All Times Eastern.
Thursday, Dec. 24
24 Hours of “A Christmas Story” Marathon
TNT & TNT, beginning at 9pm
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” All 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wanted for the holidays was a Red Ryder air rifle, but the days leading up to Christmas where he is surrounded by his less than perfect family and all sorts of setbacks make this one of the most memorable and funny holiday classics of all time.
“Doctor Who” Christmas Specials Marathon
BBC America, beginning at 6:15am
Spend Christmas with the Doctor as BBC America presents a marathon of Doctor Who Christmas specials throughout the day and continuing Friday.
Christmas Eve With the Family
IFC, beginning at 6:45am
If you can’t spend Christmas with your own family, IFC makes you a holiday offer you can’t refuse with nearly 24 hours of classic drama and comedy related to mob families. Enjoy A Bronx Tale (1993), Goodfellas (1990; airs twice today), The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974) and My Cousin Vinny (1992; airs twice today). Check the listings section for descriptions and airtimes.
Carols From King’s 2020
An annual worldwide broadcasting phenomenon that takes place at the medieval chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, Carols from King’s is a beloved British celebration of Christmas. Every year, the King’s College Chapel Choir performs a carol service that always opens with “Once in Royal David’s City” followed later on by a new, specially commissioned carol for each year.
This is the U.S. premiere of a 10-episode drama set in the 1950s in which the hottest spot of the Cold War is not Washington or Moscow, but Helsinki, where the KGB and the CIA vie for control of Finland, a small Nordic country wedged between East and West powers. Helena (Emmi Parviainen), a student freshly returned from the United States, is recruited by her godfather to join a top-secret Finnish task force in its ongoing missions: preventing the two global powerhouses meddling in the presidential election and keeping their homeland independent. But as she begins to discover the truth about her past, her personal and professional life collide. With long-kept secrets and political agendas coming to a head, the team must overcome the lies and distrust if they have any chance of succeeding. All episodes are available today.
In this repeat from Sept. 16, 2020, Stella (Vernee Watson) is sympathetic; Sonny (Maurice Benard) reminisces about what might have been; Carly (Laura Wright) gives Jason (Steve Burton) an update; Michael (Chad Duell) and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) grow closer; and Brando (Johnny Wactor) has a moment with Josslyn (Eden McCoy).
“White Christmas” Takeover
SundanceTV, beginning at 2pm
Catch a Classic!
Beginning this afternoon, SundanceTV airs eight consecutive showings of the 1954 musical White Christmas. The movie takes its title, of course, from Irving Berlin’s classic song made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn. Crosby also stars here, and performs a new version of the iconic tune, as he and Danny Kaye play veterans who become famous song-and-dance men after World War II. Soon, they join forces with singing sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to help save their former Army general’s Vermont inn. Along with the title song, White Christmas also features other memorable Berlin toe-tappers, including “Sisters,” “Snow” and “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep),” which was nominated for an Oscar.
College Football: New Mexico Bowl: Hawaii vs. Houston
ESPN, 3:30pm Live
ESPN has coverage of the New Mexico Bowl between Hawaii and Houston taking place this year in Frisco, Texas.
The Greatest Showman
In the network broadcast premiere of this 2017 musical, Hugh Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create the “Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and celebration of his larger-than-life imagination that captivated audiences around the globe.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Catch a Classic!
Spend Christmas Eve watching Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 holiday classic. Jimmy Stewart stars as George Bailey, a discouraged and despairing building-and-loan manager who contemplates suicide before a guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) intervenes and allows him to see what George’s small town of Bedford Falls would be without him — and all that is right in his world. Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore also star.
Yuletide Yeti: “Yeti in America”
Travel Channel, 8pm
Shocking new evidence suggests that the yeti, one of the world’s most elusive and dangerous monsters, may not only come from an otherworldly source but also resides in America.
Greek Island Odyssey Marathon
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 9pm
Historian Bettany Hughes has embarked on an epic, personal journey. Inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey, she will sail the unpredictable Mediterranean seas, tracing Odysseus’s long journey home. Her mission: to experience what the Greek hero experienced and to uncover truths behind the myths and legends, all while enjoying the delights of ancient Greece today. Follow her 1,700-mile adventure as it takes her to over a dozen islands and 22 historic sites and puts her through two hair-raising storms and even an earthquake.
Tidings of Terror: “Deadly Snow”
Travel Channel, 9pm
A killer avalanche leaves three friends fighting for their lives at a ski resort; an out-of-this-world dust storm swallows an entire city in an instant; and a landslide rips away massive chunks of earth from a Norwegian shoreline.
