Monday, November 15, 2021

Where to Watch Christmas TV Programs in 2021

 

It's the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it? The Christmas TV movies have already begun airing, Christmas music is playing on local radio stations, the days are growing shorter, and the air outside is crisp.

The viewing options for Christmas movies and specials during November and December each year are overwhelming--even for me. Last year, I counted over 400 new Christmas and New Year's TV programs and movies released and this year is already well beyond last year's numbers. Let me help you with the details of where to find the best holiday programming for 2021. This is not an exhaustive list and new information is still being released. However, this is where you will find the majority of new holiday programming airing this year. 

 

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Christmas TV Movies:

For many holiday movie fans, the Hallmark Channel is the first name in Christmas TV movies. This year alone, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and their streaming platform Hallmark Movies NOW are debuting 41 new Christmas TV movies, alongside many previously released classics from their archives. If you didn't already know, the movie marathon has already begun--Hallmark started Friday, October 22th--and continues all day and all night through the end of December. Hallmark typically debuts their new holiday movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' new movies debut this year on Saturday nights. Hallmark Movies NOW streaming platform will debut their one new movie "Every Time a Bell Rings" on Nov. 18th.

HERE is link to a checklist of Hallmark's Christmas TV movie premieres. The daily schedule of their holiday movies can be found on their website HERE.

Click HERE to see the checklist of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' new Christmas movies for 2021. HERE is the link to HMM daily schedule on their website.

The 41 new movies by Hallmark this year are across all three platforms (Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Movies NOW). If you don't have cable TV, you can also watch Hallmark Christmas movies on several apps including Frndly, YouTubeTV, and Hallmark Movies NOW.


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Lifetime is debuting 35 new Christmas TV movies in 2021 as well. I know, right? In order to stay competitive, Lifetime has scheduled their movies in a clever way. They don't start debuting movies until Nov. 12th, on Saturday and Sunday night. Then starting on Thanksgiving Night, they debut a new Christmas TV movie EVERY NIGHT until Christmas! EVERY NIGHT! Yes, every night. Check the schedule and see for yourself. No more reruns on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights. 

HERE is a link to Lifetime's website with more info about their movies this year.



A new cable network rebranded this September as GAC Family is also jumping into the Christmas TV movie game. They are debuting 12 new movies this year--and one Christmas episode of the series When Hope Calls (a former Hallmark series picked up by GAC). There's a tremendous amount of buzz about these twelve new Christmas movies because GAC Family has worked with several production film companies to get their movies--the same companies that also make movies for Hallmark. So many of these GAC Family Christmas movies feature the same actors and creatives from other Hallmark Christmas movies. 

If you don't have cable TV to watch GAC Family, you can also use the app Frndly to watch their new Christmas movies. HERE is a link to the GAC family website with more info on their movies and schedule.

 

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The streaming service Netflix is all-in on Christmas movies and series this year too. They have 12 new movies, several Christmas series, and series' episodes. One of the things I love about Netflix is the ability to click on a Christmas movie within the platform before it's even released and save it in your queue. Thanks Netflix! The movie Love Hard has already been released and I've seen it. It's definitely made for people who love Christmas movies--hint hint. 



BET and their streaming platform BET+ are committed to Christmas TV movies. After a huge success last year, they are debuting 8 new Christmas movies in 2021. Click HERE for a list of those movies.

 

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As usual UpTV is also debuting a full schedule of Christmas TV movies too. For those that love Christmas movies about royalty, this year UpTV is premiering the third movie in the franchise Christmas with a Prince: The Royal Baby. Click HERE for a link to the cable channel's website with more info about their Christmas TV movies.

 

OWN usually debuts several Christmas TV movies and this year is no different. They have three new movies and The Big Holiday Food Fight series--a cooking competition show, hosted by comedian Kim Whitley. I like those holiday cooking competition series--this should be good. OWN's holiday programming airs on Tuesday nights too which makes it easier to watch. There are TOO MANY holiday programs on Sunday nights--amiright?

 

Ion Television is debuting four new Christmas movies and airing their previously released ones too. You can find these movies airing on Sunday nights, Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Click HERE for the Ion TV schedule on their website.


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Freeform is once again airing their 25 Days of Christmas programming block. Unlike in years past, I don't see any new original programming on the schedule this year. That's okay--Freeform is owned by Disney, and ABC and Disney+ are premiering new programming.



