What to Watch During Christmas Week: Your Guide to 21 Specials, Premieres and Finales

wtw-christmas-week-blogRVWe’ve made a list and checked it twice, and here it is – your rundown of Christmas week TV!

We’ve got the classics (The Sound of Music, How The Grinch Stole Christmas), new episodes of your favorite shows (Family Guy, Doctor Who), a few season — and series! —  finales (Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage) and some offbeat choices (cowboy movies, Oddities) to make your week merry and bright. Enjoy!


7 pm The Sound of Music (ABC) | How do you solve a problem like Maria? We hear curtains-turned-into-lederhosen and some edelweiss helps….

9 pm Chained to My Ex (MSNBC) | Series premiere: Emmy-winning Intervention creator Sam Mettler teams with the cable news network’s documentary unit to capture the lives of real-life divorced couples who can’t quite seem to quit each other. (Hey, the holidays are all about togetherness, right?)

9 pm Family Guy (Fox) | Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) guest-voices a — not the — son of God in this Christmas episode of the animated series, which was pre-empted last week.


9:15 am — 9:15 pm Christmas Eve Movie Marathon (AMC) | If the shopping’s all done, the presents are wrapped and the cookies are baked, I’m jealous curl up with the classics All I Want for Christmas, Prancer, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol and  A Miracle on 34th Street.

4 pm — 10 pm Animaniacs (The Hub) | Go back to the ’90s as the network caps a four-hour block of the Warner Bros. animated series with the holiday-themed, two-hour musical special Animaniacs: Wakko’s Wish.

9:30 pm Second Star to the Left (The CW) | House‘s Hugh Laurie lends his voice to this holiday cartoon, in which a hamster, a rabbit and a guinea pig embark on a journey to deliver a present Santa Claus lost.Doctor Who: The Snowmen


9:30 am – 4 am Cowboys for Christmas Marathon (AMC) | Merry Christmas, pardner! Don your Stetson and spurs, ’cause the cable net is airing Jeremiah Johnson, Hondo, The Sons of Katie Elder, High Plains Drifter, El Dorado, Big Jake, Two Mules for Sister Sara and Appaloosa.

8 pm Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) | Can’t get enough of the green guy? Watch the animated special at 8, then chase it with the live-action movie (starring Jim Carrey) at 8:30.

9 pm Doctor Who: The Snowmen (BBC America) | The Doctor and his newest companion cross paths with the homo-reptilian Silurian Madame Vastra and her cohort Jenny in this 80-minute Christmas special. (Get scoop!)

9 pm Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) | Season 3 finale: Hope returns to ask Maura for a life-altering favor, Jane worries about Casey’s spinal surgery and Tommy shows off baby T.J. But who’ll get trapped inside when a building collapses?! (Already renewed.)

10 pm Leverage (TNT) | Series finale: Nate takes a case linked to his son’s death,LEVERAGEparkison leading the team into its deadliest con. Mark Sheppard (Supernatural) and Catherine Dent (The Shield) guest-star.


8 pm The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) | Late Show host David Letterman, guitarist Buddy Guy and rockers Led Zeppelin are among those recognized this year for their lifetime contributions to American culture.

9 pm Dark Matters: Twisted But True (Science) | Season finale: Practice saying goodbye to Fringe‘s John Noble, the host of this series, before having to do it again in two-and-a-half weeks.


8 pm Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (ABC) | The Peanuts gang finishes off its holiday run with a party thrown by Marcie and Peppermint Patty. (The animated short She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown follows.)


8 pm 2012: A Year Out of Season (Weather Channel) | Freaked out by the seemingly apocalyptic weather we’ve had this year? This special’s for you.

9 pm Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour (ABC) | Part 2: In this two-hour conclusion, the journalist wraps her investigation of the world’s major religions.

9 pm American Masters (PBS) | Season 26 premiere: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance chronicles the pioneering dance company, which distinguished itself by combining modern dance with classical ballet. Homeland‘s Mandy Patinkin narrates.

10 pm Wives With Knives: Lonely and Lethal (ID) | Season finale. (Alternate title – the situation you might find yourself in if you gifted your honey with a vacuum cleaner.)SheMadeThemDoIt


8 pm She Made Them Do It (Lifetime) | Jenna Dewan Tatum (American Horror Story: Asylum) and Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time) co-star in this TV-movie about one of the most notorious women ever to top America’s Most Wanted list.

9 pm The Mob Doctor (Fox) | Spirits intensify at Briarcliff Roosevelt Medical Center when Grace and Dr. Robinson treat a priest bitten in the face during an exorcism.

9 pm Oddities (Science) | This best-of episode culls the weirdest bits and bobs from New York’s Obscura Antiques & Oddities shop.

Hit the comments with your picks from the week’s lineup!