Merry Scary Christmas: “Aliens Up North”
Travel Channel, 10pm
A nighttime snowmobile ride turns terrifying when a man finds a mysterious implant in his leg; four friends witness an eerie light show; an otherworldly beast stalks a family in the Alaskan brush; and an unholy chorus echoes through the night skies.
Christmas Eve Mass
Watch the Pope Francis-led mass from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Friday, Dec. 25
From Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland comes this quick-witted and romantic period drama inspired by Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels. The series follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family, as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Daphne finds herself in an increasing attraction to, and battle of wits with, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), the catch of the season. Julie Andrews lends her voice to the mysterious Lady Whistledown, author of a high-society scandal sheet.
We Can Be Heroes
Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids) wrote, directed and produced this family-oriented fantasy adventure, which is a stand-alone sequel to his 2005 film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. When alien invaders kidnap Earth’s superheroes, their children must team up and learn to work together if they want to save their parents — and the world. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christian Slater and Pedro Pascal lead the cast.
Queen’s Christmas Message 2020
Every year on Christmas Day, Queen Elizabeth addresses the public in a broadcast in which she shares a chronicle of the year’s major events and personal milestones.
In this Pixar animated short that accompanies the feature film Soul, also releasing today on Disney+, a young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns there is no shame in asking for help.
Feature Film Premiere!
Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey lend their voices to Pixar’s latest animated feature, which asks the question: What is it that makes you … YOU?
Wonder Woman 1984
Feature Film Premiere!
DC’s eagerly awaited and COVID-delayed follow-up to its 2017 blockbuster finally hits theaters and HBO Max. Jumping from World War I to the 1980s, the film pits Diana (Gal Gadot) against new foes Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). Available for one month on HBO Max starting today, at no additional cost to subscribers.
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Celebration
Disney’s annual Christmas celebration airs Christmas morning on ABC and features heartwarming stories and amazing celebrity performances.
ABC & ESPN, beginning at 12pm Live
The NBA leaves at full Christmas Day of marquee matchups under the tree. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat (ESPN), Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors battle Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (ABC), Kevin Durant leads the Brooklyn Nets against Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics (ABC), Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks visit LeBron James and the champion L.A. Lakers (ABC & ESPN), and Kawhi Leonard’s L.A. Clippers clash with Nikola Jokić’s Denver Nuggets (ESPN).
Aerial America Marathon
Smithsonian Channel, beginning at 12pm
Take off on a thrilling flight across America. This epic series offers rare glimpses of our nation’s most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights. From busy cityscapes to quiet landscapes, we capture the history and the pageantry of our amazing country, which is as diverse as the people who occupy it.
College Football: Camellia Bowl
ESPN, 2:30pm Live
Christmas Day college football bowl game action features the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
Worst Cooks in America
Cooking Channel, beginning at 3pm
Nine new episodes of Worst Cooks in America air back-to-back.
“The Osbournes Want to Believe” Marathon
Travel Channel, beginning at 3pm
Enjoy several hours of the reality series in which Jack Osbourne is determined to make his parents, Ozzy and Sharon, full-fledged paranormal believers by sharing the craziest, most jaw-dropping videos of supernatural activity ever caught on camera for them to experience and critique.
NFL Football: Minnesota at New Orleans
FOX & NFL Network, 4:30pm Live
A special Christmas Day Friday edition of Thursday Night Football has the Minnesota Vikings in the Big Easy for a Week 16 clash against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Non-Traditional Christmas, Christmas Movies
IFC, beginning at 5:30pm
Some films with a holiday setting do not come to people’s minds right away as being “Christmas movies,” usually because they deal with themes and scenes quite contrary to what is normally seen in a holiday film, like violence and dark situations. You can see two such films tonight. First, there is Ben Affleck in Reindeer Games (2000), an action crime thriller in which ex-cons rob a casino dressed as Santa Claus. Then, there are back-to-back showings of Gremlins (1984), Joe Dante’s darkly comic horror film about an idyllic small town whose Christmas is ruined by an onslaught of mischievous little monsters.
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.
Holidays With the Hepburns
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!
While legendary actresses Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn were not related, they certainly did share a charisma and acting talent that established them as towering and enduring figures in Hollywood history. You can watch both of them doing what they did best in tonight’s six-film lineup featuring three titles for each woman. The evening begins with Audrey’s Best Actress Oscar-nominated performance as the title character in Billy Wilder’s romantic comedy Sabrina (1954). You can also enjoy watching Audrey in the beloved musical My Fair Lady (1964), and in the romantic comedy Two for the Road (1967). As for Katharine, tonight you can see her in her Best Actress Oscar-nominated role in John Huston’s 1951 classic The African Queen; in the 1938 romantic comedy Holiday, helmed by her frequent director George Cukor; and in her Best Actress Oscar-winning role in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), alongside her longtime partner and fellow screen legend Spencer Tracy.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey plays Dr. Seuss’ titular meanie in this 2000 live-action adaptation directed by Ron Howard.
