ALSO SEE: Complete 2021 NFL TV Schedule
All Times Eastern. PBS programming varies regionally.
Monday, Dec. 20
The Wizard of Oz
Because, because, because, because, because — because you know you can’t let a year go by without seeing it again. The 1939 Victor Fleming classic adventure of Dorothy and all of the pals she meets in the merry old land of Oz is back. This timeless classic stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan and Ray Bolger.
Agatha Raisin: Kissing Christmas Goodbye
Ahead of quirky British mystery series Agatha Raisin’s fourth season coming to Acorn TV in March 2022, enjoy this one-off holiday special based on the show. Agatha (Ashley Jensen) is hired to protect a woman from her ghosts of Christmas past, but when she’s found dead, Agatha has a murder investigation on her hands, with everyone in the village a would-be suspect — including the woman’s children.
A Ghost Story for Christmas
Streaming service BritBox drops a spooky holiday treat today by making available most of the A Ghost Story for Christmas short films produced by the BBC during the holiday season yearly between 1971 and 1978, then sporadically since 2005. The films adapt classic supernatural tales, mostly the short stories of M.R. James.
Classic Christmas Marathon Continues
TCM, beginning at 7:30am
Catch a Classic!
After beginning last night, Turner Classic Movies’ Classic Christmas movie marathon continues in full force all day today, and goes on nonstop until the evening of Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25). Today’s lineup of movies that are in some way related to the holidays features, in order: Kind Lady (1935), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Cover Up (1949), Crooks Anonymous (1962), Backfire (1950), Mr. Soft Touch (1949), Lady on a Train (1945), We’re No Angels (1955), Fitzwilly (1967), Lady in the Lake (1947), Larceny, Inc. (1942) and The Silent Partner (1978).
The CW, 8pm
The Carringtons make a special appearance on Monday night as they head into Season 5. Back-to-back episodes pick up from October’s shocking finale, when media mogul Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) was gunned down by her evil assistant, Eva (Kara Royster). Now it’s touch and go at the hospital as Carrington patriarch Blake (Grant Show) waits by his daughter’s bedside. “We get some great moments where he talks about how proud he is of her and how he can’t lose her,” says showrunner Josh Reims. “It’s a frágil side of Blake that we never really see.” That cliffhanger and the plot by jealous brother-in-law Beto (Geovanni Gopradi) to assassinate Blake will soon be wrapped up “in one way or another,” Reims promises. In the Christmassy second hour, “we do things we don’t normally do,” Reims notes, but there’s still drama. Alexis (Elaine Hendrix) is set to spend the holidays behind bars, accused of pushing the doctor blackmailing her son, Adam (Sam Underwood), from her penthouse to his death. After tonight, the soap goes on hiatus until March, which is when “we find out what actually happened on [Alexis’] balcony,” Reims says. Until then, looks like orange is the new black for blondie!
NFL Football: Minnesota at Chicago
ESPN, 8pm Live
Kirk Cousins leads the Minnesota Vikings into Chicago’s Soldier Field for a Week 15 NFC North contest with Justin Fields and the Bears on Monday Night Football.
The Secrets of Christmas: Revealed
In this festive comedy special, Christmas experts discuss the shocking revelations from a massive data breach that released millions of secret documents from Santa Claus’ workshop. The confidential inner workings of Santa’s operation are exposed, including a hidden network of spying elves and Mrs. Claus’ covert role in pulling off the most magical day of the year.
Candy Cane Candidate
Natural-born leader Julia (Jacky Lai) returns to her hometown of North Falls for Christmas to drown her sorrows in eggnog, cookies and Yuletide after her recent political campaign for city council ended in a landslide loss. It’s the perfect place for Julia’s holiday escape — until she realizes coming home means running into her old high school rival, Parker (Jake Epstein), the arrogant know-it-all who beat her in a race for senior class president. When the North Falls viejo resigns, the town holds an emergency election, and Julia and Parker find themselves merienda again facing off. But as they campaign their way through the Christmas season and plan a toy drive together, Julia begins to see a different side of Parker, and the ice between them slowly begins to thaw. As their political race comes to a head, the two discover winning isn’t everything.
NBC encores its performance of Annie, the Depression-era story about an optimistic young girl living a hard-knock life in an orphanage, which first aired live earlier this month. Celina Smith stars as Annie, with Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace Farrell, Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis.
