On TV: Holiday Specials and Movies

by IMDb-Editors | created - 19 Nov 2014 | updated - 08 Dec 2014 | Public

Find out when your favorite holiday specials and movies are airing, and check back often as more schedules are announced.

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1. Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010 TV Short)

TV-PG | 21 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Po is to host the annual winter holiday feast and he struggles to meet his friends' expectations.

Director: Tim Johnson | Stars: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen

Votes: 4,751

Airs: 9pm Friday, November 28 on The CW.

2. Frosty the Snowman (1969 TV Short)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Family

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante, Paul Frees

Votes: 13,331

Airs: 9pm Friday, November 28 on CBS.

3. Merry Madagascar (2009 TV Short)

28 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

When Santa and his reindeer crash onto Madagascar it's up to Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melvin, and the penguins to save Christmas.

Director: David Soren | Stars: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Votes: 4,609

Airs: 9:30pm Friday, November 28 on The CW.

4. Yes, Virginia (2009 TV Short)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Short

New York City. It's 1897. Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon has always loved Christmas. Until the day her classmates bring up the age-old question: "Is there a Santa Claus?" Not sure what to... See full summary »

Director: Pete Circuitt | Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Bea Miller, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina

Votes: 472

Airs: 9:30pm Friday, November 28 on CBS.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 267,776 | Gross: $75.08M

Airs: 7:30pm Saturday, November 29, and 10:40am Sunday, November 30, on Disney.

6. The Flight Before Christmas (2008)

G | 80 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

A young reindeer who suffers from vertigo learns to overcome his fear, takes flying lessons from a clumsy flying squirrel and heads to the North pole to save a troubled Santa and his fleet of flying reindeer.

Directors: Michael Hegner, Kari Juusonen | Stars: Olli Jantunen, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Vuokko Hovatta, Vesa Vierikko

Votes: 2,928

Airs: 8pm Saturday, November 29 on CBS.

7. Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014 TV Movie)

G | 87 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Grumpy Cat is a lonely cat living in a mall pet shop. Because she never gets chosen by customers, she develops a sour outlook on life...until one day during the holidays, a very special 12-... See full summary »

Director: Tim Hill | Stars: Grumpy Cat, Megan Charpentier, Daniel Roebuck, Russell Peters

Votes: 2,049

Airs: 8pm Saturday, November 29 on Lifetime.

8. The Story of Santa Claus (1996 TV Special)

47 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

The special presents an origin story for Santa Claus, who is depicted as a man named Nicholas Claus who wishes to give every child in the world a gift for Christmas. The elves of the North ... See full summary »

Directors: Toby Bluth, Debbie Baber, Dave Brain, Tommy Isumi, Juli Murphy, Michael Polcino, Chuck Sheetz | Stars: Edward Asner, Jim Cummings, Tim Curry, Miko Hughes

Votes: 187

Airs: 9pm Saturday, November 29 on CBS.

9. Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011 TV Short)

TV-PG | 26 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

Sid, Eddie and Crash get in trouble with Santa and have to get their names off of the naughty list.

Director: Karen Disher | Stars: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah

Votes: 8,913

Airs: 7pm Sunday, November 30 on Fox.

10. Jack Frost (1979 TV Movie)

TV-G | 48 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The Groundhog tells the story of how, for once, Jack Frost became human, and helped a knight win his lady love.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Buddy Hackett, Robert Morse, Paul Frees, Larry Storch

Votes: 2,699

Airs: 4pm Monday, December 1 on ABC Family.

11. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy

49 Metascore

The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Votes: 133,734 | Gross: $71.32M

Airs: 6pm Monday, December 1 on ABC Family.

12. Elf (2003)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel

Votes: 190,731 | Gross: $173.40M

Airs: 8pm Monday, December 1 on ABC Family.

13. The Santa Clause (1994)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

57 Metascore

When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off of his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin | Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 85,102 | Gross: $144.83M

Airs: 10pm Monday, December 1 on ABC Family.

14. Prancer (1989)

G | 103 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa's, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.

Director: John D. Hancock | Stars: Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, Rutanya Alda, Abe Vigoda

Votes: 4,048 | Gross: $18.59M

Airs: 5pm Wednesday, December 3 on ABC Family.

15. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

32 Metascore

Santa, aka Scott Calvin, is faced with double-duty: how to keep his new family happy, and how to stop Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.

Director: Michael Lembeck | Stars: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 29,237 | Gross: $84.50M

Airs: 7pm Wednesday, December 3 on ABC Family.

Airs: 8pm Wednesday, December 3 on NBC.

