Elf” first released in theaters in 2003 and now a holiday classic. Photo New Line Cinema.
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It’s time to gather around the television and watch old classics and new specials. 

By Michele E. Buttelman 

Signal Staff Writer 

Holiday television specials are one of the many joys of the holidays. Despite the protracted Writer’s Guild and SAG strikes classic holiday entertainment will abound this season. 

Here’s a chance to mark your calendar so you don’t miss your favorite holiday classic, or a new holiday program.  

Apple TV+  

The rights to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” are owned by Apple TV+ so you won’t find it on network TV this year. However, Apple TV+ will allow nonsubscribers to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for free from Dec. 16 through Dec. 17. The 1965 classic follows Charlie Brown as he tries to find a deeper meaning to Christmas. 

 Peter Billingsley stars in 1983’s “A Christmas Story” as “Ralphie,” the boy who desperately wants an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time,” for Christmas. It is annually shown as a 24-hour movie marathon on TNT and TBS each year on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Peter Billingsley stars in 1983’s “A Christmas Story” as “Ralphie,” the boy who desperately wants an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time,” for Christmas. It is annually shown as a 24-hour movie marathon on TNT and TBS each year on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

TBS and TNT  

Both channels will offer a 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” from Sunday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. to Dec. 25 at 8 p.m.  

TBS will run a 24-hour “Elf” marathon from Friday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. to Saturday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. 

“The Thanksgiving Day Parade” Thanksgiving morning on CBS features giant balloons, floats, music and of course, Santa Claus. Photo CBS.
“The Thanksgiving Day Parade” Thanksgiving morning on CBS features giant balloons, floats, music and of course, Santa Claus. Photo CBS.

CBS 

Thursday, Nov. 23 The Thanksgiving Day Parade 9 a.m. – noon. Balloons, floats, music and of course, Santa Claus.  

Friday, Nov. 24 “The Greatest @HomeVideos” 8 p.m. Cedric the Entertainer brings holiday themed home videos from around the world. 

Friday, Nov. 24 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” 9 p.m. The 1964 stop motion film classic will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year. 

Saturday, Dec. 2 “Reindeer in Here” 8 p.m. Blizzard may have a short antler, but that doesn’t stop him from saving Christmas. 

Saturday, Dec. 2 “Robbie the Reindeer” 9 p.m. Robbie wants to be part of Santa’s team. 

Saturday, Dec. 9 “A Merry Soulful Christmas” 8-10 p.m. Byron Allen presents music icons performing holiday songs. 

Friday, Dec. 15 The 100th anniversary of the National Christmas Tree Lighting 8 p.m. The official tree lighting on the Ellipse in President’s Park in Washington D.C. with an all-star lineup of musical performances.  

Saturday, Dec. 16 “Frosty the Snowman” and “Frosty Returns” at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., respectively. The friendly magic snowman voiced by Jackie Veron in the original and narrated by Jimmy Durante (in his last role) returns. The original animated special first aired in 1969 and the follow up special, with different voice actors and animation first aired in 1992.  

Friday, Dec. 22 “A Home for the Holidays” at 8 p.m. The 25th annual special featuring uplifting stories of adoption and foster care. 

 The annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree by the National Park Service will air on Dec. 15 on CBS. Photo National Park Service.
The annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree by the National Park Service will air on Dec. 15 on CBS. Photo National Park Service.

NBC  

Wednesday, Nov.29 “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” Kelly Clarkson will host the two-hour live special from 8-10 p.m. on NBC and simulcast on Peacock. 

Wednesday, Nov. 29 “Christmas at Graceland” at 10 p.m. A-list musicians play The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s music at his beloved home, Graceland, in Memphis. 

Monday, Dec. 11 “Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas” 10 p.m. Filmed at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino where Manilow performs his hit show, “Manilow: Las Vegas — The Hits Come Home!” 

Thursday, Nov.30 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 8 p.m. The 1966 cartoon will have an encore airing Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. Jim Carrey’s 2000 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” airs Monday, Dec. 25 at 8:30 p.m. It’s the classic tale of the curmudgeonly Grinch who’s hoping to remove the joy from Christmas but, ultimately, has a change of heart. 

Thursday, Nov. 30 “Shrek the Halls” 8:30 p.m. with encore on Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. This half-hour animated special debuted in 2007 and features a Christmas twist on the original Shrek characters. 

The original “Frosty the Snowman” animated television holiday special first appeared in 1969. Photo Rankin-Bass Productions.
The original “Frosty the Snowman” animated television holiday special first appeared in 1969. Photo Rankin-Bass Productions.

ABC 

Sunday, Nov. 26 “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” 8 p.m. This ABC holiday season staple returns for its eighth year with a two-hour sparkling spectacle of all-new musical performances from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii.  

Sunday, Dec. 10 “Mickey Saves Christmas” 7 p.m. Mickey, Minnie and their pals attempt to celebrate the perfect Christmas, but when Pluto causes Santa to lose all the presents on his sleigh, the friends travel to the North Pole on a quest to save Christmas and find its the true meaning. 

Sunday, Dec. 10 “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” 7:30 p.m. It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened, and Olaf teams up with Sven on a merry mission to bring home the best traditions and save Anna and Elsa’s “first Christmas in forever.” 

Tuesday, Dec. 12 “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” 8 p.m. In the perennial favorite created in 1970 by Rankin-Bass Productions, Fred Astaire narrates this timeless tale of Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney), a young boy with an immense desire to do good things for others. 

Thursday, Dec. 14 “CMA Country Christmas” 8 p.m. Filmed in Nashville in front of a live audience, the 14th annual event will feature one-of-a-kind musical performances of festive classics from country music’s biggest stars. 

Tuesday, Dec. 19 “Disney Prep & Landing” 8 p.m. An elf named Wayne and his idealistic partner, Lanny, encounter unexpected challenges that push them to their limits. Will the elves be able to guide the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh through a raging snowstorm to ensure a merry Christmas for all? 

Tuesday, Dec. 19 “Disney Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice” 8:30 p.m. The yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne continue. With the Big 2-5 fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid. 

Monday Dec. 25 “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” 9 a.m. Disney’s annual Christmas celebration returns Christmas morning with endearing stories and magical celebrity performances, plus the Christmas Day Parade celebrates its 40th year. 

The holiday classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” first ran on television in 1970. ABC will show the perineal favorite on Dec. 12. Photo Rankin-Bass Productions.
The holiday classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” first ran on television in 1970. ABC will show the perineal favorite on Dec. 12. Photo Rankin-Bass Productions.

Hallmark Channel 

No list of holiday television is complete without a mention to the annual binge watching of Hallmark Channel holiday movies.  

The 2023 Hallmark Channel Holiday Movie Calendar has 42 festive movies listed from Oct. 20 to Dec. 21. To see the full list visit www.hallmark 
channel.com.

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