Hullaballoo of holiday TV specials begins

The Fresno BeeNovember 25, 2013 

The animated classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," is scheduled to air at 8 o'clock tonight on KGPE (Channel 47.1).


If you are looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit, there is a lengthy list of new and classic programming that might help. You can be reminded of the true nature of giving with "The Grinch" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Movies like "The Polar Express" teach lessons about faith, hope and charity while others — like a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — remind us of the goodness at this time of year.

There's no way to list all of the network and cable shows that fit the holiday bill. Here are just a some of the programs to help you figure out what is airing:

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 8 p.m. Nov. 26, KGPE (Channel 47.1): Reindeer lights Santa's way.

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas," 6:30 a.m. Nov. 27, KVPT (Channel 18.1): Elwood City's kids get ready for the holidays.

"Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas," 7:30 a.m. Nov. 27, KVPT: George and the Man face a dilemma.

"The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas," 8:30 a.m. Nov. 27, KVPT: Cat, Nick and Sally help a lost reindeer find his way home.

"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," 9 a.m. Nov. 28, KSEE (Channel 24.1): Parade winds through Manhattan.

"Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve," 9 a.m. Nov. 28, Hallmark Movie Channel: Runaway girl decides to return home.

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Snowflake Day," 10:30 a.m. Nov. 28, KVPT: Daniel plays a snowflake in the Snowflake Day Show.

"Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure," 11 a.m. Nov. 28, Hub Network: A free-spirited moose is determined to fly with Santa's reindeer.

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," 8 p.m. Nov. 28, KFSN (Channel 30.1): 40th anniversary of the animated special.

"Christmas in Connecticut": 8:30 p.m. Nov. 28, Hallmark Movie Channel: Single food writer poses as a country wife in her column.

"Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular," 9:30 p.m. Nov. 28, KFSN: Lady Gaga goes backstage with the Muppets.

"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas," 8 p.m. Nov. 29, KFSN: 1966 animated holiday story based on the Dr. Seuss children's book.

"Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas," 8 p.m. Nov. 29, KGPE: Pink kitty and green bunny are accidental stowaways on Santa's sleigh.

"The Dog Who Saved the Holidays," 8 p.m. Nov. 29, Hub Network: Two dogs work together to save the holidays.

"The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story," 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29, KGPE: An animated feature based on the best-selling holiday children's book.

"Shrek the Halls," KFSN, 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29: A holiday tale featuring the ogre and his friends.

"Dear Secret Santa," 8 p.m. Nov. 30, Lifetime: Woman (Tatyana Ali) moves back to the house where she was raised.

"Mickey's Once upon a Christmas," 7 a.m. Dec. 1, ABC Family: Kelsey Grammer narrates three Christmas tales.

"The Polar Express," 5 p.m. Dec. 1, ABC Family: Young boy rides a magical train.

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 7 p.m. Dec. 1, ABC Family: Jim Carrey stars as the title character.

"Christmas in Conway," 9 p.m. Dec. 1, KFSN: Andy Garcia, Mary-Louise Parker star.

"Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too," 6 p.m. Dec. 2, ABC Family: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet rush to get Christopher Robin's letter to Santa.

"The Santa Claus," 8 p.m. Dec. 2, ABC Family: Tim Allen plays the man who becomes Santa.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas," KFSN, 8 p.m. Dec. 2: Along with the Charles M. Schulz story about the real meaning of Christmas is "Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa."

"CMA Country Christmas," KFSN, 9 p.m. Dec. 2: Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan and Sheryl Crow are featured.

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," 10 p.m. Dec. 3, ABC Family: Griswolds celebrate the holidays.

"Christmas in Rockefeller Center," 8 p.m. Dec. 4, KSEE: "Today" team hosts the holiday special.

"SNL Christmas," 9 p.m. Dec. 4, KSEE: Collection of holiday skits.

"The Muppet Christmas Carol," 9 p.m. Dec. 5, ABC Family: Classic Dickens' tale is performed by the Muppets.

"PAW Patrol," noon Dec. 6, Nickelodeon: Ryder, Paw Patrol have to help Santa deliver presents.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys," 7 a.m. Dec. 7, ABC Family: Rudolph and his friends — the misfit toys — must save Christmas.

"Frosty the Snowman," 8 p.m. Dec. 6, KGPE: An old silk hat brings Frosty to life.

"The Flight Before Christmas," 7 p.m. Dec. 7, KGPE: Young reindeer has ambitions of becoming an expert flyer like his father.

"Christmas in the City," 8 p.m. Dec. 7, Lifetime: Mother (Ashley Williams) and daughter move to the big city where she gets a job in a toy department.

"Instant Mom," 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Nick at Nite: Stephanie surprises the family with a visit from her dad at Christmas.

"Home for Christmas: The Chris Mann Christmas Special," 9:30 p.m. Dec. 8, KVPT: Holiday special from vocalist Chris Mann, with Martina McBride and Mindy Abair.

"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," KFSN, 8 p.m. Dec. 9: Fred Astaire narrates tale of Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney)

"The Great Christmas Light Fight," 9 p.m. Dec. 9, KFSN: Four families compete to transform their homes to the extreme for Christmas.

"A Chipmunk Christmas," 6 p.m. Dec. 10, ABC Family: Alvin gives his harmonica to a sick little boy.

"Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," 9 p.m. Dec. 10, KVPT: Holiday celebration featuring Tom Brokaw.

"Babes In Toyland," 8:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Hallmark Movie Channel: Annette Funicello stars.

"Christmas on the Bayou," 8 p.m. Dec. 14, Lifetime: Marketing executive discovers her workaholic ways are hurting her son.

"It's A Wonderful Life," 8 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec. 24, KSEE: Jimmy Stewart stars in this holiday classic.

"Hats Off to Christmas," 8 p.m. Dec. 14, Hallmark Channel: A widowed mother manages the Christmas hat shop in her small town.

"A Snow Globe Christmas," 10 p.m. Dec. 14, Lifetime: Cynical TV executive sees perfect world inside a snow globe.

"Disney's Prep & Landing," 10:30 a.m., Dec. 15, ABC Family: Elite unit of elves prepare homes for Santa.

"Eloise at Christmastime," 7 a.m. Dec. 19, ABC Family: Eloise is warned not to interfere with Christmas Eve wedding.

"The Hollywood Christmas Parade," 5 p.m. Dec. 20, Hallmark Channel: Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie host.

"Christmas in Washington" 8 p.m. Dec. 20, TNT. Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow, Anna Kendrick, Janelle Monáe and Pat Monahan will perform.

"I Love Lucy Christmas Special," 8 p.m. Dec. 20, KGPE: Two colorized episodes of the 1950s series.

"The Little Drummer Boy," 7:30 a.m. Dec. 21, ABC Family: Poor boy cannot afford to buy a present for baby Jesus.

"The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus," 9 a.m. Dec. 21, ABC Family: Young man becomes Santa Claus.

"The Christmas Blessing," 8 p.m. Dec. 21, Hallmark Channel: When a doctor loses a patient, he rethinks his career.

"I Want A Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" 8 p.m. Dec. 21, KFSN: Rerun's big sister is stressing him out.

"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas," 8:30 p.m. Dec. 24, KFSN: Dr. Seuss tale starring Jim Carrey.

"Christmas Classics Marathon," 9 a.m. Dec. 25. Hallmark Channel: Includes "Holiday Affair," "Babes in Toyland," "The Bishop's Wife," "Christmas in Connecticut" and "It Happened on Fifth Avenue."

"Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade," 10 a.m. Dec. 25, KFSN: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida present the 30th annual holiday TV special.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at

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