The holiday season has come rather rapidly, and in case you missed some of your favourites, don't sweat it. In typical TV form, they'll repeat, and sometimes on the same network (we're looking at you 'Frosty,' 'Shrek,' 'Charlie' and 'Rudolph').
It's the time of year when loved ones get together to eat, drink and be merry, but television gets into the spirit of things by airing specials, movies and variety shows. There are the classics that have been airing for decades ('It's a Wonderful Life,' 'Miracle on 34th Street'), and some other modern treats that have received a yuletide spin ('Elf,' 'Kung Fu Panda,' 'The Elf on the Shelf') but whatever you fancy, here are the gems you should definitely be watching this month.
- TBS is running A Christmas Story all day.
- FX has Night at the Museum all day.
- AMC is showing National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation all day.
- Hallmark has Christmas TV movies all day.
- Nickelodeon has Christmas episodes all day, including iCarly, Fairly OddParents, True Jackson, VP, and Drake & Josh.
- BBC America has Christmas episodes all day, including Gavin & Stacey and Absolutely Fabulous.
- At 6AM, Cartoon Network and Boomerang start an all-day marathon of Christmas cartoons and specials.
- At 8, MTV2 has a Real World: Cancun marathon.
- At 8:30, Comedy Central has A Colbert Christmas.
- At 9, Discovery has a Mythbusters marathon.
- Spike has a Bad Santa marathon at 9.
- At 9:30, Lifetime has Christmas episodes of various shows, including Frasier, Reba, and Will & Grace, as well as Christmas movies.
We're in the middle of December now and we're all watching our favorite Christmas movies or animated specials (either on TV or via DVD), so I thought I'd ask which is your favorite. (I know, I didn't include every single Christmas special ever made, but that's why God created the word "other").
|It's A Wonderful Life||167 (12.9%)|
|Miracle on 34th Street||72 (5.5%)|
|Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer||111 (8.6%)|
|Santa Claus is Comin' To town||16 (1.2%)|
|A Christmas Story||271 (20.9%)|
|The Year Without A Santa Claus||37 (2.9%)|
|White Christmas||71 (5.5%)|
|A Christmas Carol (any version)||90 (6.9%)|
|Frosty The Snowman||11 (0.8%)|
|How The Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)||236 (18.2%)|
|A Charlie Brown Christmas||216 (16.6%)|
The Rankin/Bass Christmas special with the dentist elf and random misfit toys grabbed an impressive 10.7 million viewers.
That's pretty good for a 45 year-old animated special that we've all seen 97 times (and probably own on DVD), no? There's something amazingly comforting about that: the same Christmas specials (Rudolph, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, It's A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, etc) are pulled out every single year and we still watch them. It's the sort of television comfort food that we can't resist.
A Very Sunny Christmas arrives on Blu-ray and DVD November 17 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Fox teamed with Maxim Magazine to hold a festive bash last Thursday night at Guys and Dolls Lounge in the shadow of Cedar Sinai Hospital on Beverly Blvd. (Event gallery below.)
A modest red carpet set-up gathered a cramped collection of reporters and photographers together to greet the arrivals of show stars Danny DeVito, Kaitlin Olson, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day.
As if looking to mimic the bleak Philadelphia winter, rain sprinkled the LA streets in the hours leading up to the event -- and temperatures hovering in the low 50s made it a goose bumpy night for the several cocktail dress-clad ladies mingling in the crowd.
- HGTV and Food Network have holiday programming all day.
- TNT is showing Law and Order all day.
- TBS is showing the movie A Christmas Story all day.
- Nickelodeon and TV Land have Christmas episodes of various sitcoms and dramas all day.
- BBC America also has Christmas episodes all day long.
- At 7am, all of the morning shows (Today, Good Morning, America, and The Early Show) will have Christmas features, music, and recipes.
- At 8, Lifetime has a Golden Girls marathon.
- Sci-Fi has a Star Trek: TNG marathon at 8.
- Bravo has a Christmas episode of The West Wing at 8, then a Top Chef marathon.