17. SNL Christmas (2012 TV Special)

85 min | Comedy

SNL presents it's favorite holiday sketches spanning nearly 40 years.

Directors: Don Roy King, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Paul Miller, Akiva Schaffer, James Signorelli, John Solomon, Dave Wilson | Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Amy Poehler

Votes: 45

Airs: 9pm Wednesday, December 3 on NBC.

18. The Polar Express (2004)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter, Leslie Zemeckis

Votes: 155,239 | Gross: $183.37M

Airs: 9pm Wednesday, December 3 on ABC Family.

19. Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976 TV Movie)

TV-G | 60 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rudolph must find Happy, the baby New Year, before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Red Skelton, Frank Gorshin, Morey Amsterdam, Harold Peary

Votes: 3,008

Airs: 5pm Thursday, December 4 on ABC Family.

20. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974 TV Movie)

TV-G | 51 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving

Votes: 6,875

Airs: 6pm Thursday, December 4 on ABC Family.

21. Peter Pan Live! (2014 TV Movie)

131 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A live telecast of the beloved J. M. Barrie story.

Directors: Rob Ashford, Glenn Weiss | Stars: Allison Williams, Christian Borle, Kelli O'Hara, Taylor Louderman

Votes: 1,882

Airs: 9pm Thursday, December 4 on NBC.

22. A Christmas Carol (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Drama, Family

55 Metascore

An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Steve Valentine

Votes: 91,613 | Gross: $137.86M

Airs: 9pm Thursday, December 4 on ABC Family.

23. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

46 Metascore

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch (Jim Carrey), who plans on ruining Christmas for all of the citizens of the town.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley, Jeffrey Tambor

Votes: 183,048 | Gross: $260.04M

Airs: 8pm Friday, December 5 on ABC Family.

24. How Murray Saved Christmas (2014 TV Special)

TV-G | 42 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

One-hour animated special surrounding a surly deli owner Murray Weiner, who is forced to step into Santa's shoes for one Christmas and bumbles his way into doing a great job.

Director: Peter Avanzino | Stars: Jason Alexander, Sean Hayes, Dennis Haysbert, Nick Jameson

Votes: 393

Airs: 8pm Friday, December 5 on NBC.

25. Fred Claus (2007)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

42 Metascore

Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole to help Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas in exchange for cash.

Director: David Dobkin | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins

Votes: 37,134 | Gross: $72.01M

Airs: 11:30pm Friday, December 5 on ABC Family.

26. All I Want for Christmas (2007 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 86 min | Family, Romance

Anxious to help his struggling, widowed mom SARA, 10 year old JESSIE enters a national video contest. But Jessie's winning entry, "All I Want for Christmas is a Husband for my Mom," has ... See full summary »

Director: Harvey Frost | Stars: Gail O'Grady, Greg Germann, Robert Mailhouse, Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak

Votes: 901

Airs: 7am Saturday, December 6 on ABC Family.

27. Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976 TV Short)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Frosty's kind of lonely, so the kids think of making him a wife, Crystal. But will Jack Frost let them be happy?

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Andy Griffith, Shelley Winters, Dennis Day, Paul Frees

Votes: 2,299

Airs: 1:30pm Saturday, December 6 on ABC Family.

28. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

G | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

48 Metascore

Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn't find a Mrs. Claus.

Director: Michael Lembeck | Stars: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 44,956 | Gross: $139.24M

Airs: 7pm, 9:30pm Saturday, December 6; 8pm, 10:30pm Monday, December 8; 8pm, 10:30pm Wednesday, December 10; 8pm, 10:30pm Sunday, December 21; 2pm, 8pm Tuesday, December 23; midnight, 4:30pm Wednesday, December 24 on AMC.

29. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 355,557

Airs: 8pm Saturday, December 6, and 8pm Wednesday, December 24 on NBC.

30. Mr. Miracle (2014 TV Movie)

TV-G | 86 min | Comedy

A Guardian Angel, posing as an English teacher, helps a young woman find her way before Christmas.

Director: Carl Bessai | Stars: Kendra Anderson, Candus Churchill, Andrew Francis, Michelle Harrison

Votes: 369

Airs: 8pm Saturday, December 6, on the Hallmark Channel.

31. Arthur Christmas (2011)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

69 Metascore

Santa's clumsy son Arthur sets out on a mission with St. Nick's father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours.

Directors: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook | Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie

Votes: 45,364 | Gross: $46.46M

Airs: 9pm Saturday, December 6 on ABC Family.

