TV Weekly cover: Our picks for not-to-miss holiday TV

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23 December 2015

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs Dec. 24, 8:00 PM ET
By Kellie Freeze

At some point in the holiday season — usually a few days before Christmas — the pace turns from panicked to placid. It’s as if humanity remembers the true meaning of the season and settles down with loved ones to share old holiday memories and make new ones. And this week we’re highlighting a few holiday specials that range from mirthful to meaningful.

Old Faves In New Roles
An encore presentation of the romantic comedy “Becoming Santa” airs Christmas Day on Lifetime. In the Christmas charmer, Holly (Laura Bell Bundy) ?nally takes her boyfriend Connor (Jesse Hutch) “up north” to meet her parents and reveals that her parents are Santa and Mrs. Claus. There’s no one better to play the quintessential holiday couple than Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross, who played TV’s perfect parents on “Family Ties.” Baxter reveals that she enjoys working on holiday ?lms because of the strong family storylines, but the ?ick’s biggest draw was the opportunity to work with her good friend Gross. “As soon as I knew he was attached, I didn’t even bother reading the script,” she jokes.
LIFETIME, Dec. 25, 10:00 PM ET

Sweet Holiday Eats
This week, catch a plethora of holiday cooking shows on tasty channels like Food Network and Cooking Channel — and save room on your plate for Monday’s season ?nale of ABC’s “The Great Holiday Baking Show.” The culinary competition showcases the talents of some of America’s best amateur bakers as they compete in themed challenges in hopes of being crowned America’s Best Holiday Baker. Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) and husband Ian Gomez (“Cougar Town”) are the competition’s hosts. We Prefer Puppets Some may argue that 1951’s “Scrooge” starring Alastair Sim is the best adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas classic, but we’re Team Muppet in our preference for “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992), which airs Christmas Eve on WGN America. Who can top Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge?

Our Favorite Redhead Gets Colorized!
CBS’ annual airing of the “I Love Lucy Christmas Special” gets a new look this year when the classic Christmas episode is broadcast in color for the ?rst time. Wednesday’s hourlong special will also air the newly colorized episode “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (a.k.a. “Vitameatavegamin”), where Lucy becomes a TV pitchwoman for an alcoholic health tonic.
CBS, Dec. 23, 8:00 PM ET

It’s A Wonderful Tradition
On Thursday, fall in love with George Bailey all over again when NBC presents “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  In the Christmastime classic, an angel helps George Bailey (James Stewart) see what life in his small town would have been like if he never existed. Although the ?lm was considered a ?op when it premiered in 1946, we couldn’t imagine Christmas Eve without it.
NBC, Dec. 24, 8:00 PM ET

Doggone Cute
If you and your loved ones enjoy the antics of 1990’s “Home Alone” (the original airs a few times this week), you’ll love “Alone for Christmas,” airing on Showtime and Showtime Family Zone. In the howlingly cute family ?lm, a pooch who gets left alone on Christmas Eve bests a trio of tricky robbers.
SHOWTIME, Dec. 24, 6:25 PM ET

Is He Slam-Ta Claus?
WWE wrestling superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin stars in USA Network’s Sunday presentation of “Santa’s Little Helper,” in which a slick, fasttalking businessman (The Miz) is thrown into a competition against an aspiring elf (WWE Diva Paige) to become Santa’s next second-incommand. AnnaLynne McCord also stars.
USA NETWORK, Dec. 20, 8:00 PM ET

All of us at TV Weekly wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season and we thank you for inviting us into your home each week. We are proud to help you ?nd your entertainment favorites and to introduce you to new ones.
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