AMC is also airing their Best Christmas Ever holiday programming block again this year. It too doesn't include any new original programming--just classic Christmas movies and TV specials. The streaming subscription service AMC+ will debut the movie Silent Night starring Keira Knightley starting Dec. 3rd.

And, the Food Network is rolling out their holiday programming too. Their baking competition series have already started, including Holiday Baking Champions, Holiday Wars, Christmas Cookie Challenge, The Big Bake: Holiday, and more. These series are mostly airing on Mondays and Thursday, but repeat throughout the week.



Major Networks:
 
Of course, the major networks have their holiday programming as well. NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center airs Wed. Dec. 1st. The annual tree lighting ceremony and live concert always airs the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving. That TV special is followed this year by Kelly Clarkson Presents When Christmas Comes Around music special. The annual Saturday Night Live Christmas clip show airs this year on Thursday, Dec. 16th. And, the 1946 movie It's a Wonderful Life will once again air on Christmas Eve.

 


ABC's holiday programming includes the home decorating series The Great Christmas Light Fight which starts Sunday, Nov. 28th. The annual concert special The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration is also airing on Nov. 28th, and CMA Country Christmas is Monday Nov. 29th. On Dec. 6th, ABC is airing A Very Boy Band Holiday music special. And on Dec. 31st, ABC airs the annual music concert and countdown to the New Year on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Among these new programs, ABC is also showing older favorites including Rankin/Bass' Santa Claus is Comin' to Town on Nov. 26th, Olaf's Frozen Adventure and Toy Story That Time Forgot on Dec. 2nd. And, on Christmas Eve, ABC is showing Shrek the Halls and both Prep & Landing TV specials. Lots of good stuff.

 


On CBS, viewers can once again enjoy Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Nov. 22nd, the animated classics Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns airing on Nov. 26th, two Robbie the Reindeer animated specials and The Story of Santa Claus will air on Nov. 27th, the annual music concert that pays tribute to adoptive and foster families A Home for the Holidays and The National Tree Lighting Ceremony and concert are on Dec. 5th. Dec. 31st there's a New Year's music special New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash. This year, CBS is also debuting two new Christmas TV movies: A Christmas Proposal on Dec. 12th, and Christmas Takes Flight on Dec. 19th. It's been a long while since CBS premiered holiday TV movies so this is a must-see experience.

 

 

And, A Charlie Brown Christmas which is available on Apple+ will also air on PBS this year on Dec. 19th.

 


The CW is debuting a TV movie The Walton's Homecoming--a remake of the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story airing on Nov. 28th. On Dec. 1st, they're airing Beebo Saves Christmas, Christmas Around the World on Dec. 8th, The Greatest Holiday Commercials on Dec. 12th, and more.

 

 


Diginets are also airing classic Christmas episodes from the past. Me TV is once again airing holiday blocks of Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes from its list of programs. See the Me TV schedule here.


Stay close to my social media links for more announcements about fantastic holiday programming. If you'd like reminders of the new Christmas TV movie debuts and other exciting holiday TV  programming, don't forget to follow my Facebook page Tis The Season TV and/or my tweets at @TisTheSeasonTV.  

Where on the metaphorical television dial do you watch your favorite Christmas movies and specials?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2022 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 


Saturday, October 9, 2021

American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)

 

Apocalypse is the 8th season of the horror anthology series on FX.

 

As Halloween approaches, many TV viewers love indulging in Christmas horror stories this time of year too. One episode of the horror series American Horror Story: Apocalypse caught my attention.

If you haven't yet seen it, season 8's Apocalypse series centers on witches and warlocks caught in a fight for survival during a nuclear apocalypse. The seventh episode "Traitor" includes several scenes serving as backstory on the witch character Bubbles McGee, played by Joan Collins. While the episode "Traitor" is not set at Christmas, the backstory scenes about Bubbles take place on set while filming a Christmas horror movie. 

 

Within the episode, we see Bubbles filming the horror movie "A Christmas to Dismember."


The wife character is unhappy with her husband at Christmas--any of this sound familiar?


On Christmas Eve, the wife gets her revenge on her cheating husband.

Yes, Joan Collins as Bubbles McGee stars in a horror movie in which she plays a wife who murders her husband at Christmas time. While cleaning up his corpse, there's an unexpected knock at the door!

 

Her granddaughter upstairs is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.

 

There's an unexpected Santa Claus at the door but the wife refuses him entry. She later hears on the radio that a dangerous man has escaped from a nearby asylum.

 

The wife refuses entry to the Santa Claus at the door.


