Holiday TV specials and more

Written by on November 28, 2020


These are a couple of items that Google predicts your family members will need to discover below the tree on Christmas morning. USA TODAY

It is starting to look lots like Christmas as TV networks and streaming providers roll out a colorfully wrapped array of vacation specials from now till the tip of the 12 months.

There is a festive combine of recent (a Dolly Parton particular) and conventional (You are a imply one, Mr. Grinch) arriving for the vacation season, which can function extra at-home viewing than regular due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover Dolly, TV’s vacation firmament options brilliant stars reminiscent of Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Matthew Morrison. 

Earlier than diving right into a sleighful of Christmas specials, fan-favorite cartoons and holiday-themed collection episodes, let’s notice a few upcoming Turkey Day specials: NBC’s “A Saturday Night time Stay Thanksgiving Particular” (Wednesday, 9 EST/PST), that includes Thanksgiving-themed sketches from the comedy present’s 46 seasons, and “The 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (Thursday, 9 a.m. EST/PST), which NBC touts as “a reimagined celebration” for these pandemic instances. 

Extra vacation viewing: Hallmark, Lifetime Christmas movies finally show LGBTQ love in leading roles: ‘It fits in’

Apple TV+ subscribers can watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and others can watch it without spending a dime Wednesday via Friday.

Conserving vacation custom: After outcry and viral petition, Charlie Brown holiday specials get broadcast airing on PBS

However Thanksgiving is just an appetizer in relation to vacation programming. This is the menu of upcoming treats:

Model new items

‘Tis the season for large model names, and Disney+ makes positive the seasonal Power is with you with “The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special” (now streaming).  

Traditionalists will relish the return of the legendary 1966 cartoon, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (NBC, Friday, Eight EST/PST; TBS, Dec. 6, 7 EST/PST; additionally streaming on Amazon), however these curious to see an replace can catch NBC’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!” (Dec. 9, Eight EST/PST) from the Troubadour Theatre in London, with Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) because the tiny-hearted title character. 

Fruitcake is not the one place to search out dates in the course of the holidays as HBO Max introduces “12 Dates of Christmas” (streaming Thursday), an eight-episode collection that options “three hopefully romantic singles (looking for) somebody to convey house for the vacations.” Feels like “Love Truly” as a actuality competitors.

The favored Minions film characters get into the vacation TV sport with “Illumination Presents Minions Vacation Particular” on NBC Friday (8:30 EST/PST). It is going to be obtainable the following day on NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock.

Musical merriment

Singing stars take middle stage to assist viewers rejoice the vacations.

Nation music star Thomas Rhett and his spouse, writer Lauren Akins, make their TV internet hosting debut on the 11th annual version of ABC’s “CMA Nation Christmas” (Monday, 9 EST/PST).

PBS celebrates the vacation with completely different musical types. The 17th annual “Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir,” that includes actors Kelli O’Hara and Richard Thomas, premieres Dec. 14 (9 EST/PST, verify native listings), with “Ella Needs you a Swingin’ Christmas with Vanessa Williams,” a celebration of basic vacation tunes from Ella Fitzgerald, arriving Dec. 15 (Eight EST/PST, verify native listings).

In HBO Max’s “My Present: A Christmas Particular From Carrie Underwood” (streaming Dec. 3), the Grammy-winning singer combines conventional vacation favorites with unique materials from her first full-length Christmas album, “My Present,” which was launched this fall. John Legend joins Underwood for a duet.

Apple TV+ unwraps “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Particular” on Dec. 4. The music famous person, lengthy related to the vacation, might be joined by Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg and Misty Copeland.

If that is not sufficient famous person energy, Dolly Parton has a brand new CBS particular, “A Holly Dolly Christmas” (Dec. 6, 8:30 EST/8 PST). And Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood return to CBS for a brand new one-hour live performance particular, “Garth & Trisha Stay! A Vacation Live performance Occasion” Dec. 20 (8:30 EST/Eight PST delayed). Followers can also stream each on CBS All Entry.

Classics in ready

These returning exhibits are attempting to cement a everlasting place within the vacation TV pantheon. 

Two movie-franchise spinoffs, “Olaf’s Frozen Journey” and “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” seem again to again on ABC on Thursday (Eight EST/PST). That is adopted by the fifth version of “The Fantastic World of Disney: Magical Vacation Celebration” on ABC (9 EST/PST).

ABS additionally affords a 3rd version of “The Disney Vacation Singalong” (Sunday, Eight EST/PST). “The Nice Christmas Mild Combat,” ABC’s widespread adorning competitors, returns for its eighth season on Dec. 9 (Eight EST/PST).

As a part of its annual “Nickmas” rollout of greater than 100 hours of seasonal content material, Nickelodeon presents classics together with “Rugrats Chanukah” ( Dec. 10 and 17, 10 EST/PST).  

Basic stocking stuffers

Bear in mind all these fantastic items from bygone days? Nicely, even should you acquired a lump of coal, you will all the time have these hardy seasonal perennials.  

Begin the festivities after Thanksgiving with a few chilly ones –  the non-alcoholic variety – as CBS affords “Frosty the Snowman” and “Frosty Returns,” back-to-back on Friday (Eight EST/PST).

ABC affords one other animated gem, 1970’s “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to City,”  on Friday (Eight EST/PST), too.

And maybe probably the most well-known animated Christmas story of all, “Rudolph the Crimson-Nosed Reindeer,” makes its perennial look Dec. 1 on CBS (Eight EST/PST). The primary competitors for that honor, 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” is on the market to Apple TV+ subscribers beginning Dec. 4, with free viewing Dec. 11 to 13, together with a PBS broadcast Dec. 13 (7:30 EST/PST, verify native listings).

The Christmas tree will get its personal night time to shine on  NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Middle” (Dec. 2, Eight EST/PST), the 88th version of the famed New York tree-lighting ceremony. If that is not a sufficiently big chunk of the Massive Apple, keep tuned afterward for one more vacation custom, NBC’s “Radio Metropolis Christmas Spectacular” (10 EST/PST).

Viewers can revisit the bygone days of younger Ralphie Parker and his dream of a Crimson Ryder air rifle when “A Christmas Story” arrives on TBS Dec. 4 (Eight EST/PST) and Dec. 5 (6 EST/PST). For those who miss the leg lamp or Flick getting his tongue caught to the frozen pole, don’t fret. The annual 24-hour marathon returns Dec. 24 on TBS (Eight EST/PST) and TNT (9 EST/PST).

Want extra vacation classics? Get your annual Edelweiss repair when ABC broadcasts the incomparable Julie Andrews in 1965’s “The Sound of Music” (Dec. 20, 7 EST/PST)

Lastly, NBC continues a Christmas Eve custom with a Jimmy Stewart movie that is synonymous with the vacation, “It is a Fantastic Life” (Dec. 24, Eight EST/PST).


Present Thumbnails

Present Captions

Learn or Share this story:

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Current track



Current show


3:00 pm 5:00 pm

Current show


3:00 pm 5:00 pm