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TV This Christmas

Fire up the Yule Log, It's Christmas on Television

Holiday traditions share the spotlight with John Mulaney and a new season of Lost in Space
  • John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and  Lost in Space are among TV's headliners this Christmas.
    John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Lost in Space are among TV's headliners this Christmas.

    There's plenty of holiday programming on the schedule this Christmas, but for viewers looking for something a little different, Netflix has you covered with the second season of Lost In Space crash-landing just in time for a holiday binge, and a quirky new comedy special starring John Mulaney and an unlikely group of friends he calls "The Sack Lunch Bunch." Here's what's new and notable on TV this Christmas:


    SEASON PREMIERE: Returning for its second season, Lost in Space promises bigger drama, higher stakes, and a time jump. Watch the trailer. Streaming on Netflix

    COMEDY SPECIAL: David Byrne, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natasha Lyonne, Richard Kind and others guest star in John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, a musical children's special from “a man with neither children nor musical ability.” Read our reviewStreaming on Netflix

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: In what may be be TV's greatest public service all year, Hallmark presents A Very Happy & Friends Yule Log, featuring 24 hours of a happy dog and cat lounging in front of a crackling fire. Starts at 5:00 PM ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Boris Karloff lends his voice to the original 1966 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas holiday special, which, as our Joe Reid discovered, has quite a few life lessons to impart. 8:00 PM ET on NBC

    HOLIDAY MOVIE: It wouldn't be Christmas without NBC's annual Christmas Eve airing of It's a Wonderful Life. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchel, and Henry Travers star in the timeless classic about a struggling family man who learns what the world would be like if he had never been born. 8:00 PM ET on NBC

    HOLIDAY MARATHON TBS once again cedes its airwaves over to A Christmas Story for its annual 24-hour marathon of the classic holiday movie. Starting at 8:00 PM ET on TBS

    CHOICE REPEAT Speaking of Ralphie and the Parker family, Fox is repeating its 2017 live TV musical A Christmas Story Live!, starring Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick, Chris Diamantopoulos and Jane Krakowski. 8:00 PM ET on Fox 

    NEW EPISODES: Love Island it's not. The often meditative reality import Terrace House:Tokyo returns with a new batch of episodes. Streaming on Netflix


    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Now in its 35th year, the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade takes us to Main Street, USA for parade highlights and musical performances from Sting, Shaggy and the cast of the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Hosted by Matthew Morrison, Emma Bunton and Jesse Palmer, the special airs Christmas morning 10:00 AM ET on ABC

    HOLIDAY MOVIE: Hearties have been waiting for this one all season long: When Calls the Heart: Home For Christmas brings together the cast of the hit Hallmark series for a holiday movie that promises all the drama and intrigue we've come to expect. 8:00 PM ET on Hallmark Channel  

    SERIES PREMIERE: The limited series Three Days of Christmas tells the story of four sisters and the drama and secrets that unfold over three key Christmas seasons. Streaming on Netflix

    HOLIDAY SPECIAL:  In its annual UK-style holiday special, Call the Midwife sees Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage.  9:00 PM ET on PBS

    HOLIDAY MOVIE: For the Grinch-watching completists, Ron Howard's take on How the Grinch Stole Christmas — the 2000 film starring Jim Carrey — gets a Christmas night airing at 8:30 PM ET on NBC

    Mike Attebery is Senior Editor at Primetimer and the author of seven mystery thrillers. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeattebery.

    TOPICS: Lost in Space (2018), Netflix, John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch