It's the most wonderful time of the year—on television!
By Nate Millado
After the Grinch stole 2020, we could all use a little comfort and joy (comfort and joy). Luckily, CBS and The CW bring glad tidings, raising our collective holiday spirit with festive programming. From holiday classics like Frosty and Rudolph, to reinvented carols courtesy of Dolly, Garth & Trisha, and Billie, there's a gift on TV for the entire family!
The CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration
Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight host The CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration.
Photo Credit: CBS.
While this year's parade won't look quite the same, we'll still be able to wake up and enjoy the balloons and floats! Hosted by Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight, this festive three-hour extravaganza features celebrity interviews—from tough-as-nails The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan to Abishola herself, Folake Olowofoyeku—and inspiring musical performances, including country stars Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton's rendition of "O Holy Night," and Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away.
The CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration airs Thursday, Nov. 26 at 9 AM-12 PM live ET; 8-11 AM live CT; 7-10 AM live MT; and 1-4 PM delayed PT on CBS and CBS All Access.
Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns
Frosty the Snowman is a jolly, happy soul.
Photo Credit: Classic Media.
Frosty the Snowman is a "jolly, happy soul" whose old silk hat full of magic is the stuff of Christmas legend. Narrated by Jimmy Durante, the special also includes the voices of Jackie Vernon (as Frosty) and Billy De Wolfe (as Professor Hinkle). When Frosty Returns, the OG dancing showman, er, snowman continues his adventure and skates on the edge of danger. Jonathan Winters narrates, with John Goodman as the voice of Frosty.
SNEAK PEEK: Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman airs Friday, Nov. 27 at 8/7c on CBS, followed by Frosty Returns at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
Jake Spankenheimer with his beloved Grandma.
Photo Credit: © Warner Home Video.
In this heartwarming adventure that's as goofy as the hit holiday song it's based on, young Jake Spankenheimer embarks on the quest of a lifetime to track his missing grandma down on Christmas Eve to prove that Santa Claus is indeed real. Knots Landing's Michele Lee provides the voice of Jake's greedy Cousin Mel.
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer airs Friday, Nov. 27 at 9/8c on The CW, with an encore presentation on Monday, Dec. 21 at 8/7c.
Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire/Legend of the Lost Tribe
Robbie the Reindeer, voiced by Ben Stiller.
Photo Credit: BBC.
In the first installment, Robbie (voiced by Ben Stiller) must train to compete in the Reindeer Races to become a part of the sleigh team for Santa (voiced by Jim Belushi). Right after that, Robbie battles Hugh Grant's Blitzen to prevent his nemesis from launching a reindeer theme park. The star-packed cast also includes Britney Spears, James Woods, Leah Remini, and Jerry Stiller.
SNEAK PEEK: Robbie the Reindeer
Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves on Fire airs Saturday, Nov. 28 at 8/7c on CBS, followed by Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.
The Story of Santa Claus
Santa and his elves.
Photo Credit: 1996 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
This animated musical special centers on a gentle toymaker (voiced by Ed Asner) whose only wish is to deliver a toy to every child on Christmas. Keep en ear out for Betty White and Tim Curry, as well.
SNEAK PEEK: The Story of Santa Claus
The Story of Santa Claus airs Saturday, Nov. 28 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa relies on Rudolph's shiny red nose to save Christmas.
Photo Credit: Classic Media.
This Yuletide fave, based on Johnny Marks' jaunty tune, recounts the tale of shy reindeer Rudolph, whose shiny nose makes him a laughing stock at first, but is what ultimately saves Christmas. Narrated by Burl Ives, who also voices Sam the Snowman, the stop-motion classic has aired every year since 1964—going down in history as the longest-running holiday special on television!
SNEAK PEEK: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer airs Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 8/7 c on CBS and CBS All Access.
iHeart Radio Jingle Ball
Photo Credit: Courtesy of iHeart Radio.
The show must go on—albeit virtually! One of the season's most anticipated holiday music events boasts a festive lineup—including Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd—sharing their personal holiday traditions and performing their biggest hits and never-before-heard covers of iconic holiday songs.
In addition, The CW will televise a one-hour iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Greatest Moments special, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the event through performances, special backstage moments, and more.
iHeart Radio Jingle Ball Greatest Moments airs on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8/7c on The CW.
SEE MORE: 2020 Holiday Specials On The CW
The Hollywood Christmas Parade Greatest Moments
Santa Claus and service members wave from the sleigh.
Photo Credit: Hollywood Christmas Parade Television LLC.
