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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. MeMe says:

    Christmas programming so sucks. Thank God for movies.

    • Lynn says:

      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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. david says:

    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?

  3. Katt says:

    Merlin season 4 episodes will be on Syfy Dec 26…

  4. Dina says:

    What about A Christmas Story? It runs all night on Christmas eve on TBS

  5. LynnH says:

    “A Christmas Story” should be at the top of the list!

  6. Eliza says:

    I think NBC playing “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve.

  7. hana says:

    You forgot the Fringe marathon on Christmas Day on Science Channel. Most of Season 2.

  8. Andy says:

    Looking forward to LEVERAGE!

  9. Jay says:

    How many Charlie Brown specials are there anyway?

  10. Ralph says:

    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.

  11. nick1372 says:

    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. :(

  12. Sheldon W. says:

    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.

  13. Mark says:

    I will be watching Chained to My Ex. Nothing like a little misery for the holidays!

  14. Kelly says:

    I will be watching Leverage. Great and fun show. Sad to see it go.

  15. Stormy says:

    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.

  16. Jill says:

    It’s bizarre that absolutely nobody is airing ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ this year.

  17. b. says:

    Christmas Eve Psych Marathon!! On Cloo!!… Yay! The Animaniacs! That’s what I’m talking about :)

  18. JamandaFan says:

    What? No soap net marathons this year? I want more GH marathons!!

  19. Britta Unfiltered says:

    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.

  20. Justin says:

    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.

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  22. steveomedic says:

    Don’t forget….Wednesday night on Investigation Discovery (ID) @ 10pm….Final Cut.

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