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Guide to December 2012 TV premieres, movies and holiday specials


  • An annual must-see on Christmas night is the "Doctor Who" holiday special on BBC America, which is called "The Snowmen" this year.
An annual must-see on Christmas night is the "Doctor Who" holiday… (BBC America )
November 29, 2012|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

December is all about the holiday specials on TV, but you'll find other interesting viewing as well.

On Dec. 7 Sundance debuts "Restless," a gripping two-night miniseries about a former WW II spy. Nat Geo Wild kicks off its annual Big Cat Week Dec. 9 with "Snow Leopard of Afghanistan," which follows big cat tracker Boone Smith attempts to track and tag the elusive snow leopard. And WGN-TV presents an early episode of "Bozo's Circus" that was long thought lost through the month.

If reality TV is your thing, A&E premieres its new reality competition series, "Be the Boss," on Dec. 2, while a new season of "Hotel Impossible" begins Dec. 3 on the Travel Channel. You can even find holiday reality specials, like "My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection" airing Dec. 1 on TLC.

But back to the holiday fare. ABC Family, Hallmark Channel and Lifetime combined are showing more old and new holiday specials and movies than Santa Claus has whiskers. Other networks get into the spirit as well, so check your local listings. I tried to stick to new movies, specials and concerts, or the classics. Or the ones I remember loving. But I might have missed something. Let me know. And happy holidays.

Saturday, Dec. 1
8 a.m. | "Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa," WGN (special; Gummibar and his misfit friends search for missin Santa.)
7 | "A Bride for Christmas," Hallmark (movie; serial runaway bride is wooed by man who makes a bet he'll get married by Christmas)
7 | "It's a Wonderful Life," NBC (1956 holiday classic)
7 | "Elf," ABC Family (2003 movie)
8 | "My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection," TLC (special; extreme collectors of holiday crap)
8 | "All I Want for Christmas," Hallmark Channel (1991 movie)
8 | "Love at the Christmas Table," Lifetime (movie; Sam and Kat have been friends since sitting at the Christmas table as children; now they're in love)

Sunday, Dec. 2
6 | "A Star for Christmas," ION (movie; Cassie's Christmas Cupcakery is a huge success, but her love life is a mess.)
7 | "The Christmas Heart," Hallmark (movie; boy needs heart transplant at Christmas)
7 | "Finding Mrs. Claus," Lifetime (movie; Mrs. Claus answers a Christmas letter in person)
7 | "All Star Holiday Special: A Taste of Home," Cooking Channel (special)
7 | "Little Women," TCM (1949 movie)
8 | "A Christmas Wedding Date," ION (movie; Rebecca visits parents, sees former beau.)
8 | "Evacuate Earth," Nat Geo (special; how humankind could cope if we had to start over again)
8 | "Andre Rieu: Home for the Holidays," WGN (special; World famous violinist-conductor and the Johann Strauss Orchestra perform holiday classics.)
8:30 | "Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas," ABC Family (2000 movie)
9 | "Be the Boss," A&E (series premiere; employees of franchise-based companies compete)
9:15 | "All Mine to Give," TCM (1957 movie)

Monday, Dec. 3
7 | "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation," ABC Family (1989 movie)
8 | "The Cast of In Living Color: Where Are They Now?" TV Guide Channel (special)
8 | "The Mayan Apocalypse 2012," Nat Geo (special; how the Mayan prophecy has spawned survival communities)
9 | "Mayan Underworld: The Real Doomsday," Nat Geo (special; searching underwater Maya tombs)
9 | "Blake Shelton's Not-So-Family Christmas," NBC (special)
9 | "Hotel Impossible," Travel (season 2 premiere)

Tuesday, Dec. 4
5:30 | "Jack Frost," ABC Family (1979 animated special)
6:30 | "Frosty's Winter Wonderland," ABC Family (1976 animated special)
7 | "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," CBS (1964 animated classic)
7 | "Period of Adjustment," TCM (1962 movie)
7 | "The Dog Who Saved Christmas," Hallmark (2009 movie; "Home Alone," but with a dog named Zeus)
8 | "Storage Wars," A&E (new episodes)
9 | "Sons of Anarchy," FX (season finale)
9 | "NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns," Travel (series premiere; traveling with the team)
9 | "In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman," OWN (series premiere)
10 | "Still Standing: The Earl Campbell Story," NBC Sports Network (doc; life of football Hall of Famer)

Wednesday, Dec. 5
6 | "Home Alone," ABC Family (1990 movie)
7 | "Naughty or Nice," Hallmark Channel (movie; With Santa's magical "Naughty or Nice" book, Krissy Kringle sets out to expose naughty people.)
8 | "Grammy Nominations Concert Live Countdown to Music's Night," CBS (special)
8 | "Final Cut," Investigation Discovery (6-part series premiere; shocking Hollywood crime stories)
8 | "The Polar Express," ABC Family (2004 movie)
9 | "I'm Dreaming of a Redneck Christmas," A&E (special; holiday with folks from "Duck Dynasty")
9 | "Neat Freaks," TLC (special; 4 folks obsessed with cleaning)

Thursday, Dec. 6
5:30 | "Selling New York," HGTV (season premiere)
7 | "Disney's A Christmas Carol," ABC Family (2009 movie)
8 | "In Vogue: Editor's Eye," HBO (doc; Vogue's 120th anniversary)
9 | "Mary Mary," WEtv (season 2 premiere)
11:15 p.m. | "NTSF: SD: SUV:: Christmas Activity," Adult Swim (special; The team is attacked by the evil Alaskan Santa Claus.)

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