The scenes of the filming of the Christmas horror movie in "Traitor" end with the dangerous Santa Claus coming at the wife, the director calling "Cut!" and then Bubbles McGee walking off set. She's approached by her colleague who nastily quips that McGee has made the same tired movie before, even mentioning 1972. 

 

a scene from 1972's Tales from the Crypt.

Any of this sound familiar? It should. This is a delicious nod to the Christmas segment in the 1972 movie Tales from the Crypt starring Joan Collins as a murderous wife and a killer Santa Claus. I wrote about that movie on this website before--click HERE to see it again. 

 

The 1989 version stars Mary Ellen Trainor as the murderous wife.

The same story was adapted again for the HBO series Tales from the Crypt in 1989 in an episode entitled "And All Through the House." Click HERE to see what I wrote about the TV series adaptation. 

 

These few scenes of Joan Collins revising this role are a must-see for Christmas horror fans.

Joan Collins participating in a tribute to this Christmas horror classic is amazing! Even though this is just a small bit within the episode, and a brief moment within the overall series--it's a memorable nod to an influential horror movie. It's also a significant TV mention of a fan-favorite Christmas horror story. 

Did you catch this reference to the 1972 movie Tales from the Crypt when you watched the eighth season of American Horror Story? Are you a Christmas horror fan? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Halloween!


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2022 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: RECAP

 

 


Did you check out all the daily posts during the Christmas in July marathon? In case you were late to the party this summer, here's your chance to catch up. Below is a complete list of links to each of discussions on Christmas entertainment with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. The month goes by quickly, doesn't it?

Thanks to everyone who followed along and to all who left comments. If you would still like to leave comments, please feel free to do so--the discussion doesn't have to end just because the marathon is over.  And, keep your eyes open--the expanded and updated encyclopedia Tis the Season TV is coming this holiday season. Merry Christmas in July!

 


Christmas Down Under (Southern Hemisphere):

Bush Christmas (1947) and (1983) Australia 

Bluey (2020) Australia

The Monster's Christmas (1982) New Zealand

A Very Barry Christmas (2005) Australia

Koala Brothers (2005) Australia

 

 


Tropical/World Destination Christmases:

Operation Christmas Drop (2020) Guam

Father Christmas (1991) multiple destinations, including Las Vegas

Jack Frost 2 (2000) the Caribbean

The Love Boat (1980) Mexico  

Holiday in the Wild (2019) Zambia

How to Ruin a Christmas: The Wedding (2020) South Africa 



 


Christmas in Hawaii:

Perry Como's Christmas in Hawaii (1985) variety special

Bob Hope's Christmas in Hawaii (1989) variety special

Jim Nabors' Christmas in Hawaii (1981) variety special

Magnum P.I. (1983)

Biggest Little Christmas Showdown (2020) 

Same Time, Next Christmas (2019) 

 



Summer Camp Christmas:

Hey Dude (1990)

Camp Candy (1989)

Camp Lazlo (2007)

Bunk'd (2015)

Summer House (2019) 

Christmas Camp (2019)

 

 


Christmas in July stories: 

Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)

Christmas in July (1940) movie 

Cimarron City (1958)

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2013)

It's Punky Brewster (1985)

Baby Looney Tunes (2002)

Home Adventures with Tip and Oh (2016) 

My World and Welcome to It (1969) Christmas/Flag story for 4th of July

 




Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com




Saturday, July 31, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Koala Brothers (2005)

 

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #31 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I have been celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. We have seen a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

For today's final Christmas in July discussion, let's look at another holiday story set Down Under, in Australia where Christmas takes place in the summer time: the 2005 episode "Outback Christmas" from the Playhouse Disney series The Koala Brothers. (Playhouse Disney was the precursor to Disney Jr.) The series is a stop motion animated, international production.

 


In the third season episode"Outback Christmas," Penny the Penguin has hurt her wing and is unable to travel to the Outback for the Koala Brothers’ Christmas party. Koala Brothers Buster and Frank don’t feel much like celebrating without their friend Penny so they fly to the South Pole to pick her up. But the aviators’ long journey is arduous due to snowy weather conditions and a lost map. The rest of the gang tries to help out by decorating the Koala Brothers’ homestead to prepare for the party. Once at the South Pole, Frank takes a turn learning to ski before flying home to the Outback. Ned figures out how to work the two-way radio and guides the brothers in a nighttime landing using the holiday lights and decorations. Later everyone celebrates together with paper crowns, crackers, and a Christmas dinner.