Comments (35)

  • Christmas programming so sucks. Thank God for movies.

    Comment by MeMe – December 23, 2012 05:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • could not agree more ………and as a matter of fact tonight my husband and I will go to the movies and see The Hobit……can’t wait till the Christmas programing is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Lynn – December 23, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally doctor who is back!! its a shame that after that we still have to wait 3/4 months for new episodes to arrive. but ill take what i can get (especially if there is a preview for whats coming up at the end). Who’s with me?

    Comment by david – December 23, 2012 06:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m curious if jenny is referring to the doctors daughter (georgia moffett)

      Comment by jenna – December 23, 2012 07:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No it’s Jenny Flint, partner of Vastra and a member of the Eleventh Doctor’s army in the attack on Demon’s Run.

        Comment by aussieforgood – December 23, 2012 07:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Merlin season 4 episodes will be on Syfy Dec 26…

    Comment by Katt – December 23, 2012 06:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you. I love this series :)

      Comment by Eliza – December 23, 2012 06:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about A Christmas Story? It runs all night on Christmas eve on TBS

    Comment by Dina – December 23, 2012 06:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “A Christmas Story” should be at the top of the list!

    Comment by LynnH – December 23, 2012 06:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think NBC playing “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve.

    Comment by Eliza – December 23, 2012 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You forgot the Fringe marathon on Christmas Day on Science Channel. Most of Season 2.

    Comment by hana – December 23, 2012 07:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I really hope this is true… Cause I will be watching!

      Comment by DarkDefender – December 23, 2012 04:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well there goes the rest of my space on my DVR…… First season marathon got me through the flu!

      Comment by Anthony – December 24, 2012 03:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looking forward to LEVERAGE!

    Comment by Andy – December 23, 2012 08:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How many Charlie Brown specials are there anyway?

    Comment by Jay – December 23, 2012 09:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t imagine there is ANYONE on the planet that doesn’t know the “A Christmas Story” marathon will be on. LOVE the movie, but 24 hours straight of ANYTHING is a bit of an overkill.

    Comment by Ralph – December 23, 2012 09:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll be watching Charlie Brown New Year and the Weather Channel special. Even though I utterly hate it, I will probably see some of the A Christmas Story marathon because my family WORSHIPS it. :(

    Comment by nick1372 – December 23, 2012 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m kinda surprised that you didn’t mention the K9 marathon on Syfy on Christmas Day – it’s taken over 30 years for an actual K9 series to happen and The Doctor’s robot-computer-dog has been a much loved character ever since he was introduced during Tom Baker’s run in the seventies.

    Comment by Sheldon W. – December 23, 2012 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will be watching Chained to My Ex. Nothing like a little misery for the holidays!

    Comment by Mark – December 23, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will be watching Leverage. Great and fun show. Sad to see it go.

    Comment by Kelly – December 23, 2012 01:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here and there, between festivities, we’ll be screening High Society, Serendipity, Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry met Sally and Moonstruck. The guys will be shooting pool and trading stories in the game room.

    Comment by Stormy – December 23, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s bizarre that absolutely nobody is airing ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ this year.

    Comment by Jill – December 23, 2012 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Monday night, 8pm, NBC. Christmas eve tradition :)

      Comment by RJ – December 23, 2012 06:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Our local theater was doing showings of it a couple nights last week. I was dying to go, but had to work. It was kind of a bummer.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – December 23, 2012 08:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Christmas Eve Psych Marathon!! On Cloo!!… Yay! The Animaniacs! That’s what I’m talking about :)

    Comment by b. – December 23, 2012 06:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What? No soap net marathons this year? I want more GH marathons!!

    Comment by JamandaFan – December 23, 2012 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If I can talk my nephews and niece away from the video games for a half hour, I’ll make them watch the animated Grinch cartoon with me. It’s my favorite. I assume TBS or TNT or whoever it is still does their 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story. They killed that movie for me doing that every year. It’s too much.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – December 23, 2012 08:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just Leverage and Rizzoli & Isles are on my list this week. I’ll especially be tuning in to Leverage, given its the series finale of one of the best shows on television to me.

    Comment by Justin – December 23, 2012 11:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wouldn’t watch “She Made them do it” on Saturday and Sunday without watching also “Snapped” on Oxygen TV, Saturday Dec 29, 2012 at 2 pm and Sunday, Dec 30th at 12 am and 4.45pm. Both are about the same person ; Sarah Pender. But there’s a controversy over her actual guilt. To know all the issues, I’d invite the readers of TVline.com to also visit our campaign website at :

    Comment by Justice for Sarah Pender – December 26, 2012 12:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Don’t forget….Wednesday night on Investigation Discovery (ID) @ 10pm….Final Cut.

    Comment by steveomedic – December 26, 2012 03:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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