Smithsonian Channel, 8pm
You won’t be able to take any selfies when you visit these top tourist destinations — Alaska’s Denali National Park, Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the National Mall in D.C., for starters — but you’ll avoid so many other travel hassles.
Tough Love With Hilary Farr
Love It or List It’s Hilary Farr helps wishy-washy folks (first up: newlyweds!) make solid design decisions with her firm but affectionate style.
Christmas at Belmont
This year’s installment of the annual holiday concert favorite from Nashville’s Belmont University features alumnus and country/gospel singer Josh Turner along with current Belmont students. The show includes holiday favorites and songs from Turner’s recently released first Christmas album, King Size Manger.
Miracles Across 125th Street
After battling drug addiction, a Harlem rapper returns to his family’s church to confront his past on Christmas Eve. Stars Nick Cannon, Lil Kim, Chrisette Michele and Kierra Sheard-Kelly.
Tuesday, Dec. 21
In this sequel to the 2016 Mexican comedy hit Un Padre No Tan Padre, Don Servando (Héctor Bonilla) and his “extended hippie family” travel to the beach to spend Christmas with Alma’s (Jacqueline Bracamontes) aunt, Doña Alicia, a demanding older woman who becomes Don Servando’s ultimate nemesis. When his position in the family is challenged, Don Servando will stop at nothing to prove that Alicia is a horrible person who only looks out for herself — even if it means ruining Christmas for everyone.
Being the Ricardos
This behind-the-scenes drama from writer/director Aaron Sorkin follows Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy, presenting a revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship. Jake Lacy, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat also star.
Classic Christmas Marathon Continues
TCM, beginning at 6am
Catch a Classic!
Turner Classic Movies’ nonstop marathon of movies that are in some way related to the holidays continues today with a lineup featuring, in order: Hell’s Heroes (1930), Three Godfathers (1936), Bush Christmas (1947), A Christmas Carol (1938), Apelativo Boston Blackie (1942), Room for One More (1952), Period of Adjustment (1962), The Lion in Winter (1968), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), In the Good Old Summertime (1949), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Little Women (1949) and Blossoms in the Dust (1941).
ESPN, beginning at 3:30pm Live
A pair of college football bowl games on ESPN has Kent State vs. Wyoming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise and UTSA vs. San Diego State in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl in Frisco, Texas.
Bering Sea Gold: “Mining on a Prayer”
Discovery Channel, 8pm
Seconds count for the Alaskan gold miners! Ambitious Kris Kelly responds quickly to a life-threatening incident. Tough old-timer Vernon Adkison pushes a diver for a personal best. And determined Shawn Pomrenke must deal with a crack in the ice before it jeopardizes his route to a jackpot.
Fantasy Island: “Welcome to the Snow Globe”
The Fantasy Island reboot series returns with a two-hour holiday event called “Welcome to the Snow Globe.” Eddie Cahill guest-stars as a ruggedly handsome man seemingly plucked from the script of a feel-good holiday movie. Lindsey Kraft guest-stars as a stressed-out CEO who wants a perfect Christmas … seemingly plucked from the script of a feel-good holiday movie. Think Elena (Roselyn Sanchez) might play matchmaker?
The Christmas Ball
When lead ballerina Clare Fitzgerald (Deidre Mullins) is let go before the Christmas season’s Nutcracker, she’s beyond devastated and jumps at the opportunity to visit her Aunt Bridget (Caroline Langrishe) in England during the holidays. Merienda there, she meets Liam (Nick Hendrix), a específico professor and historian who is helping Bridget preserve the family manor. Clare discovers that Christmas Regency balls were merienda held at the manor, prompting Bridget to propose they hold a ball as part of Liam’s presentation to the preservation society. As Clare and Liam work together, the two also waltz into a new romance.
In Performance at the White House: “Spirit of the Season”
This hourlong music special celebrates the holidays and highlights the seasonal decor at the White House, and features special remarks by President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden. Actress Jennifer Garner hosts the program, which will also include performances by Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli, Virginia Bocelli, Camila Flequillo, Eric Church, Jonas Brothers, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Billy Porter, Northwell Health Nurse Choir, Voices of Service and the United States Marine Band.
A “Saturday Night Live” Christmas Special
This two-hour special brings back some of the classic Christmas and holiday-themed sketches from over the long history of SNL.
