About Christmas TV History

Friday, November 17, 2017

Where to Watch Christmas TV programs 2017

It's the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it? The Christmas TV movies have already begun airing.  I've started my tweets (@TisTheSeasonTV) and daily postings on the Facebook page Tis The Season TV making suggestions for viewing--calling them SET YOUR DVRs.  The viewing options during November and December each year can get a little overwhelming. Let me update you with the details of where to find the best holiday programming for 2017.

The Hallmark Channel releases more new Christmas TV movies each year than any other network in the industry.
Christmas TV Movies:

For many Christmas TV movie fans, the Hallmark Channel is the network schedule to check first.  With good reason, in 2017, Hallmark will be airing more than 20 new Christmas TV movies alongside many classics from their archives.  If you didn't already know, the movie marathon has already begun--it started Friday, October 27th--and continues all day and all night through the end of December.  They typically debut their new holiday movies on Saturday and Sunday nights. HERE'S the link to the list of Christmas TV movie premieres. The daily schedule of their holiday movies can be found on their website HERE.

Complete list of 2017 Hallmark Christmas movie premieres. Click on image to enlarge.

Complete list of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries 2017 Christmas movie premieres. Click on image to enlarge.

Hallmark's sister channel--Hallmark Movies and Mysteries--also airs new Christmas TV movies and older classics. In fact, the older holiday movies they broadcast are pulled from a deeper archive so this is the place to see some of your older Hallmark Christmas TV movie favorites.

This is the fifth year that HMM is premiering their own new Christmas TV movies--this year they have thirteen new movies.  Click HERE for more about HMM Christmas movies. And, just like the Hallmark Channel, HMM has already begun their holiday programming--which will continue through the end of the holidays.  Click HERE for the link to the complete HMM Christmas movie schedule.

The schedule highlights of the 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform. Click on image to enlarge.

Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family Channel) is another major source of holiday programming every year. But I didn't need to tell you that, right?  We're all familiar with their marathons of Christmas animation, Christmas movies, and family-friendly entertainment. Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas programming marathon begin Dec. 1st, however their holiday programming has already begun. Click HERE for the daily schedule. They have three new debuts this holiday season: the original movie Angry Angel which first airs on Nov. 27th, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic on Dec. 11th, and Decorating Disney on Dec. 18th.

New Lifetime Christmas TV movies begin Nov. 25th.

Lifetime is debuting eight new Christmas TV movies in 2017. I know, right? Those new movies will be airing on Saturday and Sunday nights. Click here for more info about each of those.

UpTV holiday schedule for 2017. Click to enlarge.

UP Network also debuts new family-friendly Christmas TV movies, as well as showing older favorites too. This year, the schedule looks exciting. Of these movies, many are new ones. For more about the UP Network Christmas programming, click HERE.

2017 movie guide for Ion TV including premieres. Click to enlarge.

ION Television's schedule is filled with holiday movies too. Look for those on Saturday and Sunday nights. This year, they are debuting five new Christmas TV movies as well as airing favorites from the past. Click HERE for the complete schedule.

Classic Christmas Specials and Movies:

The 2017 schedule of GetTV Christmas programming chock full of vintage variety specials! Click to enlarge.

But one of the MOST EXCITING holiday programming schedules has to be GetTV. They have pulled out all the stops again this year! What I'm most looking forward to watching are A Nashville Christmas special,  four classic Perry Como Christmas specials, the Mac Davis Christmas Special, the Johnny Cash Christmas music specials, Glen Campbell Christmas special, and the Father Knows Best Christmas TV movie reunion. GetTV is also airing Christmas episodes of nearly forgotten TV westerns. There's so much good stuff on their schedule, I'm overwhelmed--and you should be too. This is an abundance of riches. Check out the full GetTV holiday schedule here.

Me TV offers Sunday afternoon marathons in 2017.

Me TV is rolling out their retro programming's Christmas installments on Sunday afternoon marathons throughout the holiday season. Here's the schedule of episodes for the Sunday marathons. However, if you just peek at their daily schedule, you can see an abundance of holiday episodes there too. Not quite sure why their not promoting it? I guess you can follow along with me on Facebook and Twitter at @TistheSeasonTV where I'll highlight the more fun and rare ones.

Antenna TV, another retro programming network, is planning a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day marathon of holiday episodes from their current classic TV line-up. That should be fun.

Major Networks:

NBC's live concert event is always a good one!

Of course, the major networks have their holiday programming as well. NBC is already promoting their 20th annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center concert for Wed. Nov. 29th at 8pm(ET). NBC will also be airing Dreamworks' Trolls Holiday Special at 8:30pm(ET) on Friday, Nov. 24th. That new animated special based on the film characters should be exciting.

ABC is once again airing the variety special CMA Country Christmas. This year's concert has a new host: Reba McEntire. It airs Monday, Nov. 27th, 8pm(ET). 

CBS is airing the animated classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, and The Story of Santa Claus again this year. Look for Frosty and Frosty Returns on Friday, Nov. 24th.

And, Fox is airing the live musical experience of A Christmas Story: the Musical. Matthew Broderick has been cast as the narrator, and Maya Rudolph as Mrs. Parker. This should be fun! It airs on Dec. 17th. Have you seen a staging of this musical before?

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. Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com


  1. All I have to say is, Damn DirecTV for not carrying GetTV, MeTV or any of those other retro networks. Might be time to look into a digital antenna!

  2. I find it interesting that Freeform has the rights to the Santa Clause 1 and 3 but not 2. Also someone needs to keep an eye on their program directors to make sure they're not going through withdrawl systems. It appears they're going to go more than two weeks without showing a Harry Potter movie.

  3. So much stuff, it is almost overwhelming! In a good way.