Sadly, the 2020 Hollywood Christmas Parade, an 89-year institution, was officially canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Bah, humbug!) But in continuing the spirit of the season, The CW will highlight special moments from past parades, along with celebrity shout-outs and some brand-new performances from your favorite stars.
The Hollywood Christmas Parade Greatest Moments airs Friday, Dec. 4 at 8/7c on The CW.
A Holly Dolly Christmas
Dolly Parton brings her Holly Dolly Christmas to CBS.
Photo Credit: Stacie Huckeba Courtesy of Butterfly Records LLC.
Move over, Mariah—there's a new Queen of Christmas! Fresh off her record-breaking new holiday album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, beloved icon Dolly Parton is spreading some much-needed holiday cheer during her favorite time of year. From an intimate, candlelit set, Dolly shares personal stories and memories, interspersed with powerful, faith-ﬁlled hymns and lighthearted holiday classics.
A Holly Dolly Christmas airs Sunday, Dec. 6 at 8:30PM ET/8PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access.
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown
Greatest Commercials Countdown logo on The CW.
Photo Credit: The CW.
Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight count down the 12 best holiday commercials ever, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas. In addition to the top 12, the special features other great commercials from the U.S. and abroad that capture the spirit of the holiday season—from the heartfelt to the hilarious, from the outstanding to the ridiculous.
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2020 airs Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 9/8c on The CW, with an encore presentation will air Monday, Dec. 21 at 9/8c.
Silent Night—A Song For The World
Kelly Clarkson performs.
Photo Credit: Moonlake Entertainment Rights Ltd.
How culturally impactful is "Silent Night"? For starters, it's been translated into 140 languages, caused a Christmas ceasefire in World War I, and Bing Crosby's version is the third best-selling single ever.
This musical film documentary from award-winning director Hannes M. Schalle tells the story of the world's most famous Christmas carol. Narrated by Hugh Bonneville, A Song For The World also features new recordings by global stars in different languages from the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Joss Stone, Kathrine McPhee, Gavin Rossdale, Sheléa, Ailee, Josh Groban, The Vienna Boys Choir, Anggun, The Tenors, and many more.
Silent Night—A Song For The World premieres Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8/7c on The CW, with an encore on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 8/7c.
The Christmas Caroler Challenge
From L-R: Judge Mikalah Gordon, host Dean Cain, judge Brandon Rogers, host Laura McKenzie, and judge Garry Gary Beers.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Associated Television International.
Wanna hear some unexpected twists on Christmas classics? Tune in to this harmonious holiday event series featuring 10 amazing carol groups, each with their own brand of vocal stylings. Hosted by Dean Cain and Laura McKenzie, with a panel of three celebrity judges.
The Christmas Caroler Challenge premieres Friday, Dec. 11 at 8/7c on The CW.
Penn & Teller: Merry Fool Us
Penn Jillette, Alyson Hannigan and Teller get into the holiday spirit.
Photo Credit: Jacob Kepler/The CW.
It's a very merry episode of Penn & Teller, as the dynamic duo, along with host Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother), wow us with costumes, a Christmas Trophy—and of course, magic!
Penn & Teller: Merry Fool Us airs on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 9/8c on The CW.
Garth & Trisha LIVE! A Holiday Concert Event
Husband-and-wife country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Photo Credit: Blue Rose Inc.
Line up those requests, folks, because country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are back at Studio G to serenade us once again. "Our viewers loved reaching out directly to Garth and Trisha to request their favorite hits back when the pandemic first hit. It brought some fun and joy directly into their living rooms as they were hunkered down with their families," says Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music & Live Events/Alternative & Reality for CBS. "Now, nine long months later, who better to bring some holiday magic, performing some of the greatest holiday songs of all time than Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood." Stay tuned to Garth's Facebook for details on how you can can make song requests for the special.
Garth & Trisha LIVE! A Holiday Concert Event airs Sunday, Dec. 20 at 8:30PM ET/8PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access.
The 22nd Annual A Home For The Holidays
Hamilton's Leslie Odom with perform at CBS' annual heartwarming tradition.
Photo Credit: Tony Duran,
Continuing a heartwarming two-decade tradition, the award-winning A Home for the Holidays shines a light on the thousands of American kids in foster care. Gayle King presents uplifting stories of adoption from foster care, but this year will be extra special, as viewers watch three foster children unite with their "forever families" in virtual ceremonies. Plus, look forward to inspirational performances from Josh Groban, Miranda Lambert, Meghan Trainor, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Andrea Bocelli.
The 22nd Annual A Home For The Holidays airs Sunday, Dec. 20 at 9:30PM ET/9PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access.