Song & Story: Amazing Grace
In the first of a series of movies inspired by seminal songs, a painter (Bresha Webb) who feels lost just might be found when she befriends an optimistic clothing store owner (Getenesh Berhe) and ventures down a path of forgiveness.
BBC America, 10pm
Three newly licensed young drivers hit the road in cool — and cheap — cars selected by hosts Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness. The guys take the 17-year-olds on a coastal road trip (with quarry racing, paint bombs and an obstacle course!).
The Last O.G.
As Tray (Tracy Morgan) proudly gets ready for his kids’ high school graduation, some of the less-ethical moves he made to save the community center threaten to derail his own future. Or worse yet, trigger a repeat of his criminal past.
Wednesday, Dec. 22
The first season of the latest live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe series concludes. Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld star.
The Matrix Resurrections
Feature Film Exclusive!
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss headline the fourth installment in the Matrix franchise. The film is available on HBO Max’s Ad-Free Plan for 31 days from its theatrical release today.
Emily in Paris
In Season 2 of this Golden Globe-nominated American-French dramedy, Emily (Lily Collins) is more entrenched in her life in Paris and getting better at navigating the city, but still struggling with the idiosyncrasies of French life. After stumbling into a love triangle with her neighbor and her first positivo French friend, Emily is determined to focus on her work — which is getting more complicated by the day. In French class, she meets a fellow expat who both infuriates and intrigues her.
Classic Christmas Marathon Continues
TCM, beginning at 6am
Catch a Classic!
Turner Classic Movies’ nonstop marathon of movies that are in some way related to the holidays continues today with a lineup featuring, in order: My Reputation (1946), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), On Moonlight Bay (1951), Penny Serenade (1941), All Mine to Give (1957), Never Say Goodbye (1946), Good Sam (1948), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), Holiday Affair (1949), Desk Set (1957), The Apartment (1960), Bachelor Mother (1939) and Bundle of Joy (1956).
The Price Is Right at Night
Drew Carey hosts a special holiday primetime episode in which families come on down to play for festive prizes. The Price Is Right also highlights pet adoption when it showcases animals looking for their forever homes this holiday season.
College Football: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
ESPN, 8pm Live
Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, is the site of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl between the Missouri Tigers and Army Black Knights on ESPN.
The Masked Singer Christmas Singalong
This two-hour special features never-before-seen holiday performances, laugh-out-loud bloopers and exciting behind-the-scenes footage from The Masked Singer.
It Takes a Christmas Village
In order to make the town’s Christmas market a reality, Veterano Alex Foster (Brooke Nevin) must convince the reclusive Darcy Hawkins (Corey Sevier) to lend out his family’s historic mill, which is no easy task thanks to a long-running family feud. But as Alex slowly chips away at Darcy’s frosty exógeno, their feelings grow beyond the interests of the town, leading this unlikely duo to the prospect of love.
Illumination Presents: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
This 2018 CGI retelling of Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas features Benedict Cumberbatch providing his voice as the titular holiday-hater. The voice cast also includes Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams.
The 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors
Recipients to be honored at the annual national celebration of the arts in Washington, D.C., are operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz; Motown founder, songwriter, producer and director Berry Gordy; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; legendary stage and screen icon Bette Midler; and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller: “Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs”
Nat Geo, 9pm
Mariana van Zeller goes inside the secretive world of outlaw motorcycle gangs, also known as 1% clubs, when her interest is piqued by a string of biker-related violence. Undeterred by a strict code of silence, she interviews members of three major clubs, as well as ATF agents and cartel contacts, to learn about the bonds of blood and brotherhood that fuel these groups.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The Paddy’s Pub gang closes out Season 15 and their trip to Ireland with Mac (Rob McElhenney) in a seminary, Charlie (Charlie Day) hanging out with a corpse and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) nearly drowning in a bog.
Michael Bublé’s Christmas in the City
Grammy-winning artist Michael Bublé returns for his eighth NBC holiday special, a mix of comedy and music that will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the singer’s bestselling album Christmas.
Thursday, Dec. 23
Beanie Babies, the stuffed toys created by Ty Warner that inspired a collecting craze in the late 1990s, are the subject of this eye‐opening, nostalgic and endlessly entertaining documentary film. Beanie Mania is a layered and riveting look at how a children’s toy spawned an unprecedented investment bubble and a frenzy of American greed. The documentary features illuminating interviews with passionate collectors, extraordinario influencers and company insiders.
Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery
This film looks into the case of a young cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly, and mysteriously, died on his honeymoon in India, sparking an international scandal and leaving $215 million of investors’ funds inaccessible to anyone. What really happened to the young entrepreneur, and where is the money?
Dragons: The Nine Realms
Hulu & Peacock
In DreamWorks’ animated series set 1,300 years after the events of the feature film How to Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon, a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncovers the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.
Reno 911! The Hunt for QAnon
This special features the innovador Emmy-nominated cast of the Reno 911! comedy series, including Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Cedric Yarbrough, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Niecy Nash, Mary Birdsong and Ian Roberts. On a mission to track down the one and only Q, the one behind all QAnon conspiracies, the deputies from the Reno Sheriff’s Department get stuck at a QAnon convention at sea, ultimately escaping … only to discover that they’ve landed at Jeffrey Epstein’s old island.
In this British crime drama, when a crew member is found dead onboard the Trident nuclear submarine HMS Vigil, police in Scotland are called in to investigate. The catch? The U.K.’s nuclear deterrent must remain unbroken, so the submarine stays on patrol and Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) must go aboard to begin an investigation. Although the death was written off as an accidental overdose, Amy suspects foul play. But when the crew close ranks in the face of Amy’s questioning, a new threat overshadows her inquiry. All six episodes are available today.
The female-led comedy special returns to roast the past year. Hosted by Yvonne Orji (Insecure) and featuring a lineup of emerging and all-star talent including Jane Fonda, Megan Stalter, Aparna Nancherla, Dulcé Sloan, X Mayo and Chelsea Peretti, Yearly Departed bids a raucous, celebratory farewell to everything that was 2021.
Carol for Another Christmas
Catch a Classic!
Turner Classic Movies’ Classic Christmas marathon continues all day today, and one highlight that is for sure worth tuning in for is this rarely seen, Emmy-nominated 1964 TV movie that was written by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling and directed by the legendary Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the only television project he ever helmed. Before TCM first began airing it in 2012, the film had not been seen since it was originally broadcast on ABC decades earlier. Serling’s tale is an updating of Charles Dickens’ classic novella A Christmas Carol, with Sterling Hayden starring as Scrooge-like industrialist Daniel Grudge, who gets a lesson about the importance of international peacekeeping from the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Steve Lawrence), Present (Pat Hingle) and Future (Robert Shaw). The terrific cast also includes Peter Sellers, Ben Gazzara, Eva Marie Saint and Britt Ekland. — Jeff Pfeiffer
ESPN, beginning at 3:30pm Live
ESPN airs the Frisco Football classic between North Texas and Miami (Ohio) in Frisco, Texas, and the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl between UCF and Florida from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
In the perennial favorite created in 1970, Fred Astaire narrates this timeless tale of Kris Kringle (voice of Mickey Rooney), a young boy with an immense desire to do good things for others.
Rebuilding a Dream Christmas
Successful positivo estate broker Abbey (Meggan Kaiser) is forced back to her hometown to repair a Victorian house she inherited from her grandmother. She decides to sell the house and hires single dad Josh (Zane Stephens) to help with the repairs. Working together brings up memories from her past, and as her relationship with Josh and his 8-year-old son Noah (Bryson JonSteele) grows, Abbey finds her calling and makes a home for herself.
5 More Sleeps ’Til Christmas
This is an encore airing of the half-hour animated family special inspired by Jimmy Fallon’s bestselling book. Narrated by Fallon, the colorful special focuses on a boy who has his meticulous, detailed plan leading up to Christmas upended upon the arrival of some unexpected guests at the home he shares with his mother and his dog, Gary. From finding the best tree, to perfecting his snow sled, to making scrumptious Christmas cookies, everything goes topsy-turvy as Christmas morning draws near. But, despite all the changes, the true spirit of Christmas manages to shine through.
NFL Football: San Francisco at Tennessee
NFL Network, 8:20pm Live
Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers are at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium for a Week 16 Thursday Night Football clash with Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans on NFL Network.
