THIS SEASON ABC OFFERS THE GIFT OF HOLIDAY-THEMED MOVIES ALONG WITH NEW AND CLASSIC SPECIALS
The ABC Television Network has announced highlights of its upcoming movies and specials scheduled to air during the holiday season.
Editors please note: What follows is a chronological listing of holiday programming highlights (all times Eastern). As airdates are subject to change, please monitor ABC's daily press bundle or ABC MediaNet at www.abcmedianet.com.
"A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING" - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET) -- In this 1973 special, Charlie Brown wants to do something special for the gang. However the dinner he arranges is a disaster when the caterers, Snoopy and Woodstock, prepare toast and popcorn as the main dish. Humiliated, it will take all of Marcie's persuasive powers to salvage the holiday for Charlie Brown. The cast includes Todd Barbee as Charlie Brown, Robin Kohn as Lucy, Stephen Shea as Linus, Hilary Momberger as Sally, Kip DeFaria as Peppermint Patty, Jimmy Ahrens as Marcie and Robin Reed as Franklin. (OAD: 11/16/01)
"HE'S A BULLY, CHARLIE BROWN" - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET) -- The 50th prime time "Peanuts" network special, and the last original script created by the late Charles Schulz, focuses on Charlie Brown's greatest challenge to date. The "Peanuts" gang is attending a summer camp where they run into an obnoxious kid who is the camp's marble champion. The bully wins all of ReRun's marbles, including ReRun's grandfather's championship "shooter." Charlie Brown challenges the bully to a competition to try and win back ReRun's marbles. Having never really played before, Charlie Brown enlists the services of Snoopy to teach him how to play. Will Charlie Brown win the marbles back!!?? Starring in the special are Spencer Robert Scott as Charlie Brown, Stephanie Patton as Lucy Van Pelt, Benjamin Bryan as Linus Van Pelt, Rory Thost as Peppermint Patty, Jessica Gordon as Marice, Sierra Marcoux as Sally, Jimmy Bennett as ReRun, Taylor Lautner as Bully, Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Katie Fischer as the first girl, Jolean Bejbe as the second girl and Paul Butcher as the kid. The music was written by Vince Guaraldi and arranged and performed by David Benoit. (OAD: 11/20/06)
"A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS" - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET); repeats MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) -- In the digitally-remastered 1965 special, Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees everywhere during the Christmas season. Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant, and Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, Charlie Brown needs Linus' help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is. The hour will also include a series of Christmas-themed animated stories entitled "Charlie Brown Christmas Tales," based on Schulz's work, in which each of the beloved PEANUTS characters - Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Sally - will star in his or her own charming animated vignette. (OAD: 12/6/01 on ABC)
"SHREK THE HALLS" - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET); repeats TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET) -- Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas, America's favorite ogre family returns. Just when Shrek thought he could finally sit back, relax and enjoy his happily ever after with his new family, the most joyous of all holidays arrives. It's Christmas Eve, and everyone is filled with holiday cheer, except for Shrek. He isn't exactly the picture of yuletide joy, but for the sake of Fiona and the kids, he tries to get into the spirit of things as only an ogre can. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own ideas about what Christmas is all about, so when Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingy and the whole gang try to join in on the fun, Shrek's plans for a cozy family celebration end up spiraling into one truly unforgettable Christmas.
"DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS" - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET) -- The original 1966 animated holiday special loved by all tall and small, based on the classic children's book by the legendary Dr. Seuss, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" takes viewers inside a snowflake to Whoville, the magical land of the Whos. But high above this holiday-loving town resides the Grinch, a hateful creature with a heart three sizes too small, who despises Christmas and plots to steal it from the Whos. (OAD: 12/12/06 on ABC)
"ABC FRIDAY MOVIE OF THE WEEK: THE POLAR EXPRESS" - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) - Can children still believe in Santa Clause? In the Academy and Golden Globe Award-nominated "The Polar Express," one doubting child gets the surprise of his life when, while lying in bed wishing he could hear reindeer bells from Santa's sleigh in the final hours of Christmas Eve, an incredible event occurs: A roaring locomotive grinds and hisses to a halt outside his bedroom window. The mysterious conductor (voice of Tom Hanks) invites him to join the other children already aboard on a fantastical journey to the North Pole. It is an adventure filled with wonder and learning, at the end of which lies a gift that only those who believe can still experience. The voice cast for "The Polar Express" features Tom Hanks ("The Davinci Code") as Hero Boy/Father/Conductor/Hobo/Scrooge/Santa Claus, Leslie Harter Zemeckis ("Blowback") as Sister Sarah/Mother, Eddie Deezen ("Kim Possible") as Know-It-All, Nona Gaye ("Crash") as Hero Girl, and Peter Scolari ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") as Lonely Boy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Monster House," "Gothika") and written by Zemeckis and William Broyles, Jr. ("Jarhead"), from the book by Chris Van Allsburg. (OAD: 12/1/06)
"SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN" - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) - In the perennial favorite created in 1970 by Rankin-Bass Productions ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman,") Fred Astaire narrates this timeless tale of Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney), a young boy with an immense desire to do good things for others. In his home village of Sombertown, Kris has started a gift factory where he builds toys and gives them to all the local children. But when the evil ruler, Burgermeister Meisterburger (Paul Frees), bans toys from the land, Kris is forced to go directly to Mother Nature and ask her for assistance. With the help of magical elves and several special reindeer, Kris overcomes the Burgermeister and delivers toys to children all over the world, earning him the name Santa Claus. (OAD: 12/2/05)
"ABC SATURDAY MOVIE OF THE WEEK: DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS" - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) -- Jim Carrey stars as the Grinch in this 2000 live-action film based on the classic Dr. Seuss book. Also starring are Christine Baranski, Jeffrey Tambor, Molly Shannon and Taylor Momsen. (OAD: 11/25/04)
"I WANT A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!" - MONDAY, DECEMBER 10 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) -- This holiday season, ABC will again air this "PEANUTS" Christmas special, produced and animated by the same team that gave us the other, now classic cartoon specials based on Charles M. Schulz's famed comic strip. "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" centers on ReRun, the lovable but ever-skeptical younger brother of Linus and Lucy. It's Christmas vacation and, as usual, ReRun's big sister is stressing him out, so he decides to turn to his best friend, Snoopy, for amusement and holiday cheer. However his faithful but unpredictable beagle companion has plans of his own, giving ReRun reason to ask Snoopy to invite his canine brother Spike for a visit. When Spike shows up, it looks like ReRun will have a dog for Christmas after all... but then the real trouble begins. (OAD: 12/9/03).
"WINNIE THE POOH AND CHRISTMAS TOO!" - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET) -- Nominated for a 1992 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Children's Program category, the primetime special was honored by TV Guide as the "most lushly animated" holiday program of all time. Pooh and Piglet retrieve a letter to Santa, but while trying to add some forgotten Christmas wishes, their plans go amiss. Realizing the letter won't find its way to the North Pole in time, Pooh and Piglet decide to play Santa, with some decidedly comic results! The vocal cast of the animated feature: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh, Peter Cullen as Eeyore, John Fiedler as Piglet, Michael Gough as Gopher, Ken Sansom as Rabbit, Paul Winchell as Tigger and Edan Gross as Christopher Robin. (OAD: 12/6/98)
ELMO'S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET) -- Uh-oh, Christmas is in trouble! When the ten numbered boxes to Stiller the Elf's magical Christmas Counter-Downer become lost, the arrival of Christmas is impeded. Can Elmo and Abby find the missing boxes and restore the big countdown to everyone's favorite holiday? It just might take a Christmas miracle! In a world where reindeers report the news, Elves do yoga and Santa is issued speeding tickets, you never quite know what's going to happen. That's why it's good to have your friends around! Making appearances are many favorite "Sesame Street" residents, including Big Bird, Snuffy, Grover, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Prairie Dawn, The Three Bears and more. A host of famous friends are also on hand to usher in the spirit of the season: Musical numbers abound with Brad Paisley, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls"), Anne Hathaway ("The Devil Wears Prada"), Ty Pennington ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") and Jamie Foxx. In a hilarious turn, Steve Schirippa and Tony Sirico ("The Sopranos) demonstrate their acting skills portraying everybody's favorite striped-shirt duo, Bert and Ernie. ABC News anchor Charles Gibson voices the role of reindeer newsanchor Charles Blitzen, and Kevin James ("King of Queens") reveals a side of Santa Claus you've never seen before! Hosted by Stiller the Elf (voiced by Ben Stiller) and his frosty sidekick, Stan the Snowball, "Elmo's Christmas Countdown" is destined to make a believer out of you!
"WALT DISNEY WORLD CHRISTMAS DAY PARADE" - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25 (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ET) -- The Emmy-Award winning show is once again scheduled to be hosted by Regis and Kelly at Walt Disney World and Ryan Seacrest at Disneyland. This year's program promises to be bigger and better than ever with new floats, characters, and performances -- such as the show-stopping "Dancing with the Stars" number in which Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, the cast of professional dancers from "Dancing with the Stars" and over 200 additional dancers perform a spectacular number in front of Cinderella Castle. Other celebrities scheduled to appear include Miley Cyrus (from Disney Channel's hit show "Hannah Montana"), Josh Groban, Jonas Brothers, Billy Ray Cyrus and many more.
"DICK CLARK'S PRIMETIME NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 2008" - MONDAY, DECEMBER 31 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET); "DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 2008, PART 1" (11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m., ET); "DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 2008, PART 2" (1:05-2:05 a.m., ET) -- Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark co-host the 35th edition of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," live from Times Square. They headline an evening of celebration and performances by some of music's top artists and biggest hitmakers. In addition, "Good Morning America Weekend" correspondent Marysol Castro will report on the festivities around New York City.