The Freeform channel used to be ABC Family. In the past ABC Family always had a decent “25 Days of Christmas” schedule, but with their rebranding things are looking a little strange this year. The most glaring oddity being the banishment of essentially all of their prior original content movies. If the listings on their website are correct, then titles like Snowglobe, The 12 Dates of Christmas, Santa Baby, Three Days, Holiday in Handcuffs, Christmas Cupid etc… have all been scheduled to air at midnight or other weird times in December. Are these movies too “adult” for Freeform? I kind of find that hard to believe since their highest rated show is Pretty Little Liars. Are they too outdated? Hmm…
I’ve been compiling a google calendar that lists the Hallmark and (hopefully soon) Lifetime Christmas movie schedules. I’ll also add in a few additional tv episodes or movies from other stations from time to time. It isn’t the definitive list of every single Christmas related media in the entire world, but if you’re into these types of shows you can subscribe to the calendar and have a visual representation of what’s going to be playing soon. Enjoy!
Hallmark has 25 or so new Christmas movies premiering this year. They actually start playing reruns tonight at 10:00 PM on both of their channels. I have no idea why certain movies debut on the original channel and a handful show-up on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries but rest assured if you want to watch something with sleigh bells and candy canes before December you won’t have any issues.
Let’s be honest for a second, a lot of these films are not going to appeal to everyone. By no means do I like all of Hallmark’s movies. I also get a little annoyed that so many of them have really uninventive titles. It’s like they’re going for SEO instead of what the story is actually about, but every year they produce a few solid story lines with strong casting and particularly well done holiday decorations. I really only have the synopsis to go on for most of the new 2016 movies (I think a lot of them are actually still in post production) but below I’ll try to predict which ones I think are going to be your best bet for a feel good Christmas TV experience.
I think you may want to DVR:
The Mistletoe Promise
Premieres: Saturday, November 5th at 8/7c
I hesitate on this one a bit because I’m not a Richard Paul Evans kind of girl and this is based on one of his books. However, the set pics look like they have pretty sparkly decorations and Jamie King was adorable in Hart of Dixie so let’s give it a whirl.
Every Christmas Has a Story
Premiere: Saturday, November 12th at 8/7c
The plot doesn’t really excite me very much but I love Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin) and it also stars Colin Ferguson, from Eureka, who apparently is dressed like an elf at some point. Seems like a good enough reason to me.
My Christmas Dream
Premiere: Saturday, November 19th at 8/7c
Here’s a great example of one of those uninspired titles…My Christmas Dream...that’s all they’ve got? Anyway, Danica McKeller (The Wonder Years) stars and Danica also happens to be in one of my favorite made-for-tv movies, Love at the Christmas Table. I really admire the work she does outside of acting helping to educate and encourage little girls to love math so I’m watching this. Bonus: soap opera queen Deirdre Hall apparently plays her boss. Hopefully, a very glamorous, exacting, and slightly mean one.
A Nutcracker Christmas
Premiere: Saturday December 10th 8/7c
This is the movie I’m the most excited for. Amy Acker is so good in everything she does, plus she’s part of the Whedonverse. We also have real ballet dancers, death, betrayal, and romance to look forward to. I kind of wish it was on Lifetime though so something really scandalous would happen, but I’m sure Hallmark will whip up a suitable happy ending instead. Many ballet dancers also sort of dislike dancing in The Nutcracker so let’s see if any of them betray their misery on screen.
A Heavenly Christmas
Premiere: Saturday, November 26 at 8/7c
This is the Hallmark Hall of Fame film this year so it will undoubtedly have been graced with a larger budget and higher production values. It also stars Charlotte from Sex in the City, Eric McCormick (Will & Grace) and Shirley MacLaine. As those folks are all very well known and accomplished actors I think the whole Christmas-angel-helps-struggling-musician thing will work. We’ll see.
Journey Back to Christmas
Premiere: Sunday, November 27th at 8/7c
Here we have DJ Tanner in period costumes, everyones’ favorite dad, flight instructor, and/or sheriff, Tom Skerritt, Kate Hudson’s super hot brother (Oliver Hudson) and time travel. If you added in a Tardis this could totally be on the BBC. Candace Cameron is always a strong contender when picking Christmas movies so you have to watch this one whether you want to or not.
Premiere: Wednesday November 23rd at 8/7c
You’ve probably realized at this point that my benchmark for deciding what to watch is based on total nonsense. Therefore, I have absolutely no problem telling you that I don’t have any other reason for you to check out this movie other than the fact that it stars Melissa Joan-Hart and I’ve watched Holiday in Handcuffs approximately 1000 times in my life. That should really be enough. Don’t you think?
The Sound of Christmas
Premiere:Sunday, December 11th
Channel: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Do you watch The Librarians? If so, then you definitely know who Lindy Booth is and you’ll absolutely want to watch her play a piano teacher. Lindy is essentially what would happen if champagne bubbles came to life.
There are actually quite a few feature films with Christmas themes popping up in the news lately. Whether or not they actually become fully fledged productions is of course anybody’s guess. We all know that hollywood is notoriously fickle. For instance, I’m still pretty miffed that the rumored remake of Christmas in Connecticut starring Jennifer Garner never happened. It would have been perfection. Maybe they’ll change their minds? Probably not, but in the meantime here’s what I’ve come across so far:
Elizabeth Banks is producing a Mrs. Claus film. Right now it’s being reported that she maybe won’t star in the movie but I have a hunch that she will. How could she possibly resist? Bustle has a great lists of reasons why she’d make the perfect Christmas Queen as well in case you need any additional convincing. I also hope it’s a bit dark and weird, which seems like a pretty good bet considering some of the people involved.
The Let it Snow adaptation has been rumored to be happening for awhile and I was very confused last year and accidentally thought that Love the Coopers was Let it Snow. A valid mistake really as Love the Coppers was apparently originally titled Let it Snow. This time I have the right book-film project though. I promise. Supposedly we’ll be watching this movie on December 9th, 2016 but since they just found a director I’m not so sure about that.
Disney is reportedly making a new live-action version of The Nutcracker which will be directed by Lasse Hallström. Hallström also directed the delicious film Chocolat. Hmm…maybe Johnny Depp can play the Nutcracker? Somehow I think he’d roll his eyes at the mere suggestion but you never know. He does like bizarre roles.
Finally, we have Office Christmas Party (let’s hope they jazz up that title a bit) with Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller (that guy from Silicon Valley), and Kate McKinnon. I don’t currently feel very excited about this, but maybe they’ll actually come up with a more original premise then people get drunk, shenanigans ensue, and it snows. If so, I’ll happily get on board.