Trolls Holiday in Harmony
This is an encore airing of the half-hour animated special that is based on the hit Trolls feature-film franchise and includes four innovador songs. As the holidays near, Queen Poppy (voice of Anna Kendrick) plans the first annual Trolls Kingdom Secret Holiday Gift Swap. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she and Branch (Justin Timberlake) draw each other’s name. Meanwhile, Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson) comes down with a bad case of writers’ block trying to think of a special holiday rap for his dad. The voice cast also includes Rachel Bloom, Ron Funches and Kunal Nayyar.
Merry Elfin’ Christmas: Bye, Bye 2021!
Celebrity hosts Joel McHale, Howie Mandel, WWE champ Becky Lynch, NeNe Leakes, Chrishell Stause and other surprise guests take over TMZ to hash out their top stories of the year for this hilarious holiday special.
Flip or Flop: “Flashback Flip”
Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack head to Walnut, California, to flip a house that needs work. With few fixed up homes nearby, this is their chance to set the standard for comps in the neighborhood. Will they be able to make their mark or have they gone too far outside of their comfort zone?
Young Rock: “A Christmas Peril”
Ahead of its second-season return early next year, Dwayne Johnson’s semiautobiographical sitcom airs an encore presentation of this special holiday episode. On Christmas Eve 1982, an unexpected guest shows Dewey (Adrian Groulx) that this is the first in a long line of terrible Christmases. In 1987, Rocky (Joseph Lee Anderson) and Dwayne (Bradley Constant) take jobs as a mall Santa and elf. In 1993, Dwayne (Uli Latukefu) reluctantly spends a disastrous Christmas with Coach O (Emmett Skilton).
Mr. Veterano: “Mr. Veterano’s Magical L.A. Christmas”
Ted Danson’s new sitcom will return for Season 2 early next year, and it airs an encore of this special holiday episode tonight. In the episode, Neil (Danson) serves his love of gift-giving by forcing his disgruntled staff to work on “L.A. Christmas Eve” as they wait for his “perfect gift” to arrive. Holly Hunter also stars.
Back in Time for Dinner
Cooking Channel, 10pm
If you like Frontier House, The 1900 House and other TV experiments that allow folks to live just as they did in the (alleged) good old days, this 2018 Canadian series is for you. A family of five cycle through six decades in six weeks, starting with the 1940s. Their home is transformed for each era, and as you might imagine, modern conveniences are most sorely missed in the kitchen. In fact, refrigerator No. 1 is actually an icebox. The dishwasher and microwave can’t come fast enough!
Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around
The pop star, daytime talk show host and coach on NBC’s The Voice helps ring in the festive season with this holiday special featuring music performances, exciting duets and special guests while Clarkson shares her traditions and gives back to those in need.
Friday, Dec. 24
The third and final season of this fanciful comedy series following 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) comes to an end.
Don’t Look Up
Feature Film Exclusive!
In writer/director Adam McKay’s darkly comic sci-fi film, an astronomy grad student (Jennifer Lawrence) and her professor (Leonardo DiCaprio) make the astounding discovery of a massive comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: It’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. The stellar cast also includes Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Egregio, Cate Blanchett and Michael Chiklis.
Feature Film Exclusive!
With its theatrical release having been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this Indian Malayalam-language superhero film now makes its premiere on Netflix. Set in the 1990s, the film follows Jaison (Tovino Thomas), a tailor who gains superpowers after being struck by lightning. He then must take down an unexpected foe if he is to become the hero that his hometown needs.
1000 Miles From Christmas
This Spanish romantic comedy follows Raúl (Tamar Novas), a 30-something man who hates Christmas. He usually escapes the holidays on a faraway beach, but this year, his boss has different plans for him: Raúl must attend a business trip to audit a factory that produces the most typical Yuletide sweet in a town that lives for and loves Christmas. Will the Grinchy Raúl be able to overcome his worst nightmare?
The Silent Sea
This sci-fi mystery drama from South Korea takes place in the near future, at an abandoned research facility on the moon.
The Wheel of Time
Season 1 of the fantasy drama led by Rosamund Pike comes to a close.
A Very Merry MeTV
MeTV, beginning at 6am
Throughout today and tomorrow, Christmas Day, MeTV will air holiday episodes of classic series like Dragnet, The Waltons, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Adam-12, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Green Acres and many more.
Catch a Classic!