32. The Little Drummer Boy (1968 TV Special)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Family

An orphan drummer boy who hated humanity finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr., Takeya Nakamura | Stars: José Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray, Ted Eccles

Votes: 3,886

Airs: 9am Sunday, December 7 on ABC Family.

33. Christmas at Cartwright's (2014 TV Movie)

TV-G | 84 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

A single mom gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to help boost her finances, and then an angel enters her life and brings about some positive changes, including the spark of a new romance.

Director: Graeme Campbell | Stars: Alicia Witt, Gabriel Hogan, Wallace Shawn, T.J. McGibbon

Votes: 1,334

Airs: 8pm Sunday, December 7 on Hallmark Channel.

34. Bad Santa (2003)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, John Ritter

Votes: 127,086 | Gross: $60.06M

Airs: 8pm Tuesday, December 9, and 10:30pm Sunday, December 14 on WGN America; 3pm Saturday, December 13 and 2am Sunday, December 14 on The CW.

35. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)
Episode: The I Love Lucy Christmas Show (1956)

G | 26 min | Comedy, Family

On Christmas Eve, the Ricardos and the Mertzes recall past events in their lives, as seen in clips from past episodes.

Directors: James V. Kern, William Asher | Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 392

Airs: 8pm Sunday, December 7 on CBS.

36. Robot Chicken (2005– )

TV-MA | 11 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

Pop culture references fly thick and fast as stop-motion animation is featured in sketches lampooning everything from television movies to comic books.

Stars: Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Tom Root

Votes: 37,313

(AKA "The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don’t Worry Christmas is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special")

Airs: 11:30pm Sunday, December 7 on Adult Swim.

37. Prometheus (I) (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron

Votes: 537,505 | Gross: $126.48M

Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday, December 9, 7:30pm Wednesday, December 10, and 7:30pm Saturday, December 13 on FX.

38. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 TV Movie)

TV-G | 47 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer | Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann, Paul Soles

Votes: 22,951

Airs: 8pm Tuesday, December 9 on CBS.

39. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

One year after Kevin McCallister was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself stranded in New York City - and the same criminals are not far behind.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara

Votes: 262,982 | Gross: $173.59M

Airs: 8pm and 10:30pm Tuesday, December 9; 8pm and 10:30pm Sunday, December 14; 8pm and 10:30pm Monday, December 15; and 4:30pm and 9:30pm on Tuesday, December 23 on AMC.

40. Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017)
Episode: How the 'A' Stole Christmas (2014)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

It is Christmas time and all of the liars are planning on having a great time at the Ice ball, but 'A' has other plans.

Director: I. Marlene King | Stars: Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Tyler Blackburn, Lucy Hale

Votes: 620

Airs: 8pm Tuesday, December 9 on ABC Family.

41. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970 TV Movie)

TV-G | 48 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Paul Frees

Votes: 10,476

Airs: 8pm Tuesday, December 9 on ABC.

42. This Christmas (2007)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

A Christmastime drama centered around the Whitfield family's first holiday together in four years.

Director: Preston A. Whitmore II | Stars: Regina King, Columbus Short, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba

Votes: 7,647 | Gross: $49.12M

Airs: 8pm Wednesday, December 10; 1:30pm Thursday, December 11; and 8pm Friday, December 12 on BET.

43. Reindeer Games (2000)

R | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

37 Metascore

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with the other man's girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself a reluctant participant in a casino heist.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, Charlize Theron, James Frain

Votes: 35,398 | Gross: $23.36M

Airs: 9:30am Thursday, December 11 on AMC.

44. The Family Stone (2005)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.

Director: Thomas Bezucha | Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton

Votes: 56,457 | Gross: $60.06M

Airs: 12:45pm Thursday, December 11 on HBO.

45. Scrooged (1988)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

38 Metascore

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover

Votes: 77,275 | Gross: $60.33M

Airs: 8pm Thursday, December 11 on ABC Family.

46. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

PG | 114 min | Family, Fantasy

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Director: Les Mayfield | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J.T. Walsh

Votes: 28,440 | Gross: $17.19M

Airs: 9:30pm Friday, December 12 on ABC Family.

47. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 405,024 | Gross: $285.76M

Airs: 12am and 2pm Saturday, December 13 on TBS; 8:30pm Tuesday, December 16 on ABC Family; and 6:30pm Wednesday, December 17 on ABC Family.

48. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 36,840 | Gross: $2.65M

Airs: 7pm and 9:15pm Saturday, December 13; 8pm and 10:30pm Tuesday, December 16; 8pm and 10:15pm Thursday, December 18 on AMC.

49. Best Christmas Party Ever (2014 TV Movie)

TV-G | 84 min | Drama, Family, Romance

6.6