Surprising Santa Claus
Lara Spencer, known to television fans as a regular contributor on Good Morning America and host of the hit series Flea Market Flip, will work with a team of designers, contractors and volunteers to give the town of Santa Claus, Indiana, the biggest Christmas present it has ever received. It will be a race against the clock as the team tackles two surprise home renovations and a special bonus for the town square that will spread holiday cheer to the whole community.
“Call the Midwife” Holiday Special
It is December 1965. Everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift. Meanwhile, a surprise reunion for Shelagh involves her in a deeply moving birth, and the circus arrives in Poplar, bringing new friendships, new experiences and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane!
Paranormal Caught on Camera: “OMG Caught on Camera”
Travel Channel, 10pm
Two friends emerge unharmed after a car plows into a restaurant; skydivers miraculously survive after their planes collide; a Utah man stares death in the face as he’s stalked by an angry cougar; and more.
Saturday, Dec. 26
Air & Space Stunt Marathon
You’re in for a menu of air and space themed programming featuring hit titles such as Mighty Planes, Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, Space Disasters, Ice Airport Alaska, Air Disasters and more.
“Doctor Who” Marathon
BBC America, beginning at 6am
Travel through time and space with BBC America’s year-end Doctor Who marathon, with Saturday and Sunday episodes featuring Matt Smith as the Doctor. The marathon continues with Peter Capaldi on Monday, David Tennant on Tuesday, the best of the Daleks on Wednesday, the best of Timey Wimey on Thursday and Jodie Whittaker on New Year’s Day.
ESPN & ABC, beginning at 12pm Live
A full day of college football postseason games features the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (ABC), the Cure Bowl (ESPN), the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (ABC), the Lending Tree Bowl (ESPN), the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl (ESPN) and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl (ESPN).
IFC, beginning at 1:30pm
Not ready to say goodbye to Christmas yet? Spend the day after watching nearly 12 hours of holiday movies on IFC. Things start with the 1945 Barbara Stanwyck classic Christmas in Connecticut, and continue with A Dennis the Menace Christmas (2007), A Christmas Story 2 (2012) and Jack Frost (1998; back-to-back showings).
TCM, beginning at 8pm
Catch a Classic!
It’s never easy saying goodbye, even for movie characters, but it can be memorable. Tonight’s double-feature features two films that close with iconic tear-jerking moments when their lovers had to separate. The night begins with what is probably Hollywood’s most enduring and quotable farewell scene, when Best Actor Oscar nominee Humphrey Bogart’s Rick assures Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa that they’ll “always have Paris” as he reluctantly, but for the greater good, sends her out of his life at the airport in the Best Picture Oscar-winning Casablanca (1942). After that, Best Actress Oscar nominee Barbra Streisand’s Katie and Robert Redford’s Hubbell happen to run into each other again later in life after they shared many early years — including a former marriage and a child — together. As they catch each other up on their new lives and loves, they wistfully, but realistically, realize that they are no longer the way they were in The Way We Were (1973).
You Live in What? International: “Things Aren’t What They Seem”
Architect George Clarke proves space is limitless as he visits a hidden home behind a block of boards, a scoreboard where sports fans can live and a family’s backyard transformed into a yearlong vacation space.
History’s Greatest Mysteries: “Roswell: First Witness — The Writer”
The exploration of the latest theories about the 1947 crash of an unidentifiable object in Roswell, New Mexico, comes to a conclusion. The diary of the man first on the scene of the crash may reveal important information — if it can be decoded.
Kentucky Murder Mystery: The Trials of Anthony Gray
Investigation Discovery, 9pm
This two-hour special delves into the case of Anthony Gray, a man accused of killing his parents in 2007. After an extensive trial featuring a tearful confession on camera, Anthony was sentenced to 45 years and remains incarcerated to this day. But looks can be deceiving, and this might not be an open-and-shut case. In a trial of errors, Anthony’s confession eventually gets thrown out. If Anthony didn’t kill his parents, the lingering question is who did? This special reveals a dark tale of family drama, gun-running, stolen safes — and the possibility that the real killer sat in the same living room where James and Vivian were killed.
Most Terrifying With Jason Hawes: “Blackbeard’s Vengeance”
Travel Channel, 9pm
Jason Hawes unearths America’s scariest haunts, including an island stalked by the spirit of a notorious pirate, a restaurant quaking with ghostly activity and an orphanage where a monstrous headmistress tortures innocent souls from beyond the grave.