From feel-good Christmas classics to festive competition specials, networks have decked the halls with a variety of holiday programming as the month of December reaches its midpoint.
Each year, holiday programming arrives earlier as networks like Lifetime and Hallmark embrace their most popular time of the year. Hallmark launched its 10th annual Countdown to Christmas on Oct. 26 with the network’s first original movie premiere of the season, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. According to Hallmark, the launch garnered 2.6 million viewers, crowning it the most-watched program of the day.
“From our top-tier talent, to magical locations, to compelling, heartfelt storylines, Hallmark Channel’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ is a pop cultural touchstone that has been enchanting viewers for a decade and we are honored to have become such an important part of their holiday traditions,” Michelle Vicary, EVP, programming and network publicity at Hallmark, said in a statement.
Lifetime, on the other hand, is airing Christmas movies non-stop for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The network, who debuted the below spot the very first week of October, dubs it “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime.”
For Freeform, Nov. 1 ushered the unveiling of its hit programming slate, 25 Days of Christmas. This year’s festive lineup includes a two-hour holiday special of Good Trouble on Monday, Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, in addition to the longest-running Christmas specials in TV history, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Other Freeform classics like Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Santa Clause trilogy are slated to premiere on the small screen for some joyful, family-friendly viewing.
Though networks are the leading force in holiday programming, streamers are upping their participation with new and classic holiday content. Netflix, for example, revealed its biggest holiday programming slate to date, which began releasing content like Sugar Rush Christmas, Merry Happy Whatever and Klaus as early as November.
Here’s more of what Daily Brief is watching this holiday season:
December 14: Holiday Date (Hallmark, 8PM)
Christmas and Hanukkah collide in this feel-good love story about two people (Brittany Bristow and Matt Cohen) with different holiday traditions.
December 19: A Christmas Carol (FX, 7:30PM)
FX and BBC put a dark twist on the beloved classic tale from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol.
December 20: I Love Lucy Christmas Special (CBS, 8PM)
If you love Lucy, CBS is broadcasting the colorized “The Christmas Episode” as well as the newly colorized “Paris at Last” back-to-back on Friday, Dec. 20 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.
December 25: Disney Parks Magical Christmas Parade (ABC, 10AM)
During this two-hour Christmas Day special, celebrity hosts will follow the annual Christmas Day Parade down Mainstreet U.S.A as viewers see special musical performances and special sneak peeks at future Disneyland attractions.
December 26: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (ABC, 8PM)
The Peanuts gang gathers to celebrate a new year in this timeless classic airing on CBS.
Tags: holidays 2019