ALSO SEE: NFL Regular Season Schedule 2018
All Times Eastern.
Tuesday, Dec. 25
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
In this original 1966 TV special based on Dr. Seuss’ classic story, Boris Karloff narrates and voices the title Grinch, who schemes to steal every material vestige of Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. But the Grinch ultimately discovers he can’t remove the spirit of Christmas from the Whos’ hearts. Chuck Jones produced and directed this beloved classic, written by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) himself. The special is followed by an airing of the live-action 2000 feature film version of the story, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.
Antenna TV, 5am
Enhance your Christmas morning with five hours of background ambiance featuring a crackling fire accompanied by holiday tunes.
“Die Hard” 30th Anniversary Movie Marathon
IFC, beginning at 6:30am
Hopefully, your Christmas won’t be as stressful as John McClane’s (Bruce Willis), who finds himself battling the criminals who crash his wife’s office holiday party in the 1988 action classic Die Hard. You can spend today watching McClane in several Die Hard films, even a few that don’t have a Christmas setting — IFC will rotate airings of the original Die Hard, as well as Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and Live Free or Die Hard (2007).
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade
Jordan Fisher, Sarah Hyland and Jesse Palmer host this annual holiday tradition that brings together Disney’s adored Christmas Day parade, special musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heartwarming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. A few of the scheduled musical performers include Gwen Stefani, Brett Eldredge, Andrea Bocelli, Aloe Blacc, Olivia Holt and Maddie Poppe.
ESPN & ABC, beginning at 12pm Live
The NBA’s Christmas Day tradition continues with five big games: the Milwaukee Bucks at the New York Knicks (ESPN), the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Houston Rockets (ABC), the Philadelphia 76ers at the Boston Celtics (ABC), the L.A. Lakers at the Golden State Warriors (ABC & ESPN) and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Utah Jazz (ESPN).
When Calls the Heart: “The Greatest Christmas Blessing”
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
Hallmark Channel’s historical drama presents its annual holiday episode, starring Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith and Paul Greene. While Elizabeth (Krakow) prepares for the birth of her first child, a group of orphans becomes stranded in Hope Valley for Christmas, and the residents — led by Bill (Wagner) and Abigail (Loughlin) — rally to make it a Christmas to remember.
Comedies for Christmas Movie Marathon
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Turner Classic Movies is making things merry with an evening of classic Hollywood comedies. The night begins with Some Like It Hot (1959), and also includes other famous titles like Monkey Business (1952) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).
“Call the Midwife” Holiday Special
Gifts don’t come under the tree for the ladies at London’s Nonnatus House. Instead, Christmas brings an unexpected visit from indefatigable Sister Mildred (guest star Miriam Margolyes) along with the four Chinese orphans in her care. Other newly arriving “presents” on the 1960s-set drama: scatterbrained Sister Hilda (Fenella Woolgar), naive Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) and formidable receptionist Miss Higgins (Georgie Glen). When it rains holy water, it pours!
Wednesday, Dec. 26
Alexa & Katie
In Season 2, for best friends Alex and Katie (Paris Berelc and Isabel May), sophomore year brings budding romance, a major breakup, a birthday milestone and big lessons they will never forget.
“Pawn Stars” Marathon
History, beginning at 10am
If you have the day after Christmas off, you might want to spend at least some of it watching History’s ten-hour marathon of episodes from its antiques-and-collectibles series.
“South Park” Marathon
Comedy Central, beginning at 11:10am
Spend some quality time with your favorite rowdy animated adolescents. Every day until Dec. 29, Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny take over Comedy Central for 14 hours of cartoon mayhem.
The 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors
The Kennedy Center Honors salutes singer and actress Cher, composer and pianist Philip Glass, country music entertainer Reba McEntire, and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. In a first for the Kennedy Center Honors, the co-creators of the Broadway musical Hamilton — writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire — will receive unique recognition as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.
TCM Remembers Burt Reynolds
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Turner Classic Movies remembers legendary actor Burt Reynolds, who passed away in September at age 82, with a multi-film tribute tonight. The marathon kicks off with Smokey and the Bandit (1977), and continues with Deliverance (1972), The Longest Yard (1974), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Best Friends (1982).
A major character dies in tonight’s clash between ax-wielding Vikings and flaming-arrow-shooting Saxons. Another battle rages in the soul of Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers): The man of God can’t deny his earthly passions, and the guilt is destroying him.
NOVA: “Apollo’s Daring Mission”
Hear Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of how the first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 8, pioneered groundbreaking technologies that would pave the way for the United States to win the space race.
Thursday, Dec. 27
ESPN, beginning at 1:30pm Live
ESPN airs a trio of college football bowl games today with Temple vs. Duke in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., Wisconsin vs. Miami in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., and Baylor vs. Vanderbilt in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.
NHL Hockey: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
NBCSN, 7:30pm Live
Claude Giroux leads the Philadelphia Flyers into Tampa Bay to face Steven Stamkos and the Lightning on NBCSN.
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
In this classic animated special from 1986, poor Charlie Brown’s holiday vacation is ruined by a book report assignment on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Good grief — what grade are these kids in again?! The 1,136-page tome is so heavy, he needs a handcart to schlep it around. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is learning to foxtrot in preparation for a New Year’s Eve shindig.
I Feel Bad: “I Don’t Know My Dad”
When Emet (Sarayu Blue) realizes she doesn’t know very much about her father, she goes to extreme measures to learn more about him. Meanwhile, the guys at work try to open up more to each other. Another new episode follows.