Even if those scenarios will be true for you on Dec. 25, I offer you my pity as my Christmas gift. Plus, you still would rather spend it listening to ol' Uncle Hernia Scar than watching one of these holiday hams.
Hey, it's December!
That means that the Christmas specials are about to start, if they haven't started already. Tonight we have How The Grinch Stole Christmas (8:30pm on ABC) and on Wednesday we have Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (8pm on CBS). And still to come, of course, are It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and many more. Not to mention all of those Lifetime Christmas movies where someone falls in love around the holidays, plus all of the Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows. I think Heroes is going to have a special episode where Santa goes up against Sylar.
I would have to say that after all of these years, It's A Wonderful Life is still my favorite. I love The Grinch and Rudolph and A Charlie Brown Christmas as much as the next person (Frosty has never been a favorite, though), but It's A Wonderful Life is the movie I have to stop and watch if I come across it channel surfing.
I always get a little bummed out after Christmas and New Year's. The holiday buzz has died down, and the lights still up around town look a little sad and lonely. It doesn't help when the January weather is sunny and 63 degrees (that's just not right people). So forgive me if I post one more story about the holiday season.
TiVo got stats from 20,000 of their users and figured out what Christmas special was the most popular this year. It wasn't any show starring Charlie Brown or Frosty. It was that animal with the shiny nose that wasn't allowed to participate in any organized sports. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was the most watched special with TiVo users, and that includes people who watched the show live and those who recorded it.
After the jump, the top 10.
- At 8, ABC has Ben Affleck in Surviving Christmas.
- NBC repeats the Saturday Night Live Christmas special at 8.
- Food Network has a bunch of holiday food episodes, starting with Emeril Live at 8.
- ABC Family has the movie Snowglobe at 8.
- At 8:30, FOX has a new Cops, followed by a new America's Most Wanted.
- At 9, Lifetime has the movie Christmas in Paradise.
- Cartoon Network has two new episodes of Naruto at 9, then a new One Piece.
- Hallmark has the movie Love's Unfolding Dream at 9.
Check your local TV listings for more.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- On December 17, Ann Curry is going to bungee jump off a bridge.
- Here's the trailer for the big screen Speed Racer movie.
- Behind the scenes of Rachael Ray.
- MTV picks the 10 most uncomfortable star interview moments (I think the Phoenix interview should be #1).
- Cracked picks the 13 most ridiculous TV shows of all-time (I don't agree with their choices of Quark and The 100 Lives of Blackjack Savage.)
- Tim Goodman has started a new TV blog, and he picks the 5 best Christmas specials, and I really can't argue with that list (though Miracle on 34th Street should probably be in there).
I heard this song a couple of nights ago and I wondered what happened to the guy who sang it. Now I know.
Elmo Shropshire, who sang the 1979 Christmas classic "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer," is being sued by The Fred Rappoport Company, who says that Shropshire is interfering in a deal the company has to make Christmas collectibles based on characters from a 2000 TV special based on the song.
Not even Christmas is safe from reality show producers.
The people who brought you Dancing with the Stars have another show up their sleeves: Clash of the Choirs. It will pit five celebrity singers who will go back to their hometowns and try to build a choir. Once the choirs are built and perform live, viewers will vote for them via phone (of course). The winner gets to pick a prize for their hometown (I suggest maybe passing a law that says no reality shows can be filmed in their hometowns). The four episode show will run just before Christmas, December 17-20.
For the past few weeks now, I've seen the Frosty the Snowman Christmas special about ... oh ... fifty-seven times. No, it's not because I'm a big sucker for holiday specials (though I am). And no, it's not because I have an unhealthy attraction to strange American-looking, anime-like holiday cartoons (I know that sounds weird). It's because I've gone and introduced this Christmas classic to my two-year old son, and now I've gone and done it.
My son Owen is now a Frosty junkie.
So, seeing as my son is becoming much more of an expert at the show than I am, I thought maybe he should review it for you, with some translation from me of course. Let's take it scene by scene, shall we?
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