Dec 19 - 25, 2013 
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Idiot Box

Kung Fu Panda Christmases, Snowmageddons and the death of the Doctor

Christmas Day around the dial

By Devin D. O’Leary
“The Time of the Doctor” on BBC America

Christmas Day. What to do? Eat? Open presents? Sure, but then what? How about artificially extending the holiday feeling with the viewing of some seasonal TV programming? Preferably while drinking spiked egg nog. Oh yeah. That’s the stuff.

Cartoons are always popular around this time of year. FOX exploits a couple of popular movie franchises with “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” (KASA-2 7pm) and DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury” (KASA-2 7:30pm). Next door on the TV dial, The CW follows suit with “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special” (KWBQ-19 7pm) and “Merry Madagascar” (KWBQ-19 7:30pm). On a Grinchy side note, Christmas isn’t traditionally celebrated in the Ice Age, mythical Viking kingdoms, ancient China or modern-day Madagascar. Just saying.

NBC gets musical, re-airing a couple of tune-filled holiday specials from weeks past: “Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale” (KOB-4 7pm) and “Michael Buble’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special” (KOB-4 8pm). Equally musical, but containing considerably less sketch comedy is “Catholic University of America’s Christmas Concert” (EWTN-24 9pm).

ABC sticks with the sitcoms, pumping out holiday-themed reruns of “The Middle” (KOAT-7 7pm), “Trophy Wife” (KOAT-7 7:30pm), “Modern Family” (KOAT-7 8pm) and “Super Fun Night” (KOAT-7 8:30pm). More reruns can be found over on TV Land, including Christmas episodes of “The Golden Girls” (TV Land 4pm), “Roseanne” (TV Land 5pm), “The Cosby Show” (TV Land 6pm) and “Everybody Loves Raymond” (7pm).

Movies are to be found in abundance. Wake up early enough and you can catch the last 13 hours of TBS’ 24 Hours of A Christmas Story (TBS 4am-6pm). Top off the marathon with “The Cast of A Christmas Story: Where are They Now?” (TV Guide 9pm). For more laughs there’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (ABC Family 7pm). Oh, Cousin Eddie. Syfy Channel, never one to dwell on sentiment or intentional humor, offers a day-long marathon of wintry destruction: 2012: Ice Age (Syfy 7am), Ice Spiders (Syfy 9am), Ice Road Terror (Syfy 11am), Yeti (Syfy 1pm), Snow Beast (Syfy 3pm), Ice Quake (Syfy 4pm), Snowmageddon (Syfy 7pm) and Ice Twisters (Syfy 9 pm). Finally, hoping to end their cheesy holiday-themed rom-com battle once and for all, Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Network air day-long marathons featuring all the made-for-TV movies they unwrapped this year like The Christmas Ornament (Hallmark 6:30pm) and A Snow Globe Christmas (Lifetime 8pm). Be on the lookout for Markie Post, Candace Cameron Bure and Judd Nelson sightings.

Christmas has become an increasingly special time in the lives of “Doctor Who” fans—what with the annual Christmas specials and all. This year packs an extra punch, as you can tell from the BBC’s broadcast of “Doctor Who: Farewell to Matt Smith” (BBC America 6pm). Yup, the current Doctor will be giving up the ghost at the end of this year’s Christmas special “Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor” (BBC American 7pm). He’ll be replaced next year by new star Peter Capaldi (“The Thick of It”). But at least we get to end the year on a high note, with Smith saving a mysterious town called “Christmas” from alien invaders.

 
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