TNT, beginning at 8pm Live
The Boston Celtics visit the Houston Rockets in the first game of TNT’s Thursday NBA doubleheader. The second game has the Philadelphia 76ers at the Utah Jazz.
Top Chef: “Surprise … It’s Restaurant Wars”
On the reality competition’s menu tonight: delicious mind games! The fan-favorite Restaurant Wars challenge gets served up early this season, and it’ll be three teams (rather than the usual two) trying to open eateries on the fly. “The chefs knew it was coming, so we added another twist,” says judge Tom Colicchio. “I don’t think the surprise affected the food, but now they’re never going to get comfortable!”
Friday, Dec. 28
This original drama from India is based on the novel by Aravind Adiga. It’s a coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Manju, who tries out for Mumbai’s under-19 cricket team. When he meets his older brother’s rival, everything in his world begins to change.
ESPN, beginning at 1:30pm Live
The parade of college football bowl games marches on with Purdue vs. Auburn in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, West Virginia vs. Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl and Iowa State vs. Washington State in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Garth: Live at Notre Dame!
CBS presents this encore of the Garth: Live at Notre Dame! concert event. Country legend Garth Brooks takes the stage for the first concert ever at the University of Notre Dame’s 88-year-old football stadium. Filmed in October, the special includes Brooks’ greatest hits as well as some unexpected covers, all in front of an enthusiastic sold-out crowd of over 84,000.
Midnight, Texas: “Yasss, Queen”
With Midnight, Texas, now under the rule of Dark Witches, the surviving Midnighters must band together in one last, desperate attempt to save their town.
Songs on Screen
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Turner Classic Movies airs three classic music-filled films: The Beatles starring in A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Elvis Presley leading Jailhouse Rock (1957) and the big-screen version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975).
Popstar’s Best of 2018
The CW, 9pm
Hosts Elizabeth Stanton and James Maslow count down the greatest and most memorable moments and trends of 2018, as decided by polls from Popstar! Magazine.
Great Performances: “Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood”
Celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with this tribute concert at Tanglewood. Featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the concert is hosted by Audra McDonald and includes guest artists Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Thomas Hampson and others.
Z Nation: “The End of Everything”
Season 5 of the zombie apocalypse drama ends tonight.
Van Helsing: “Birth Ritual”
The action-horror series brings its third season to a close.
WE tv, 10pm
Based on the popular digital show of the same name, this eight-episode series includes tales of incredible and unusual relationships where traditional notions of romance are reimagined for the 21st century. Stories include a young Florida woman who spends time as an “adult baby,” a 4-foot-tall weightlifter who finds love with a transgender woman, and real-life vampire couples.
Extreme Cake Makers: “Prince of Cakes”
Cooking Channel, 11pm
There’s no place like home — even if, as a member of the British royal family, you happen to have five of them. Husband-and-wife bakers Phil and Christine Jensen counted on that sentimental adage for their latest challenge on Extreme Cake Makers.
Saturday, Dec. 29
Food Network, 11am
Mix up the mimosas and couch out with a trio of new brunch-themed episodes, starting with The Kitchen’s pre-New Year’s menu featuring chef Jeff Mauro’s strawberry and prosecco scones. Next, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen has cornmeal pancakes worth singing about, followed by Guy’s Ranch Kitchen and a Northern Cali spread that includes spicy deviled eggs and avocado toast.
“American Gods” Marathon
Starz, beginning at 3pm
The Gods have spoken. Before Season 2 arrives March 10, you can marathon the trippy eight-episode first round of this fantasy drama, about the impending war between dormant old gods hiding among us and vibrant new gods (like Technical Boy!). The series, based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, is a visual stunner, and with a fantastic Ian McShane stirring the pot as the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, it’s also never dull.
College Football Playoff Semifinals
ESPN, beginning at 4pm Live
The nation’s top four teams battle in the College Football Playoff semifinal games for the right to play in the national championship Jan. 7. The No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the No. 2 Clemson Tigers in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Then the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners go up against the defending national champion and No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.
“The Fast and the Furious” Franchise Marathon
Syfy, beginning at 5:30pm
Airing tonight and picking up again tomorrow afternoon, several entries from the popular action film series will air on Syfy. Titles shown include The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).
A Midnight Kiss
Hallmark Channel, 8pm
With only one week to prepare, Mia (Adelaide Kane) and her family of party planners are given the biggest job in their company’s history: a massive New Year’s Eve party for tech entrepreneur Kate Clark. When her brother breaks his leg and her parents head off on a planned vacation, Mia reluctantly enlists the help of her brother’s visiting college buddy (Carlos PenaVega) to help her pull off the event.
The Alec Baldwin Show
Emmy-winning actress Regina King joins Alec for a conversation about her impressive career on both sides of the camera and the fear she had to overcome when she decided to direct. King talks about her return to the big screen after many years in her newest project, If Beale Street Could Talk. Next, Gloria Allred shares her sense of duty for her work, the privilege she feels to be an attorney and her philosophy that guides her life. The successful lawyer and feminist discusses her early life as a single parent and why she delayed her application to law school until she was in her 30s. She shares her thoughts on #MeToo and whether things have gotten better, the Bill Cosby case, the importance of equal pay and her continued fight for equal rights.
2019 Winterfest Preview Special
Hallmark Channel, 10pm
Taylor Cole and Rukiya Bernard host a sneak peek at all five original movies coming to Hallmark Channel this January as the network celebrates new beginnings during Winterfest.