The voice cast for this hour-long stop motion animated series includes Keith Wickham as Frank, Rob Rackstraw as Buster, and Janet James as Penny.

This is the final FUN IN THE SUN discussion for the Christmas in July party, however tomorrow I'll be posting a list of links to all 31 of the daily discussions. Happy Christmas in July! Thanks for following along.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: A Very Barry Christmas (2005)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #30 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

For today's Christmas in July discussion, let's return to where we started with another holiday story set Down Under, in Australia where Christmas takes place in the summer time. Do you remember the 2005 stop motion animated TV special A Very Barry Christmas?

 

A Very Barry Christmas - Trailer from Distribution 360 on Vimeo.


A look-alike, Australian Outback wild animal tour guide named Barry accidentally gets switched with Santa Claus, jeopardizing the Christmas Eve annual toy delivery. Mrs. Claus keeps the mix-up a secret while she works to get Barry ready to fill-in while she waits for the real Santa to find his way back to the North Pole. A wanna-be reindeer named Nutmeg helps Barry learn to commandeer the sleigh while Santa desperately tries to get a kangaroo, a platypus, a koala, and a crocodile in the Outback to believe him when he claims to be St. Nick.

Viewers can tell the look-alike from the real Santa because the Australian has a yellow mustache!

This hour-long TV special was created by Cuppa Coffee Studios, and includes comedic actor Colin Mochrie as the voice of Barry.

Just one more day of the month-long celebration of FUN IN THE SUN Christmas programs. Have you followed along all month? Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding (2020)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #29 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2020 Netflix comedy series How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding set in South Africa. The short series is three episodes long. (Although there are hints there will be more installments in the future!)

 


 

In the first episode "It’s Not What It Looks Like," Tumi arrives back in her hometown to attend her sister Beauty’s Christmas wedding. Things are not off to a strong start when her mother and family are critical of everything Tumi says and does. But when she drunkenly sleeps with a member of the groom’s family on the night before her sister’s ceremony, Tumi has no one to blame but herself.

In the second episode "I'll Handle This," Tumi’s best friend Khaya wants to acknowledge their past history and shared feelings but Tumi isn’t ready. Beauty’s wedding is called off by both sides of the family and then reinstated. But Beauty can’t move forward until she asks her father to walk her down the isle--the same man who abandoned her as a child. Tumi supports her sister’s wish and accompanies her to their father’s home but the visit doesn’t go as imagined.

In the third episode "Can't a Girl Catch a Break," Tumi spills Beauty’s secret and the wedding is called off. On Christmas Eve, the bride’s family and the groom’s family must clean up their own problems. Eventually Dineo uses the spirit of the season to convince the groom’s family to embrace love and forgiveness. Everyone agrees that the wedding is back on.
 


The wedding ceremony itself is a melding of traditional and contemporary African culture, as well as Western and South African tradition. 

The cast includes Busi Lurayi as Tumi Sello, Thando Thabethe as Beauty Sello, Yonda Thomas as best friend Khaya Manqele, Clementine Mosimane as Dineo Sello, Motlatsi Mafatshe as the best man Themba Twala, and Sandile Mahlangu as the groom Sbu Twala.

Viewers will have to wait until the third episode to see holiday decorations. This South African series isn't as saturated with Christmas content as a typical Hallmark movie yet it doesn't detract from the holiday story.

This was day #2 of Christmas stories set in Africa. Tomorrow's post will circle back to the start of our FUN IN THE SUN Christmas in July celebration.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com


 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Holiday in the Wild (2019)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #28 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2019 Netflix movie Holiday in the Wild set in Zambia, a nation in southern Africa with a tropical climate.



Kate Conrad sets out on a safari adventure after her husband leaves her despite being alone. She is escorted while on the safari by a handsome pilot named Derek across an animal preserve in Zambia. Helping out a baby elephant, Kate is introduced to the elephant orphanage and decides to stay. Kate is a New Yorker with an unused veterinarian degree. She finds new purpose when she feels needed at the animal preserve. She stays several months and celebrates Christmas with her new friends--the staff at the elephant orphanage. When her divorce papers come through, Kate decides to return to New York for the new year. When the orphanage’s funding falls through, Kate is excited to share her wealthy contacts to assist in fundraising. But true love finds Kate wanting to return to the animal preserve. In the spirit of the season's call for compassion and giving, the movie’s end credits request viewers' support for elephant conservation efforts.

The cast includes Kristin Davis as Kate Conrad, Rob Lowe as Derek, and Fezile Mpela as Jonathan.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com