This beloved 1954 musical takes its title, of course, from Irving Berlin’s classic song made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn. Crosby also stars here, and performs a new version of the iconic tune, as he and Danny Kaye play veterans who become famous song-and-dance men after World War II. Soon, they join forces with singing sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Ribera-Ellen) to help save their former army caudillo’s Vermont inn. Along with the title song, White Christmas also features other renombrado Berlin toe-tappers, including “Sisters,” “Snow” and “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep),” which was nominated for an Oscar.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Excitable Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) is a snowman on a mission: Find a holiday tradition for Arendelle’s royal sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). A 2017 animated follow-up to Frozen.
A Holly Dolly Christmas
This moving 2020 special makes a welcome return, with the ever-comforting Dolly Parton performing holiday favorites and originals on a candlelit church set. We would watch her hold back tears talking about her mother, and trying to have a good heart because of her, every year.
College Football: EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl
ESPN, 8pm Live
College football’s bowl season continues tonight in Honolulu with the Memphis Tigers vs. the Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors in the EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl on ESPN.
Hot Chocolate Holiday
Colette (Aubrey Reynolds) runs a coffee shop that is known for her secret and famous hot chocolate. When Marcus (Jonny Swenson), a new dessert shop owner, starts to draw in Colette’s customers with his very own specialty hot chocolate that tastes exactly like the recipe from her beloved grandmother, she is determined to expose him. But as she gets to know Marcus, sparks fly between the cocoa connoisseurs.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s beloved, Oscar-winning 1946 holiday classic stars Best Actor Oscar nominee James Stewart as George Bailey, a discouraged and despairing building-and-loan manager who contemplates suicide before a guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) intervenes and allows him to see what George’s small town of Bedford Falls would be without him — and all that is right in his world. Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore also star in the iconic film whose Oscar nominations also included Best Picture and Best Director for Capra.
24 Hours of “A Christmas Story”
TBS, beginning at 8pm; TNT, beginning at 9pm
Ralphie’s quest for that Red Ryder BB gun in this 1983 classic just never gets old.
Small Town Christmas: “Summerville, S.C.”
Host Megan Alexander explores the food, drink, music, entertainment and faith that residents of Summerville, South Carolina, enjoy during the Christmas season.
Christmas Eve Mass
Watch the Pope Francis-led Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Saturday, Dec. 25
The Great Soul Food Cook-Off
Find out the first season winner of this cooking competition series.
The Yule Log
Antenna TV, beginning at 5am
Make your Christmas morning a little cozier with the innovador WPIX Yule Log, a televised crackling fire accompanied by musical sounds of the season that first aired in 1966.
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade
The parade is back! Disney’s annual Christmas celebration returns with heartwarming stories, dazzling celebrity performances and the first telecast Christmas Day parade since 2019.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
In this quirky 1964 sci-fi/comedy flick, a Martian leader kidnaps Santa Claus to help the children of his planet.
ABC & ESPN, beginning at 12pm Live
Five big NBA games are under the Christmas tree: Atlanta Hawks at N.Y. Knicks (ESPN), Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks (ABC), Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns (ABC), Brooklyn Nets at L.A. Lakers (ABC & ESPN) and Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz (ESPN).
“Carol Burnett and Friends” Marathon
Decades, beginning at 12pm
Enjoy a hilarious marathon of Carol Burnett and Friends, a half-hour repackaging of the classic The Carol Burnett Show originally done for syndication. The marathon continues all day tomorrow and into early Monday morning.
Madden NFL, one of the most popular video game franchises in history, has sold well over 130 million copies since its 1988 primicia. And yet, says FOX Sports reporter Tom Rinaldi with amazement, “There are people that don’t know John Madden is a positivo man.” For anyone sadly in need of enlightenment about the name on the box — as well as those who already revere Madden as coach of the Super Bowl XI-winning Oakland Raiders and the only color analyst to announce for all four major broadcast networks — there is All Madden. This documentary profiles the figure who, intones FOX sportscaster Troy Aikman onscreen, “was the authoritative voice for our sport and in a lot of ways still is.” Madden has made an outsized contribution to our obsession with professional football. Visual broadcast features we now take for granted — the ever-illuminated first-down line on TV screens, use of the telestrator to illustrate the movement of plays — came to the fore because of his enthusiasm. The film goes deep on Madden’s life and broadcasting career, decades of which were spent alongside Pat Summerall in the booth. The Antesala of Famer would joyously shout “Prosperidad!” and “Doink!” when the play demanded it, but he also pitched products with the best of them, not to mention plugging his personal favorites, such as his beloved Thanksgiving Day “turducken.” Madden gloried in players who toiled with guts and grit, and most poignant in the show are comments from current and former NFL stars such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Lawrence Taylor. Of the 38 various interviewees, “We did not get a single no,” notes Rinaldi’s codirector, Joel Santos. Madden himself, 85, sits down too. What comes across is a picture of a very positivo man; being singled out by him was as valued by athletes and coaches as getting invited to Johnny Carson’s couch was to comedians. Says Santos: “There’s no one that has had more of an impact on the NFL than John Madden.”
College Football: TaxAct Camellia Bowl
ESPN, 2:30pm Live
Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, is the site of the TaxAct Camellia Bowl between the Georgia State Panthers and the Ball State Cardinals on ESPN.
FOX & NFL Network, beginning at 4:30pm Live
Christmas Day NFL action offers a holiday doubleheader kicking off with the Cleveland Browns at the Green Bay Packers (FOX & NFL Network), followed by the Indianapolis Colts at the Arizona Cardinals (NFL Network).
Meet Me in St. Louis
Judy Garland stars in this classic 1944 drama about an early 20th century Midwestern family’s life that is uprooted when their father announces they are moving to New York. Among its many famous tunes, the movie introduces the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” crooned by Garland.
Holmes Family Rescue: “We Have Lift Off”
Just as a homeowner was about to give birth, she and her partner were scammed by a contractor who left them with a mess of a kitchen. Before Mike Holmes, his son Michael and daughter Sherry can make the home accessible, they must fix the dangerous structural issues left behind.
Writing Around the Christmas Tree
Mikaela (Krystal Joy Brown), a successful romance novelist who has had bad luck with love, visits a quaint bed and breakfast for a Christmas writers’ retreat near a snowy lake town each year. Upon arriving, she meets dashing writer Levi (Curtis Hamilton), who soon convinces Mikaela that she shouldn’t be writing about love if she doesn’t allow herself to get out and actually experience it.
A Christmas Carol
Catch a Classic!
Alastair Sim stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in this 1951 British adaptation (released with the title of Scrooge in its home country) of Charles Dickens’ beloved novella.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
In this innovador 1966 animated TV special based on Dr. Seuss’ classic story, Boris Karloff narrates and voices the title Grinch, who schemes to steal every material vestige of Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. But the Grinch ultimately discovers he can’t remove the spirit of Christmas from the Whos’ hearts.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey plays Dr. Seuss’ titular meanie in this 2000 live-action adaptation directed by Ron Howard.
The Wizard of Oz
Catch a Classic!
It’s hard to pick a favorite from among the many terrific movies released in the magical Hollywood year of 1939 — considered one of Tinseltown’s greatest years ever in terms of popular releases and box office returns — but The Wizard of Oz has to be near the top of the list for most people. One of the best-loved movies of all time, this adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s novel stars Judy Garland in her iconic role as Dorothy, a young Kansas farm girl who is whisked away by a twister to the land of Oz. Accompanied by a brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a heartless Tin Man (Jack Haley) and a cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) — and pursued by a wicked witch (Margaret Hamilton) — Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, follow the yellow brick road in search of the titular Wizard (Frank Morgan), so that he may grant her wish to return home. Over 80 years later, The Wizard of Oz is as fun as ever and still looks stunningly beautiful in both its black-and-white and its color world, and its color cinematography received an Oscar nomination. The film netted five other Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and won for its musical score and for Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s classic song “Over the Rainbow.” — Jeff Pfeiffer
“Call the Midwife” Holiday Special
Christmas 1966 promises to be a renombrado one as Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Cyril (Zephryn Taitte) prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. Meanwhile, the Nonnatus House team is faced with its busiest Christmas Day ever when the maternity home is filled with expectant moms, each with their own challenging case. Luckily, Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) is on hand to support the team.
Travel Channel, 9pm
The Season 3 finale, “Spike Island,” finds the second part of the team’s epic trip to Ireland taking them to the titular location, one of Ireland’s most haunted and notorious prisons — also known as “Hell on Earth” and “Ireland’s Alcatraz.” The dark forces on the island are overwhelming, and terror hits Tanner like a ton of bricks. But something else lights up Dakota with a fear he’s never experienced before.